Last Saturday was such a beautiful start to Jess + Cap’s marriage!! Many friends and family gathered to enjoy a day of celebrating at Madison at the Mill, a venue which is the perfect twist of industrial + chic.
Slight panic when we arrived to read a sign that said MICHAEL + Jessica’s Wedding thinking we were at the wrong place…all these years we didn’t realize that Cap was his nickname!!
Jessica calls him by his real name, so I’ll refer to him as Michael in this blog, since it’s written for them. 🙂
I knew this day was going to be full to the brim of joyful moments, as well as intentionally designed to be a day tailored to them, and their love for Jesus.
These two met in November of 2014 through Jess’ sister Haley at church when Jess was visiting home from college over break. Little did Jess know that this was the Sunday she’d meet her future husband.
When Sam and I lived in Warrenton circa 2014, we were in a great bible study where we first met Michael “Cap” and Jess’ sister Haley.
I remember telling Sam, “Oh my gosh…literally everyone in this bible study is beautiful, friendly and so much fun. I hope they all pair off and start getting married!!!” Hahah! And a lot of them did!!!
As soon as Michael met Jess he was blown away (duh) and started texting Haley that he thought Jess was soo pretty while subtly asking when they could all get together again.
Haley was so excited about this blossoming crush and started to create more opportunities for the group to hang out. It wasn’t long until the two were hanging out regularly, writing notes to each other, and dating long distance when Jess went back to school.
A few weeks later, their friend group gathered to play “Wallyball” at a local Warrenton gym. This was the first time they were able to start getting to know each other. After this they say, “the rest is history!”
The two knew early on that they were meant to be together.
About 4 months into their relationship, Jess would write “Open when…” letters for Michael to read while they were apart. Jess remembered writing the letters, but forgot the details of what she said.
The morning of, Michael sent her two of her letters back that he kept safe all this time.
The two he chose were Open When You are Happy and Open When You’re Thinking of our Future Together.
Jess gave him another sweet letter to read that morning as well as a matte black watch that he LOVED! Engraved on the back was their Wedding date.
After photographing Haley + Sam’s Wedding last year, we were super excited to spend another day with the Kroskies. They are the most loving and relational family. They make every moment together into quality time.
These 4 are best friends. It’s all so genuine and warm when they pray together, and they even have a “KROSKIE KROSKIE KROSKIE!!” cheer they made up!
Jess has a talent for gift-giving. She had customized gifts and handwritten notes for her parents that left everyone in tears.
For her Dad, she had cufflinks made with pictures of the two of them in earlier years. She also designed a charm bracelet for her mom with the charms saying “Always your little girl” and a picture of them when Jess was a little baby.
Michael couldn’t take his eyes off her when she walked down the aisle. I love when Ceremony spaces have a slightly longer aisle like this so. It allows for the rawness of this beautiful moment to really sink in.
Jess + Michael each shared beautiful, personal vows and then tied three cords down a wooden cross. It symbolizes their unity with God and how he braids in and around their marriage.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 reads, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
When they were announced Husband + Wife, Michael kissed his Bride and lifted her off of the ground!! Talk about a romantic first kiss!!
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I was a little nervous going into these portraits!! 4:30pm sunlight at the end of May is usually way too bright BUT we had a storm rolling in which created these colorful cloudy skies over the mountains!!
By the time we sent the Bridal Party back to the venue so we could do Bride + Groom portraits alone, the thunder was signaling to us that this beautiful cloud coverage came at a price!!
We moved fast but didn’t rush. This time of the day was carved out for just the two of them to be Husband and Wife and some thunder made this extra romantic! I have SO. MANY. FAVORITES.
Michael + Jess often went for long drives with really no destination in mind just for fun. One day in July of last year as Jess climbed in the passenger seat, she noticed Michael secretly putting an address into his GPS, something they never did. She asked where they were going since she noticed the GPS had them arriving at the destination in THREE hours haha!!
He wouldn’t tell her where they were going!! They ended up taking a drive down to Alleghany County where they spent the day skipping rocks by the river and sitting in the sunshine. Michael said he wanted a picture in the middle of the Humpback Bridge by the river, and kept having Jess pause taking his picture because other people kept “getting in his shot” in the background. The perfect moment came when no one was around and as Jess was taking the picture, Michael dropped to one knee!! 🙂
She said was too excited to actually take the picture, but it was a moment she’ll always remember.
Everything about them is fun and easy-going!! Michael even wanted to do a funny picture where he’s wearing the crown like a Greek god haha!!! It’s not often we get a couple who LOVES taking pictures and doesn’t want to stop even with the rain coming!!
The rain only sprinkled as we arrived back at the venue where Shalese (aka the BEST venue coordinator EVER) was waiting to bustle Jess’ dress!
Throughout the day, we were able to do our jobs well because of Shalese (who is also an amazing photographer!!) and her team!! They did such a wonderful job handling the timeline and running things behind the scenes!!
I knew their details were going to be SO GOOD because Jess is a graphic designer, loves photography and has an eye for design in general.
Their guests were in for quite a treat. I loved her gorgeous hanging seating chart, her long leafy garlands draping across the tables, magnets she had made from an illustrator she found on etsy that were SO cute….AND a tiered COOKIE CAKE from Hidden Julles Cafe PLUS homemade ice cream sandwiches that they made themselves.
I’m still in denial that it was gluten-free. Even compared to the full gluten goodness of cakes we’ve had at dozens of Weddings, this was by far one of the tastiest to date!!!
The Polish Bridal Dance is such a fun tradition for this family!! Everyone twists napkins and shakes them in the air to the quick beat of the traditional Polish song. Within a matter of ~5-10 minutes, every guest will danced with the Bride! You slip a few dollars into the maid’s apron, twirl SUPER fast with the Bride and then choose whether or not you want a tea cookie or to take a shot of a special liqueur!
At the very end, the Bride’s parents take their turn and invite everyone but the Groom back onto the dance floor to circle tightly around the Bride. Then the Groom has to throw his wallet into the apron and fight his way through the barrier to claim his Bride!
The rest of the evening was spent dancing under hundreds of Edison lights and making fun memories with their loved ones before their grand exit as Husband + Wife.
Jess + Michael,
You guys are in for a treat. Marriage reveals so much about who you are, who God says you are, and who you were meant to be. You two will be iron sharpening iron if you keep God at the center of your Marriage. I am SO excited to see where this new life together takes you because you two are one heck of a great team. Even in the midst of a possible thunderstorm, you two held on tight to each other and said “no, we want to keep going” with JOY and not fear, which I think will be so symbolic in your Marriage. The storm brought the most beautiful light…and a rainbow on your Wedding Day!! Wow, guys!! What a beautiful start to what we hope is a long and beautiful life together 🙂 We love you both so much!! Wishing you the BEST HONEYMOON in IRELAND!!
Venue | Madison at the Mill
Catering | Roadside Chive Catering & Events
Videographer | White Flair Productions
Flowers |Flowers with Passion
Hair & Make-up | Bobby Pins & Blush
Band | Master Jams Productions
Cake | Hidden Julles Cafe
Invitations | Minted
Bridal Shoes | Nordstrom
Bridesmaids Dresses | Birdy Grey