Janelle + Chris | Washington, DC, Washington DC | The Fairmont
From The Bride:
Chris and I met on eHarmony. Chris was previously married, and I had previously been engaged. I had decided everything happens for a reason and decided that being single was the way to go, however, not everyone in my life agreed. I was urged to join a dating website and get out there and try for love again, skeptic about these apps out, I decided if I’m doing this it will have to be on a legit paid for website, less of a chance of being cat fished was my thinking. Chris was previously married to Celeste, whom was diagnosed with cancer shortly after giving birth to Chris’s daughter Kennedy. Celeste battled for a year, but ultimately was not able to fight the cancer off. Chris was left widowed and now a single father and thought maybe this was all meant to be for some unknown reason as well. After about a year, Chris’s friends urged him to get back out there and try for love again, and strongly encouraged him to keep his eyes open for a nurturing kind of woman, like a teacher or nurse.
Chris found me on eHarmony, about six months after he had been on the site. I had only been on for about three weeks, and was not too into the entire concept, but continued to be optimistic. On eHarmony, I was categorized as a “what if” match, meaning we were not perfect matches, but had similarities that made us compatible. Chris took a leap and messaged me, I read his profile, found him hilarious and wrote back. We went back and forth for days, eventually exchanging numbers, talking hours on the phone then had our first date.
I don’t like saying it was instant, but I can honestly speak for both of us in saying by the time we left our 6 hour totally unplanned first date, we both knew this could be it. Chris and I lived about 45 minutes from one another, so seeing as how Chris was a single father and we both worked fulltime, myself being a teacher who was notorious for working late it was hard to see each other regularly. Chris and I have a common ground of loving live sporting events so we tried to get to as many Washington games as possible and those became our dates.
It was a bit of a whirlwind romance. Chris and I fell in love quickly. After just three months we looked at rings. By this point in our relationship I had connected and grown a strong bond with Kennedy, Chris’s daughter. She organically began referring to me as Mommy, and we never corrected her. My heart was overwhelmingly full having two new loves in my life. Just about four months after looking at rings Chris gave me a ring. He had jokingly asked me to marry him several times, and I told him he was not allowed to ask without a ring. I had been serious about this, but Chris being a jokester just kept going. On Saint Patrick’s Day, I came home from a long day of Special Education trainings and was just not in the best of moods. Chris and Kennedy were at my condo waiting for me when I got there, not a surprise I was happy to see them both. We all went for a walk to a nearby park and Chris again jokingly made a statement about us getting married. Already a little annoyed with my long day, I snapped at him not to ask until he had a ring, I even did a quick pat down on his frame to make sure that he did not have a ring box. Feeling nothing, I rolled my eyes and told him to quit doing that. Chris then reached into his pocket, told me I didn’t do a good pat down and pulled out a beautiful ring, dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him. I may have screamed yes before he got the chance to ask. I put the ring on, ran over to Kennedy whom was playing on the playground and asked her if it was okay if I married her daddy, she, being the sweet age of 2 and a half years old just smiled and said uh huh.
We set our wedding date far out, as we decided to purchase a home and make sure we created a new and safe home for Kennedy, and ourselves to begin a new chapter. Chris is originally from Chicago and loves the White Sox so we decided an element of the wedding would feature black and white stripes as nod to his love for Chicago and our shared love of sports. But the stripes also held this classic and bold statement which played in well for our DC wedding. Our wedding planner, Herlene Nagler, also planned my Bat Mitzvah, so for me working with her now as an adult was an incredible opportunity. We had great vendors and the love for our day just grew and grew as planning continued.
As I look back on our journey I am so proud of how much we conquered in the brief time we have been together. Not very many people get to fall in love and have an instant family. However, during the time we planned our wedding, Chris and I also filed paper work so that I could legally adopt Kennedy. To become a wife and a mom, and be surrounded by people who watched us grow so quickly and supported us in each step of the way has been a blessing. I joke with Chris that he was the best choice I made for our wedding, which I will never take back; but my second-best choice was having our day captured by Wise Films, so we can look back on this special day for years to come and share our unconventional love story with so many others. I look at our story as a gentle reminder that things do happen for a reason, but the saying of love conquers all- does stand to be true.
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Lulu
- Ceremony Venue: The Fairmont
- Cinematographer: Wise Films
- Dress: Pronovia
- Flowers: Edge Floral Designs
- Hair: Dolce Vita Salon and Spa
- Makeup: Dolce Vita Salon and Spa
- Music: Spectrum, Washington Talent Agency
- Officiant: Kurtis Cross
- Photographer: Ken Pak
- Planner: Herlene Nagler
- Reception Venue: The Fairmont
- Shoes: Manolo Blahnik