The story of Jenna & David…
How did you meet?
Initially though our friend-in-common John, who introduced us because of a shared interest in fraternity and sorority life (Jenna got her Masters degree at UofL and worked in their FSL office and Dave was advising a chapter at UofL). After that first meeting, they realized their roommates were siblings, which is just another example of what a small world Louisville is. We texted back and forth for a few months, but nothing ever came of it. Just after Dave’s birthday in November 2015, we ran into each other at a bar on Bardstown Road in Louisville called Baxters. Dave actually left the bar to go to a different bar up the street, and Jenna followed with her out-of-town friends in tow. Several cocktails came and went, and the dance floor did its thing. At the end of the night, Jenna sent her friends home and jumped into Dave’s Lyft. The following Sunday, Dave texted to schedule a date with Jenna on Thursday before he went of out town for work. That Thursday came, and they met at Crescent Hill Craft House in Louisville and the rest is history.
Describe your first date…
Dave: We met at Crescent Hill Craft House in Louisville for dinner (which neither of us seem to remember), before going to Dave’s favorite ice cream place (pre-Crank & Boom) called Comfy Cow. We’re fairly sure that Jenna drove, and dropped Dave off at his car at the end of the night. We were sitting in Jenna’s car when I sheepishly suggested that she *come back to my place* (creepy accent). She literally responded, “If you’re going to ask me to come home with you, you have to say it.” This was a pivotal moment. I did. She did. Here we are.
Share your proposal story…
Dave: We talked about rings fairly early on. I remember going to brunch at a First Watch in Louisville and kind of joking about going to look at them. We did end up going to Shane Company, so I knew precisely what she wanted (“dainty” – defined as: round diamond, thin band, four prongs, optional diamonds along the band). Like any other big purchase, I had to visit 5-6 more stores than necessary and make a spreadsheet to compare all the options.
As someone who didn’t really date anyone before, Lynne (mom) offered up a diamond very shortly after first meeting Jenna. Since I would only have to find a band, shopping felt like it would be fairly easy. Surprisingly, I had visited over six jewelry stores without being impressed with anything I saw. At the suggestion of my Best Man Steve, I tried Merkley Kendrick in Louisville and met Rachel, who took all the pressure off. She’s the only honest jeweler in Louisville. The first ring she showed me was the one, and I came back the next day with the diamond…
Jenna’s friend Tara had given me some advice that I should propose to Jenna no more than two weeks before visiting South Carolina, so that her mom wouldn’t have to wait long to see her. The Fourth of July is Jenna’s favorite holiday, and we had a trip to SC planned, so it had to happen just before then. This was also fortuitous, because I was doing a bad job of hiding my tracks, and I was convinced that Jenna was likely expecting it on or around the 4th.
On June 28th, I had everything ready to go. The plan was that I would propose while we were sitting on the couch eating pizza, then we’d go to Crank and Boom to celebrate, where we would be joined by 30-ish of our closest friends. Hilariously, Jenna had a bad day at work and came home wanting nothing more than Mexican food and margs. She was not happy that I insisted on pizza. We finally settled in and watched an episode of Rizzoli & Isles (which took forever), and I asked her after the show ended. I do not know what I said, and neither does she. We did a quick costume change, and headed to Crank & Boom, where there is video of Jenna experiencing literal shock as we rounded the corner to the patio. Boom. Engaged.
How did you know you had found “the one”?
Dave: As a single man, I liked to go to movies alone, and I found that whenever there would be an “Up”-esque emotional scene, I would immediately think of Jenna and start to tear up. From the start, being good communicators with one another was a priority, and I had shared literally everything with her. It kind of snuck up on me, but there was a huge range of feeling there. I absolutely had to propose.
Jenna: I’m a pretty anxiety riddled person. I’ve gone to therapy for as long as a I can remember and most of that time was spent learning to trust my gut because I know who I am as a person and what I need. I don’t know that there’s an exact moment that I knew – it’s just that every moment there was no question that I was my full self when I was with Dave. It was a sure thing if there ever was one.
Describe who you are as a couple…
Dave: When we’re at our best, we’re smiling and joking around with each other. We’re both people pleasers, so humor is important and it shines through on a daily basis. Jenna is pretty sneaky with her punchlines, but when they hit they are outstanding. Communication is also very important to us, and something we both feel we do well, so the daily download, affirmation, and generally being supportive of one another is key.
Jenna: I would 100% agree that humor is a big part of our relationship. Dave has made me laugh so hard it hurts and he makes me feel pure joy on a regular basis. I think we’re also very kind to each other. Dave talks about it as people pleasers, but I think we’re both so incredibly giving to one another and it creates a healthy environment of care and concern for one another.
How do you like to spend time together?
Dave: Just being next to each other. We shamelessly sit on the same side of tables at restaurants. If it’s a nice day, I know that Jenna will want to drink a beer or three on a patio somewhere in Lexington, so I’d better start brainstorming. If we have an afternoon to ourselves, one of the best things is buying fancy cheese and crackers, and splitting the plate with some wine, usually while watching crime shows. First it was Law and Order, then Blue Bloods, then Rizzoli & Isles, and now The Good Wife (currently halfway through season five).
Jenna: Our friends definitely tease us about being same-side sitters, but I love it! It just makes for a pause in time in our incredibly fast paced lives where our only focus is each other.
Describe your ideal date night…
Dave: Date night is definitely not a situation where we go to the nicest restaurant in town and spend a lot. Just something with just the two of us free from distraction or hurry. We went on an impromptu date to Caron’s a few weeks ago, and it was really brilliant. Crank and Boom is always nice (hopefully Distillery District over Fritz Farm). On a more regular basis, neither of us are ever going to turn down a pizza and The Good Wife.
Jenna: Yes, we’ve really had to challenge ourselves to put up our phones and ignore the distractions and focus on each other. Anything spontaneous is really ideal; when it’s planned, it seems like you have to go on the date rather than you get to go on the date. We’re both terrible at surprises (minus the engagement, good job Dave!) so it’s fun to make the decision together!
What do you love most about the other?
Dave: Jenna is the most selfless person I’ve ever met. I’ve watched her rocket from stranger to best friend with others in minutes flat. She constantly reminds me what the important things in life are, and her love for (and patience with) me is never in doubt.
Jenna: Dave is so much softer and kinder than he gives himself credit for. He’s an analyst, so he always describes himself as a number cruncher or needing the hard facts, but reality is, he’s got tons of emotions in there. I love how much he loves me and when it catches him off guard; he’ll surprise himself with how much love he’s feeling and it’s because he’s genuinely the best person I know.
Describe your wedding day vision and the details you’re most excited about…
Wedding planning in the beginning was tough because all I could say was “soft”. I knew I wanted a soft wedding. We also both said from the beginning we wanted it to be a night of unforgettable fun for our family and friends. Dave and I knew we would always remember the day but we wanted everyone else too, as well. We got the soft feeling with dreamy, pale colors and minimalist, clean decorations. Simple, yet beautiful. I think I’m most excited to see everything come together in the Rotunda of Limestone Hall. We fell in love with the space immediately and knew it had the feel we were going for.
What moment(s) are you most excited about for your wedding day?
Dave: I’m most excited for the vows. We’ve always been proud of our ability to communicate with each other, and I feel like that will make the vows fun and powerful. Also, I’m very excited about my ring. I’ve been asking Jenna too many times each day if I can put it on to test it out.
Jenna: I’m most excited for the first moment that Dave and I will be alone after the ceremony and have it hit me…wow, we’re married! I feel like it’s going to be so nonstop and a whirlwind until that moment when we finally have the opportunity to just sit and soak it in.
What advice or encouragement would you like to share with planning brides?
Jenna: Decide the items that matter most to you and decided exactly what you want early on. Then communicate that clearly with those around you so you don’t feel like you’re having to advocate for yourself on the back end after someone else is trying to get you to do something different. Other people will have A LOT of opinions about YOUR wedding but it truly is coming out of a place of love. So you have to set expectations early on about the things that truly matter to you. Also…hire a coordinator. No bride or groom wants to worry about the day of if the cake shows up on time.
What are you most excited about for marriage?
Dave: Officially being able to call Jenna my wife (I’ve already been doing this since we got engaged).
Jenna: I’ve gotten asked this a lot, since not a lot will change for us. We already have a beautiful home and life together so what is it about the wedding that changes things? For me, it’s the finality of it all. And not in a scary way, but in a commitment sort of way. We are committing to working on ourselves and our relationship for the rest of our lives so that we can be the best partner possible for one another. What’s more beautiful than that?!
A huge thanks to the vendors who made this wedding day beautiful…