Kathleen and Jesse’s love story began 6 years ago when they first met at a happy hour event in Springfield, VA. It was then discovered that Kathleen worked with Jesse’s mom as a teacher. However, it would be two more years before their paths crossed again. Kathleen was the nanny for a little boy named Everett at the time, who would later be in their wedding. Thanks to his love of firefighters’, Kathleen found herself reaching out to Jesse, a local firefighter, to arrange a visit for her and Everett to come to his fire station. After that visit, the two stayed in touch for about three more years. It wasn’t until Kathleen’s matron of honor, Jen, told her she would be crazy to deny her and Jesse’s sparks and advised her to give him a chance. The two then started dating and were together for a year before Jesse finally popped the question. Jesse says he knew Kathleen was the one because “we could be weird together and have fun.” They both agreed that their compatibility is like nothing they had ever dreamed of finding in their forever love. Their only regret…realizing they had wasted so much time not being together when what they both wanted was right in front of them all along.
A summer wedding seems to have been destined for both Kathleen & Jesse since it’s their shared favorite season. Thus, it was essential for them that their wedding reflected those summer vibes of being fun and laid back. Kathleen says, “we didn’t want it to be too formal as we wanted our wedding to be a time for people to celebrate our love and just enjoy themselves.” Most importantly, they both wanted to create a space that allowed their relationship, friends, and families to be the center of the day. Their wedding was all about celebrating those they love most!
Selecting their dream venue: When it came to picking the perfect place to host their upcoming nuptials, Kathleen and Jesse knew that it had to be a place near water…and as much of it as they could see! They also wanted an easily accessible location that didn’t make out of towners feel they spent too much time commuting from their hotels. The couple ended up looking at 3 other venues. Still, they quickly realized that The Ospreys was not only beautiful, but it possessed the laid back charm they had been seeking. “The Ospreys was the first venue we visited. We both immediately fell in love and wanted to cancel the rest of our appointments at other venues. However, our parents encouraged us to go ahead and finish our other tours.” With its breathtaking waterfront view to it’s open and inviting indoor spaces, they know The Ospreys was the perfect place to celebrate their big day! They both said, “the staff was the absolute easiest to work with and so incredibly helpful. They made the entire planning process a breeze and helped us with every aspect!”
Another huge factor in deciding where they would host their jubilant soiree was whether their dog, Diesel, could be present with them. Since The Ospreys is a pet-friendly venue, the couple could bring Diesel and make him a part of their special day. This was a truly vital part of their wedding day. Kathleen says their one piece of advice to other couples is, “go ahead and cancel your other venue visits and book The Ospreys. It exceeded our expectations by a mile!”
Kathleen tried on four dresses before she finally said “YES” to the bridal gown of her dreams! A strapless, lightweight, classic bridal gown was ultimately the dress that she and her mother fell in love with. A customized open back and satin ribbon belt completed her perfect bridal look. However, the most sentimental piece of her bridal look was the veil she was able to have restored. It was the same veil her mother wore 35 years ago on her wedding day. To Kathleen, it was the perfect symbol of lasting love and marriage exemplified by her parents’ marriage. Having been in a few weddings himself, Jesse knew just what he wanted to wear on his wedding day. Firstly, suspenders were a must. More importantly, he knew he wanted to feel comfortable and look polished—the final look, a fitted navy suit complete with suspenders.
Knowing they wanted to be adventurous with their overall color palette was another reason they wanted to host their waterfront affair in the summertime. Kathleen goes on record as being a lover of hot pink and bright oranges. This color combination really came out to play, as her bridesmaids beamed in vibrant coral dresses. This use of “loud” colors, as Kathleen put it, was carried throughout their wedding decor. The groomsmen sported complementary navy suits and classic black bow ties.
The couple relied heavily on The Ospreys social media and the other resources they provided us with. Since the waterfront played such a vital role in their decision to host their wedding at The Ospreys, they really wanted the river to be the focal point. They decided to keep the floral arrangements simple so that their guests could enjoy the incredible view of the water. “The river and landscape are breathtaking and make the venue beautiful. Our guests were in awe of the venue and often tell us it is the most beautiful venue they have been to.” Kathleen has always loved bright, bold colors, and big open flowers. As she searched for inspiration for the flowers she would have on her wedding day, she found herself continually drawn to bouquets that contained Gerbera Daisies in them. Kathleen immediately fell in love with the instant pop of color Gerbera Daisies had and felt like they were the perfect representation of summer vibes. She knew she had to find a way to incorporate them into her wedding. While Kathleen knew she wanted to use bold colors throughout her wedding day, she wasn’t entirely sure which florals would bring her overall vision to life. She credits her florist ability to use his artistic eye to take her minimal suggestions and create extraordinary pieces for her entire event.
Apart from the venue, the couple says that the food and the cake were the two most essential elements of their wedding day. Sharing the memory of lackluster food at some of the previous weddings they had attended, they knew they wanted a better experience for their guests. They wanted their guests to eat as much as they liked so that they left feeling completely satisfied. Again, the couple credits their wonderful vendors for helping them narrow down their many choices to create a cohesive and hearty buffet for their guests. Kathleen says, “Still to this day, our friends and family talk about our food and cake and how it was the best we ever had! I guess it speaks to both of our personalities, even though it was our day, we wanted other people to be taken care of as well!” Jesse’s groom’s cake was a crowd pleasing surprise from his bride. Made to look like a firefighter hat, it also had his station number and name.
The couple was greeted into their reception surrounded by their family and friends. They then shared their first dance to an old Tim McGraw song named ‘Watch the Wind Blow By.’ According to Kathleen, the song is about life happening and being content and happy with the one you love. To the couple, dancing to this song signified their feelings for each other. It solidified their vow that they will be with each other no matter what life brings their way.
For both Kathleen and Jesse, the one moment that stands out as the most touching for them was when they finally saw each other at the aisle. “You prepare so long and hard [mentally and emotionally] for that moment, and then it finally comes, and it’s such a sigh of relief and happiness.” Kathleen goes on to say, “you dream as a child of walking down the aisle to your future spouse, but neither of us was prepared for the true bliss and joy that came with that moment.” The couple says they each felt this sense of euphoria come over them as they locked eyes with one another. It was as if no one else around them existed. It was just the two of them at that moment.
While the first year of marriage in a time of COVID has not quite been what they had expected, they are both doing great. Their favorite thing about being married is “experiencing life together.” As a teacher, Kathleen prepares for a school year of virtual learning but hopes to return to teaching in-person sometime soon. Jesse continues growing in his career as a firefighter. The couple hopes to fill their home with children one day, but until then, they enjoy laughing with each other and being amazing dog parents to their pup, Diesel. Their big dream? Continue to save money for a boat so that they will someday be able to cruise by The Ospreys and cheer on other couples as they say, “I do.”
Venue | The Ospreys at Belmont Bay
Photography | Nichole Haun Photography
Caterer | Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ
Florist | Brookhill Florist
DJ | Chris Williams
Bakery | Edibles Incredible
Videography | Adam Martry
Officiant | Francis Fiore
Bridal Shop | White Swan Bridal
Grooms Tux | The Black Tux
Bridesmaids dresses | Azaize