Jo + Jonny tied the knot on July 5, 2014 at Rock Quarry Farm in Chapel Hill, NC. This quaint outdoor venue created an intimate "backyard wedding" ambience for the day, which fit Jo and Jonny's personalities perfectly. Read more about their wedding experience in the Q&A below!
1. How did you and Jonny meet and fall in love? I'd love to hear a little bit more of your story. :)
We met at a mutual friend's house party. I (Jo here) remember he really captured my attention, I thought he was so handsome and completely insane and he made me laugh. Jonny was immediately attracted to me, he thought I was cute, and he liked my confidence and outgoingness. The first few times we interacted were at house parties and there was rampant flirtation, but I always seemed to be seeing someone else. : ) When I started going to the same church as Jonny a couple months later he didn't know I was single until we started spending more time together. As soon as he confirmed my single status he decided it was time to make his move. Jonny officially asked me out after a Christmas party on December 21st (2013). Sitting in the car on the way to our first date I had to verbally verify with him that we were indeed on a date, and it turned out that we were. Well we kept going on dates after that, and in about a week we had become absolutely inseparable (and still are). A year later on December 21st, 2014, he went down on one knee in the middle of waltzing at a winter solstice party, and asked me to marry him. : )
2. You planned a fairly non-traditional wedding with square dancing, pizelles, and even a few traditional Filipino elements. What led you to these decisions?
All the "non-traditional" choices we made were really a no-brainer. I've just always thought a wedding should be a reflection of the tastes and interests of the couple getting married. The process was "Okay, we're throwing a huge party to celebrate with our friends and family, what do we want to include?" rather than "What is our idea of what a wedding should be like?" Dancing has been a huge part of Jonny and my relationship, and what better way to share that than through square dancing where everyone can join in?! : ) My dad's side of the family is Sicilian, so wedding cookies were a must. Jonny and I LOVE to eat, so it was especially important to us that the food be killer. Jonny's family hails from Hawaii so we incorporated elements of that here and there like with the hibiscus flower table runners and the chill island music dinner play list. His family also brought a crown and lei made out of folded dollar bills which were so fun to wear! The wedding was sort of our perfect party, with some life-long vows in the mix.
3. What was the favorite part of your wedding day?
For me (Jo here), pretty much the entire wedding/reception was amazing. I'm not kidding, I loved every moment!! Jonny says the most thrilling part for him was when we were waiting in the house while the guests were arriving, the most surreal part was the ceremony, and he liked dinner time the best.
4. Did you foresee any part of your wedding day being difficult logistically or emotionally? Did I make it easier? If so, how?
Honestly we had done so much planning ahead of time, and my sister Arielle was coordinating everything, that I knew as soon as things started I would no longer have to deal so much with logistics if there did happen to be any problems. What I totally didn't foresee was that I would cry like a baby during almost the entire ceremony. Good Lord. But anyways, I loved how much you (Courtney) planned ahead, coordinated with us, and let us know what to expect. The photography was completely stress free for us. I knew exactly when and which photos were happening. It was really clear that you knew what you were doing and knew your way around a wedding.
5. What is the first thing you want to do with the images?
Probably get a few prints for us and for family - with everything we have going on right now I haven't had a chance to think about it! So excited!!
6. What is next for you as a couple? Any big plans?
Yes indeed. Jonny just graduated from UNC with his PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics, and he's secured a post-doc position at UCSF in San Francisco. We're moving out September 4th. It's been a crazy summer - even after Jonny's thesis defense and the wedding were over, we still had a lot of planning to do!
7. Anything else you'd like to add about your wedding, your photography experience, or anything else?
If I had really known how much went into planning a wedding we might have just eloped. : D Fortunately I did not know this, because it was totally worth it! The photography experience exceeded my expectations. Picture times fit in really seamlessly with everything else.
Jo and Jonny, thanks for being so collaborative every step of the way with the wedding photography process! I loved how true to yourselves your wedding was. Thanks for giving me a great first time photographing a wedding with Sicilian & Hawaiian traditions, not to mention a fabulous square dance! :) I hope you enjoy these pictures for years to come!
To view all of the photos from Jo + Jonny's wedding and order prints, please visit their gallery on my online print service.