I don’t know what else to say about this couple besides the fact that this blog post is about to give you ALLLL the feels!!! Their story is the sweetest, and their love for their families, life, and each other is so genuine–it will truly bring you to tears.
MEET JAKE + JACI
This ACU couple tied the knot in May–and Jaci was kind enough to let us in on all of the details leading up to the big day. Y’ALL. Get ready to fall in love with this sweet girl, because she was seriously the most beautiful bride, inside + out! All of the answers below are in her own words. 🙂
HOW DID YOU + JAKE MEET?
To my surprise, Jake told me that he had his eyes on me since the end of our freshman year at ACU. He told his friends confidently (without us knowing each other) that he was going to date me, but didn’t want to try and start anything right before we left for summer break. So, his big plan was to make a move when we returned for the following school year. Indeed, Jake and I officially met at the beginning of sophomore year. After months of creeping on each other through social media over the summer, he finally worked up the nerve to talk with me in person after chapel one day. After a few weeks of getting to know each other, he asked me on our first date on October 12, 2013. A night full of Little Italy, chatting, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company turned into a connection that we both had never had with anyone before. In fact, after returning from our first date, Jake told his roommate that I was “The One.” I undeniably fell head over heels for the man that Jake is and quickly found myself on the same tracks he was on after our first date. During our relationship we have encountered some of the toughest times, as well as the best days of our lives, but we truly believe that every thing, good and bad, has put us where we are today–married and so in love!
HOW DID HE PROPOSE?
What seemed to be a normal Thursday turned out to be the happiest day of my life! The last semester of our senior year at ACU, Jake and I decided to make a deal to cook dinner together a few times a week. One Monday afternoon, he forwarded me an email from his boss. Attached to the email was a dinner invitation to The Grace Museum and Jake replied with, “Looks like we won’t be cooking dinner Thursday…” (little did I know, this invitation was made by his boss solely to get me to believe there was actually a dinner happening). Since accounting firms came numerous times a semester to take potential interns to dinner, I thought nothing of it and agreed to go with him.
On the same day, our friends Kendra and Grayson asked if we would go hiking that coming Sunday afternoon at Abilene State Park, bringing along cheese/drinks and taking cute pictures. Jake used this as leverage to get me to believe the question would be popped that Sunday. Thursday (3/3/16, the night of the dinner) rolled around, and everyone seemed to be avoiding me the entire day. I naturally didn’t think anything of it and continued along excited to dress up, have dinner, and meet Jake’s friends from the past summer.
Jake told me that his boss wanted us to get there early so that she could meet me and talk with us before everyone got there and things got busy. We arrived at the museum and were greeted by some of the staff. They quickly acknowledged us and said that the dinner was on the roof and Jake’s boss was expecting us up there. Coming out of the elevator, we walked through two glass doors. I saw candles lit with decorated tables, but no one out there. I thought this was normal since we were supposed to be there before everyone.
We began walking towards the pathway lit with candles and Jake kept looking at me. It was at that moment that I saw the pictures of Jake and I on the tables, gorgeous roses, and many decorations lining the museum rooftop. Immediate tears came strolling down my face as I looked up at Jake and finally realized what was happening. He led me through the path of candles and brought me to a final table. Sitting on top were roses, pictures of us, the ring box, and a couples devotional bible which had my new name engraved on it. Jake grabbed my hand and began to tell me about the bible and many other sweet things I wish I could have recorded or remembered since I was overwhelmed with the pure joy of the moment. In the end, he was down on one knee one second, and the next I was crying again as I saw the absolutely stunning ring that he put on my finger. It was a beautiful moment that we both will forever remember. Shortly after, we were greeted with many people and loved on more than we ever thought was possible! God blessed the night with painting the most perfect sunset as our backdrop.
The proposal was an absolute shock–I had no idea. Most girls think back on it and try to convince themselves that they knew, but I truly did not. It was the most thoughtful thing anyone had ever done for me, and one of the sweetest moments Jake and I will cherish forever.
Oh, and he scored big with the ring! Tears for days over how beautiful it is! Still obsessed with it to this day!
HOW LONG DID YOU PLAN YOUR WEDDING?
We were engaged for 14 months. It seemed like forever, but it was truly the best timing for us. Jake and I both graduated from ACU in May of 2016. Jake was staying for another year to get his MBA in Accounting… We felt it was best for him to focus on that before we decided to tie the knot. This gave us a chance to truly enjoy every bit of our engagement while not feeling overwhelmed with wedding planning, school, moving, finding a job, and everything else the real world throws at you when you graduate. Jake and I luckily did not have to do long distance for our engagement. I was lucky to find a job in Abilene while he was getting his Masters Degree. It was a true blessing from The Lord and definitely one of the sweetest times in our lives and relationship together.
Jake + Jaci finally tied the knot on May 20, 2017 at THE SPRINGS Event Venue in Weatherford, TX.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE SPRINGS AS YOUR WEDDING VENUE?
THE SPRINGS was the very first venue Jake and I toured, and we knew immediately that we did not need to look any further. We, in fact, toured THE SPRINGS in Weatherford with Nancy, the manager, when it was almost the bare minimum. They were just beginning to build it, and we only were able to see the basic skeleton of the venue. We truly fell in love with a place that was not even complete, but were able to imagine everything and so much more that we wanted for our big day there.
Nancy was truly incredible. I cannot even put into words how loving, joyful, and helpful she was during the entire process and it made the planning that much smoother. With THE SPRINGS being so popular and dates getting booked up so fast, Jake and I felt as if we were Nancy’s only wedding because of how much she poured into our day and kept in contact with us. A venue could be beautiful, but if it didn’t come along with a staff that was caring and helpful, it would have been a major drawback for us. Luckily, we chose a beautiful venue with an extremely wide variety of amenities, Nancy who was constantly brainstorming ideas of how to make the wedding everything we wanted, and a peaceful, quiet area tucked away in God’s creation that Jake and I were so excited to begin our forever at. I could go on and on for days about THE SPRINGS and why we chose it, but I will spare you guys the extra reading.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE BEST MEMORIES FROM YOUR WEDDING DAY?
1) Our wedding party was everything we wanted, and the most stunning bridal party a lot of people had ever seen! (Yes, I’m biased, but I also was told that as well). They loved us so, so well and helped make the day the best of Jake and I’s life! The time we got to share and spend with them is simply irreplaceable and something I wish I could have all the time.
I am a huge fan of 70’s disco music and 2000’s hip hop music, so my girls, knowing me so well, brought in a speaker with a disco ball on top of it, and absolutely busted loose with me! Getting to celebrate, talk, laugh, cry, dance, and hug each of their necks all day reminded me just how wonderful of people Jake and I have in our life.
Jake was able to have an incredible morning with the guys at the Fort Worth Club downtown while shooting hoops, hot tubbing, enjoying some drinks, and laughing with some of his very best friends.
2) Jake and I chose not to do a first look because we wanted the first time he saw me to be when I walked down the aisle. It was a moment I will vividly remember the rest of my life, and one where there was not a dry eye in the crowd. Tears were running down both our faces during the entire entrance. Seeing his face and getting to be together with him at the end of the aisle was the best feeling after spending a day apart with so many emotions. He was and is the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes on, and it was one of my favorite moments of the day!
3) I’ve always considered myself a momma’s girl throughout my life, but there have been circumstances throughout my life that have tried to push that away. My mother passed away when I was nine from Lymphoma cancer. It was the most devastating time in my life, up until the Lord threw another curve ball at my family years later. My dad remarried another woman about seven years after my mom passed. She was just as wonderful as my birth mother, but we got news while I was a freshman in college that she had been diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She passed away in between my sophomore and junior year of college. Another truly traumatic time in my life that luckily Jake was by my side during. I say this because we had one of my family’s life long friends from church, get up and say an opening prayer before the ceremony after my dad had given me away to Jake. This prayer was the most treasured and heart felt one I had ever heard. With it being a day and time in my life when every girl would want her mom there, this prayer reassured me in that moment that they both were there smiling down and watching as I began forever with Jake.
4) As close as I was with my moms, I am also very close with my dad. He’s the strongest and most selfless person, but also the most goofiest and grooviest. My dad and I planned to do a mashup for our daddy/daughter dance which started with “Butterfly Kisses” and was followed with some “Walk it Out,” “Can’t Touch This,” “Park Rock Anthem,” etc. It definitely started the reception off with a bang! Another moment from the day that was just full of so much joy!
5) Jake and I also decided to do a private dance before we left the wedding. We had everyone go outside and get the bubbles ready for our send off, while we danced to “Then” By Brad Paisley inside–just the two of us. A song that has held so much meaning to us in our relationship, it was the perfect ending to the best day! It was so nice to take a breath, look at each other, dance, kiss, and soak in every last moment without being distracted by anything else.
Wow… honestly… everything was the best memory, and there’s no way to label them. But those are just a few from our big day! 🙂
To see all of these moments (plus more) on film, make sure to watch their wedding video below.
W A R N I N G: tears are common while watching this video!!!
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR FUTURE COUPLES PLANNING A WEDDING?
Take every single moment in and enjoy it! It goes by faster than you think and before you know it, you’ll be married and watching others plan for their big day!
It truly is a time in your life unlike any other, and a time that you deserve to be celebrated and loved on. Do not fret over the little things because God is going to make your day more beautiful and joyful than you could ever imagine. Share thoughts and ideas with each other, and dream this day together.
So often people think the day is all about the bride, but man it is all about your partner next to you as well! Cherish each moment, and try your best to take in every minute!
IF YOU COULD DO IT OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING?
We would not change a single thing about our day (except for getting a plate of food packed to go with us to the hotel room, haha! We were so hungry!).
But truly, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The whole week leading up to the wedding was covered with rain, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Everything fell into place as planned and the weather was 75 degrees and beaming with sun. The most perfect day celebrating Jake and I’s love, with the ones we loved most!
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL OTHERS ABOUT TOURING VENUES?
Go with your gut and choose the place that fits you as a couple! Pay attention to the staff. Like I’ve said before, this was a big factor for us and THE SPRINGS provided that and so much more. Look into the amenities and ask questions. You want what you want, and it’s okay to ask! But most of all, have fun!
Photographer: Double Knot Photography
These ladies are truly amazing and have been with me every step of the way! I found them by entering a contest for a free engagement session and Jake and I ended up winning it. They captured our engagements, my bridals, and the best day of our life! I love these ladies oh so much!
Videographer: Brxtn B Media
I cannot get over our wedding video, and the tears that rolled down my face as my husband and I watched this were those of pure happiness and joy of how wonderful and perfect our special day was. It was an absolute dream to be able to look back on our day and feel the immense amount of love that was poured out during every second of it. Braxton captured everything so incredibly perfectly and we cannot say enough good things about him. This video speaks volumes of how talented he is, but also the amount of love Jake and I have for each other. We truly have found the one who The Lord intended us to spend our forever with 🙂
Coordinator: Lettia Ledbetter
DJ: DJ Connection
Officiant: Jonathan Storment
Bridal Salon: Ava’s Bridal
Menswear: Combat Gent
Makeup: Victoria Loper
Hair: Brittany Kuykendall
Florist: Sweet Memories
Decor + Rentals:
My mimi and aunt did all the decorations 🙂
Cake: Lady M’s Cupcakery