Real Wedding: Jesse & Bryan
Jesse Young & Bryan Crawford
November 26, 2011
By Denise Oliveira
For Jesse and Bryan, it was all about bringing together family and friends from the various chapters of their lives. “I go through the pictures now and see my friends from one walk of life mingling with Bryan’s family,” Jesse said. “It was an amazing feeling. I wish I could relive it.” Scheduling their wedding for the Saturday after Thanksgiving made perfect sense. They knew that’s when they could get the largest number of people to come together.
They married on November 26, 2011 at the Hyatt in Morristown, New Jersey, near Bryan’s hometown. Bryan is from Central Pennsylvania, and the two of them met in 2006, through marching band. They were not at the same school, but participated in a summer and weekend program called Drum Corps. Bryan was a drummer, and Jesse was in the color guard.
Both men, now age 26, were very hands on with their wedding planning. But Jesse, a graphic designer, took the lead on the stationary and the girls’ dresses. They wanted to follow the Thanksgiving theme and chose brown and black with gold accents to adorn the day, and they certainly got creative and added personal touches. For the women in the wedding party, Jesse chose from the J. Crew collection, and added gold jewelry that he picked out. “The invites were a lot of fun to create and design,” Jesse said. “But I didn’t take into consideration the execution part,” he added, recalling the nights when he was up until 3 am working on invitations for 170 guests.
One of the women in the wedding party is a designer, and she helped the grooms pick out their identical Calvin Klein tuxedos. They wore the same tuxes and champagne vests as the men in their wedding party, but the grooms’ were satin trimmed. The entire wedding party made a trip to Bryan’s fire station, where he is a captain, to take some pictures.
The ceremony was everything they hoped for, starting with each groom walking down the aisle with his mother.
They chose a local celebrant who had done a friend’s wedding. “The whole process was all about us,” Jesse said. The men are not affiliated with any particular religion. They wanted the ceremony to celebrate their love, their families, and being together, and they like to be different – there was no unity candle or mixing of the sand. Instead, they were presented with a clay wine goblet that Jesse’s mother made. Bryan and Jesse are both wine lovers, and the gift represented the loves of their past, present and future.
They said the reception was a blast. The food was delicious and the DJ was great. The centerpieces did not go quite according to plan, though. They had gone to a local farm and picked out hundreds of gourds, which they planned to mix with lanterns and tea-lights at each table. The morning of the wedding, they realized that the gourds had molded in their basement. “It turned out a little more minimalistic than I wanted,” Jesse said. “But at the end of the day, it was still beautiful.” They also worked really hard on the table numbers. For months before the wedding, they were saving bottles of wine. They wrote the table numbers in gold on a black matte background that they spray-painted onto each bottle. The hand-cut stencils mixed a font they loved with the “Will & Grace” font. “I’m not sure people noticed that detail, but it looked great,” Jesse said.
About The Writer
Denise Oliveira is a journalist in love with love stories. She is the co-founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and believes that sharing personal stories is a powerful way to create and deepen relationships. She blogs for Huffington Post Weddings and can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter or Facebook.