JJ Brauer Photography

Jessica + William


 We met online...

(Jess) In the spring of 2011, my life seemed to be pretty okay. I had a job I was happy with, an apartment, and was beginning to find my place in the community. I had everything…except a partner in crime. At the encouragement of a couple friends, I decided to check out a couple dating websites. I did so honestly thinking I would perhaps find a couple new friends, and strongly doubted I’d find a partner. I filled out the profiles (novels — each of them — I do have a BA in English, after all), and left them be. One particular afternoon, I was doing a rare browse through my matches, and came across Will’s profile. I was immediately impressed by his fantastic writing skills, and noticed several interests that matched my own (not to mention that handsome face smiling from the profile photo!). I was confident that I’d definitely come across a new friend for sure, so, I took a chance and sent him a message ( also a novel— I can’t help it!). Despite my wordiness, he responded within 24 hours, and he addressed not only all of the things I’d mentioned in my message, but also so many of the things from my profile, and I knew this was definitely gonna be something.


…then over coffee…

(Jess) It was on May 27, 2011 that we met in person for the first time. We met at my favorite coffeeshop at the time - The Coffeehouse in downtown Lincoln. We chatted for just an hour that day, but I left heart a-flutter. As I watched Will walk away, I sent wishes into the cosmos that I’d get another opportunity to spend time with this man. I only waited a day. While at another friend’s wedding, I received a text: “Would you like to go out tomorrow?” I replied, “Yes, what did you have in mind?” The response came, “I don’t know. I just knew I wanted to see you again.” And I melted.

We met the following day for a proper date. Will took me to a movie at the Ross (a French film, no less!), and went for drinks after. I will never forget sitting in my car for 30 minutes after we parted this day before I could pull myself together enough to get home. My heart had exploded, and I knew — Will was really something special.


…and so began our life together.

(Jess) That was 7 years ago. We fell into our relationship so easily, and it was as if I had known Will my entire life. He was exactly what I had been missing and began to fill a hole in my heart I didn’t recognize had existed before. We have already experienced so very much of life together in the last seven years — including the completion of my Bachelor’s degree, several job changes, the start of a second Bachelor’s, and the completion of my teaching certification — not to mention his continued academic work as he tackles the incredible task of obtaining a doctoral degree. We have seen each other at our ugliest, yet Will has stood with me through it all, and I have never wanted to care for another human more (and that’s saying a LOT, coming from a Hufflepuff!). I really, truly, cannot imagine spending my life without him by my side.

Becoming “We”


 Our wedding

(We eloped!)


The rings.

(Jess) In December of 2016, I suggested to Will that we look at rings. We’d been casually discussing the possibility of getting married, and I had a friend who worked for Nebraska Diamond. We explained what we were hoping for (practical wedding bands - simple, but still elegant), and she helped us choose the perfect rings, which we purchased that day.


The veil.

(Jess) When I was home for Thanksgiving, I asked mom if she still had her dress. We pulled it out and admired it (she was SO tiny!), and then she showed me her veil. I fell in love with the piece, and though I knew I didn’t want a full veil for the day, I did want something of mom’s with me, and the hat to which the veil was attached was perfect. So, with mom’s permission, I brought the veil home, and wore the hat on our day. It was my favorite part about my outfit that day, and I am so happy I had something of my mother’s with me!

The dress.

(Jess) ModCloth has been a favorite place for me to find dresses in my favorite styles in recent years. While browsing their website a few years ago, I noticed a newer section pop into their website categories: Wedding Dresses. At the time, I skimmed, but didn’t really look. But once I knew rings had been purchased, and the wedding was coming in the near future, I took a chance and ventured to see what styles they had. I swooned over so many designs, but when I found the dress, I knew it was the one for me.


The day.

(Jess) Fast forward to mid-late November 2018. Our conversations had most recently been about an elopement and immediate honeymoon. We are not the all-day spotlight types, after all. I thought that my winter break might be a perfect opportunity, so I threw the suggestion to Will. I listed a few dates and ideas. Though we had money saved for the honeymoon, we decided to give that a few more months of saving, but began to consider the dates and the options available to us. We researched judges, decided on our witnesses, and began to make some decisions. We celebrated the holidays with my family, and returned to Lincoln, and when we woke up on December 27th, and I asked Will what he wanted to do that day, he responded, “Do you want to get married today?” And I said, “Yes.”

We picked up our marriage license, confirmed with the judge and our witnesses, and made our final preparations. And on December 27th, 2018 at approximately 4:45 pm — seven years and seven months to the day we met — we were married by the Honorable Laurie Yardley at the Lincoln Hall of Justice in the presence of our witnesses, my brother Josh, and Will’s brother Joe.

Following the ceremony, we enjoyed a dinner together at Misty’s in Lincoln, and returned home, where we watched the football game, played a board game (Carcassonne - with a new expansion pack we’d been gifted for Christmas), and enjoyed the champagne Joe had given us that afternoon.

Our day was not traditional, but neither are we. Instead, the day was absolutely 100% us, and it could not have been more perfect. Our hearts are so very full, and as I write this — five days into this new leg of our continued journey — I cannot wait to discover the memories to be made in our future together.

…and so, we step forward together
into our very own Ever After.

Thank you to all for supporting us through the years. We look forward to celebrating with each of you over the year (& years) to come! In the meantime, enjoy some photos from our day, and sign our “guestbook” below!

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Mailing Address:

501 N. 25th St. Apt 12
Lincoln, NE 68503