I had the honor of photographing Jessi and Julian’s wedding at the Villa Parker in Parker, Colorado this past June! We met over a glass of wine at Avanti a year before their wedding and they told me all about their romantic love story. I knew from the way they talked about each other that their wedding would be a real sob-fest… not excluding myself.
Here is their love story thru their eyes:
Julian and I have been very close friends since we were Sophomores in high-school. I went to Rosary, an all-girls school, and Julian attended Marmion, the all-boys, “brother school” associated with Rosary. We even went to our Junior Prom together – although I had to beg Julian to take me, but that was long before we ever considered dating.
We have racked our brains, in vain, trying to remember the exact moment that we first met, but we can both agree that we started chatting on AOL Instant Messenger long before we actually met face-to-face. 14-year old Julian’s clever wit and love of a good pun instantly drew me to him and we found ourselves in near-constant communication – whether that was over IM chat, texting or hanging out on the weekends.
Over the next 7 years, our friendship went through many ups and downs – we dated other people, we went to different colleges, we even tried to date each other a few times but I always ended up ruining things.
Fast forward to the spring of 2014 – I had just returned from studying abroad for a semester in Rome and Julian was home on a break from his first year of medical school at Des Moines University. We hadn’t spoken much while I had been in Rome so I was somewhat caught off guard when Julian asked me to go out to dinner with him. We drove to the Gammon Coach House in Batavia, IL and took our seats at a quiet table in the back room. I can remember fiddling with my rings under the table while I anxiously awaited whatever it was that Julian had brought me here to say.
Now, I have never known Julian to be one for confrontation – he is one of the most accommodating people I have ever met and constantly puts others’ needs before his own – so you can imagine my surprise as I started to realize that Julian was sitting across the table, sternly giving me an ultimatum….
“Look Jessi, you know how much I care about you…”, he began, “But I’m in med-school now and can’t afford to keep getting yanked around by you. I want to date, seriously date, but if you can’t commit to that then this needs to end for good, I can’t put up with the back-and-forth anymore. You need to make up your mind.”
I sat there, dumb-founded and just like that, everything changed.
While I wouldn’t normally suggest giving your partner ultimatums, Julian said exactly what I needed to hear that night. He helped me see that I had been taking his friendship for granted all this time and when faced with the possibility of not having Julian in my life, I suddenly realized that I had no interest in life without him.
We have been happily dating ever since 🙂