virginia weddings

Real Virginia Weddings: Jackeline & Ethan

This week’s Virginia weddings tale comes to us from Jackeline and Ethan, who spent two years in correspondence before their first date. “We met at a Brazilian restaurant near Houston, TX called the Emporio. Just to be extra safe, we both brought someone along for the first date, to make sure the other person was actually who they said they were. We were both nervous and extremely excited to finally meet the other person after such a long time corresponding online. Hugs and gifts were exchanged, and for the first time in our lives, like two thirsty people walking out of a desert, we drank in the faces, smiles, twinkling eyes, laughter and warmth of our best friend in the world.”

The Scoop:

  • Bride: Jackeline, 33, Tax Administrator, EFTEX Tax Solution
  • Groom: Ethan, 35, Product Marketer , Elastic
  • Wedding date: September 24.2022
  • Number of guests: 97

According to the couple, “one of the most unique aspects of our wedding was the entrance of the bride and groom. The order was reversed: the bride walked the aisle first and waited for the groom. In the Bible, the church is the bride of Jesus Christ. The church is waiting for Jesus to return and marry her. So, Jackeline chose to enter first and wait for Ethan to come and marry her. This also represented our relationship, because Jackeline had waited two years for Ethan to come and visit her in Houston, TX. Another unique detail was that the bridesmaids carried lanterns instead of bouquets. This came from a parable in the Bible where ten women were going to a wedding. However, only five women were prepared with oil in their lamps and got to enter the wedding. The parable is talking about being prepared for Jesus when He returns; so, the lanterns symbolized a heart on fire for Jesus and prepared for Him when He returns.”

They share, “The wedding also combined elements from both a traditional American and a traditional Brazilian wedding. One example of a typical Brazilian tradition that was included was that when the ceremony was over, the bridesmaids and groomsman exited first. However, as they exited, they stopped and congratulated the bride and groom. After congratulating the newlyweds, all the bridesmaids and groomsman formed a line and threw flower petals as the bride and groom exited the ceremony.”

“Another unique aspect of the wedding was the favors. Jackeline and Ethan worked with a perfume designer (Escentuelle) to create a custom, personal scent that represented them as a couple. The scent was given to guests in small bottles with diffuser sticks and was also diffused throughout the venue to create a unique fragrant atmosphere. Studies have shown that smell serves as a stronger trigger than any other sensory cue for recalling personally meaningful memories. For this reason, we wanted a unique scent that in the future would be a powerful reminder of beautiful moments and sweet memories.”

“Jackeline’s wedding dress was actually originally the wedding dress of Ethan’s mother 40 years earlier. While in the middle of dress shopping, visiting numerous shops, and trying on numerous dresses, on a whim and as a gesture of endearment and affection, Ethan’s mother offered her own wedding dress for Jackeline to try on, and to everyone’s surprise Jackeline was almost a perfect fit without any alterations. Jackeline liked the simplicity of the dress and she valued the 40 years of marriage that it represented. So, to everyone’s further surprise, she chose her mother-in-law’s dress as her own; albeit, with some minor alterations to update the style of the top of the dress to have more clean lines and a modern look.”

“The venue was located two minutes from Luray, a picturesque little town with beautiful views and some lovely architecture. After the ceremony, we slipped over to Luray and took some ‘city’ photos to compliment the ‘countryside’ photos from the venue. Folks in town were extremely friendly with almost every passing car offering smiles, waves, and congratulations, creating a wonderful spirit of celebration. One friendly store owner ever brought some chilled bottled water out for the newlyweds.”

Jackeline says, “For the wedding ceremony, it seemed so real to me to wait for Ethan, since that was what I did during the relationship. He was the one who found me! He was the one who pursued me! So, our love story was also a major source of inspiration for the wedding. I definitely wanted to walk down the aisle first and wait for him: the one who protects, loves, and respects me.”

“We also decided to have communion as part of our ceremony. Ethan’s aunt (Gayle) gave us a beautiful communion set as a gift right at the beginning of our relationship. However, she wasn’t able to attend our wedding due to health issues, so we decided to use her gift as part of our wedding ceremony. So, in a way, she was there.”

“Brazilian culture also inspired me since I am Brazilian. So, we had Brazilian food, music, and a fully decked out Brazilian cake and sweets table!”

Ethan and Jackeline leave us with these words of advice:

Ethan – “Trust your gut when it comes to choosing vendors. If they are hard to contact, slow to respond, or not professional in some way, move on and choose someone else. It’s not worth stressing yourself out or ruining your special day just because you went with the first vendor you found.”

Jackeline – “We usually only get married once and that day will stay in our mind forever. We will remember the people, the moments, and all the time we spent planning. So, my advice is to enjoy your family and loved ones and each little task in each little moment.”

Vendor Credits

The author: rita

Rita Juanita Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Rita has taken inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.