Tell us your love story!
Abby conveniently canceled what was supposed to be our first date. Honestly, who cancels brunch? To this day, that still doesn’t make sense to me but I’m glad that she did. We didn’t reschedule that date. Months later Abby reached out to me again and we started chatting but it was in the middle of ski season in New England, so I made her wait until late May before we finally met in Newburyport, MA for a beer and bonded over our love for soccer. After only a few dates, Abby informed me that she was traveling to Brazil to follow the world cup that summer and that she was moving to Long Beach, CA, because it was time for a change. I drove down to Boston to see Abby one last time before she had to leave for NYC to catch a flight to Brazil and when I got to her apartment, it was evident that she was never going to make the train to NYC given that she hadn’t actually packed yet. We shared some laughs, I helped her pack (the foreshadowing of this whole situation is incredible) but I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. Abby missed her train to NYC so I offered to drive her there from Boston to turn around and drive back home. I knew I was in trouble when I dropped her off at the airport, not knowing if I was going to see her again.
We messaged back and forth a fair amount when she was in Brazil until she called me one night to inform me that her plans were changing and that she wanted to come back to New England, specifically she was looking for apartments in Portsmouth, NH… in my neighborhood. At this point we had only gone on a handful of dates and I offered for her to just move in with me when she got back from Brazil. It was the beginning of something seriously special.
What about the proposal?
Planning the proposal was an absolute blast. I travel a lot for work and convinced Abby that I had a meeting in Minnesota, but I really flew up to ask her parents if I could marry her. I’ll never forget that moment sitting at Dan’s Bar when I asked Abby’s mom (her dad conveniently left for the weekend at the last minute so I had to ask him over the phone). Abby and I have always shared a love for adventure, and we’ve traveled to some amazing places – that made choosing the proposal spot that much more difficult. I planned a hike with our 2 best friends in Rocky Mountain National Park on a very snowy December. All I remember during that hike is that I thought I was going to pee my pants for most of it – not sure if it was because of the nerves or laughing so hard about Abby getting stuck in a snow drift. Finally we made it to the top of the hike to Emerald Lake where I asked Abby to walk out on the ice with me to take a photo. I fumbled over some poorly planned words and got down on one knee while our friends snapped some epic photos. Ab actually forgot to say yes and tackled me on the ice. We popped a bottle of champagne and headed back down the mountain.
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
When we first started dating, Abby spent the weekend at my house in New Hampshire with me and it was just totally normal. I was shocked at how normal it was for this person that I barely knew to completely make herself at home without a care in the world. It was the most normal summer weekend – we walked around Portsmouth, had beers outside with my neighbors, made breakfast together. When she left on Sunday afternoon, I was already done. I knew I was going to marry her
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
When we started wedding planning we knew wanted to have an outdoor wedding where everyone could feel relaxed and enjoy the summer. Initially when we started looking at venues, we were unhappy with all of the restrictions – specific end times, clean up times, limited catering and bar choices, and the wearing shoes on the dance floor were all things that we weren’t thrilled about. That led us to make the decision to have the wedding at Abby’s parent’s Elk farm in Minnesota! It gave us the freedom to create exactly what we wanted. Also, having the flexibility on timing of the day was really important to us since Abby Standard Time is about 15-90 minutes late.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
We were really lucky to have very involved family members that really took charge of the planning and helped us to narrow down our options. Narrowing down our guest list was challenging and trying to find the balance between intimate and a blowout – we went the blowout route and had a huge party.
I was most surprised by how upset people were that we weren’t going to have a wedding program – who knew that was so important (we ended up getting ones printed the day before the wedding).
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
How wonderful spray on deodorant would have been. I didn’t have any, but wish I would have.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Make a list of the things that are non-negotiables and the things that you’re willing to flex on – be transparent with each other and with family or anyone helping you to plan the wedding on both buckets. I feel like everyone gives this same piece of advice and it rarely gets followed – EAT YOUR DAMN DINNER.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day? Writing our own vows was really important to me and I’m so glad that we were able to share that personal story and commitment with our friends and family. The best part was that each person who spoke during our ceremony called out Abby’s inability to find anything, ever – like her wallet, keys and phone – and how I always manage to find them. One of my favorite moments of the wedding was after the ceremony, the pictures were done, and our guests were having cocktails in the tent. Abby and I had a moment to chug the rest of our champagne bottles and just soak it in before we danced our way into the reception tent. Absolutely loved those moments between the ceremony and the reception starting.
Abby, I choose you unconditionally and without hesitation. I choose you today just like I chose you yesterday, and will choose you tomorrow and every day after that. Even though that means choosing to know where your keys, wallet and phone are at all times – I will always choose you.
I take you today as my best friend and promise to give you the best of myself. I promise to trust and respect you, encourage you, and inspire you to chase after everything your heart dreams of. Together, we will create a home full of laughter, learning and patience. I will continue to get us lost every time that I drive in the city, but make sure that we always find our way home to the mountains when it’s time for another adventure.
You have helped me be more grounded in myself, and know that it is not only my job to love and protect you – but make sure that you feel unconditionally supported. Even in times of distress like when the Minnesota Vikings lose in the playoffs or you get endlessly stuck in an airport with no phone charger.
I promise to stay true to myself and appreciate every beautiful, spontaneous piece of you. Today, I take you as my wife - as your comrade in adventure, your partner in crime, and I will love you without reservation. I vow to protect this love regardless fiercely, take on obstacles hand in hand with you, and make sure that there is always coffee ready in the morning when you wake up.
Abby Wagner – when I met you in Boston, I knew that I wanted to marry you. And there is no other place that I would rather be, than right here next to you today committing my love and partnership, in front of all of the people who love us. Today, with this ring, I choose you.
I spent a lot of time researching what makes strong wedding vows. You wouldn’t believe all of the examples I found on the internet. I thought about singing to you, but we all know how much you love my natural singing voice. I thought about making up a dance, but also didn’t want to embarrass you in front of all our family and friends. After thinking about this idea of commitment and seeking feedback from friends both married and single, one piece of advice stuck with me. A good friend told me, don’t stand up there and make promises you can’t keep and make it from the heart. So here goes… Jessica Lynn Stubbs, I promise to be grateful for you as you, pretty consistently, help me find my work keys, house keys, cars keys, wallet, phone, shoes, and diabetes kit, two minutes before we need to leave the house. It is clear I would be lost without you and am still unsure how I survived before I met you. I promise to continue to talk all the time, even if often times, it’s just to myself pouring all of my anxieties into the universe. I appreciate your soothing voice calming me down. I promise to be patient as we juggle our differences. I promise to add spice to your life by keeping hurricane Abby swirling until the waves die down. Although, I’m not sure when that will be.
I promise to learn and grow with you as we balance this thing called life. I promise to support you in all of your endeavors even if that’s heliskiing, skinning 14er’s, or jumping off cliffs, however, I will be drinking a beer in a local pub, scared out of my mind until you make a safe return and cheering you on as you cross that finish line. I promise to support you as make major life decisions, whether that be in work, or deciding where we will move next. I promise to cheer for your favorite sports teams, as long as, they are not playing MN. Go Vikings! I promise to laugh with you, or smile while you laugh at me. It is clear that you embrace me for all my weird qualms and for that I promise to do the same for you. I promise to snuggle you when you need your morning snuggles. I promise to love you deeply, even on the days when we have our disagreements. I promise to comfort you when you are upset and celebrate with you when you are elated. I promise to be your compass in the city, as long as, you continue to get us out of the mountains alive.
More than anything, I promise to continue this amazing adventure alongside you through thick and thin until death due us part. I know you love me, but know I will always love you, more. You will always be my little pear.
- Photography By Chelsea Matson Photography
- Florals By Cindy's Floral Creations
- Catering By Trophy House
- Music By Pearl Brothers Band
- Hair By Elizabeth Stolowy at Elm Salon
- & Bethany Creech at Fifth Avenue Color Company
- Makeup By NuWave Salon
- Rentals By Ripley's Rentals
- Officiant By Andy Lavender
- Wedding Party Attire By Azazie
- & Brooklyn Bowtie Factory
- Entertainment By Vast Entertainment