Jill & Doug 02.10.18


Jill and Doug first met at Northern Illinois University, where they were studying to be special education teachers. It was the organization Best Buddies that officially brought them together.

Doug and Jill were friends for six years before they started dating officially. It wasn’t due to Doug’s lack of trying, but actually because Jill had told him that there was “no spark” after their “first” date and they should just be friends.

After two years of still being friends, I realized that there was a spark there and decided to give Doug another shot. I realized I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Timing really is everything! My family now lovingly refers to Doug as “Sparky”!


Jill fell in love with Doug’s passion, loyalty, and thoughtfulness.

He has the ability to surprise me with little things that always make me smile and feel loved.

Doug loves that Jill is always full of life and energy and has no shame in laughing at herself.

Her compassion and willingness to help others is something that I greatly admire. I love the fact that she will go out of her way to do little things for me to make me smile and remind me of how much she loves me. She is my Cheesy Gordita Crunch for life.

I knew Doug was the one after I got home from a trip. We had been friends for six years before and I was excited to see him. The first day I was home I was also receiving an award from my school district. I had invited my family to the award ceremony/meeting and Doug came as well. Looking out into the crowd receiving this award, I just remember thinking to myself, “All the important people are here…” and looking at him.

I knew Jill was the one when I would miss talking to her on the phone for a day. Prior to us dating we would talk every day for thirty or more minutes. The days when we wouldn’t talk for thirty minutes were the days I would miss her the most. Then after she told me there were no sparks I missed her even more. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her when I would miss hearing the sound of her voice on a daily basis.

Doug proposed to Jill while they were on spring break in Tampa visiting his aunt. The two of them went out to dinner alone since his aunt and uncle had made an excuse that they couldn’t make it. After, Jill and Doug took a walk on the Tampa River walk where he got down on one knee and proposed. It turned out that his aunt and uncle had followed them to take pictures of the special moment!

Jill and Doug found out about The Haight through Leanne Valdes, owner of You Name It Events and one of The Haight’s preferred vendors. Jill is friends with Leanne (she also planned the wedding) and loved all the pictures she has posted from doing events here.

Once Jill and Doug saw the space in person, they knew it was going to be where they would get married!

There are so many reasons why I am thankful that we chose The Haight to get married. We loved how different it was and how you can do so many different touches throughout the venue to make it your own.


Jill was very grateful to their planner, Leanne, because they were able to completely be in the moment on their big day!

Everyone needs a “Leanne” when planning a wedding. Most people when getting down to the wire, when planning their wedding, will say, “I just want it to be over with already.” She helped to make the whole process stress free and FUN! She really helped to pull all our ideas together and to make them flow in the space of The Haight. When it came to the day of, I was fully in the moment because she was in charge of all the logistics.

Jill and Doug also had many praises for Town and Country Gardens!

Sabrina and her team were awesome to work with! She helped bring in details that made our wedding memorable. I had brought in pictures of what I wanted the ceremony greenery arch to look like and she made one I loved even more! She even had great suggestions of adding it behind us while we ate dinner, which I love in the background of our photos.

Their caterer, Uncle Bub’s, impressed them with their attentiveness to them throughout the wedding night.

Jerry and his team were so nice and checked in with us to make sure Doug and I had everything we needed throughout the night. And the mac and cheese was DELICIOUS! Along with all of their other food.

Jill and Doug loved that their photographer, Mary Rose Photography, was so personable and made them feel comfortable on the wedding day and throughout planning.

It can be awkward to take pictures and to be in front of the camera but she always made us feel comfortable and they turned out great! We had mentioned that we wanted to be at most of our cocktail hour to visit with family and she respected that and was efficient in taking our family photos. She also gave us the recommendation for Daniel D, our videographer! Again, another AWESOME vendor!


The best part of the day for Jill and Doug was their first look.

We didn’t know where we wanted to do it until the morning of. We talked about doing it inside but once it had snowed I knew we would want pictures of us in the snow outside.

It was such a big part of our weekend (family not being able to make it because of the storm/not being able to travel) that we decided to embrace it! This was also the one part of the day that we could be with each other by ourselves and have a private moment.

It put both of us at ease to finally see each other before the ceremony!

Jill and Doug’s advice to newly engaged couples is to enjoy it!

Don’t do any tradition that doesn’t feel right. Everything that we did was meaningful and felt “us.” For example, don’t do a unity candle or partake in that tradition if it doesn’t hold meaning for you two. We found a tree planting ceremony that incorporated our moms in the ceremony.

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Planner: You Name It Events|Cake & Sweets: Herbs Bakery (donuts) & Peace of Cake (cupcakes)
Photography: Mary Rose Photography|Videographer: Daniel D Video|Catering: Uncle Bub’s BBQ & Catering
Florals: Town & Country Gardens|DJ & Photobooth: Answer Back Entertainment
Hair & MakeUp: Bianca Sansosti Artistry|Alcohol: Drinks On Me Catering|Late Night Food: Danny’s on Douglas




Categories: Real Weddings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s