The Wedding of My Dreams?


I hated planning our wedding.

Thinking about this one-day event for nine months about made me want to stick a chopstick in my eye.

Not because I felt like I did it all by myself (I didn’t), nor because I don’t like having fun (I do), or because I hate sparkly things (I love sparkly things), but because in a Pinterest-obsessed world where everyone is competing to have the most creative centerpieces that are way better than yours and a wedding that is the most original since the beginning of time, my heart cared much less about the wedding of my dreams and cared more about the marriage of my dreams. For those nine months, I just wanted to be married to the man for whom I was created all along! I knew our wedding day would come and go, but afterwards I would be sharing a lifetime with my brother in Christ, my best friend, and the love of my life.  In my mind, it was silly to spend MORE time planning for a one-day wedding than planning for a lifetime of marriage.

Thus, our goal for our wedding day wasn’t that it would show up in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, but that we would have a beautiful, holy Mass and a super fun reception with great food and lots of dancing. Of course I wa0102-2766717402-Onted a stunning and classy wedding dress, showing that it is possible to be modest without being frumpy—it just took me trying on 20 dresses and searching ‘til Kingdom come. Of course we wanted a cool reception place, which ended up being a vintage-looking ballroom built in the 1920’s. But more than that, we wanted God to be present throughout the day.

Bobby and I knew that if we wanted God present in our wedding day, we’d have to do nine months of major preparations—in our own hearts. For our whole dating and engagement, we would read books together—from Three to Get Married by Fulton J. Sheen to Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love by Dr. Edward Sri to Fill These Hearts by Christopher West to Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken to re-reading Familiaris Consortio (the Apostolic Exhortation of John Paul II translated as The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World).  During our engagement, we re-consecrated ourselves to Our Lady, we started taking Natural Family Planning classes, and also met with a married couple from our church every two to three weeks. We also went on a week-long retreat/course at the Theology of the Body Institute (where we first met two and half years ago). As we did while we were dating, we would continue to pray together in various ways. We’d go to Daily Mass and Adoration as often as we could, pray the rosary together, and attend a weekly Bible Study.

The night before our wedding, we decided to have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at a nearby chapel after our rehearsal dinner. This intimate chapel was filled with close friends and family and lots of candles and incense. Our friend, Ryan and his jackiebobbyadorationbride, Terese, led the music. Since practically all our friends are musicians, worship leaders, or singers, the chapel was immersed in beautiful singing, sounding like a choir of angels in Heaven. Our baby priest friend (ordained a year), Fr. Victor, gave a short reflection and then had everyone pray over us. It was so beautiful. I can’t imagine having a better way to usher in the day of our wedding. My heart was overwhelmed with peace and joy. I went home to sleep in my bed for the last time as a single woman, knowing that my mind, heart, soul, and body would be taken care of by a man who loves God first and is willing to “run the race” to Heaven by my side. I slept like a baby.

The day of our wedding finally came. Just as everyone said, it went by so quickly. A few things that really stuck out from the day as beautiful “God moments”: praying the rosary with my bridesmaids while across town my bridegroom was praying the rosary with his groomsmen; my bridesmaids laying hands on me and praying for me before walking down the aisle; having a Bishop and 5 priests preside and a few seminarians 0244-2771963531-Oas servers; having a choir of friends led by Ike Ndolo and Sarah Kroger pray and lead the music for Mass; having 300 people sing soooo loudly in Church that my dad (who isn’t Catholic) said, “I’ve NEVER heard people sing that loud in a Catholic Church—not even at Christmas!”; listening to our baby priest friend (ordained 3 months), Fr. Ben, give an awesome, funny, prayerful homily about free, total, faithful, fruitful love; taking vows and getting married; offering up the gifts of bread and wine together as a married couple; praying with my spouse after receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time as a married couple; offering flowers to Our Lady as my sister, Claudine, and Sarah Kroger sang Danielle Rose’s version of “Hail, Holy Queen”; and walking back down that aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Angel!!!0392-2775748271-O

When the Mass was finished, it was all down hill from there. I didn’t care if the reception was a dud—but it wasn’t. We had so much fun, so much dancing that our photographer (who isn’t Catholic) even said, “I didn’t know Catholics could have so much fun without getting raunchy!” Haha! Well, they can. And we did. And the wedding day has come and gone, leaving behind the wedding of our dreams, and starting the marriage of our dreams.0570-2777980320-O

And thank God that we have been planning for our marriage all along, for we are living happily ever after…laughing often, fighting and bickering in a healthy way regularly, swing dancing occasionally, praying daily, adventuring the California beach and mountains weekly, and loving God and life all the time.

Some other pics from the wedding:

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bobbyjackiewedding0462-2776232185-O 0497-2776484086-O 0502-2776513018-O 0516-2777856771-O 0538-2777899577-O 0541-2777907825-O 0586-2778058510-O 0765-2779933170-O 0814-2780280250-O

thanks to Kristen Rogers Photography and Lauren Michelle Photography

  One thought on “The Wedding of My Dreams?

  1. Mari Rodriguez
    October 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    you’re such an inspiration to many!!!! you’re words and pictures brought tears to my eyes. God bless you both with many joy filled days.

  2. DOl
    October 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Lovely! So happy for you both! Can’t wait to meet you at Thanksgiving Jackie! XOXO

  3. October 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful witness of such trust in the Lord brought you both to a truly blessed union together, I can only hope and pray that God will bless me with such a perfect example of love.

  4. Colette DeLeo
    October 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Jackie! Did you see the “halo” above your head in the limo? Second thing I saw in that picture!
    You were and are a beautiful bride!

  5. October 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Jackie, I only hope that your light shines this brightly when you are ready to renew your vows … in fifty years or so! Congratulations, and God bless! Heidi Saxton

  6. Sonya
    October 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    whose your photographer? Fantastic photos!! & wonderful words

  7. M
    October 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm


  8. svh523
    October 9, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    simply beautiful. thanks for sharing such a personal part of your lives. God has clearly blessed you and will continue to bless you as you bless everyone you encounter (sneezes or not! ;-p )

  9. October 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Amen, amen, amen! My fiancé and I are amidst the planning for this amazing Sacrament and you have articulated so much of what I’ve been experiencing! Thank you so much Jackie for allowing God’s light to shine through you, and for being an important witness to our faith. May God continue to bless the both of you :) please pray for us and for for all of those preparing for Marriage, in marriage , or discerning their vocation! +JMJ

  10. October 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for listing the books you read in preparation! I remember hearing how we spend two years in sacramental preparation for our First Holy Communion and Confirmation, but when it comes to marriage we don’t give it as much time or attention. Why does this sacrament only require 6 months? There doesn’t seem to be set standards and every church does things a little different. I wish there was a deeper, fuller spiritual preparation process for couples. The minimum sessions and retreat don’t seem to be enough. What you have outlined in your own formation is a great model and template for inspiration. It’s definitely something to consider following.

  11. Genevieve
    October 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    You are an inspiration to so many! I am so thankful that God has used you for evangelization, I have a 17 year old daughter who came back from the Diocesan (Savannah, GA) Youth Conference “On Fire” with her Catholic faith, and is super excited about NCYC!!! God bless you as you have blessed others!

  12. DL
    October 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Awwww Jackie, your posts always brings me so much joy and so much hope. I’m so happy for you and so many times when I feel like giving up on finding this guy I’m made for, I always remember how you and Bobby waited for each other, the value of waiting and I just know deep down that God is preparing me for something great. I’m 23 and patiently waiting and preparing myself for the man that I am made for. I’ve known I was called to be a mother from the age of 4 and I’ve never doubted this and I’ve always made decisions based on this fact that I’m someone’s future mother + wife! I’ll always keep you and Bobby in my prayers. God bless! xoxo

  13. October 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Thank you. For such a materialistic world we live in many young people are more focused on the wedding than the marriage, which makes no sense! I wish there was a way for people to remember why they’re getting married. Kind of like keeping Christ in Christmas, how do we focus on the marriage over the wedding?

  14. Kevin
    October 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you guy so much for your blog and all you do as motivational speakers. Everyone who goes to your talks surely remembers you, Jackie. I’m glad you found your Angel (hehe) and you had a beautiful wedding. May you, Mr. and Mrs. Angel, have a wonderful life together!

  15. October 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This made me happy. :) Congratulations. :D

  16. Ellen and Eddie in Carbondale PA
    October 9, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Dearest Jackie & Bobby,
    Many happy healthy years to you both! What a beautiful wedding, most importantly your absolutely beautiful preparation and patients you demonstrated while Almighty God prepared you both for His plan in a joy filled marriage! Jackie, my husband and I met you in 2010 at TOB I at the Black Rock Retreat Center. We had you sign a cd for our daughters, which they loved. Christopher had you doing the music for our awesome week. We have been following you and Bobby along your journey to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony………….all we can say is beautiful, gorgeous, and filled with awe!! I am taking a chance asking you to help us plan (ideas that is) & celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, which will take place on Sept. 13th 2016. We were married young so we are in our 40’s and definitely, so far have been together thru good times & bad, richer & poorer, sickness and health but always free, total, faithful and fruitful. What do you say? maybe? you can find me on fb and hopefully our wedding picture will show up here. is not working. blessings & peace to you both :)

  17. October 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Love this post! God is good and your wedding sounded perfect. Love the idea of adoration on Friday night!

  18. Caroline
    October 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    That was probably the most perfect wedding story I have EVER heard! Better than the fairy tales :)
    I love you Jackie, I know you don’t remember me, but i met you at the St. John Bosco Youth Day at Holy Hill, and I got your autograph, and I gave you a hug! You inspire me so much! Keep doing what your doing, and may God Bless you always!!! -Caroline

  19. Liz
    October 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Wow what a beautiful love story both of you have in each other and with God! I thoroughly love reading your blog so i hope you continue to write! I am a teenage girl and I was wondering if you could have blog on your approach to dating. What should be involved, what conversations to have with boyfriend, if kissing is okay, and other aspects of dating for a catholic!:)

  20. brenda
    October 9, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Love it, thanks for sharing! :)
    God bless you both <3

  21. Louis
    October 10, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Beautiful wedding and very encouraging words. Many thanks for sharing.
    I pray God’s light will forever shine on your union with Bobby.
    Also I ask for your prayers as I continue to look out for my wife that’s somewhere only God knows about.

  22. Megan
    October 10, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I am so grateful that I found your post Jackie, as I plan my wedding in July. I have only been engaged a month and, fortunately, the decisions are done. We just have to implement everything. I will definitely have my fiance read this. We are both Catholic, getting married in our church by our priest (also named Fr. Ben!), and surrounded by our family and friends (most of who are Catholic). This is such an inspiring post, and exactly how my fiance and I are looking at our wedding day and marriage. The wedding day is the gateway to our marriage. Yes, we want it to be beautiful and memorable, but we also realize that it isn’t the only day of our marriage. We are celebrating the start of our marriage, but need to focus more on what is to come after the wedding day, as opposed to the day itself. As long as we have the two of us and God, our wedding day will be perfect no matter what the day brings, and it gives us a beautiful start to our life together!!

  23. Gordon Shenkle
    October 10, 2013 at 7:54 am

    AMEN! I wish you two as much joy and happiness as my wife and I have had over the last 34 years!

  24. Rick Reed
    October 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Just out of curiosity, what was your reaction to Para. 19 in the Marriage Rite?

  25. October 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Jackie and Bobby Congratulations!., Beautiful story and pictures, Thanks for sharing. Remember you talking about getting married and talked about your future husband at our Woman of God Conference @ Diocese of Houma/Thibodaux, La. and also seeing you at Steubenvile on the Bayou in Houma . Love your talks. Best wishes to you both and may you have many Blessing and Happiness throughout your coming years as we have had so far for our 41 years. God Bless++ ¸¸.•*”Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ”*•.¸¸( ◕‿◕。)ღ ❤

  26. B
    October 13, 2013 at 8:40 am

    My maid of honor sent me your blogpost & it spoke to my heart. It’s refreshing to find someone who has the exact same sentiments that I’m feeling in the midst of wedding planning. Thanks!

  27. Rocio
    October 13, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I´m so so so so SO happy for you!!!! First of all, I must tell you: mi first lenguage isn´t english, I´m mexican :D but I´ll do my best and I ask you to forgive me for the possible future mistakes.

    I only have seen one video about you, woman´s sessions and I have to thank you for your “yes” to the Lord, your faith is such an inspiration

    That video was a really help to my boyfriend and I. We, both, are catholic but we were confused about some things on our relationship, but after that video, and many prays and reads and “go-and-talk-with-a-priest” jeje, we decided to live in chastity (I hope I wrote it correctly je) without, we call it, “tricks”. Just for the record, my boyfriend and I are so happy for that decision and we are closer, between us and closer to my dear Jesus for the same reason. We both want to take care each other because we consider the other a gift of God.

    And I´ve always been particularly thankful to you!, because we finally get it because we met you, somehow,

    Yesterday, my best friend (a girl who also help me to back to Catholic church) and I were telling to our friends (who are not believers) about the video (specially the funny parts: I just can´t handle the part of genesis and Adan looking for Eva jeje) and suddenly my friend told me that you get married and ¡I get so happy! that I realized I fell like you are my friend, really my sister in Christ, and that´s why I was so thankful to Jesus to make you so happy.

    And that´s all, since yesterday I wanted to tell you, somehow, thank you very much for letting God talks in you, and congratulations for your wedding!!!

    Pd. sorry for the long speech, I can´t avoid talking-writing to much. My friends use to tell me than I´m worse than wikipedia.

  28. Jr. Jackie
    October 20, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Yo Senior Jackie!…I’m in the picture. Miss you! :) hehe <3 Jr. Jackie.

  29. Maria
    October 23, 2013 at 5:15 am

    Truly happy for you both!! God bless you on this new path God has set out for you!! We are all praying for you. Pray for us. :)

  30. Juandeane
    February 24, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Where was your reception?????

  31. Annamarie Trevvett
    May 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this message. I hope to find my true love and share an engagement and wedding similar to this.

  32. March 26, 2015 at 7:26 am

    GOD BLESS YOU GUYS SO MUCH! Reading your blogs and especially seeing your amazing, beautiful pictures makes me soooooo happy! :D

  33. Catholic Questions
    December 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Just out of curiosity, did you and your husband patiently wait for you wedding day to share your first kiss? Additionally, do you or anyone else have any comments on the subject as it relates to Catholic teachings?

    • December 17, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Haha, no…we didn’t wait on the kissing part. Who do have friends who waited until their wedding day to kiss and displayed some amazing self-control. That being said, the goal is your sanctification (and leading your spouse-to-be there as well). So you have to know your limits and not go where you are tempted.

  34. Lorena S
    January 25, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Oh Jackie. Thank you for the inspiration. I’d read your post before but it’s extra reassuring now that I’m planning my own wedding. I can’t stand the details and the juggling of options but I know who I want to lead the music for Mass, I have worship aids in mind before wedding programs. I’m glad I am not obligated to be consumed by one day. I also bought our crucifix in Assisi and we are planning to recite our vows over it. Thank you again for your witness.

  35. Lynnette
    March 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Jackie/Bobby –
    I’m recently engaged and this wedding planning is intense – I go back to this blog to remind myself about what you said about “spending MORE time planning for a lifetime of marriage”, rather than a one-day wedding. (Please pray for my fiancé and I)

    Just out of curiosity, did you and Bobby include the Bouquet and Garter toss at the reception? If not, what were your alternatives?

    I briefly expressed to my fiancé that I didn’t want to do the Garter toss at our reception, however he didn’t agree with that… I don’t like the idea that everyone will be watching my husband go up my dress. I want to help him understand why I don’t think it’s appropriate, but I’m not sure how…As a Catholic, what are your thoughts on this?

    • March 15, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thanks for writing and we’re glad to weigh in. We didn’t do a garter toss or even a bouquet toss. Along with your thinking, we didn’t think it was very respectful for the man to be reaching up his new wife’s leg to throw a garter to guys drooling like dogs. Some friends of ours do a “foot washing” as a substitute for that, where the husband washes the feet of his bride to symbolize his posture of service in the marriage. Is a garter toss morally wrong? No, but it’s crass and crude, and we didn’t what that to be a part of our day. (Check out this video to show your fiancé:

      We didn’t do a bouquet toss either. The interesting thing is that as people are marrying later in life nowadays, the bouquet toss seems to be fading in its frequency — we’re less apt to highlight all the unmarried people and make them self-conscious of that. Interesting phenomena.

      What we DID do was have out DJ announce that every time people started clinking their glasses, instead of us kissing every time the DJ would pick a random couples’ names out of a jar and they would have to kiss and show everyone how it’s done. Pretty funny results. We stole the idea from a friend, feel free to steal it too. We also had a great DJ who kept the musical selection fun (and ’90s-tastic) but not vulgar, so we had a great time. Above all, like you said, the wedding is ONE day — your marriage is what you need to be fostering and preparing for! God bless! Will be praying for you guys
      -Jackie & Bobby

  36. Julyanna Aguilar
    August 10, 2016 at 10:56 am

    This is so Beautiful !!! I pray to God that one Day I find the one , God has Chosen for me ! God Bless your marriage always , you are a True inspiration ❤️🙏🏽

  37. Lisa Addeo
    November 1, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Thank you for sharing this most beautiful love story of God’s love for us lived in the marriage of one woman to one man I the original way God meant us to experience marriage. You two are “love” to the deepest level and a holier marriage there has never been with the clearest and deepest understanding of God’s gift. ❤️

  38. March 13, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Wow! What a beautiful wedding day!

    Honestly, the reason I stuck around, reading your lovely and inspiring posts, is your tagline: Let God Write Your Love Story. This line means a lot to me because my boyfriend and soon-to-be-husband (in God’s perfect and beautiful timing!) would always tell this to young people who approached him and sought advice on love and relationships. Like you, we both waited. It was 28 years in the making too before we finally found my prayer and bible buddy, my confidant, my best friend, my pesky fraternal twin brother (because we look alike that we’d pass as twins), and my future better half. Before finding our way to each other, we were busy on our own lives.

    When you let God author your love story, wedding gimmicks or festivities, which this society adopted as the status quo in marriage celebrations, will eventually lose its attractiveness. I know that. Because right now, all I wanted is for the both of us to finish our post-graduate degrees, land on a stable job, and celebrate our marriage and life in the name of God. Suddenly, I am more focused and thrilled on how I can become a good wife to him, a good mother to our future kids, and a good disciple of the Lord.

    Thank you very much for sharing your life with all of us. You and Bobby are such an inspiration!

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