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Wedding story from the Southern Mansion

Feb 21, 2012 Southern Mansion 2012


This couple was an utter delight to work with. It was a joy to have their wedding at the Southern Mansion. Here is their story. It is incredibly touching to me as love rules over time!


Ryan and I met at a restaurant job in Boulder, Colorado, where we both waited tables. I had moved to Boulder from Philadelphia and felt extremely homesick because I missed my friends and family so much. Ryan was a great friend to me for the year that I lived in Boulder. I think that I had decided then (maybe out of insecurity - which is fairly normal for a woman in her early 20's) that Ryan was too good looking and too smart for me. Although I had a huge crush on him, I never pursued anything romantic with him while I lived in Boulder.

It was March of 2006 and my last day in Boulder before moving back to Philadelphia. I thought it would be nice to go out to dinner with Ryan to see him one more time before leaving. My best friend from Philadelphia had come out to help me with the moving truck and had the opportunity to witness the sparks flying at dinner.

When Ryan dropped us off at another friend's house, my best friend went inside to give us the chance to say goodbye. Ryan was shivering a little bit and I asked him if he was cold. "No," he replied. "I'm not cold. Just nervous."

I wanted to know why he was so nervous. "Because I really want to kiss you goodbye," he said.

That took me off guard, of course, and so did the kiss goodbye that followed.

I drove back to Philadelphia the next day and sent Ryan a post card from every state along the way. I confidently told my best friend that I was going to marry him some day.

Then I waited for some grand romantic gesture. I thought maybe he'd show up at my door with flowers - like in the movies. It took years before Ryan was ready to come visit me in Philadelphia. We lost touch for a while, but then picked back up again where we had left off in January of 2009. I had just started a graduate program that was the only program of its kind in the whole country. Students had the ability to commute from all over the country for classes because each class only met for a total of two weekends per semester.

By spring break in March, I began using student loan money to fly back to Colorado to see Ryan. We both made trips to see one another, but the long distance was really tough on us. By August, I had decided to move back to Boulder and begin using my student loan money to travel back to Philadelphia for classes four times per semester (since I was taking two classes each semester).

My closest friends thought I was a little bit crazy for doing this. They knew how homesick I had been the first time I lived in Boulder. I assured them, however, that this was the man that I would marry someday. I had an obligation to myself and to him to see if it would work. Ryan had career development opportunities in Boulder at the time and I felt like the only option for us to be together was for me to move back out there.

We rented a little house outside of Boulder and we lived in that community for two years. We had a seventeen month long engagement before we married at the beautiful Southern Mansion in Cape May. Since most of my family and friends are from the New Jersey and Philadelphia area, it was the best and most beautiful place for us to tie the knot. We were married in September of 2011 and then moved to Asheville, North Carolina (a compromise that we decided upon) in October - where we are now living happily ever after.

Jamie Zane Brazell 

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