Here we are at my favorite time of year on Bluegrass Threads: the Bluegrass Lovebirds series! Each year in honor of Valentine’s Day (and to combat these gloomy gray days), we feature couples that met, married or moved to the bluegrass area. A huge thank you to all of the couples who nominated themselves or friends to participate!
I have had the privilege of knowing the first of our 2016 Lovebirds for many years. They are both such amazing people and graciously contribute their time and talents to worthy local and regional causes. Introducing…
Tell us a bit about yourselves:
We are both architects and live in Lexington, KY. I’m originally from Frankfort, and Greg is from Paducah. We have a beautiful 5 year old daughter named Ellis whose care is a full-time job unto itself. We are active in our church and both volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House. Greg serves on the board of the ACE of the Bluegrass Mentor Program and is chairman of Lexington’s Board of Architectural Review. I also volunteer on a committee of the Blue Grass Trust and at the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center. Any time left over is spent renovating our historic home.
How did you first meet?
We met in the College of Architecture at the University of Kentucky (now the College of Design). We had classes together for years and were very good friends, and then our fourth year we both spent a semester abroad. Our class lived in Venice, Italy, but traveled all over Europe. Many of our best friends were also in that class. We blame Italy for making us fall in love. How could we NOT fall in love? We were surrounded by incredible architecture, delicious food, picturesque landscapes seen from romantic train rides, and worked closely together in studio late night after late night. We came back to the states as a couple and have been together ever since.
Where did you go on your first date?
That’s hard to say because the fall of 2000 was like one big, long first date! I remember some particularly nice walks for gelato through the stone streets of Venice.
Where did you share your first kiss?
Hmmm…somewhere between the Piazza S. Marco and the Canal Grande.
When did you know that he/she was “the one?”
Jessica: After coming home and completing architecture school, I had some big decisions to make about the future. Greg was simply a part of every plan I could imagine.
Greg: Not long after we started dating. It seemed too good to be true, but every moment has been amazing and only confirmed the early hunch.
Tell us about your engagement:
After a lovely dinner (Italian, of course) Greg drove me back to my apartment in Frankfort (where we were both working at the time). He surprised me with a room full of lit candles and music, and a perfectly chosen diamond ring.
When and where were you married?
We were married on August 30, 2003, at Forks of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Midway. It was a low-budget, labor-of-love kind of wedding, but I think it suited us perfectly. Friends and family helped do everything from making cakes to decorating to taking pictures to even making my dress! My bridesmaids assembled their own bouquets themselves in the living room of my apartment the night before. Looking back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing. The memories of the people we love coming together to use their talents to make a beautiful wedding for us means the world.
He Said/She Said…
Partner’s best quality:
Jess – Greg’s best qualities are patience and calmness. We have been through some very difficult times with our daughter’s extensive health problems, and he has been the voice of reason and a rock on which to lean.
Greg – Jessica is the kindest and most giving person I know. She shares so much of herself and I’m blessed to be part of that.
The thing about my partner that drives me crazy…
Jess – He likes ice cubes in his glass of milk.
Greg – Jessica is always right. Seriously, always.
My number one piece of advice about love is…
Jess – Love is an action, not an emotion. It’s a commitment to put the other person’s needs ahead of your own every single day. Sometimes that involves big life decisions, sometimes it’s as simple as saying “thank you” for unloading the dishwasher.
Greg – Love/marriage is a team effort that takes constant attention. When you are with the right person, loving one another and working hard at it is never a hard decision to make.
photos by tinyanna photography
Thanks, Greg and Jessica! Stay tuned for more bluegrass lovebirds stories this month.
To true love.
**All photos were provided by the participating couple.**