Comfort of Love
For two STL accountants, investing in a life together has infinite returns.
27, Finance Manager, TLC Vision
28, Audit Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers
In the summer of 2007, Jennifer Blake and Aaron Albritton both began working as accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers—though it would be another year before they crossed paths at a company golf outing. That night, the couple found themselves chatting for hours and continued to do so at future work events. Eventually, they began meeting up on weekends in the Central West End for dinner and drinks and talking every day. Four years later, Aaron knew he was ready to take the next step, and enlisted an unlikely accomplice to pop the question.
One August day, Aaron and Jennifer were arguing over who would pick up Rocky, the Yorkie they had adopted together, from the groomer. Aaron insisted that he go, and that Jennifer stay at home. In hindsight, it’s a battle Jennifer is glad she lost. When Aaron returned, Rocky was fitted in a sharp doggie tuxedo with a heart-shaped tag that read, “Will You Marry Me?” By the time she realized what was going on, Aaron was down on one knee with the ring. For Jennifer, the answer was a no-brainer.
In planning their big day, the couple wanted a wedding that was elegant yet comfortable, with plenty of personal touches. Jennifer wore a fitted dress with a jeweled belt, lace overlay and elegant train, and Aaron wore a classic black suit with a gray tie. Bridesmaids donned floor-length plum dresses, and the flower girl wore a cream dress accented with a plum sash and a crown of delicate lavender and cream flowers in her hair. Lavender, cream and sage hydrangeas and roses with touches of champagne kept the environment light and springy.
At the reception, the couple nixed the traditional receiving line, choosing instead to mingle with guests at their leisure during the cocktail hour. When it came time for dinner, the newlyweds enjoyed the festivities at an intimate table for two. Since he was such an important player in the engagement, Rocky was included in photos and on the custom cake topper.
SETTING THE TUNE
Special care was taken to be sure the music perfectly suited each part of the event. For the ceremony, the string trio Nix Music Agency serenaded guests with classical music, and then a piano-saxophone duet jazzed up the cocktail hour and dinner. For their first dance as a married couple, the country music-lovers chose “Then” by Brad Paisley. A song about an endearing caution to love, the couple says it captures their story perfectly. The newlyweds spent the rest of the evening dancing with friends and family to the dance-variety band Spectrum, which kept the energy high and everyone out on the dance floor until the very last song.
TASTE OF STL
Because many of the wedding guests were coming in from out of town, it was important to both Aaron and Jennifer that visitors felt welcome and got to know the city they call home. Guests stayed at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac, the same location as the reception, and a welcome bag was placed in each room with a personalized booklet from the couple listing their favorite STL places—including Saffron Indian Cuisine, Cunetto’s House of Pasta, the St. Louis Zoo, City Museum and Ted Drewes. With its ornate chandeliers and grand central staircase, the Hilton was inviting, comfortable and elegant—Jennifer says she and Aaron knew it was perfect from the moment they set foot inside.
FAITH AND FAMILY
Because Jennifer and Aaron were both raised Christian and are very close with their families, they wanted to incorporate these elements into the ceremony as much as possible. They brought their pastor from St. John’s Lutheran to Graham Chapel to officiate, and their mothers lit a unity candle at the beginning of the ceremony to symbolize the bringing together of the families. The couple personally selected scripture readings for family members to read, speaking of love, patience and respect. Family members served as greeters, gave blessings at dinner and also were members of the bridal party.
Jennifer Blake and Aaron Albritton
Photo credit: Photos by Amkar Photography