How They Met
We met online while we were both living in South Korea. I was teaching, and Paul was training racehorses. Our mutual love for horses was what first sparked our interest. We lived in different cities, so for our first in person meeting, I asked him to meet me when my friends and I were traveling to his city. He was the biggest gentleman and was very inclusive of my friends in our conversation. He made an impression on all of us. This may seem cliche, but it really was love at first sight. Within a month of that first meeting, we were already traveling the world together, on a month long trip to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
The Happy Couple
BRIDE: Jennifer Weeast
GROOM: Paul Gillispie
Paul asked my parents to come to South Korea to visit me for my 30th birthday. He took the opportunity to ask them in person for my hand in marriage. The weekend after they left, he took my on a stroll along the beach in our town to our favorite spot, which was a pagoda that was actually out over the ocean. He proposed to me there, amidst a bunch of startled Korean strangers.
Wedding Date: June 17th, 2017
Location: St. Ignatius, Montana
Venue: Jennifer’s family ranch
Photographer: Mariah Ore
Flowers: Bitterroot Flowers- lilies, spray roses, lavender, purple cabbage
Event Design: Events by Autumn- Autumn Kozimer
Catering: A Moveable Feast
Cake: Bernice’s Bakery
Music: RMF Entertainment
Bridal Shop: N/A I wore my grandmother’s dress, which was also worn by my mother. It was tailored and refashioned in South Korea
Tux Rental: Suit purchased in South Korea
Other Rentals: Oh So Chic and Montana Party Time
How They Chose Vendors
Planning a wedding from abroad would have been a nightmare without our wonderful wedding planner, Autumn Kozimer. She helped us select vendors and helped us communicate our wants and needs. I am from Montana, and went to school in Missoula, so I knew a bit about the bakery and flower shop I wanted to use.
This was Paul’s second time in the USA, and he had never been to the west, so we went on a big road trip, which took us through 10 states and 11 National Parks. We started in Seattle, drove to Montana and spent 2 weeks there for the wedding, then went to Yellowstone and the Tetons, Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park, Garden of the Gods, the Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, on to Las Vegas, Zion, the Grand Canyon, up the California coast to San Francisco, Napa Valley, the Redwoods, and up the Oregon coast to Portland, and finished in Seattle again. Two days later, we went to Malaysia for a week and then moved to Vietnam, where we are currently living!
Fondest Memory from the Big Day
Everything about the wedding day was perfect. The weather couldn’t have been better, everything went smoothly, and everyone had a fantastic time. I think one of our favorite moments was when we put on a huge fireworks show at the end of the event. Fireworks for 4th of July had gone on sale the day before the wedding, so we purchased a ridiculous amount and enlisted my cousins to light them for us. My husband had never seen fireworks like that, except for at professional shows, and it was just a magical way to end the evening.
What They’d Do Differently
The only thing I regret is that some people weren’t able to attend. My husband’s family all lives in Ireland, and weren’t able to travel over for the wedding. Only his mother, father, and brother could attend. Even his sister missed out because she had exams at school. We’re hoping to do a “wedding party” in Ireland next summer for our one year anniversary, so that his family can meet me and celebrate with us. My grandmother also couldn’t attend because she had fallen and broken her hip 2 days before the wedding. My cousin FaceTimed her during the ceremony and we got all dressed up again on Sunday though and visited her in the hospital so she could still be a part of it. After all, it was her ranch, her dress, and even her rings that I now wear as my own!
My wedding planner made everything stress free. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her. My best advice actually comes from my friends who advised me. The biggest thing was to make sure you plan your wedding for you. Don’t let other people try to control what happens, or what to eat, or what to do. It is your special day, so make sure you are happy with whatever you choose. The second thing I was told was to not allow kids. We followed this advice and were very happy to do so. No crying babies or interruptions, and guests with kids didn’t have to leave early and could spend their night enjoying themselves.
And they lived happily ever after...
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