Jessica and Jane Graham married in Des Moines, Iowa, and celebrated with a church ceremony and reception in Charleston, South Carolina, in an outdoor fall wedding with white roses and simple, Southern elegance.
Jessica and Jane met through mutual friends six years before being married. Jessica’s college roommate was one of Jane’s first friends in Charleston. Jane began attending group gatherings with Jessica and friends, but sparks didn’t fly until New Year’s Eve 2009. In 2013, Jessica planned to propose to Jane in the company of friends and family at Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Jane picked up on the idea, so Jessica popped the question a few days before departing, and planned to hold a surprise engagement party in New Orleans when the couple arrived in town. Unbeknownst to Jessica, Jane too planned to propose to Jessica in New Orleans. Their entrusted group of friends kept the double engagement secret for months. Jane and Jessica still laugh about the “web of lies” required to create a successful surprise for them both.
Jane and Jessica were legally married in Jane’s mother’s hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, a few weeks prior to their wedding. They were accompanied by immediate family, including Jane’s 91-year-old grandmother. The judge who married the couple was instrumental in legalizing same-sex marriage in Iowa (one of the first states to do so). The wedding ceremony in Charleston had more than 200 people in attendance, starting with a service at the Unitarian Church of Charleston. Two bagpipe players concluded the ceremony before the reception at Dunes West in nearby Mount Pleasant.
Jessica and Jane were married in the Unitarian Church of Charleston and kept the overall event simple and full of southern charm. The “groom’s” cake, however, was a replica of the armadillo cake from Steel Magnolias. Jessica wore armadillo Kate Spade earrings to celebrate the occasion. They also never saw each other’s dresses before the first look. Coordinator Megan Chandler says, “It was a really emotional and exciting moment.”
From Jess + Jane
“We couldn’t have dreamed of a better day, and were humbled by all of the love and support we received. I think the message on the back of our programs sums up our emotions very well:
Dear family and friends,
Thank you for being with us today. In a world that doesn’t always recognize the love we share, we are grateful for your presence. It confirms there are many who respect and honor our marriage, and we need only look to each of you as a reminder: we are valued and loved. You fill this church with joy. Whether you live nearby or have traveled thousands of miles, you are all an important part of our wedding celebration. We will remember this day for the rest of our lives. We look forward to our future together, and sharing it with you.”
Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography
Coordinator: Ooh! Events
Catering/Bar/Venue: Dunes West
Ceremony Venue: The Unitarian Church of Charleston
Groom’s Cake: Cakes by Kasarda
Wedding Cake: Publix
Band: Finesse Band
Transportation: Absolutely Charleston
Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace