Carolina Bride

May 30, 2012

An A-plus proposal

Ken pops the question in Jenelle’s middle school classroom.

It was mid-afternoon and the kids were seated quietly, doing their in-class assignment during Jenelle Krohn’s English class. All heads were facing their desks until a knock at the door piqued their curiosity. They all looked up and anxiously waited as Jenelle asked one of the students to open the door. But perhaps no one was an anxious as the man who waited to come into the classroom. Ken Simeone, a special education teacher at Northwest Cabarrus Middle School, was armed with a bouquet of flowers and a square-cut diamond hidden in his pocket. “I remember when he walked in with the flowers, I thought, ‘These are beautiful, but I am teaching now,’” says Jenelle. “I was so confused why he was bringing me flowers in the middle of a school day.” She said she immediately noticed the large number of teachers and students gathered in the hallway, peering through her classroom door, and knew something was going on. “He literally had an entourage of people following him to my class,” says Jenelle. “Some teachers even left their classrooms to come watch.” When Ken got down on one knee, she suddenly understood what was happening. She said she doesn’t remember much about what he actually said during the proposal, simply because she was so overwhelmed and excited. “All I really remember is telling him not to kiss me in front of my students,” says Jenelle with a laugh. “Most people didn’t even know we were dating.” In 2010 when Jenelle became engaged, not only was she teaching, but also attending graduate school. He said she hardly had enough time to breathe, let alone plan a wedding in six months. She left most of the planning to her mother, who was more than happy to take the reins. “I’m not the typical bride,” says Jenelle. “I haven’t been planning my wedding since I was a little girl. So I didn’t mind letting my mom make decisions or help me narrow things down. I trusted her completely.” Above all else, Jenelle and Ken wanted their guests to have fun. Most of the guests, numbering in the hundreds, were coming from out of town, and the couple wanted to make it worth their while. “We knew that having both the ceremony and the reception at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden would make it easier for our out-of-town guests, rather than have them drive in a unfamiliar town,” says Jenelle. “And the garden is so stunning, that we knew everyone would really enjoy being there.” “Our families were involved with our wedding from day one,” says Jenelle. “My mom was our wedding planner, my sisters-in-law were my bridesmaids, and my aunt and cousins decorated the reception hall. Because of our families, I didn’t have to worry about a thing the day of my wedding.” The day of the wedding, Jenelle said she and Ken wanted their reception to be something their guests would remember. They added their own unique twists to the evening, starting with a mashed potato bar and ending with a photo booth from ShutterBooth. The played a wide variety of music so everyone could enjoy dancing and had individual chocolate cakes on each table. They even provided buses to and from the event so their guests wouldn’t have to worry about driving. Ken and Jenelle even had their first dance choreographed to serve as prime entertainment during the reception. As candid as the pair is, they wanted their photographs to reflect their personalities. Adam Coker of Authentic Exposure caught each moment on camera and video so Jenelle and Ken could relive the day for years to come. “We just wanted everyone to have fun,” says Jenelle. “So many people helped us make this day possible; this was our way of thanking them.”

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