Jessica Carleton and Adam McCormick should have crossed long paths before the night they met. They had several mutual friends in their hometown of Erie, Penn., but it wasn’t until a Christmas party in 2005 that they were finally introduced. The pair had an instant connection and spent the whole night talking. “We stayed at the party until 4 a.m. and it was hard for anyone to separate us,” says Jessica.Adam was visiting from Delaware and only had one night left in Erie. After another inseparable night out, Jessica trusted her instincts and decided to visit him. “Something inside me said that I needed to re-route my trip back to Virginia to include a stop in Delaware,” she says. Three and a half years later, the couple made the decision to move to Charlotte together. They had been dating long-distance for their entire relationship, and when it came time to settle down, they wanted to start their lives in a new city. It was in Charlotte that Adam would send Jessica on an impromptu shopping trip for a ring. To make the moment special for her, he flew in two of her best friends from Baltimore. “He wanted me to have a special moment, and it was one of the most amazing things I could have ever asked for,” says Jessica. Three weeks later, Adam told her to pack a bag and whisked her off to a local hotel. After a massage, Jessica met Adam in a candlelit room with the sounds of one of her favorite songs playing in the background. “It was really special and just about us,” she says. When it came to planning the wedding, the couple had the convenience of their guests in mind. “We had so many guests coming from out of town, and after all that traveling, I did not want to make that a part of our celebration,” Jessica says. The couple chose to host their entire wedding at a hotel in the city. With the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and lodgings all in one place, guests could focus on enjoying the party without having to traverse the city. One detail the guests really enjoyed was the cake by Nona’s Sweets. Real purple and yellow orchids, provided by Party Blooms, were placed throughout all three tiers. Among the deep purple tones, like the plum bridesmaids’ dresses from New York Bride & Groom, the pops of yellow provided a summery feel to the day. To capture the celebration, the couple chose Rachel Fesko Photography. As budget was another important planning factor, Adam and Jessica liked the idea of an all-day wedding package. “We really thought the whole day wedding package was the way to go, and Rachel did a great job,” she says. “She was there from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and didn’t miss a moment.” For Jessica, the most important moment was the couple’s first look. “We got to do the emotional part of our day with just the two of us,” Jessica says. “We got to talk, express how we were feeling, cry, hug and laugh.”After dating long-distance for so many years, putting on her wedding band meant the start of a new life with Adam. “The day of our wedding meant that separation would never again exist and we could start our future together as one,” she says. In celebration of their lives together, the newlyweds adopted a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. Adam, Jessica and their new puppy are enjoying life as a family and the happiness of finally being in the same city.
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