Blog – Happily Ever After

Jessica Ball and Christopher Smith

Jessica Ball & Christopher Smith
Married Saturday, July 13, 2019

When and how did he propose?
He proposed while we were on a trip to Maine. We are super into playing card and board games with friends–he brought a new game on our trip and set it up so that I would win. The prize was my engagement ring and the proposal!

 How did you choose your wedding venue?
We love great food and we are very busy, so we knew two things: that we needed a venue that could provide amazing food and cocktails AND that would help us expertly manage wedding details and vendors. The Whist checked both those boxes and it’s a stunning place. 

Jessica & Chris

 Describe your wedding gown:
It’s a champagne color A-line dress with a tulle skirt, sheer sleeves and floral/vine appliques. It’s very romantic and fit in well with the vibe of the Whist.  

Describe your wedding theme/colors:
Our theme was, “We’re getting married, yay!” Our color palette included dusty blues, purples and grays and was inspired by the succulents we used throughout the wedding.

What was the hardest and easiest part about planning your wedding?
The hardest part was the seating chart; we never want to do one of those again! The easiest part was working with The Whist and our vendors. I say, know your strengths–if you love doing everything yourself and fussing over every little detail–go for it! But you can make wedding planning much easier on yourself if you hire great, experienced vendors and then trust them to do their jobs. We did, and we’d go that route a million times over. 

What piece of advice would you give a bride/couple who is planning their wedding?
Do what works for you as a couple and don’t feel pressured to please other people (at least not with this one thing). You know in your gut what you want to do, what’s important to you and what things you can do without. Just trust yourselves and trust that your wedding will be awesome because it’s yours! 

Jessica & Chris’ centerpieces

Please share some of the vendors you used:
We’ve loved working with Mary and Charlotte from M. Coty Designs on our terrarium centerpieces and succulent bouquets. Mike and Jerry from Must be the Music DJs were incredibly collaborative and fun, Kimberly from Liberty Lane Bake Shoppe baked us the BEST CAKE EVER and our photographer, Kyle Moran, captured the day with love and a creatively inspired vision. 

Aiste & Adam

Aiste and Adam Stanley
Married Saturday, August 10, 2019

When and how did he propose?
We had family photos scheduled at the park this past fall (November 25, 2018) and I had no idea he was going to propose. We all dressed up in fall colors and met our photographer at the park. I even joked that it didn’t matter that my nails were polished, because we weren’t planning to photograph my hands. (Boy was I wrong!) About halfway through our photo session, the photographer asked our kids to step aside while he took some romantic photos of me and Adam. Next thing I know Adam is on one knee asking me to marry him. It was an insane surprise–of course I said yes! We have amazing engagement photos with some happy tears and tons of laughter.

How did you choose your wedding venue?
The wedding venue chose us! We love history and elegance, which is well-represented at The University and Whist Club. We also live in Sussex County, so a beach or a farm wedding did not appeal to us. We looked at some wineries in Northern Virginia, but overpriced venues lacked the historic charm we were looking for.

Aiste & Adam

Describe your wedding gown:
Romantic and elegant with lots of lace, shimmer and pearls. Off-the-shoulder dress with a beautiful, somewhat vintage veil.

Describe your wedding theme/colors:
Dusty rose, Chianti and silver/grey are the wedding colors. They offer a romantic and elegant feel.

What was the hardest and easiest part about planning your wedding?
Everything has been very easy, because The Whist Club makes it easy with the all-inclusive package and their preferred vendor list. The hardest part was compiling the guest list.

What piece of advice would you give a bride/couple who is planning their wedding?
Stick to your wish list and don’t try to please everyone. After all, it is your day and it’s OK to be selfish this one time.

Aiste & Adam


Honeymoon- Trabeona Travels

Photographer- SMDi Photography

Videographer- Chase Kouts

Groom and Groomsmen outfits- Men’s Wearhouse

Bridal gown- Dryden Dress Co.

Bridesmaids dresses- David’s Bridal

Cake- Liberty Lane Bake Shoppe

Ceremony Music- Wilmington String Ensemble

Florist- M. Coty Designs

DJ- Must Be The Music DJs

Officiant- Weddings with Lorraine

Limo service- Ace Limousine

Hair- Salon by Dominic

Make up- Beauty Bar by Kristina Ruggerio

Hotel- Sheraton Suites Downtown Wilmington

Brandi & Robert

Brandi Purcell and Robert E. Redding III
Married Sept. 9, 2019

When and how did he propose?

It was a beautiful sunny day in August 2018. He asked me to come outside to the backyard so I could decide where I wanted to place our new plants and flowers we had just bought. My back was facing him as I decided on the perfect spots. When I turned around, he was on one knee with a ring. 

How did you choose your wedding venue?

Initially I was going to have a destination wedding with a party at home. However, I knew I needed my best friends and family by my side on my special day. I had been to the University and Whist for professional development and special events. I had always admired the beauty and history of the building.  

The historic Tilton Mansion in Wilmington, Delaware.

Why did you decide to wed on a Sept. 9, which fell on a Monday?

My husband and I dated nine years ago, and we broke up. We both had some growing up to do. Set something free and if it was meant to be well, we were!

We reconnected three years ago on September 9, so it just made sense to keep our dating anniversary and our wedding on the same day.

Describe your wedding gown:

Elegant and rustic in a shade of Ivory with just enough sparkle! I had to wear gold sneakers instead of my wedding heels because I broke my ankle in July!

Brandi & Robert

Describe your wedding theme/colors:

A light sage otherwise known as the color meadow. We chose this color in honor of my husband’s late mother, whose favorite color was green.

What was the hardest and easiest part about planning your wedding?

The easiest part of the wedding was having Margaret Reilly helping me every step of the way!

The hardest part of the wedding was keeping my guest list to a minimum!

What piece of advice would you give a bride/couple who is planning their wedding?

Take your time. It is your day and planning is part of the fun. When the day is finally here, it goes so quickly. Soak up every minute! It will be one of the best days of your life!


Florist: M. Coty Designs

Cake: Liberty Lane Bake Shoppe

DJ: Sound Bite Productions

Hair and Makeup: Currie Hair Skin and Nails

Photography: Paul Patton Productions

Danielle & Andrew
Danielle is the marketing manager for the University and Whist Club

Danielle Bouchat-Friedman and
Andrew Hoffecker
Married Oct. 18, 2019

When and how did he propose?
It was March 8, 2018. I came rushing home because we were leaving that
evening to drive back to Pittsburgh to visit my family to celebrate my birthday and my niece’s birthday. I arrived at our home and yelled up the stairs at him,
wondering if was ready to go. He came down with our cat, Jet, and said, “your mom sent Jet a present; it’s around his neck.” (he had been having some health issues). I picked him up and around his neck is a collar with a tag on it that reads, “will you marry me?” I said, “why would my mom send that?” I look at Andrew and he is down on one knee. He blurts out, “Danielle I love you will you marry me?” I looked at him and the ring for a while, utterly confused. He finally says, “Well?? What is your answer!?” I say, “OKKKKK.” He totally surprised me.

How did you choose your wedding venue?
I always thought I would get married in Pittsburgh, but after we got engaged, it was much more convenient to search for venues locally. We really wanted something unique and out of the ordinary. We had fallen in love with a concert venue and comedy club space, but the price was just too outrageous. We also found a funky venue in Fishtown, Pennsylvania, but they gave our date away before we could put down a deposit.

We eventually chose to wed at the Addy Sea, a bed and breakfast in Bethany Beach. We liked how quaint and homey the place was and how we could get married and have our reception there. Many of our guests could also spend the night there, which was a big selling point.
Unfortunately, Andrew and I fell on some financial hardship this summer and my parents—who were going to pay for much of the wedding—thought it was ‘irresponsible’ for us to have a wedding. We still wanted to get married and
celebrate, so we decided to travel to Jamaica for a week and get married there. Only a handful of friends and family joined us, and it was magical.

Danielle & Andrew on their wedding day.

Why did you decide to wed on October 18, which fell on a Friday?
Andrew first laid eyes on me six years ago to the day. Funny enough, October 18 fell on a Friday, so we felt we just had to say ‘I do’ on that date!

Describe your wedding gown:
I wore the Wesley gown from Jenny Yoo Collection, a sleek fit and flare silhouette with a plunging V-neck. The back of the dress came with flowing Chiffon panels at the shoulders that created a regal cape effect. I wore leopard print heels as a nod to our three cats!

Describe your wedding theme/colors:
Originally, our colors were going to be a deep purple, a pale blue and marigold. We didn’t really have colors for Jamaica; however, we chose purple orchids for my bouquet and his boutonniere.

Danielle & Andrew

What was the hardest and easiest part about planning your wedding?
The hardest part was trying to plan the wedding all by myself. My family lives in Pittsburgh and wasn’t involved and my husband’s family didn’t jump in to offer any advice or help either. The easiest part was deciding to get married in Jamaica. The choices were very limited but once we had all the necessary paperwork in, all we needed to do was show up and enjoy ourselves. It was stress-free and
absolutely beautiful.

What piece of advice would you give a bride/couple who is planning their wedding?
Do what makes you and your husband happy. Invite who you want to invite. Don’t let the opinions of other influence your decisions or feelings because in the end, it is YOUR DAY!

Photography: Moonloop Photography

Dress: Blanc de Blanc Bridal Boutique

Groom’s Suit: Indochino

Travel Agent: Creative Travel, Inc.

Wedding bands: Indulgence Jewelers

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