Jessie and Clay

how we met

We met in the winter of 2015 in Bethesda, Maryland. Clay was brought in from Chicago to help open the newest restaurants from Lettuce Entertain You, Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra Pizzeria. I was approached by a headhunter from the company and asked to join the project. Clearly, I said yes & went to help get these restaurants up and open. I remember so clearly the first time I ever saw Clay. I was being shown around the properties and was being introduced to everyone. We met on the staircase, romantic right? Hardly. We exchanged pleasantries and before I knew it he was back to work. For the first time in my life, I felt like I needed to get to know this person. There was this instant attraction, so I made it my mission to get him to make me his girl. However, he must not have felt the same because he hardly knew I existed. I spent weeks pulling out all my best flirting techniques but he couldn’t be bothered, he was so focused on getting everything ready for us to open the restaurants. Don’t worry, you’re girl never gave up and finally he agreed to go out with my friends and I one night after work. It took a lot of convincing but once I threw in the offer for him to experience his first Jumbo Slice pizza, he was sold. The rest they say is history. Now he can’t shake me!

how they asked

With the upcoming arrival of our first child, Clay & I decided to go to Kiawah Island for our babymoon. We had so many things to celebrate. The baby, his birthday, my birthday, little did I know we were going to be adding another thing to that list.

I made a whole itinerary for our trip, a little relaxing & a little bit of fun. On this particular day we woke up and had breakfast at the resort. We had booked a dolphin watch experience so we made our way to get on the boat. Once we arrived we learned that we were the only ones who had booked the excursion so we had the whole boat to ourselves. The captain reminded us that it wasn’t promised we would see any dolphins but man was he wrong. We saw dozens of dolphins. It was incredible and the scenery of the island wasn’t half bad either. After our magical boat ride we went back to the resort for some pool time and lunch. Clay let me and my 7-month pregnant self relax and read while he went for a run (in hindsight to shake the nerves). We had dinner and then I had scheduled us massages for the end of the night, thinking we could roll our oily selves right back to the room and call it a night. We went to the spa, had our massages and then Clay told me he wanted to see the sunset and he saw on his phone that we only had 15 minutes before it set, so we had to hurry. I told him we could see it tomorrow and that he should enjoy the spa before we called it a night but he was insistent. We made our way towards the beach but I kept dillydallying so he kept nudging me along. I didn’t think anything of it.

He then took my hand and began to start telling me about firsts. And how nothing is ever as good as the first. The first kiss, the first time you score a basket… We made our way onto the beach as he continued. I began taking pictures of the sunset and of us as he continued. But then he stopped walking and turned to face me. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Totally baffled and totally caught off guard, I obviously said YES! What a moment. And the next thing I knew there were these two women snapping pictures all around us! Thankfully for them, we get to enjoy the moment of our engagement whenever we want. Too bad I was royally sunburnt and all lathered in oil but we are engaged!!

Special Thanks

Kiawah Resort
 | Venue