Jaclyn Keefer & Brad Kurtz: Wed April 25, 2015
Brad and Jaclyn’s sweet love story will melt your heart as you read it. Jaclyn was overwhelmed with emotion and sentimental tears as she shared their journey together. Brian Hall photographers, Inc. captured their special day for them to cherish forever and to share with you!
Brad and Jaclyn met when they were students at Kennedy High School. They were in the same class and knew each other, but never really talked. Brad was a sexy hot football, baseball, and basketball player, as well as one of the first male cheerleaders at Kennedy. He was on the homecoming and prom court and was pretty popular with the ladies! Brad definitely made Jaclyn’s heart race when he walked by. Jaclyn was captain of the color guard and the girls’ golf team. She spent her extra time hanging out with the marching band and her parents.
Then, 6 years after graduating, Brad and Jaclyn became Facebook “friends”. Their jobs also connected them. Jaclyn worked at Farmers State Bank with deceased customer accounts, and Brad worked at Cedar Memorial, so he would have to contact her on occasion. One day, Jaclyn got a phone call from a funeral director at Cedar Memorial in regards to one of the deceased customers of the bank. It was Brad. Jaclyn remembers sitting at her desk blushing because she was having this very professional conversation with the sexy football player from high school, and he of course had no idea her heart was pounding. Jaclyn thought it was pretty cool talking to him on the phone and had to tell her co-workers how she knew him! She felt like a giggling school girl. That night when Jaclyn got home, she sent Brad a Facebook message letting him know it was her that he’d spoken with. Brad replied, “Yeah I knew who you were”. That was not the response a single gal hoped to have with an old high school heart throb. They now joke about this because Brad said if Jaclyn had been a little more aggressive in making conversation, they would have started dating sooner.
Flash forward 6 more years to the JFK Class of 2002 10 year reunion. Brad and Jaclyn both went to the first night of events. Jaclyn distinctly remembers seeing Brad, but she still did not initiate a conversation. Thank goodness God had a plan. Every year, Brad and Jaclyn’s classmates have an unofficial reunion at Buffalo Wild Wings. They all got together a couple of months after their 10 year. Jaclyn and Brad were both there. They ordered drinks and dinner, and somehow got to discussing New Year’s Eve plans. Jaclyn offered to host a party and cook dinner at her place. It was at that point that Brad leaned over and said with a big smile, “You cook?” (The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach! J) Attempting to be flirtatious, Jaclyn said yes, and that he better give her his number if he’d like to be part of the New Year’s Eve feast. That’s when the texting began and they started dating!
It was probably the SLOWEST building relationship of all time, but it drove Jaclyn’s heart crazy and she wouldn’t change a thing. Jaclyn says it was slow because they saw each other about once every 2 weeks and as far as Brad’s family was concerned, Jaclyn didn’t exist. It was so slow, that after 4 months of dating, Jaclyn actually asked Brad if he even wanted to bother to continue their relationship. Thank goodness he said yes. Jaclyn already knew at that point that Brad was the one for her because Brad was horribly allergic to Jaclyn’s 2 cats, but played with them every time he came over. After 6 months of dating, Jaclyn met Brad’s family and it wasn’t long after that Brad told Jaclyn he loved her. It was awesome. Little did Jaclyn know, that it would only be 6 months later on Valentine’s Day, that Brad would give her the BEST, most sincere, heartfelt, and romantic proposal in history (in her eyes anyway J).
It was Valentine’s Day. Brad told Jaclyn to pack an overnight bag, and wouldn’t tell her anything else. Jaclyn knew something was “up” because Brad thought sending flowers was a waste of money since they just die. Well, Brad sent Jaclyn a dozen long stem red roses at work, then picked her up and took her to dinner at The Syndicate Epicurean Pub. From there, they were supposed to have drinks with Brad’s sister and brother-in-law to celebrate his brother-in-law’s birthday. Instead, Brad surprised Jaclyn by taking her to the Double Tree where he’d booked a room for them. When they walked in their room, there was a dozen roses and a bottle of her favorite wine, Chateau St. Michelle Sweet Riesling, on the night stand. Brad asked Jaclyn go into the restroom, and when she came out, he asked her to sit by him so he could show her something on TV. The screen read, “Take a chance because you never know how absolutely perfect something could turn out to be”, and beautiful piano music started playing. A picture of Jaclyn surprising Brad with a kiss on the cheek popped up and she immediately started to cry. The slideshow of their relationship continued and with each photo, Jaclyn cried a little more with heartfelt joy. After the last picture, these phrases rotated: “This last year with you has been amazing… I love you so very much… So now I ask you, will you be my forever Valentine? Will you marry me?”. And with that, Brad was on his knee with an open ring box. He said with the most beautiful smile and tears in his eyes, “Will you marry me?”. Through tears of joy Jaclyn said, “Yes!”. As Brad reports it, Jaclyn sobbed, “This is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me”. They immediately called to tell their parents. Then in came Brad’s sister Natalie, and his brother-in-law Brady, who already knew and were waiting patiently to celebrate. It was perfect!
Brad and Jaclyn had the most beautiful and perfect wedding – they wouldn’t change a thing about it. It was a dream come true. For Jaclyn, the most memorable moment of that day, was probably when they saw each other for the first time. They cried, they smiled, Brad said how much he loved her and how beautiful she looked! Jaclyn told Brad he looked absolutely stunning and of course how very much she love him! But mostly, she remembers the sparkle in his eyes, and knowing in her heart that this is the man she has waited for, and this is the man that God intended for her. With each day her love for Brad – their love – grows stronger. She cannot wait to spend a lifetime with him – but she prays that like the beginning of their love story, it will go so very slow.
“Everything has been like a dream. The fairy tale I’ve always dreamed of has come to life.” Jaclyn Kurtz
Photographer: Brian Hall Photographers, Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.brianhallphotographers.com)
Wedding Dress, Veil, Headpiece and Bridesmaids Dresses: Brides & Weddings, Manchester, Iowa (www.iowabridesandweddings.com)
- Bride’s Dress – Emma by Maggie Sottero
- Bridesmaid’s Dress company – Bellsoie by Jasmine Bridal
- Wedding colors and theme: Plum and Silver – Vintage/Classic
Bride’s Jewelry: Brides & Weddings, Manchester, Iowa (www.iowabridesandweddings.com)
Brides Shoes: Beretun Designs in East Sussex, United Kingdom (www.beretundesigns.co.uk)
Bridesmaid’s Shoes: DSW Online (www.dsw.com)
Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: Claire’s (www.claires.com)
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.menswearhouse.com)
Cake: Classic Cakes by Design, Anne Mason, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.classiccakesbydesign.com)
DJ: Rock and Thunder DJ, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.rockandthunder.com)
Reception: Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.clarioncr.com)
Flowers: The Flower Shop at Cedar Memorial, Cedar Rapids, IA (www.cedarmemorial.com)
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Lowe Park, Marion, Iowa (www.cityofmarion.org/departments/parks-recreation/lowe-park)
Rehearsal Dinner Caterer: Dostal’s Catering, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.dostalcatering.com)
Bride’s Engagement Ring: James Allen, New York, New York (www.jamesallen.com)
Bride’s Wedding Band: Helzberg Diamonds, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.helzberg.com)
Groom’s Wedding Band: Helzberg Diamonds, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.helzberg.com)
Wedding Day Hair/Makeup: Serendipity’s Salon, Marion, Iowa (www.serendipityssalon.com)
Transportation: Cedar Valley Travel, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.facebook.com/pages/Cedar-Valley-World-Travel/120102891405674)
Ceremony Venue: Christ Episcopal Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (www.christepiscopal.org)
Officiant: Reverend Dr. Randy Lyle
Unity Ceremony: The Unity Cross
Violinist for ceremony: Jerry Henry (former Violin instructor of the Bride)
Music selection for ceremony:
- Edelweiss, O. Hammerstein II/R. Rodgers
- You Light Up My Life, J. Brooks
- Great is Thy Faithfulness, T. Chisholm/W.M. Runyan
- Lara’s Theme, M. Jarre
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, J.S. Bach
- Ave Maria, F. Schubert
- (They Long to Be) Close to You, B. Bacharach
- Seating of the Mothers………. Moon River, J. Mercer/H. Mancini
- Bridesmaid Processional………. Trumpet Voluntary, H. Purcell
- Brides Processional………. Canon in D, J. Pachelbel
- Recessional………. Hornpipe from Water Music, G.F. Handel
- Postlude………. For All the Saints, W. Walsham How
Honeymoon: Petoskey, Michigan for 5 days (Just relaxing and enjoying the view!)