Cecelia + PJ

How did you meet?

PJ and I met in the small, but lively town, of Oxford, Mississippi. We had a college function where we had to dress up and bring a date, mine canceled on me last minute so my best friend recommended that I reach out to her neighbor because she knew he would dance the night away with me and that we would get along. I blindly reached out to him and we had the best time! Neither of us were looking for something serious at the moment, but ended up running into each other at a bar in that same town a year later. We have pretty much spent every day together since, and that was in 2015!

When did you know they were the one?

I knew PJ was the one when I realized how romantic he was. The summer of 2016 was our first long period of time apart because we both had our families living in different states. He was from DC and I am from Charleston, SC. I needed up calling things off and the next day he called me and asked what I was doing for a holiday weekend (Memorial Day). I was reluctant to respond because we were broken up and I had no plans, just working my summer job. However, when I told him I had no plans he said “great! Check your email!” And PJ hung up the phone. In my inbox was a flight to Sea Isle City, NJ where him and his huge family, inclusive of his parents, aunts, uncles, and about 15 cousins, go every summer to spend time together. I called him back and told him that “we were broken up and this was insane!” His response to me was, “Maybe, but if you don’t want to be together after you meet my family, then fine I will accept it.” I fell so in love with him that weekend. Watching how he interacted with his family, younger cousins, meeting all the women in his family that raised him to be this spontaneous, intentional, man. Seeing someone in their true environment is a whole other perspective of who they are.

What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?

PJ is so romantic.
He is always excited to try something new
He is very inclusive of the people in my life who are also important to me

Who proposed and how? 

PJ proposed in my hometown of Charleston, SC. At the time I worked in the male dominated field of Orthopedic Trauma, which requires me to be on call 24hrs a day, sometimes 7 days a week. Weekends, holidays, you name it. And I had to miss Christmas with my family. So we went to Charleston right after when I was able to have some time off to see them. Well little did I know that PJ had told everyone in our lives, except me that we were getting engaged. His family secretly drove there, he called all my best girlfriends and asked them if they could come in to surprise me and help celebrate. He proposed with just the two of us on a cobble stone street in historic downtown Charleston. I wish I could remember what he said, but I only remember saying yes. Afterwards he said we were going to dinner with friends who lived in town. To my surprise, my entire family, his family, and all my best gals were there to celebrate. It will be a night that I will remember for the rest of my life! PJ is so intentional and pays attention to the details. He is more than I could ever ask for.

Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?

I fell in love with my dress at Lovely Bride in Washington, DC. It was actually the very first dress I tried on! I tried on maybe 4 dresses after it but could not stop thinking about the Scottie dress. I always like to do something unique and different. Being the same as everyone else is boring and unrealistic! Because we are all truly SO different. I loved the small details of the “French dots”, the low back with the buttons. The dress felt very timeless yet unique. Sexy yet classy. It was the perfect fit!

What was the best moment for you at the wedding?

The best moment for me was when we got announced walking into dinner. Everyone in the room was screaming and cheering. Waving their linen napkins in the air. It was the first time since the pandemic that we have seen a lot of the people in that room. PJ and I sat down and I remember feeling so full of love and I said to him, “ I just feel so humbled, I cannot believe everyone we love is in one room together. People bought dresses, rented tuxedos and suits, paid for plane tickets and hotels, all to celebrate us and watch us start our marriage.”

What advice would you tell other brides?

Work small moments into your wedding day that give you time with those closest to you. I had time with just my mom right before I got dressed and it was beyond special. Also, right after the ceremony our planner hid us away in a small garden with a glass of champagne to be alone for 5 minutes and take it all in. It’s memorable and SO important.

What were your favorite details?

My favorite details were our cocktail napkins that had our Portuguese Water Dog, Sardis, drawn on it. Also we had a gelato cart for dessert! Which was a huge hit because June in Charleston, SC is HOT.

Any standout vendors?

Our planners went ABOVE and beyond. Also the band was unreal. They made everything personal to us, anything we asked of them they said let’s try to make it happen! They kept the energy up all night.




Middleton Place Estate


Katie May


Ever After Vintage Weddings


Adore Bridal for Makeup. Shelby Anderson Booth for hair.


Lifelong Photography


Men’s Warehouse


Ascot Diamonds


Lovely Bride DC