Brian Winters of the New York Jets' Romantic, Rustic-Chic Wedding

Jennifer and Brian

Photographed by: Little Tree StudiosLocation: Canton, Ohio, United States

Although Jennifer Harvey and New York Jets player Brian Winters attended the same university, they did not cross paths until after graduation. Once they met, their love for one another grew quickly. “After only three months of dating, I packed up my apartment, quit my job, and moved to New Jersey to be with Brian,” tells Jennifer. Just 10 months later, the couple was engaged and relocated to Ohio. “We purchased our first home together back in Ohio near friends and family, and on the day we closed on the home, he proposed to me on the front lawn,” she remembers.

While arranging their special day, Jennifer confided in Cleveland event designer Heather Thomas of HeatherLily to bring everything together. “I was so lucky to have found her. She was the greatest event designer, wedding planner, support, and friend I could have asked for,” the bride affirms. “I knew nothing about wedding planning, but I had some high expectations, and she handled it all.” Jennifer did, however, know which venue to choose. “Brian is a huge outdoorsman. He loves to hunt, fish, and spends all his free, football-less time at a farm we own,” she reveals. “Knowing this, I immediately knew I wanted to get married in a barn.” With the rustic setting in mind, they found the perfect locale for their romantic vow exchange and lively reception.

Envisioning what she calls a “rustic and girly” theme, Jennifer wanted to offset the locale with a soft color palette and plenty of blooms. “I knew I wanted blush and champagne, and I knew I definitely wanted the room to be filled with flowers,” she says. “We had small floral arrangements all over every tabletop in the space, with our biggest, most dramatic floral arrangements hanging from the ceiling.” The stunning setting provided a comfortable ambience for nearly 200 attendees to enjoy the cigar bar, music, libations, and overall occasion. “We basically just danced, drank, listened to incredibly moving speeches, and had an amazing night,” confirms the bride.

Reflecting on her own wedding day, Jennifer encourages all engaged couples to cherish each moment before it passes. “Step aside with you new bride or groom during the reception. Take it all in with him or her,” she suggests. “It’s the best, and truly the fastest, day of your life.”