It was Parents’ Weekend for Alpha Delta Pi at the University of Georgia, and the last thing MeriBeth wanted was a date set up by a well meaning friend. Her parents were in, she was busy as president of her sorority, and was not thrilled about taking a stranger on the event. Determined to make it not work out, she showed up 30 minutes late. As the night went on, her feelings began to change. After having a great first date with Jess and her parents, MeriBeth called her mom the next day and said “that’s the boy I’m going to marry.” That summer, Jess was studying forestry and took an internship deep in the woods with no phone or internet service. They took to writing letters… a lost art these days. They’ve saved all those love letters as a memento of their time apart that made their love stronger. Jess’s father had purchased a 30th Anniversary ring for his mother at Tara Fine Jewelry Company, so Jess knew where to go. He met with Eddie Hazan, one of the owners, and picked the perfect antique style engagement ring. Jess proposed in a beautiful setting high on a rock overlooking the North Oconee River. He’d prepared a trail of rose pedals with love letters to MeriBeth along the path. It was after a Georgia football game and their parents and families were there to congratulate them.
Jess and Meribeth were married in Lavonia on August 29th at Lavonia First Baptist Church. They honeymooned on the Isle of St Lucia.