• Photography By:

    Larissa Cleveland Photography


    May 6, 2017. Miami, Florida

    Jessica Long and Brian Nolen started out as friends during their freshman year at Virginia Tech. Their friendship grew organically, as they would spend time together with their respective group of friends. What began as a bunch of girls being invited to every event hosted by Brian’s fraternity, eventually turned into dinners on campus, long nights studying, going to Hokie games together, and meeting each other’s families. 

    The pair also spent two summers living in the Outer Banks and studied abroad in Australia – experiences that led them to becoming best friends.


    “I went off to graduate school at the University of Miami, while Brian moved to Washington D.C. to start his career with Siemens,” Jessica recalls. “We quickly realized the void that was caused without each other. You know how they say, ‘Distance makes the heart grow fonder?’ Well, that’s truly what happened. One surprise visit from Brian on Valentine’s Day in Miami changed it all, and we’ve been in love ever since; and so, a Miami wedding was in store after the sweetest proposal on Easter Sunday, with the Washington Monument as our backdrop.”

    After countless hours of wedding planning, a wedding weekend unfolded that was everything the bride and groom dreamed it would be. The festivities began with a rehearsal dinner, a day spent on South Beach, and a fantastic welcome cocktail party in the pool area of the Miami Beach Edition for everyone attending the wedding. “Both families and friends got to know each other over the four-day celebration,” says Jessica. “It was so amazing to see how everyone enjoyed each other. To this day, we hear how much people enjoyed meeting everyone, and how nice they were. Needless to say, ‘the best wedding ever’ is a common comment!”

    The bride and groom exchanged vows during a fairytale church ceremony, followed by a reception with décor that exceeded their expectations. “It was great to see all our visions become an unbelievable reality,” the bride adds. “The emotions were flowing as we danced with our parents – Brian with his mother Michele, and me with my dad Eric. A very special moment occurred when my dad surprised me with a special father daughter dance. Over the last year, he has composed and produced a special song, ‘Angel’s Wedding,’ for our first dance as a surprise to me. It was a weekend we will never forget. So much love was surrounding us and everyone who attended.”


    Planner: Absolute Miami, FL; Wedding Dress: Berta; Linen: Nuage Designs Miami, FL; Photography: Larissa Cleveland Photography, San Francisco, CA