Jessica and Chris Moeder’s beautiful Arlington Hall wedding, which graced the cover of our Spring 2019 issue, was a study in sophisticated elegance. But what was their road to the altar really like, and how has life changed since saying “I do?” We caught up with Jessica, a development manager for a nonprofit, and Chris, a general surgeon, to get their respective takes.
What was the smartest thing you did while planning your wedding?
Jessica: Hiring a planner! It really took a lot of stress out and allowed us to enjoy the planning process together.
Chris: We hired After Yes.
What was the hardest part about wedding planning?
Jessica: Managing the invitation list and replies is quite the task and [something] I didn’t anticipate would be so time-consuming.
Chris: For me, it was making planning meetings. Work made me miss most of those.
What stressed you out the most?
Jessica: Having an outdoor ceremony, the weather stressed me out. But our planners and floral and event design team did a great job of creating two amazing options. Our wedding happened to be on a 30-degree day in April, so I’m glad we had that backup plan.
Chris: The weather. We planned on having our ceremony outside, but Mother Nature had different ideas. Arlington Hall was fantastic about the inside backup plan, so the stress was unnecessary.
What was your most worthwhile wedding splurge?
Jessica: Our band. We wanted the reception to feel like a party, and you need good music to have a good party.
Chris: The Project Band was awesome—worth every penny.
What would you do differently if given the chance?
Jessica: Nothing. I know that may be a cliché response, but when I look back on our big day, I just remember how wonderful it was to marry my best friend and how much fun we had celebrating with our friends and family.
Chris: Maybe an ice block shot luge and more Jayhawks decor. Honestly, the wedding and the year leading up to it was perfect for us—I’m not sure I’d do anything differently.
What was your biggest takeaway?
Jessica: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make thoughtful decisions, but know that on your big day, all of those small things that worried you so much won’t even cross your mind.
Chris: I was clueless—it’s so complex and there [are] so many details. I’m not sure we could have pulled it off alone without family and After Yes.
What was your most special memory from the day?
Jessica: Besides saying ‘I do,’ Chris and I had 30 minutes to ourselves after the ceremony to enjoy a drink and some appetizers and just reflect on our special day.
Chris: We got to spend a few quiet moments together before the reception and chaos ensued.
How does married life feel different?
Jessica: It really doesn’t feel much different. We recently got a new puppy. That’s shaken things up!
Chris: Honestly, it doesn’t feel different at all. It’s still fun to call her my wife, though—that hasn’t gotten old
What’s your one piece of advice?
Jessica: Take time to enjoy the process with each other. It can be stressful, but don’t let that overwhelm you.
Chris: Don’t rush; try to enjoy the process. And hire a wedding planner