“We weren’t really using any of Jason’s money,” she says candidly. “Our budget was $10,000 minus [the dress] and the photography,” the latter of which was provided by a family friend.
“It wasn’t your prototypical NFL wedding — it was something that I think anybody could do,” Jason, 26, adds. “But it was beautiful and elegant.”
The couple assembled their own invitations and made their own welcome baskets of snacks for guests staying at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade. While they chose to have the 5 p.m. ceremony at the Old Stone Church because it was a gorgeous venue a few blocks from the hotel, the vocalist and instrumentalist included in the wedding package were certainly pluses. “The Old Stone Church is so beautiful that you only need a very small arrangement, if anything,” Tiffany adds. Brown’s Flowers in Cleveland created two altar arrangements with the same deep pink roses, purple lisianthus, white ginestra and lavender-edged white alstromeria used to make the bridesmaids’ bouquets.
Similarly, Tiffany and Jason chose the party center at Holy Spirit Byzantine Catholic Church in Parma for its ambience and affordability. Catering by Wal-Tam’s, which caters events at the center, included linens, white-silk floral arrangements and white chair covers, complete with purple bows, in the price of their sit-down dinner for 155. On the menu: a choice of filet mignon, salmon or chicken Marsala.
Tiffany’s one extravagance was her gown, an asymmetrical wrap style in diamond-white taffeta by Maggie Sottero featuring a sweetheart neckline, bodice and straps embellished with embroidery, sequins, beads and Swarovski crystals, and a chapel-length train that she bought at Dreams to Realities in Medina. “My dad wanted me to have that fairy-tale dress, no matter what the price,” Tiffany explains. She also hired a wedding planner, Patty Jurca of Bliss Cleveland. But she insists it was a necessity instead of a splurge.
“I was new to Cleveland — it just would have been really hard for me to try and figure out what the good places for this and that are,” she says. “And the wedding planner is supposed to save you about as much as she costs you.”
Kiss & Tell
Proposal Plan B Jason intended to propose to Tiffany on a January 2007 morning, after watching the sunrise from his favorite spot on Lake Michigan. But when Tiffany woke up and saw “a small blizzard” raging outside her window, she assumed they wouldn’t be going out and didn’t get ready. Jason ended up slipping a 1.5-carat diamond on her finger in her dorm room at Northwestern University —while she was still dressed in a nightshirt, jeans and head scarf. “I should have known better,” Jason chuckles. “There are two things that she does not like: early mornings and cold.”
Traditional Moves Tiffany and Jason “jumped the broom” at the end of their wedding ceremony, an African-American tradition.