By Rachel Jones
Photographs from Kelly Lester Photography

Classmates from middle school through college, Jessica Bajoras and Justin Cope were never more than friends until a few years after graduation. Jessica messaged Justin, who was living in Florida at the time, about planning a vacation there herself. The one-week trip turned into two weeks, then led to a long-distance relationship. On a New Year’s Eve in Pittsburgh, Jessica and Justin reflected on the last year and discussed what would happen after midnight. “He asked how I wanted the New Year to be better, and I said by fixing the distance issue. He said, ‘I hope this helps,’ and proposed!” Jessica says. While he lived in Florida during most of the planning, the couple stayed united on a vision for a party atmosphere for their reception. “I fell in love with Jay Verno Studios because it was so different,” Jessica says. “I didn’t want it to feel like a typical wedding, but more like an award show.” Decorating the space with pink and gold touches, and stunning chandeliers, everyone who attended felt like a winner!

Jessica Bajoras and Justin Cope, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

Thousands of Swarovski crystals embellished Jessica’s couture, mermaid gown from One Enchanted Evening. “I wanted to have as much bling as you possibly could, and I think I achieved it,” she says. “It wasn’t the best weather that day, either. But, every time we had to go outside, the sun would come out. Somebody was on our side that day.”

Jessica Bajoras and Justin Cope, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

An array of mini desserts complemented the overflowing cookie table and two-tiered wedding cake, adorned with edible gold flowers.

Jessica Bajoras and Justin Cope, Pittsburgh weddings, WHIRL Wedding Guide 2015

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