21st May 2022
Maya & Jesse Haddad
Tell us how you first met? Who what when where why? Give us all the dirty details.
We went to the same high school and had a class together. During class, I was always really bubbly and talkative which caught Jesse's attention. He messaged me online wanting to chat but I barely knew who he was at the time. He had a reputation in high school for being kind of an asshole but I decided I'd still give him a chance. After a bit of back and forth texting online, he asked if I'd hang out with him and "tutor" him in the subject we took together and I agreed. He was oddly very nice to me and after a few hangouts I ended up falling for him.
Tell us about your first date?
We went to a video game cafe in Chicago near the high school we attended. I actually didn't know it was a date, I thought we were hanging out as friends. We played a game I'd never played before (Starcraft II for the nerds who want to know) and I still almost beat him. And no he wasn't going easy on me (he insists to this day). While playing at one point I remember I was giggling and he turned to me and said "you are so cute" and it was at this moment that I realised it was a date. He took me for ice cream afterwards and paid, which confirmed my suspicions. He then took the bus with me to make sure I got home ok. I was biting my nails (in contemplation of this new development) and he told me to stop and held my hand in place. He kept his hand there for the rest of the bus ride.
When did you know he/she was the one? Was there something he/she did?
Hmm, neither Jesse nor I can think of a defining moment, to be honest. We kind of always knew, and there is proof of this! In my high school yearbook (which I still have) Jesse wrote in mine "Hi remember me? I'm the guy you live with". He wrote this like 6 months into our relationship, he was so sure that in the future when I'd look at it, we would still be together.
How did your partner propose?
After being together for 6 years, we had a vacation planned to go to Paris - our first trip together outside of the United States. Jesse had told me that he was going to book a photographer to take photos of us around Paris to commemorate the trip. Anyone who knows Jesse would know that this is suspicious behaviour. So I bought a really nice dress and brought it with me on the trip. During the photo shoot, while in front of the Eiffel Tower, Jesse got down on one knee and proposed. I kinda knew it was going to happen but was still taken aback when he did it (there are photos of this - obviously!). Afterwards, he took me to a Michelin star restaurant for a really romantic dinner.
Tell us the one thing you love most about each other.
I love the way Jesse makes me feel. He genuinely makes me a better person. He is the smartest person I know, he's kind and generous without wanting recognition. He would help anyone who needs it without a second thought. He always makes me feel good about myself and will do anything to make me happy.
Maya is incredibly intelligent and has an incredible planning and work ethic which is why we have such an amazing life together. I also love Maya's endless empathy; she can't help but be concerned for everyone whose path she crosses.
What’s your favourite trend for weddings right now?
I love the trend of blending vintage and modern styles. I think blending the two styles makes the wedding seem timeless and romantic.
Tell us about your wedding?
We got married at Cardiff Castle. Cardiff Castle was the very first castle I had ever visited when I moved to Wales in 2017, and I thought it was so gorgeous, so unlike any place, I had ever been. When I realised we could get married there I knew that was the venue I wanted.
Anyway, the day of the wedding was absolutely perfect. After having not 1, not 2, but 3 previous wedding dates cancelled before this one (due not only to COVID but also personal circumstances), I was convinced something would go wrong and the wedding wouldn't take place. The morning of the wedding I was so excited because I was honestly just so happy the wedding was actually happening. It was a small, intimate wedding with only our close family and friends, many of which had flown from the United States. After a week of nonstop rain, we had perfect weather on our wedding day. Everyone had an amazing time. And Jesse actually cried at the ceremony! That was a big deal, in 11 years of being together I had never once seen him cry, but he cried as I walked down the aisle. He told me after it was because he was so happy it was finally happening for us, that I looked beautiful, that the day was just perfect.
What inspired your décor or theme?
I wanted a princess-y Castle wedding with a mix of vintage and modern decor.
Dress supplier: Laura May Bridal
Dress designer: Stella York
Venue: Cardiff Castle
Florist: Dear Valentina
Photos: Morgan James Photography
Video: Tell Your Story
Cake: Centre Stage Cakes
Music: The Flash Pans (from Talking Bird Collective)
Grooms Suit: Ted Baker
Centrepieces: The Luxe Touch
Hair and makeup: Minxies
What’s one thing you wish you would have known earlier in regards to planning?
Besides getting married - what’s the one thing you are looking forward to on your wedding day?
Already happened :)
Thank you so much for asking us to be part of your special day. We had a wonderful time photographing your wedding and captured the most amazing memories.