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Now + Forever

Jessica Lauren McKuhen & Christopher Joseph Kujawa

What they do: Jessica, 29, is a first-grade teacher at SeaWind Elementary in Hobe Sound and Christopher, 30, is an energy trader at NextEra Energy in Juno Beach.

How they met: Jessica and Christopher went to the same elementary, middle and high schools, but they didn’t reconnect until Mother’s Day in 2012 at Christ Fellowship in Stuart. It was Jessica’s dad who reintroduced the two, believing they’d make a great couple.

On finding the one: The couple had been together for three months when Jessica was in a car accident. Christopher says his “world stopped” when he heard the news. Christopher took care of Jessica throughout her recovery. “He never left my side,” she says. They both remember the accident as the moment when they’d each realized they’d found “the one.”

The proposal: Last Valentine’s Day, Christopher made an 8 p.m. dinner reservation in downtown Stuart. Beforehand, the couple went for a stroll down the boardwalk. Jessica remembers having a usual discussion about plans for the upcoming weekend, but Christopher was planning well into the future. “Chris stopped and grabbed me and said he had a question to ask,” she says. “I started crying as he dropped to one knee and asked me if I would marry him.” The couple never made it to the dinner reservation.

On selecting their reception site: Jessica and Christopher’s venue chose them. The couple celebrated at Flagler Place, which was the backdrop when Christopher proposed on the boardwalk. Jessica was born and raised in Stuart, so she wanted to have a local wedding. Their reception site offered the intimate setting she had envisioned.

On the theme: Jessica and Christopher worked together to plan and prepare for the wedding. While Jessica worked out small details, like place card seating portraits, Christopher built larger pieces, like the cupcake holder. Each contribution added to the theme Jessica describes as “shabby chic with some rustic and Southern-charm touches.”

Advice from the bride: “Something will not go according to plan, and that is OK. Don’t Stress,” Jessica says.

On that note: The engine in Christopher’s 1964 Ford Fairlane died only two hours before the wedding. “I was stuck pushing it about a half-mile until I was on the downslope. Drenched in sweat, I made it back in time to shower and get dressed,” Christopher says. “Although the car did not make it, I made it to the wedding with a few minutes to spare.”

Wedding Date: Oct. 3, 2014

Ceremony: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

Reception: The Flagler Place

Gown Designer: Alfred Angelo

Event Planner: Jade Smith, Island Party Rentals

Cake: Cupcake Freaks

Music: Sean Schofield, Complete Media Group

Photographer: Billy Jones, Snapjones Photography

Flowers & Designer: Country Club Florists

Hair & Makeup: Natalie Lavin, Hair and Makeup I Do