Engaged: Jackie Ennis and Peter Obrecht
Highly competitive with a shared love for mini-golf, they quickly discovered how much fun it was to be together.
Obrecht and Ennis (handout art from the couple / August 20, 2012)
Her story: Jackie Ennis, 30, grew up in the Ruxton area. She is a recruiter for Ultimate Staffing and lives in Towson. Her father, Dr. Len Ennis, is a cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital. Her mother, Celia Ennis, is a community volunteer.
His story: Peter Obrecht, 29, grew up in Baltimore County. He is property manager for Obrecht Properties and lives in Towson. His father, George Obrecht, is a principal with Obrecht Properties. His mother, Suzanne Obrecht, is a community volunteer.
Their story: Jackie tells the story.
"We knew each other in high school. I went to Garrison [Forest School] and he went to [The] Boys' Latin [School of Maryland]. So, I saw him out socially a fair amount. But, he was a year younger, so I didn't give him the time of day. It was exactly two years ago that I went to a Ravens pre-season game with a friend of mine and I ran into a guy I went to college with who was also a friend of Peter's from Boys' Latin. He was with Peter. And we just started talking. I really had not seen him in years, probably since high school. And that was really it. We didn't exchange any numbers or anything. He did send me a message on Facebook. And we went out the next night. We went to Red Star. It was good. At that time, I lived in Canton and he lived right down the street at the Crescent. We met at his place first. We gave each other a very awkward hug and I thought, 'This is awful.' We went upstairs to his apartment...It was this beautiful boy apartment; the most pristine clean boy apartment I've ever seen...He had this Ravens vending machine and he asked me if I wanted a beer. He gives me this beer. I opened it and it exploded. Here I've been in this beautiful, pristine apartment for 15 minutes and I've already exploded beer everywhere, including on myself...He cleaned it up, and he's like, 'So, you want to go walk and get a beer somewhere else?'"
The couple had a great night catching up at the Red Star, and started seeing each other every weekend. But, Jackie says, it still felt more like just hanging out.
"It wasn't until about three weeks in," she says. "He picked me up and took me to the Milton Inn, and that's when I felt that we were really dating." .
Jackie says they each realized the relationship was serious on a specific day about two months into dating.
"[Peter] randomly said, 'Hey, do you want to go to the beach for the day?' He had spent his summers going with his family to Ocean City, New Jersey," she says. "[And he told me], 'if you leave really early, it takes under three hours to get there. We can lie on the beach and walk on the boardwalk.' He's a big miniature golf player, as am I. We're both highly competitive, and I did beat him. I think it was the first time we spent a lot of time together. We were standing on the boardwalk after the day was over and we were watching a wedding going on the beach. We sat there and watched it, and he held my hand. It was nice. Even on the car ride back, we were laughing and enjoying each other. We had spent a whole 24 hours together and hadn't wanted to kill each other. And I thought, I can do this."
"I definitely think it was Ocean City," he says. "It was nice that I got to share that [experience] with her."
The couple says their relationship just grew naturally.
"We have so much in common, it was really easy," Peter says. "The way things were going, I never thought of wanting to take a step back." .
"We both work out a lot," says Jackie. "I do my yoga thing and he goes to the gym a lot and we're both respectful of each other; that we need that time. We're both pretty neat. We're both into fitness and being healthy. We're both stubborn and competitive. It's fun."
The proposal, December 5, 2011: Peter and Jackie moved in together the summer of 2011. Peter says, even though they both knew that they would be getting married — sooner rather than later — Jackie agreed to let him decide when he would surprise her with the official proposal.
In the meantime, they had gone to Canton-based jewelry designer Dee Rosenberg.
"I wanted to make sure she had a ring that she actually really liked," Peter says.
Jackie picked out a round diamond, which would be framed by two smaller diamonds.
Peter says he had planned to propose when they went to her parents' vacation home in Florida in mid-December. But first he wanted to ask her parents' permission.
It was December 3, 2011.
"I went to her parents' house to watch the Ravens [on NFL] Wire," he says. "Her dad and I were watching the game in the living room. I was so nervous that I probably had six beers. And with each beer, it wasn't getting easier. It was getting harder and harder. I realized that beers weren't really helping, so I stopped. But I was probably there for a few hours and never asked. I was kicking myself afterwards...So, Jackie and I talked about it...She knew I was struggling about asking her parents...We were going out for her mom's birthday to Waterfront Kitchen, and that's when I was going to ask them. [Jackie] would go to the restroom and I would ask her parents," he says.
The plan worked. Jackie went to the restroom.
"And I finally asked if I could have their permission to marry their daughter," he says. "Her mom started crying. Her dad was looking at the drink list and looked up and went, 'Yeah, great. Great.' So, it was nice. Jackie came back to the table and there were congratulations all around."
However, Peter's plan for that Florida vacation proposal didn't quite pan out. The ring arrived December 5, and he found he couldn't wait.
"I think it was burning a hole in his pocket," Jackie says.
"Usually when I've given her flowers or a small present, I just put it on her night side table," he says. "This time, I put it under her pillow."
"I was kind of grumpy," Jackie says. "Peter had told his whole family and I felt everyone was celebrating our engagement, but it hadn't really happened yet. It was a weird emotion. Patience is not an attribute of mine."
That night she came home from work. They had dinner and watched some TV, before retiring.
"Peter wasn't that weird, maybe a little quiet, but nothing out of the ordinary," she says. "It was 10, 10:30. I moved the throw pillows off the bed and, 'Hmmmm, what's this?' I turned around and he was on his knee."
The wedding: About 110 guests will attend the formal ceremony and reception at Baltimore Country Club in Roland Park. The ceremony will be officiated by Reverend Christa Fuller Burns from Faith Presbyterian Church.
Jackie's matron of honor and seven bridesmaids will be wearing dark eggplant silk chiffon cocktail length Jenny Yoo dresses from Garnish Boutique. They'll carry bouquets of purple hydrangeas — both her favorite color and favorite flower.
Jackie found her Lazaro gown in New York, but ordered it from Gamberdella Bridal Salon. She's keeping most of the details secret, except to say what it isn't.
"It's not what I expected that I wanted," she says. "It's a presence. It makes a statement. In all my clippings [of wedding dress photos from magazines], I wanted little cap sleeves, all-over lace and very flowing. It's completely the opposite of that."
Jackie found her glittery shoes at bhldn.com.
"They're by a company called Something Bleu," she says. "Every shoe they make, they put a little blue crystal under the arch of the shoe. That way, a bride's "something blue" is covered.
She's carrying white calla lilies.
"Just like my mom did," she says.
All the flowers are being done by The Floral Studio.
Peter's best man and eight groomsmen are all wearing black tuxedos and bow ties, rented from Tuxedo House. Peter bought his tux from J. Crew.
After the ceremony, guests will enjoy a cocktail hour featuring the greyhound — the couple's favorite drink — as the signature cocktail. There will be passed hors d'oeuvres, and music provided by Chesapeake Strings, a trio which will also do the music during the ceremony. A seated dinner follows, with a crab cake and steak duo as the entree.
The triple-tiered cake from SugarBakers Cakes — with their initials on the middle tier — will have layers of carrot cake and dulce de leche.
"We actually don't like cake," says Jackie.
"So, I think my mom will have a little baby cartons of Ben and Jerry's ice cream for us," she says. "We'll be eating that when everybody's having cake."
The tables will feature centerpieces of Jackie's favorite blooms. "It'll be mostly a sea of hydrangeas; purple hydrangeas everywhere. And votives at every table," she says.
Their deejay — Rusty from Orlando Entertainment — will get the party going, including a surprise entrance for the couple when they're introduced as Mr. and Mrs.
Mike Butcher Photography will be doing all the wedding photos.
The couple is also using their wedding as a way to give back.
"We're donating to Susan G. Komen for the Cureand the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Both of our parents have had cancer, so we're doing that instead of wedding favors," Jackie says.
Honeymoon: They'll be heading to Jumby Bay, Antigua, which they found in Condé Nast Traveler magazine.
"We wanted somewhere where we could park ourselves on the beach, that wasn't too far way so it wouldn't take too long to get there," Jackie says.