Jessica Sullivan and Michael Peña

Jessica Sullivan was introduced to Michael Peña by her best friend five years ago. The two shared a first date at Saki, a Japanese restaurant in Columbia.

    Jessica Sullivan was introduced to Michael Peña by her best friend five years ago. The two shared a first date at Saki, a Japanese restaurant in Columbia. Three and a half years later, Michael proposed. After Jessica returned from an event where she worked for Mattel as a look-a-like Barbie, Michael was waiting at her house in a suit. He then took her to the presidential suite at the Hilton on the Branson Landing. “When we arrived, there were chocolate covered strawberries and champagne,” Jessica says. “He got down on one knee and teared up when he asked, ‘Will you marry me?’ Our friends and family laugh, saying he proposed to Barbie.”
 The two were married 13 months later at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Springfield, and a reception followed at University Plaza. Claire McGee was Jessica’s matron of honor, and Jenna Johnson was her maid of honor. Her bridesmaids were Bethany Wyman, Jillian Davison, Ashlee Harris, Kayla Kneirm, Andrea Christy and Bailey Bagby. Allison Davis was a junior bridesmaid. Bryan Peña was Michael’s best man, and his groomsmen were Brandon Gash, Adam Sullivan, Kian Sterling, Cliff Davis, Jarod Michel and Steve Warlick.
 Guests enjoyed a meal of chicken with crabmeat, filet mignon, wild rice and a vegetable medley and cranberry mixed salad. The cake, created by Celebrations by Sonja, was inspired by the cake on Sex and the City 2, and was a white cake with buttercream and a mixed berry filling. Stephanie Weiss of Ella Weiss Wedding Design was the wedding planner. Dancers and instructors from Red Door Dance Company, where Jessica is a ballet instructor, performed during the reception. The couple worked with their friends and family to make the wedding happen. “We spent countless hours cutting down and painting trees for the event,” Jessica says. “We had over 40 trees in the reception area.” They also had a disco mobile in the center of the room, which was created by Jessica and her friend Lauren Reiter with the help of University Plaza.

The Details

Photographer: Twin Town Studios
Venue: University Plaza
Dress: Demetrios, Chicago 
Rings: Justice Jewelers, Hannosh
Food: University Plaza
Flowers: The Thicket
Cake:  Celebrations by Sonja
Ceremony/Pre-Reception Music: Joyful Sounds
Entertainment: Red Door Dance Company dancers, Emcee Kim Alverez, Members Only

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