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October 27, 2018, Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Montego Bay, Jamaica

SHE HAD HIM AT HELLO Chris Harris first saw Gianna Howard at a CeeLo Green concert, but they didn’t meet until they both happened to be at 1912, one of their favorite bars in Omaha’s Benson neighborhood.

CROWD-PLEASER Chris proposed during a vacation to Miami. He insisted they head to the beach the moment they got to the hotel. “As I’m staring out at the water and ready to get in the ocean, Chris begins to read a poem he wrote for me and then gets on one knee to ask me to marry him,” Gianna says. “There was a slow clap from the other beach-goers.”

SIMPLE BUT STUNNING Gianna’s vision for the wedding was modern, simplistic and tropical. “I wanted my wedding to be stunning yet effortless in presentation. I wanted an intimate setting where we could interact with all of our guests.”

ROAD TRIP They decided on a destination wedding in Jamaica and said everyone’s presence was their greatest gift. Some brought their children, some flew in from as far away as London. For others, it was their first time leaving the United States. “To have them all present was the greatest gesture we could have ever imagined,” Gianna says.

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SAFE TRAVELS Gianna was nervous about shipping items ahead to Jamaica so the couple took advantage of two free checked bags per person with Southwest Airlines. She was so worried that her wedding dress would not fit in the overhead bin or the pilots’ closet that she stuffed it into a carry-on at the last minute. “It was right with me the entire flight. The hotel had a steam-and-press service, luckily.”

MIA Chris’ parents found their own way from the airport to the hotel. When they failed to connect by phone upon their arrival, Gianna and Chris became concerned that they might be stranded somewhere. “We are walking to the beach and there are his parents ... enjoying themselves. They arrived at the hotel 10 minutes after us.”

GETTING BY WITH FRIENDS Gianna couldn’t remember how to bustle her dress, so friends stepped in to help. “Bobby pins, strategy and the smartest women I know made it happen,” Gianna says.

FAST-FORWARD Don’t fret about the small things, the bride says. The day of the ceremony went so fast that Gianna couldn’t believe it. One minute she was eating breakfast and the next she was walking down the aisle. “There were so many moments throughout our trip that we will never forget,” they say.

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BEACH BUMS They had such a good time in Jamaica they wonder why they came back to Omaha. But life has been good since. Chris says Gianna is hardworking, dedicated and passionate and inspires him to be the best version of himself. She says Chris is sweet and selfless. “He has a positive outlook on life that rubs off on you. Chris’ love, kindness and loyalty are effortless. It’s just who he is.”

GETTING TO KNOW YOU There have been adjustments, too. Gianna didn’t know Chris had so many collectibles tucked around the house. He says: “I never knew my spouse needed the house so clean.” They’ve added a fur baby to the mix: a miniature schnauzer puppy, Riley.

DESTINATION WEDDING ADVICE The couple feel very lucky that everything turned out so beautifully. “I would suggest making a trip to the property before making a final decision. It is also nice to meet face to face with your wedding planner,” Gianna says. “Also when communicating your vision, be very descriptive and use lots of pictures so that it can’t be interpreted into something else.”

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Essential details

THE COUPLE Gianna Howard and Chris Harris

PHOTOGRAPHER Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Montego Bay, Jamaica

WEDDING DATE October 27, 2018

CEREMONY Sunset on the west lawn of the resort

RECEPTION On the beach

BRIDAL GOWN Pronovias “Mildred,” Ready or Knot {Wedding Chic}

ACCESSORIES Rhylan Lang Bridal

BRIDESMAID DRESS Ralph Lauren

MEN’S ATTIRE Hart N Dagger, Parsow’s, Beau Ties Ltd., Christian Louboutin

RINGS Cartier, Goldsmith Silversmith, C.D. Peacock

FLORIST, CAKE, CATERER Hilton Rose Hall Catering; local vendors

MUSIC Own playlist

INVITATIONS/PROGRAMS Minted; Maggie Crnkovich

GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa

WEDDING COORDINATOR Christina McKenzie

HONEYMOON Hawaii

Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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