Celebrating Jesse the Jeweler’s Wedding
For nearly two decades, our master jeweler, Jesse, has helmed all of the repairs Buchroeders has offered. Jesse recently wed his longtime partner, Katelyn. We caught up with Jesse and Katelyn to get all the details on their recent nuptials.
How long have you worked at Buchroeders?
Jesse: It will be 19 years on November 25
How long have you been in the jewelry industry?
Jesse: My whole life! My grandfather owned a college that taught jewelry making and horology (watchmaking), my father was an instructor at the college and my mother handled admissions.
What is your favorite part of working in jewelry?
Jesse: The creativity required to fix each unique problem, from a prong to a broken clasp to full custom pieces. I enjoy the mental challenge with each different repair and creation.
Do you have any favorite projects that you’ve worked on?
Jesse: A gentleman lost his wife and he wanted a way to use their wedding rings and her jewelry to make a piece as a memorial. I set her center stone in the middle of her cross pendant, placed the pendant inside of her wedding ring then suspended that inside his wedding ring, so it spun on an axis.
How long have you guys been together?
Katelyn: 8 ½ years
How did you meet?
Katelyn: We met a few years prior to us dating. One of our (now) mutual friend’s mothers was working at Buchroeders when Jesse first started. Our friend quickly befriended Jesse, when he was visiting his mom at work. He knew Jesse liked skating back in his hometown of Quincy ILL. So, he invited Jesse to a Friday night skate at the now-closed Empire Roller Rink. I was there most Friday nights and he introduced us.
Tell us about your proposal story?
Jesse: I knew I wanted to propose at the skating rink where we had met. Katelyn would jokingly show me all the rings and diamonds that were posted to Facebook. One day she saw a diamond that Sales Manager, Sara Sarno, had posted on Facebook. I joked about it with her, telling her “no way”.
The next day, I went in and purchased it, and I held on to it for a few months. But when the Empire Rink announced their closure, I bumped up my timeline. When Katelyn told me that the skating rink was closing in a week and they were having a final skate, I knew I had to work FAST. In order to have the ring ready for the rink’s final skate, I built the ring in two days.
When the day of the proposal came, I asked the DJ to play the first song we danced to on our first date (“I Cross My Heart” by George Strait). He initially responded by telling me that they weren’t talking requests that night. So, I had to let him in on the secret. He played our song next. We did a couple of laps around the rink together and then I pulled her into the middle of the rink. I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me.
What was the first thing you thought when he first said he was a jeweler? Did it raise any expectations when it came to your ring?
Katelyn: Since we had a mutual friend who had known Jesse before I got to know him, I already knew he was a jeweler. Meaning, there wasn’t much of a surprise there. But I do find his trade and skill fascinating.
I never really wore jewelry until Jesse, now I only wear the pieces he makes for me. There wasn’t much thought into an expectation for my ring. I was more excited to take the next step in our relationship.
Tell us about the design? What inspired you to make these rings?
Jesse: For her ring, I always wanted to make a 3-row shank that held trillions at the end. Since she loves Batman, I felt it needed to have a Bat Symbol in it.
For mine, I was originally inspired by my grandfather’s European Shank (Square shank) ring. I also liked the idea of the challenge involved in making a checkerboard pattern with 3 different colored metals.
Would you have considered a ring that wasn’t custom?
Jesse: Absolutely not. It had to be a one of a kind, handmade by me.
What’s your favorite part of the ring’s aesthetic?
Jesse: It’s unique and fits her personality.
Tell us about the diamond?
Jesse: Mike Menser, the former owner of Buchroeders, originally purchased it before the diamond made its way to the store. I liked the idea that the diamond I proposed with was purchased by the first person who gave me an opportunity in the jewelry industry.
The design of the ring is obviously very personal. Why Batman?
Katelyn: Jesse came up with the idea all on his own. I have been a fan of Batman for a long time. I like the idea that he doesn’t have any superpowers, so he’s not a superpowered superhero, just a rich dude wanting to help. But he’s still a superhero, nonetheless. Jesse has made me a handful of other Batman-themed pieces, but this one is obviously my favorite.
Why did you decide to do a destination wedding?
Katelyn: Our best friends had their wedding at a Couple’s Resort in Jamaica. For the most part, it was a worry-free experience. We ultimately decided to go with a destination wedding because we absolutely loved previous trips to Jamaica, and we liked the idea of the ease of it remotely. We didn’t have to contact multiple vendors or try multiple samples; our options were simplified to what the resort offered which saved us a lot of time and stress. We were able to make our selections, pack the dress, pack the suit, then they took care of the rest. No Worries.
How did you begin to plan your wedding?
Katelyn: It started out as pure chaos. What’s our budget? Who do we invite? Where should we have it? Here? Quincy? What venue? We had considered getting married at a church in Quincy with amazing woodwork that was all built by Jesse’s great grandfather; however, we were, ironically, worried about our guests having to travel to Quincy. We had also considered doing two receptions: one in Quincy, and one here. It all became really overwhelming. We had previously discussed getting married in Jamaica like our best friends did a couple of months before our engagement. But before we decided, we had to weigh out the pros and cons of a destination wedding versus one closer that was to home.
Did COVID-19 affect any of your plans?
YES! Even pre-COVID we ran into some snags that we had to roll with. We originally planned to get married at Couple’s Sans Souci in Ocho Rios Jamaica, but, a few months after reserving our original wedding date (5-15-20), we were informed the resort would be closing as of 5-1-20 for renovations. They gave us the options to either move up our wedding, move back our wedding (past December 2020) or switch resorts altogether.
We decided to switch resorts to Couple’s Swept Away in Negril Jamaica, with our original date. Then COVID-19 struck. We stuck with our new plan as long as we could but ultimately had to postpone- less than a month and a half from our original date. Finally, we bumped it back to September 27th, 2020 hoping that would give us enough time for COVID-19 to be under control.
When time got closer again, we let all of our guests know that we completely understood if they were uncomfortable traveling. We also understood that technically only the two of us had to be present, so if anyone wanted to back out, we were okay with it. We had about one-third of our guests back out due to work quarantine restrictions. Which was okay.
All of our guests (along with ourselves) had to test negative on a COVID-19 test 10 days prior to our arrival in Jamaica. Everyone also had to fill out a travel authorization with the Jamaican Government three days prior to arrival. It added a little bit of extra stress making sure we had the right, extra, documents. And even if we did have the right documentation, we still didn’t know if we would be approved for travel. Thankfully, everyone tested negative and we all approved for travel.
There was also the fear of catching COVID-19 either on a plane or in a foreign country. Fortunately, all of the guests have remained healthy and COVID-19 negative. The resort was very health conscious. They had sanitation stations everywhere and performed temperature checks every morning.
What advice would you give to other couples leading up to their big day?
I could say don’t stress, but it’s inevitable. Not everything goes according to plan but that’s okay. Spend the extra money on an amazing photographer. It’s the longest, fastest, day of your life and a great photographer captures the memories to remind you what happened throughout the blur of the day.
AND no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen) at the end of the day, you will be married to the love of your life. So, try to enjoy it.
Also, BREAK IN YOUR SHOES!
“Jurassic Park Theme” – 65 Million Years In The Making! – The Piano Guys
“I Cross My Heart” – George Strait
Favorite Part of the Wedding?
Jesse: Kissing the love of my life and walking away as The Millers