800.798.7098   •   563.556.4200
200 Main Street   •   Dubuque, IA 52001

Change of Seasons: Brittney & Jake

It was the perfect wedding I never knew I wanted…”

“I met my husband, Jake, in nursing school. We both attended the University of Dubuque in town and went through nursing school together. We dated for exactly on year and on Christmas eve 2008 he asked me to be his forever. On top of being in nursing school, my husband also was in ROTC and training to be an officer in the Infantry. Once engaged, we had a date set for Summer 2010. We had booked all the necessary spots to be proactive and were well into wedding planning when we got the news. It was September 2009, after our senior year of nursing school had started and our already packed schedules had begun. Jake would deploy with the Dubuque 1-133rd Infantry National Guard Unit in August 2010. Which also meant that he would be training when our wedding was originally supposed to happen. So not only did we have to deal with the news of an upcoming Deployment to Afghanistan, we also had to decide whether to get married before or after deployment. We loved each other and knew that a wedding after deployment was not even an option to either of us. So how the heck were we going to find, plan, and execute a wedding while being senior nursing students and with a deployment looming over our heads? We didn’t live together (I was an Resident Assistant on campus to help pay for tuition) and we were pretty poor as well. Luckily, we have amazing parents, and luckily we had the Julien. 

We booked the renovated hotel to be the reception venue on our original date chosen. So we went to the wedding event planner at the time and asked what dates were available between Sept and May 2010 that worked with our demanding schedules. There were 3. Either between semesters in the dead of Winter, or Spring break 2010 when we would be completing senior internships. So winter it was! And since this date was before graduation, it meant that Jake could not wear his officer uniform like originally planned either, yet another disappointment. A winter wedding also meant we needed to find a ceremony spot. Neither of us being Dubuque natives, we didn’t belong to any of the churches in town. The event planner said they occasionally held ceremonies on the grand steps of the Julien. This meant no transportation issues for our guests and an all-in-one option was right up our alley. It was so easy to plan from there! And easy was what we needed! No stress, no daunting decision making, the event planner was reachable at anytime, and affordable. At a point in our lives when we needed it most, the Julien was there for us and provided the PERFECT setting for our whirlwind nuptials. Although there was a lot of disappointment and uncertainty surrounding our wedding, none of it mattered on the day of. It was the perfect wedding I never knew I wanted.  
So thank you for being there for us when we needed it. We celebrated 5 years this year. We’ve survived 1 deployment to Afghanistan, 2 rounds of Ranger school, and we welcomed our first daughter into the world on Nov. 30, 2014. We will forever be grateful for the wonderful memories and opportunity to begin our lives at the Julien Hotel.  Our guests still talk about  how unique our wedding was and how intimate the setting was, and how grateful they didn’t have to go outside at all since in was -15 degrees!” 
In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we are looking back at the significant events that have taken place at Hotel Julien Dubuque throughout history. If you were married at the hotel (pre or post-renovation), we would love to hear your story!  Learn more about our “Celebrating Ours, Celebrating Yours” campaign and how you can enter the contest here.
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