Jaimi wasn't opposed to dating, but it wasn't a priority. She was pretty busy with two terrific daughters, her own PR firm, an old house in her hometown of Wynnewood that she loved to decorate, and a gang of great friends.
Then in April 2013, one of those friends needed a favor: "I signed up for Match.com, and I signed you up, too," she said. "I need you to write my profile."
Divorced from her daughters' father for many years, and out of a long-term relationship for the previous 18 months, Jaimi decided to help her friend and accept the gift subscription to the dating website. "I figured if nothing else, it was an opportunity to meet some nice people, and I could set them up with one of my single girlfriends."
In Bryn Mawr that same month, Ron was hanging out with his two terrific daughters while working on his laptop. He and their mother had separated nine months before. A Match.com ad popped up on his screen: "Meet women in your zip code!" "That's not really how people meet," he thought to himself. But he curiously clicked, gradually built a profile, and in May, put up a few photos.
The SAP software account executive was soon looking at the eyes and smile of a woman who lived 10 minutes away and shared some key life experiences with him. "Everybody has a past," Jaimi had written. "There's always an opportunity for a fresh start."
Ron's email led Jaimi to his profile. "It was honest and open, and he was mature - an actual grown-up," she said.
Their first date was two weeks later at an Ardmore bistro.
"We talked about what we did and where we are from, but from that first date, we also talked about where we had come from relationship-wise, and what we were looking for," said Ron, who grew up in Beaver Falls, Pa., and who came to this side of the state after college. "She had great sparkle, and was really confident."
"I immediately thought he was a really good person, and he was the opposite of anyone I'd met before - really low-key," said Jaimi.
Early that summer, Ron met Jaimi's girls - human and canine. Shih tzu Lola loved him immediately. Alexandra, now 16, and Isabelle, 15, were a bit more cautious, but before long, a friendship took hold.
Ron and his ex had been married for 19 years, and their separation, though amicable, was much newer. He didn't want to rush his daughters, Elisabeth, now 13, and Allison, 11, into meeting anyone. But one September Saturday while enjoying brunch at a restaurant Jaimi had recommended, Ron decided it was time to tell his girls about his girlfriend. "I met someone," he said. The girls had one question: When did they get to meet her? "You can meet her tonight if you want," Ron said.
With a text's notice, Ron and the girls drove to Jaimi's place and everyone got acquainted.
In June 2014, Ron and Jaimi bought a house in Villanova with enough bedrooms and baths for all.
How does forever sound?
In June 2015, the couple spent a weekend in New York City. Jaimi, now director of public relations for Loews Philadelphia, thought it was to celebrate their dating anniversary. Ron, now 48, had planned a perfect question-popping, reserving a special suite at the tippy-top of a hotel with a great view. A hotel mix-up left the room unavailable, and him scrambling for a new plan.
The two had dinner at Union Square Cafe, and Ron was dying to give Jaimi, 47, the ring he knew she'd love. Then another couple sat beside them. They were from Philadelphia! And they were getting married at the Union League. As he had learned was inevitable, Jaimi soon had all the details from her new friends, and she offered them her card in case they wanted help getting good rooms at Loews.
Another couple sat on the other side of Ron and Jaimi, and more conversation flowed. "I knew if this was going to happen, I was going to have to interject," Ron said. He excused himself and, out of sight, put the ring on his pinkie.
Ron sat back down, putting his hand in Jaimi's line of sight. The sparkle stopped her in midsentence.
"Will you marry me?" Ron asked. She looked from the ring up into his eyes, but said nothing. The other couples and some of the restaurant staff waited right along with Ron for Jaimi's answer.
"Did you say yes?" he prompted.
"Yes!" she said. "Of course!"
It was so them
Wedding and reception were held at Normandy Farm, where Ron's daughters walked him down the aisle and Jaimi's daughters walked her. "It was very important that the whole ceremony was really about all six of us," Jaimi said. "We wrote our own vows, and a portion was written for the kids, where they said, 'I do' to making all of us a family."
In her vows to him, Jaimi told everyone that Ron was as good to her family as he was to her, hosting chicken barbecues that included her parents and, because he works at home, shuttling her daughters as well as his to the many places they need to go. She promised to show him she loves him every day, not just say the words. "I'm so appreciative of the person he is," she said. "I want him to know that."
Ron told Jaimi that she was his best friend, partner, and equal, and that he would always honor, respect, and love her. "I told her I will do everything in my power to make her world, and the world of our four girls, a better place."
Ron's girls held Jaimi's ring until it was time for him to place it on her hand; her girls held his.
The family left the ceremony together as The Brady Bunch theme played.
Alexandra, Isabelle, Elisabeth, and Allison opened the brunch reception for 65 with their thoughts on incorporating an additional parent and new sisters into one big family.
"The moment Jaimi came out to the courtyard to take pictures was very emotional for me," Ron said. "It was not just how beautiful she looked, but that was the moment that it was real. I thought about everything we had done, how hard we had worked to get to that point. The blending of our families, the buying of our home and moving in together, and this was the culmination."
A professional spokeswoman who teaches public speaking at Temple, Jaimi didn't think anything could make her nervous. But on her wedding day, she was convinced she would stumble over or even forget her vows. Then she and her daughters joined Ron and his daughters at the front of the room. "I didn't feel nervous anymore, because even though there were all of these other people in the room, it felt like just the six of us."
The bargain: Anita, the flutist who played during the ceremony and cocktail hour, has been Alexandra and Isabelle's piano teacher for years, and she gave the couple a great price.
The splurge: The night before the wedding, the couple treated out-of-town guests and immediate family - about 30 people - to drinks and appetizers at the out-of-towners' hotel.
Because the couple went to France over the summer and the school year is a busy time for the family, they skipped a honeymoon. But while the girls went to school the Monday after the wedding, the couple had brunch, then went apple-picking.
Love: BEHIND THE SCENES
Officiant: Craig Andrussier, Lansdale.
Venue: Normandy Farm,
Photo: Sarah Bloom Photography, Philadelphia.
Dress: David's Bridal.
Music: Anita Giacone, Orchestrated Events, Philadelphia.
Flowers: Willow & Thistle, Blue Bell.
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