Hello there

During her sophomore and his junior year at Cardinal O'Hara High School, Noelle and Jason were assigned to the same lunch period. She sat with her friends and he with his, but friends in common meant frequent visits to each other's tables.

"She was interested in me from Day One," Jason said. "What? No! He was trying to be with me!" Noelle said. "He kept coming over to ask me out, or he would call my phone."

Press them on it, and each acknowkledges being intrigued by the other back then, in 2003. But they were dating other people. They did things together as part of a group sometimes, and even dated briefly later that school year when both were single. It never got serious, and they went back to being friends.

Jason, who grew up in Broomall, graduated in 2005 and then went off to La Salle University, where he earned a degree in finance and marketing. He's now an associate at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in Newark, Del.

Noelle, from Drexel Hill, graduated the following year. She studied cosmetology at the Jean Madeline Aveda Institute in Philadelphia and is now a hair stylist at the Joseph Anthony Retreat, Spa & Salon in Glen Mills.

After high school, they and other friends from O'Hara continued to get together for parties, movies, or just to hang out. In 2010, Jason and Noelle were again simultaneously single, and he asked her to dinner at Del Frisco's in Philadelphia.

Everything Jason had always liked about Noelle was still true: "She is good looking, funny, and fun to hang out with."

"He makes me laugh, and we have a good time together," said Noelle. "There was always something there, and then we just matured, and it finally worked."

Within a year after that first dinner, they knew they had found their matches, and Noelle joined Jason at his home in Ridley Park.

"I fell in love with Jason in part because of his loyalty, not just to me, but to his friends and family, too," Noelle said. "Even when we were just friends, I saw that he would stop whatever he was doing to help somebody that he cares about."

Jason said the reasons he fell in love with Noelle were numerous, but a characteristic of hers that has always impressed him is her honesty. "She doesn't lie. She can't do it, not at all, even if she wanted to," he said.

How does forever sound?

In 2014, Jason ran with some advice he got from his younger sister, Jill, who was then 13.

On a Saturday in July, Noelle called Jason on her way home from work to discuss that evening's plans. He mentioned he had picked up a Build-a-Bear in a white christening outfit - a present for his niece, who was being christened the next day. "Oh, cute," Noelle said.

When she got home, Jason handed her the bear, which wore a white dress, but also a veil. Noelle didn't notice this bear was not dressed to be baptized, but to be a bride. "Press its paw," Jason said.

"Will you marry me?" the bear asked, in Jason's recorded voice.

"Wait, what?" Noelle said.

Jason took out a jewelry box.

"Is that mine?" Noelle asked.

He opened it to reveal an engagement ring. The bear suddenly made more sense. "Yes!" said Noelle, who is now 27.

They headed to her parents' house, where Jason, now 28, had assembled her parents, Keith and Dorothy, his, Deborah and James, and other friends and family to celebrate.

It was so them

The couple wed in a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Pius in Broomall. Jason's sisters, Janelle, Jill, and Julie were bridesmaids, and his niece Avery - whose christening the couple attended the day after they were engaged - was a flower girl. Noelle's sister April was her matron of honor. Friends and cousins made up the remainder of her 13 bridesmaids. Jason's uncle Neil was his best man. His brother-in-law Andrew and nine close friends served as groomsmen. April's kids all had roles in the wedding: Gavin was ring bearer and twins Gianna and Jaylen were junior bridesmaids.

After the ceremony, a reception for 240 was held at the Ballroom at the Ben. Loving the venue as it is, the couple didn't worry about decorating it very much. Flowers were in cream and blush tones, roses and vases both accented with rhinestones.

Jason's love for the Notre Dame football team was expressed in an ice sculpture. Brian McKnight's "The Only One for Me" played during the couple's first dance.

Awestruck

Noelle and her dad have always been close. He walked her down the aisle, then placed her hand and Jason's together. To Noelle, that gesture symbolized both her dad's happiness about her marriage to Jason, and a transition to a new phase of her life.

Jason felt a similar sense of new beginning at the start of the reception, when the couple was introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Grosse.

Discretionary spending

A bargain: The florist is a good friend of the bride's mom and gave the couple a special rate.

The splurge: Noelle fell in love with the first dress she tried on. It was 50 percent more than she intended to spend, but subsequent options just didn't feel the same.

The getaway

The couple, who bought a house in Broomall in August, spent eight nights on the Greek islands of Santorini and Mykonos.