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Wedding of Kim Medori and C.J. Walus, July 26, 2012 

THE INTRODUCTION: Kim Medori and C.J. Walus met sometime during 2003. She was 16 and at St. Mark’s High School. He was 20 and already working as a lineman for Delmarva Power. They had several circles of friends in common. Her sister Kristina and his brother Joe were in the same grade at St. Mark’s, and her best friend Nikki Axman was the sister of C.J’s best friend Vinnie Cochran, so they crossed paths a lot but didn’t pay much attention to each other. Fast forward to May 2012. Kim was 24 with a marketing degree from the University of Delaware and working at Delaware Park. Clad in sweatpants and sweating up a storm, Kim was setting up tables and chairs for Nikki’s bridal shower when C.J., now 28, walked in to help. “I thought I would just die,” Kim says. “He was so handsome.” She was such a mess at the moment, though: “I never thought he looked twice at me.” But he did, and he told Vinnie he liked her. Vinnie told Nikki. Pretty soon, Nikki was telling Kim she should go out with C.J. Vinnie was telling C.J. he should ask Kim out. Kim and C.J. finally chatted via text for a few days, and Kim agreed to go. Then she got cold feet – she’s not sure why – and canceled. He was patient, and a few weeks later asked her out again. This time she said yes, and went.

THE FIRST DATE: They went to La Tonalteca on July 26, 2012. While they waited for their food, C.J. kept talking about how hungry he was. But when the food came, he barely touched his plate. He was nervous, but Kim loved seeing his face turn red and his dimples come out. They talked until the restaurant closed.

THE FIRST KISS: After dinner, they went to meet her friends at Tyler’s in Pike Creek. The women were all leaving the next morning for Nikki’s bachelorette party. When C.J. walked Kim to her car and kissed her good night, Nikki and the girls were peeking in the parking lot, and that was all they talked about the rest of the night. Things got pretty serious quickly, and in August, Kim took C.J. to Nikki’s wedding as her date. Her parents and sister were there, and he fit right in. In October 2012, they vacationed in Key West, Florida, which was the first place C.J. told Kim he loved her. They made a tradition of going back every year. Kim and C.J. eventually moved in together and by October 2015, they had talked about marriage enough that Kim was expecting a proposal.

THE PROPOSAL: Kim was sure C.J. would pop the question on their October 2015 Key West trip. The first night, C.J. planned for them to watch the sunset and then eat at a little Cuban restaurant they liked. This is it, Kim thought. “I got all decked out; white dress and all,” she says. They went to Mallory Square, watched a beautiful sunset and then ... nothing. By the time they got back to the inn, she had decided it wasn’t going to happen on this trip. The next morning, they went to their favorite breakfast spot on the beach, the Southernmost Beach Café. While waiting for a table, they went out onto the pier and asked a couple to take their picture. Kim didn’t know that C.J. had her ring wrapped around a tube of Chapstick in his pocket. But she did think, “This is a great opportunity to propose.” But nope. Nothing happened. They ate breakfast, but before heading back to the hotel pool, they decided to try for a better photo on the pier. After a couple of snaps, she turned to walk away and then felt C.J. grab her hand and pull her back. He started saying how much he loved her, and she burst into tears as she saw him getting down on one knee. Shortly after, a man who watched came up to congratulate them and offered to take a photo. As they were leaving, another couple told them they had taken photos when they saw C.J. kneeling, and they later emailed them to Kim. That night, Kim and C.J. took a boat to a private island to have dinner on the beach and decided that their perfect wedding would take place outside by water.

WHAT THE PARENTS KNEW: As it turned out, C.J. had taken his mother and sister to pick out the ring. Before the couple left for Key West, C.J. had gone to ask her dad for permission to marry Kim. But C.J. was so nervous asking that her dad finally butted in and said, "Yes, you can marry her. I guess that’s why you’re here.” Her dad waited until they were on the plane to tell her mother because he was afraid her mother would give it away.

THE CEREMONY: They married twice. First was an intimate service at St. John’s the Beloved on the Thursday before the main event. They hope to have children and plan to raise them Catholic, so they wanted the marriage blessed by the church. Kim wore her mother’s wedding veil to that ceremony, just like her sister had when she got married in 2013. The second and much bigger ceremony took place at the Kitty Knight House in Georgetown, Maryland, on Sept. 17, 2016. They had been to a lot of beach and waterside weddings and liked the venue because they could marry at the water’s edge, have their reception there and stay on the property at the 11-room bed-and-breakfast with their families. The house actually official closed right before their wedding, but went on to agree to hold their event. The day was gorgeous – overcast with a high in the 70s. They married in front of the marina. Kim’s baby brother, Michael Midori, a minister in Georgia presided over the service. He and C.J. cried as Kim’s father walked her down the aisle. Everyone was happy that maid of honor Kristina Thomas didn’t go into labor because she was 9 months' pregnant. And everyone was thankful to have C.J.’s brother Joe and his wife, Karen, there because they had welcomed their first baby, a daughter, only four days before the wedding.

THE DRESS: Kim wore a Pronovias gown from Jennifer’s Bridal in Hockessin that featured a detachable train and 11 bustles to make it easy to dance the night away. It wasn’t what she had in mind, but when she finally agreed to try it on after her grandmother Dolores suggested it, she knew it was the one.

SOMETHING OLD: Her mother’s veil that she wore in the first ceremony.

SOMETHING NEW: Her dress.

SOMETHING BORROWED: A Swarovski crystal tennis bracelet from friend and bridesmaid Marissa Pedicone.

SOMETHING BLUE: Nothing, but she’s decided to count a visit from her godson Brooks, the month-old son of Nikki and her husband Ben Axman, because blue is for boys.

THE RECEPTION: The sun came out during dinner, giving guests a great view and making for wonderful photos. Kim had made many of the decorations herself. They included a table of photos of all their parents and grandparents on their wedding days. Instead of traditional escort cards, guests each had their own wine bottle. The wine was made by Kim’s uncle, Fran Simeone. The bottle label included the guests’ name and table number. At their seats, guests found wine glasses customized with the bride's and groom’s name and wedding date. Their friend Stephanie Rutkowski made a custom groom’s cake for C.J. that was a Yeti cooler (C.J. is a big Yeti fan), full of fish and inscribed “Catch of a Lifetime.” It was Key Lime Pie flavored, the newlyweds’ favorite. The bride and groom’s first dance was to Ray LaMontague’s “You are the Best Thing,” a song they first heard in Key West the day they got engaged and decided it was their song. The bridal couple had provided flops, glow sticks and selfie sticks for the dance floor, and everyone had so much fun that Kim’s father paid to extend the party an hour. During the speeches, C.J.’s brother Joe finally admitted that he was turning over the title of “first mate” to Kim, and Kim’s sister made everyone laugh by describing how Kim had gone from designer purses to camouflage once she started dating C.J., who loves hunting and fishing. Kim asked the DJ to play “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver as a tribute to the Walus family being from West Virginia. They all sang along with smiles and tears in memory of their late Nana.

THE MOST SENTIMENTAL GIFTS: Stephanie Harmeson gave them forks that read “I do”and “Me too.” Nicole Gouge gave them napkins that read “Mr. and Mrs.,” which they used during the reception and cake cutting.

THE HONEYMOON: The newlyweds went to St. Martin, where they stayed at the Riu palace in Anse Marcel. They rented a Jeep to explore on their own and saw both the French and the Dutch side of the island, eating and drinking at local restaurants and bars. They went to Maho Beach to watch the planes come in and out of the airport. Their favorite day was a ferry trip to Anguilla and Shoal Bay, where they were stunned by how clear the water was and how much they could see while snorkeling.

THE FAMILY TREE: The bride is the daughter of Kathy and Francis Medori of Newark. The groom is the son of Diwanna and Chris Walus.

WHAT’S NEW: They live in Newark with their energetic 2-year-old lab, Marlin, who they say is pet enough for them. Kim is a marketing director for an orthopedic practice, and C.J. is a lineman for Delmarva Power. They plan to have children, and they hope to one day move into a house with a lot of land.

To have your ceremony considered for this feature, you must fill out a questionnaire and send us a photo. Please email Sundaylife@delawareonline.com or call (302) 324-2884 for a form. This is a free service, and we cannot guarantee a specific ceremony will be chosen. Couples also may have their ceremonies appear in Celebrations, (302) 324-2781.

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