Real Columbus Wedding: Morgan and James Jeter
A second chance at love for one DIY-savvy couple.
Sept. 2, 2022 | Morgan (Salisbury) and James Jeter’s love story began where they both least expected: at work.
Both in the car business, Morgan visited the dealership where James worked to lead a training. Although they lived two hours apart at the time, with Morgan in Columbus and James in Canton, and knowing they’d have to keep their relationship a secret from their employers, they were determined to make it work.
“We told nobody,” Morgan says. “It was scandalous in our brains, but nobody knew.”
Years later, Morgan and James celebrated their love with their wedding guests, many of whom were co-workers they once hid their relationship from. Surrounded by palm leaves and other greenery, guests danced and chatted the night away. In fact, guests were having such a good time, they forgot that the Jeters hadn’t been announced at their reception.
“One of my favorite parts is that we were getting ready to do our grand entrance, and one of the girls who works at the venue said, ‘Hey, the DJ has tried to get everyone to sit down and no one is sitting, and you guys can’t come in until they do,’” Morgan says.
“I went to each pod of people and told them that they had to sit, because we couldn’t come eat,” James adds.
When the Jeters finally made their entrance, they did so under a structure of black-painted PVC pipe and hanging lights, which they made themselves. Morgan had a vision for what she wanted, so the couple spent hours shopping at Home Depot and building pieces in their backyard.
“We wanted to have a structure over the entire dance floor with hanging lanterns,” Morgan says. “We built it four times, and it fell down four times. I gave up, but James made it happen.”
Construction wasn’t the only skill the Jeters acquired in the months leading up to their big day.
“We were going for tropical-chic,” Morgan says. “We didn’t want any flowers, only greenery. We’d never kept a plant alive, but we decided to buy 30 and learned how to take care of plants during that process.”
Long tables replaced rounds at the reception, to make everyone feel like one big family—perfect for the couple now passionate about inspiring others with their love.
“James and I were both married previously to people who weren’t right for us,” Morgan says. “I think society makes you believe that you find your soulmate in your 20s. We’re 34, and we now know love is possible. I hope other people don’t give up on that.
Photographer and videographer: Kyle Long Photography
Ceremony and reception: Edison777 Italian Village
Caterer: Gourmet Fresh
Cake: Sauer Cakes
Florist:Fiori Florals Design Studio
Rentals: Alpha-Lit Columbus
Music: D&M DJ Entertainment
Caricature artist: Rob Brown
Rehearsal dinner and accommodations: Aloft Columbus Westerville
Gown alterations:Merge Custom Alterations and Designs
Groom’s attire: Custom Tom James tuxedo
Wedding party gowns: David’s Bridal
Wedding party tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
A version of this story first appeared in the spring/summer 2023 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in January 2023. The print version and an earlier web version of this story incorrectly identified Morgan's makeup artist, Makeover by Elizabeth.