Jessica Cox & Michael Trout
December 9, 2017. Allentown, New Jersey
Sitting in his high school Spanish class in New Jersey, Mike Trout decided it was time to make his move, literally. He figured if he acted up, his teacher would banish him to the empty seat in the back of the room–right behind Jessica Cox. Once relocated, the flirting began. The classmates connected through their love of sports and the outdoors, and soon started dating.
Although Mike was a talented young baseball player, they had no idea his skills would land him in the Major League Baseball draft two years later. Jess fervently hoped he would not end up across the country, so naturally the Los Angeles Angels signed him, and the long distance relationship began.
Los Angeles is famous for its sunny weather, but Mike’s proposal plans were almost foiled by an overcast “June gloom” day. It took a mighty feat of coordination to find a patch of clear sky for his surprise and get Jess to a suitable viewing area. With the help of friends, he kept her from seeing the skywriting until it was complete. When he had her look up, Jessica_she saw puffy white clouds spanning the heavens that read, “Will you marry me Jess?” Both swear they don’t remember much after that, but the answer was decidedly “yes.”
A post-baseball season date in December on a pastoral New Jersey estate was selected as the perfect setting for their intimate weekend-long wedding. Instead of panicking as the first snow of the year began to gently fall, Jess and Mike were entranced by the magical backdrop it provided.
While snow frosted the windows, guests gathered in a rustic barn for the ceremony. Ringed with 750 flickering candles, the space felt like the inside of a giant snow globe. “Nothing builds anticipation more than standing
in front of huge barn doors and waiting,” says Jess. “When they opened, I saw Mike and everything else fell away. I could repeat that moment a hundred times over.”
Right before joining friends and family at the reception in the window-lined ballroom, the newlyweds had an intimate first dance in private. “Our lives can be very public at times, so quiet personal moments are important,” says Jess. Then, they joined guests to dance the night away. Between dinner courses, Jess’ dad provided emotional interludes with a moving speech and a slide show he had prepared to Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” that had everyone in tears.
Jess’ personal touches included a photo montage lining Mike’s tuxedo jacket and the cake’s lace design matching her dress. In lieu of wedding gifts, guests were asked to bring children’s Christmas presents to be donated to hospitals in Orange County and Philadelphia.
To end the evening, friends and family gathered at the floor-to-ceiling windows to watch the bride and groom outside in a snowy field backlit by giant letters spelling “I DO.” Jess and Mike lit a lantern and sent it aloft with good wishes for their happy union. “It was the biggest, craziest, most awesome and loving day of my life, and I would not have changed one single thing,” says Mike.
An action-packed honeymoon—two weeks in Hawaii and Bora Bora—included sightseeing, swimming with sharks and stingrays, and flying over an active volcano. Afterward, the couple returned to their New Jersey home to relax before baseball season took them back to California.
> Written by Francine Kaplan