Jillian Long and Michael Thompson met as college freshman at a party at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (he was a freshman at MIT; Jill was a freshman at nearby Boston College.) Though their initial meeting didn’t lead to a romantic relationship, the two stayed friends. After graduation, they each moved to New York City. A couple years later, Jill temporarily moved to DC and when she returned, Mike “persistently reached out.” Within a couple of months, they were a couple and, they say, “they’ve been inseparable since.” Though the couple currently lives in Brooklyn with their dog Pops, they married September 7, 2019 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Check out more of their story, and the details of their Cosmos Club wedding below.
Their Love Story
Jill and Mike met as freshmen in college. “Mike was always a person that I enjoyed being around,” Jill says. “In college whenever we would hang out at each other’s campuses or at events for the Greek organizations we were members of, I always had a good time with him. His energy was what I found most attractive. He was an incredibly kind and fun person.” At their first meeting, Mike invited Jill to sing at an open mic night at MIT. “Thankfully she decided to attend,” he says, “and I was blown away by her talent. My heart melted when I heard her voice and to this day I love to hear her sing.” Swoon.
For many years, the two were just friends. After moving to New York City in 2012, they went on a date at Soda Bar and though the date “would lay the foundation for [them] to get married seven years later,” they say, they remained just friends, more aware than ever, though, that they were beginning to feel more. Jill moved to Washington for one year in 2014, and when she returned in spring of 2015, Mike took her out on another date—the first of many they’d share over the next few months. ‘That,” they say, “was the summer we fell in love.”
Three years after that summer in New York City, on Jill’s birthday weekend, Mike planned a full day of fun activities. The festivities began with a spa reservation for Jill and her best friends who, to Jill’s surprise, had flown in for the occasion. After their treatments, Mike took Jill back to Soda Bar, where they’d share their first date several years before. Following lunch, they took a walk around Prospect Park, before settling down on a park bench. As Mike began to tell Jill how much he loved her, Jill spotted one of Mike’s oldest friends taking pictures of them from the bushes. Amidst the proposal, Jill says she saw her family and close friends—a total of 40 people!—running towards her. “There were many happy tears, lots of hugs, and even more Champagne,” she says. After the proposal, the entire group celebrated over Italian—Jill’s favorite—at a nearby restaurant. For the next 15 months they planned their Cosmos Club wedding in Washington, DC.
The Cosmos Club Wedding Venue
The couple’s venue inspired the entire look of their big day. “When I first stepped into the Cosmos Club it immediately reminded me of Versailles in France,” Jill says. “I wanted to incorporate a luxurious French theme throughout the wedding.” Inspired by the space, she selected gold accents along with the burgundy and blush color scheme, voluminous flowers, and a dress with a long train and intricate lace detail. “The Cosmos Club’s beautiful gold molding all around and the venue itself did most of the work for me,” she says. The space itself was the groom’s favorite detail. “He loved the ceiling and detailing on the wall,” Jill says.
The Entrance Table
Jill’s favorite detail, she says, was an entrance table that featured photos of the bride and groom’s families. “I have been doing an extensive amount of genealogical research over the past few years on my family and found many amazing photos dating back to even some of my great great great grandparents,” Jill says. “Mike’s mother also does genealogy research on his side of the family and she sent me their family photos.” Jill captioned and framed each one and placed them on the table where guests picked up their escort cards. “Our family members were thrilled to see photos of relatives and to pay homage to our ancestors,” Jill says.
Jill’s father is the Chief Innovation Officer at Coca-Cola, and she says they are a “proud Coca-Cola family!” To share that love with their 168 guests, the couple included classic coke bottles that read “Share a Coke with the Thompsons, September 7, 2019” as a wedding favor.
The ultimate splurge, the couple says, was their menu. The pair opted for the largest food and beverage package that the Cosmo Club offered, including a massive offering of cocktail hour items, such as the macaroni-and-cheese bar, short ribs, mini chicken biscuits, crab cakes, and more; plus a multi-course dinner featuring crab and avocado salad, a spinach salad, and a choice of three gourmet entrees; a dessert bar to accompany the couple’s cake; and a late-night snack bar that included chicken tender and fries, burgers, and milkshakes.
The day after their Cosmos Club wedding, Jill and Mike jetted off for a “once in a lifetime” honeymoon at the lux North Male Atoll resort in the Maldives. “We had a layover in Doha which we got to explore for a few hours,” Jill says. “We then boarded our next flight to the Maldives and spent eight and a half days in paradise!” The couple stayed in a west-facing, overwater villa where they could watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean after days spent swimming with sea turtles, dolphin viewing, and snorkeling. “The resort had a phenomenal Japanese-Peruvian restaurant called Inti which was a highlight of the trip,” Jill says. “And the island had less than 60 guests on it at the time we were there so it was very secluded and romantic, allowing us to swim in the ocean and walk on the beach privately.”
Event Planning & Design: Dailey Forte Designs | Florist: Eight Tree Street Floral | Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations | Cake: Buttercream Bakeshop | Hairstylist: Jennifer Jocelyn Hargrove | Makeup Artists: Marquia James (bride); Shonda Smith of Brown Bella Beauty and Taylor Simpson (bridesmaids) | Bride: Pnina Tornai gown, Kleinfeld Bridal | Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux | Bridesmaids’ Attire: The Dessy Group | Music: Kareem Brinson (DJ Reem) from Total Xperience Ent, LLC (deejay); Nakisa Karimian (string quartet) | Videographer: Rivion Weddings | Photobooth: Pixilated | Officiants: Rabbi Mark Novak and Pastor Gregory L. Pollard