Exclusive: Go Inside Chicago Cub Kris Bryant and Jessica Delp's Las Vegas Wedding
Jessica and Kris Bryant
There's a T-shirt seen around Chicago these days that reads, "Be yourself. Unless you can be Kris Bryant. Then be Kris Bryant." How does a person become the subject of a T-shirt like that? The short answer: He just had the year of his life. In 2016, his second season in the majors, the Cubs third baseman helped lead his team to its first World Series win since 1908, and in the process was named National League MVP. Then he followed it all by marrying his sweetheart—which we'll admit is our favorite part of the story.
It was Jessica Delp's mom who first mentioned the cute boy on her brother's baseball team at their Las Vegas high school in late 2006. "I told her to stop," Jess recalls. "But then I met him and thought, Mom was right." Jess, an athlete herself, was outgoing; Kris was shy. She was on student council; he helped her with geometry. They started dating sophomore year and never looked back.
Though his schedule—and her school and work as a retail manager—meant they spent large chunks of time apart, they always returned to each other, and to their hometown. He proposed on Christmas Eve 2015, and soon after, the self-described homebodies put together an uncomplicated vision for their celebration: Vegas, but not the Strip; elegant, not trendy. "I wanted our guests of every age to think it was beautiful," says Jess.
Early in their planning, someone suggested a doughnut stand, and Kris's eyes lit up. He told Jess, "I don't care where we get married, but there will be doughnuts." And so, after the couple took their vows in a Christian ceremony in the foyer of the JW Marriott hotel—a luxury resort about 20 minutes from downtown Vegas—their 225 guests were greeted with a doughnut–escort card wall that proved to be one of the most popular details of the party. The night continued with dinner, dancing, and more sweets, but perhaps the sweetest part was the end. As some guests hit the town, Jess and Kris drove the mile to their brand-new house—where they'd spent only one night so far. They snacked and relaxed after a wedding they remember as flawless. As Kris says, "It was a great way to end an unforgettable time in our lives."
She Paperie created Kris and Jess's wedding invitation: an oversized card of double thick 100% cotton paper, printed with gold foil. A handmade-paper gatefold held the card along with enclosures and was secured with cotton twine and a gold wax seal featuring the couple's logo.
Of the engagement, "She knew it was coming, so I had to think of a way to surprise her," says Kris, who presented an engraved ornament to Jess on Christmas Eve. It had a heart that read, "Will you marry me?" When Jess turned around after reading the message, he was down on one knee with the diamond ring, ready to propose. Kris knew the style Jess wanted for her engagement ring. "After eight years, he had seen my Pinterest board a time or two!" she laughs.
Her wedding band matched in style. His band was similarly ringed with diamonds. "I wanted something black with black diamonds," Kris says. "If Jess gets diamonds, then I get diamonds too!"
The Happy Couple
Kris wore a navy tux by Cedric's Custom Apparel (as did his groomsmen); Jess wore a gown by Ines Di Santo. "It was the first dress I ever tried on! I knew it was the one," she recalls.
Of her black-lace Jimmy Choo pumps, "I felt like you only see them for photos so why not spice it up a bit?" says Jess. "Also, I was big on getting things I could reuse—if I love it so much for my wedding day I want to be able to wear it again!"
Jess's sister and two best friends, along with her brother's girlfriend (now fiancée), were bridesmaids. The flower girl was the daughter of a former teammate who is Kris's close friend.
Help from a Little One
In a quiet pre-wedding moment, the couple's flower girl helped Kris open a gift.
The First Look
Even in her Jimmy Choos, Jess had to look up to meet the gaze of her 6'5" groom. The pair shared a happy hug during their pre-ceremony first look. "This moment was the best part," Kris says, "because it gave us time to be together, just us, on our wedding day."
A Moment with Mom
The bride smiles with her mother, Yoko Delp.
Like Father, Like Son
Kris and his dad, Mike Bryant, share a smile. Mike, a former pro baseball player himself, was Kris's first coach and biggest fan.
The chandeliers illuminating the hotel's Grand Foyer were draped with southern smilax and accents of roses and garden roses—echoing elements of the ceremony arch and other décor that the floral designers at Layers of Lovely brought to the space.
A Grand Entrance
Shades of blush and ivory, with accents of burgundy, brought warmth and light to the petal-strewn ceremony space.
A Teammate and Groomsman
Kris's teammate and close friend, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, was among the groomsmen (another friend and the bride's and groom's brothers rounded out the party).
Kris poses with his grandfather, Jack Braidman. Having just celebrated their own 64th anniversary shortly before the wedding, Kris's grandparents were something of honored guests: "We handed them the bouquet instead of tossing it," says Jess, "letting them know they were an inspiration for us."
As non-drinkers, Jess and Kris made a priority of offering non-alcoholic drinks with flair. "It's always a struggle to find a drink at weddings, and you don't always want water or lemonade," she says. Wanting everyone to feel welcome, have a good time, and let loose, they offered a full bar and chose recipes—the sangria-inspired "Jessie's Juice," and cranberry-martini-inspired "Kris's Kocktail"—that could easily be spiked with wine or booze.
That's So Sweet
"Nothing says love like seven hundred doughnuts!" says planner Angelica McDonnell of Green Orchid Events. Each guest received a doughnut with an escort card—and another round for dessert.
Cute on-theme phrases—like "Donut You Want Me;" "Donut stop, Get it Get it;" and "Donut Worry, Be Happy"—were printed to accompany the dessert-wall display. All the donuts for the evening were made by local shop Donut Mania, and were gobbled up by everyone but the groom himself. "I only had one and a half because we were so busy talking!" says Kris.
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo grins with his girlfriend Emily Vakos at the reception. Teammates and friends, Rizzo and Bryant have earned the nickname "Bryzzo" by fans.
The Reception Décor
Tables lined with lush arrangements and candles set the elegant but comfortable mood—much like that of a family dinner with all their closest loved ones—that Jess and Kris wanted for the evening.
Dinner tables continued the blush and burgundy palette with centerpieces of mixed foliage with roses, garden roses, spray roses, chocolate cosmos, hellebores, and ranunculus.
Dancing the Night Away
Even the youngest wedding guests had a blast on the dance floor, which was adorned with the couple's monogram—the same emblem used on menus, table numbers, and other décor throughout the reception.
A Sweet Ending
A second doughnut wall accompanied the five-tier vanilla-and-chocolate wedding cake, along with favor bags so guests could grab a treat to go at the end of the night.
The Last Dance
Kris and Jess danced to "Home" by Blue October at the end of the evening, under the lights of the terrace. "We couldn't decide between two songs," says Jess, "so we decided to do a last dance [as well as a first]. We loved that we could go outside and be under the lights and the sparklers, with all our guests there to send us off."
Location and catering, JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa
Event planning, Green Orchid Events
Flowers and décor, Layers of Lovely
Photography, J. Anne Photography
Cinematography, Newfly Films
Officiant, Pastor Kevin Weddings
Stationery, She Paperie
Calligraphy, Ebb & Flow Ink
Cake, Peridot Sweets
Doughnuts, Donut Mania
Ceremony music, Premiere Wedding Music Design
Cocktail-hour music, Simply Modern Productions
DJs and emcee, Sound Fusion Entertainment
Bride's gown, Ines Di Santo
Hair, Halee Chynoweth, 702-595-0687
Makeup, Your Beauty Call
Groom's tuxedo and shirt, and menswear and ring bearer's tuxedo, Cedric and Imani Harris of Cedric's Custom Apparel
Engagement ring and wedding bands, JB Diamonds & Fine Jewelry
Lighting, LED Unplugged Lighting and Event Rentals
Photo booth, Joy Squad
Dance floor, Weddings by Dzign
Draping, Quest Events