Georgie Zitsch & Chris Connell

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Chris Cornell started asking Georgie Zitsch out when they were sophomores at Rock Bridge High School. But Georgie wasn’t interested in having a boyfriend and didn’t tell him yes until their senior year.

“After two long years of Chris trying to convince me to go out with him, I finally agreed,” Georgie says.

That was in 2009, and from then on, Chris and Georgie were a couple. In February 2013, they were juniors at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Georgie was spending a short time in Columbia to prepare for a semester abroad in Germany but drove to Kansas City on Feb. 11 to celebrate Chris’s 21st birthday. When she arrived, Chris told her he had an early Valentine’s Day present for her. He brought out a small square Helzberg Diamonds box with a bow on top. Trembling, Georgie opened it. Inside, she found the most beautiful and perfect — pearl earrings.

Chris was so happy to see Georgie’s excitement, he decided to give her another gift, a much more expensive gift he had bought earlier that day and had planned to give her that coming weekend.

“Before I realized what was happening, he had grabbed another small square Helzberg Diamonds box and was down on one knee,” Georgie says.

After Georgie said yes, Chris sheepishly confessed he hadn’t yet asked for her father’s blessing, so he and Georgie kept their engagement a secret for two days, until Chris made the trip home to Columbia and received Georgie’s father’s blessing.

Chris and Georgie were wed on June 7, 2014, at First Baptist Church in Columbia.

The couple chose red for their wedding color because it is their favorite color. Chris and Georgie wanted their wedding to have a timeless look, achieved through such details as the bride’s lace gown and the use of roses throughout the wedding and reception.

Georgie wore a full-length trumpet-fit lace gown. The V neckline and long lace sleeves shared the classic elegance of Kate Middleton’s gown, but Georgie added a skinny sparkly belt, a birdcage veil and red Betsey Johnson studded heels to make the look all her own. She accessorized with a bejeweled pendant on her veil and teardrop pearl earrings that her mother had worn on her wedding day. Georgie carried a classic round bouquet of red roses with baby’s breath.

Her bridesmaids wore one-shoulder knee-length red satin dresses with a bow on the shoulder. They carried white rose bouquets.

Chris and his groomsmen wore gray Vera Wang tuxedos. Chris wore a white tie, his groomsmen wore red, and all of them wore red rose boutonnieres.

Chris and Georgie exchanged traditional vows in a ceremony co-officiated by their childhood ministers, the Rev. Paul Moessner of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church and the Rev. Ed Rollins of First Baptist Church.

“We exchanged traditional vows because we felt the traditional ones said everything we wanted to say best,” Georgie says.

A reception followed in two rooms of Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus. During a cocktail hour, guests mingled in the first room to the music of a string quartet. This room also held the beautiful, four-tiered square wedding cake with almond icing. On the sides of each tier, a pair of charcoal-gray diagonal lines created an elongated diamond, while red roses cascaded down the front.

After Chris and Georgie cut the cake, the celebration moved into the second, larger room for dinner and dancing. This room had white table linens and large flower arrangements of red flowers and trailing greenery. The food included Asian fare.

“It was important to us that the food be memorable,” Georgie says. “We thought adding sushi and Japanese pan noodles would be a unique addition to our wedding food that guests would enjoy.”

The best part of the reception for Chris and Georgie was seeing everyone who came out to share in their joy.

“We had friends and family who came from all over the country, and we were so happy to have every single one of them there to celebrate with us,” Georgie says. “For the last dance of the night, the DJ played “New York, New York,” and all our really close friends who had stayed all night linked up side-by-side, and we had a big giant kick line. We couldn’t imagine the night ending any better.”

Chris and Georgie honeymooned for one week in Fort Meyers, Fla. Today, they live in Los Angeles, where Georgie works in medical records at an outpatient radiology facility and Chris works in the concerts department at ICM Partners, an LA talent agency. Georgie plans to begin medical school in August at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

Georgie is the daughter of Bob and Molly Zitsch of Columbia, and Chris is the son of Larry and Patty Cornell of Columbia.

THE DETAILS

BRIDAL GOWN
Victoria’s Bridal, Jefferson City

BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS
David’s Bridal

TUXEDOS
Men’s Wearhouse

HAIRSTYLING
Studio Style

PHOTOGRAPHY
d-Squared Designs, St. Louis

FLOWERS
Kent’s Floral Gallery

COCKTAIL HOUR MUSIC
Prairie Strings Quartet

DJ
Suit and Tie Entertainment

RINGS
Bride’s: Helzberg Diamonds
Groom’s: Zales

CAKES
Annette Molitor

REGISTRY
Macy’s; Target

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