Celebrating Love: Jamie Novak & Howard Nagle
photos by Kukucka photography
When Howard Met Jamie.
On a frigid February night in 2007, Jamie Novak and Howard Nagle reluctantly braved icy conditions to meet separate sets of friends at a bar in Akron, Ohio. Their decision was rewarded when the two spotted each other across the room, and Howard offered to buy Jamie a cocktail. Jamie accepted, and afterward the two hit the dance floor.
By the time Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” played to close out the night, the pair had been dancing and laughing for hours.
Their relationship grew over phone calls, as Howard lived in Sharon, Pa., and Jamie lived in Massillon, Ohio. They spoke almost every night and bonded over their shared interest in the medical field — Howard, 54, is a dentist, and Jamie, 41, is a nurse anesthetist — as well as their love of travel.
They Said Yes.
Over the next seven years of dating, Jamie and Howard became involved with the Human Rights Campaign and marched for equality in Washington, D.C. They had hoped to marry on their 10-year anniversary, but when Pennsylvania legalized same-sex marriage in 2014, they wanted to push up their plans. In December 2014, they proposed to each other at home in front of the fireplace and celebrated with champagne.
“We were elated,” Jamie says. “I know people say it’s just a piece of paper, but marriage is so much more than that. We wanted to open our world to our closest friends and family.”
The Big Day.
Though living out-of-town, the couple frequented Pittsburgh and spent many weekends falling in love with the city. They requested black-tie attire for their ceremony, as they saw the event as both an observance of their commitment as well as a celebration of equality for all couples.
“We wanted an elegant celebration and for everyone in the room to feel special,” Jamie says.
Happily Ever After.
The couple lives in Canfield, Ohio, with their pug, Cali, and have been celebrating their marriage all over the world. Their honeymoon plans have involved revisiting several of their favorite travel destinations, including Scottsdale, Ariz.; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Provincetown, Mass.; and Athens, Greece.
ceremony & reception site: Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown
caterer: Omni William Penn Hotel
cake: Checkerboard Cheesecake, Alliance, Ohio
tuxedos: Hugo Boss
flowers: Something New Florist
music: Max Leake Trio/PJ the DJ
wedding planner: Joe Mineo