For Cody Helgeson, 22, and Jessica Mapel, 23, the path to the altar started humbly enough: at a steak house in Mesa, Arizona, where they were coworkers ("I'm going to marry that girl someday," Cody told a friend). And it would end, they assumed, sometime in 2008 with a ceremony witnessed by family and friends. Instead, luck intervened. On October 5, 2007, the two wed before millions of TV viewers in a lavish event planned by "Today," Martha Stewart, and a team of Weddings editors.
The two had entered the "Today" Throws a Martha Stewart Wedding contest in June 2007 -- along with other couples from all over the country. Neither thought they would win ("Never, never, never! No way!" Jessica says), but on August 22, host Matt Lauer announced that viewers had chosen to see them married on the air over three other pairs of finalists. In the weeks that followed, thousands more votes were cast as the show's fans selected the duo's attire and that of their attendants, their wedding bands, the cake, and even their honeymoon. Their reception, the couple learned, would be the first-ever held in the private event space at famed jeweler Tiffany & Co.; the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" would inspire everything from Jessica's hairdo to the Checker cab that would transport the pair.
Just six weeks after the whirlwind planning began, Jessica's mother walked her down the aisle. Once the bride's childhood pastor led her and Cody through their vows, the party traveled to Tiffany, where the newlyweds and their 105 guests were escorted to the dazzling reception area five floors up. Huge gems carved from ice glistened on the bar while white-coated waiters served bite-size breakfast foods. Paying no heed to the early hour, guests took to the dance floor and didn't stop celebrating until afternoon, when the couple departed, hand in hand, to loud applause from store staff and shoppers alike.
Cody's favorite part? "Getting married, of course!" The incredible details were all just icing on the four-tier cake.
See photos from the big day in our "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Photo Gallery.
Go to "Today" Throws a Martha Stewart Wedding Credits to find our sources for everything from the desserts to the Cody's cufflinks.