Whiskey Myers Drummer Jeff Hogg Marries Staci Schellinger: 'We've Had a Lot of Adventures Together'
Whiskey Myers drummer Jeff Hogg has tied the knot!
The musician married his longtime love Staci Schellinger on Sunday at The Wildflower in Emory, Texas, the bride's hometown. "We are big Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers fans, so the venue being named after their song made this choice feel like home," Schellinger tells PEOPLE.
The pair, both 37, were married by mutual friend Aaron Haddock, whom they chose because they knew he'd incorporate humor and lightheartedness into the occasion.
"They say one key to a lasting relationship is laughter, so why not start the marriage with a ceremony that doesn't take itself too seriously?" Hogg tells PEOPLE.
Hogg and Schellinger, a registered nurse, were sure to include their beloved pups in the ceremony; Schellinger wore the ashes of their late schnauzer Max in a necklace, while their other schnauzer Calder donned a tuxedo and "snuck snacks from anyone who would part with them," Hogg jokes. "We have dogs for kids."
"[I can't wait to see] Staci in her wedding dress for the first time," the groom told PEOPLE ahead of the ceremony. "I haven't seen it yet, but I know it's not a traditional wedding dress. No matter what it looks like, I know she'll be beautiful."
Guests danced to tunes from DJ Connection while noshing on a taco buffet from Matt's Tex Mex and desserts from Sweet By Design Cakes. Offerings included a smaller two-tiered cake, as well as cupcakes, macarons, Rice Krispies treats and brownie bites.
The couple's friends and family also drank Miller Lite beer while getting caricatures done by Steve Leach in a wedding that was only planned about six months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Once plans were in place, it would have been quite difficult to cancel, but we did put feelers out with friends and family to gauge what scenario they would be most comfortable in," Hogg says. "Of course, we always want our guests to be at ease, and no way obligated to attend in person, so we offered a streaming option to watch from afar."
The newlyweds first met while living in Tyler, Texas, where Hogg's band is based and where Schellinger moved to attend nursing school.
"We were in the same social circles but rarely hung out due to the band being constantly on the road," Schellinger says. "One day, we happened to both be single at the right time, and Jeff sent me a message on Facebook. We have been talking/together ever since!"
Even so, the couple disagrees as to how long they've actually been dating: Hogg puts it at about seven years, since January 2015, while Schellinger says longer, since August 2014.
"The jury will forever be out," she jokes.
That disagreement seems to be the only hiccup, though, as Schellinger says she's confident Hogg is her person.
"I never wanted to get married to just anyone. I wanted a teammate," Schellinger says. "Jeff doesn't try to fit me in a box of who he thought I should be. He has always let me be who I am, even if that is a wand-waving Harry Potter fan at Universal Studios theme park."
Hogg, meanwhile, says realizing Schellinger was the one was a "culmination of things," including the fact that she made arrangements to fly him out of town for his birthday to catch a Texas Rangers game, and the fact that she wasn't a fan of the band when they first met.
"I figured she must like me for me," he explains. "She puts in the effort to do things because she knows it will make me happy. If each of you put the other person first, the relationship will grow, and that's what we both try to do."
Schellinger says the two keep their relationship strong by going with the flow. "Ask yourself, 'Is this the hill I want to die on?'" she notes. "Pick your battles by asking yourself if that battle is worth the fight. No? Move on and don't sweat the small stuff!"
As the couple gets ready for a honeymoon trip to the Maldives, they're looking forward to their biggest adventure yet: spending the rest of their lives together.
"Originally a trip that we said, 'We'll go there, one day — maybe after retirement' due to its isolation and cost," Schellinger explains. "However, I think between my experience in nursing with how short life can be and the pandemic, we decided to check this destination off the list while we are able. You don't know if you have a 'tomorrow' or 'someday' afforded to you. We are fortunate and privileged to have the opportunity to travel now."
Adds Hogg, "Over the years we've had a lot of adventures together. We both love traveling and experiencing new things. We already have a long list of places we want to see, and things we want to do, and I'm sure as the years go by, we'll be crossing things off of those lists, while at the same time adding many new things to them as well."
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