Jenks and Harvey: Law Partners Become Life Partners

Powerhouse attorneys Debra Anne Jenksand Robert John Harvey executed a merger of the most personal kind on June 18 at the Colony Hotel on Palm Beach.

The pair, partners at the Palm Beach Gardens law firm of Schwed, McGinley and Kahle, were married in an elegant evening affair among family and colleagues on the stately hotel grounds. The special union, performed in a brief outdoor ceremony by Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Jonathan Gerber and witnessed by about 130 guests, came three years after the couple first met at the Palm Beach County Bar Association Annual Installation Dinner at the Breaker’s Hotel. Harvey credits BizPac Review Chairman John R. Smith for convincing Jenks to go out with him after she had turned down an invitation to dinner. Smith vouched for Harvey after watching President George W. Bush shake the attorney’s hand on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport — a meeting arranged by Congressman Tom Rooney.
The occasion was infused with personal moments that made the affair all the more memorable. Harvey’s longtime friend, Timothy Placher, serenaded the newlyweds with two love songs, “Love Can Build a Bridge” and “Sometimes.” In a touching gesture, a moment of silence was offered for those who could not be there, and a special table displaying photos of loved ones sat supportively by the couple’s side as they exchanged vows.

Jenks, a Florida native, wore an exquisite, traditional, beaded wedding gown chosen — with the help of longtime friend and image consultant Marcella Scherer — from the popular Wellington boutique Bacio Bacio. The groom, a board member for BizPac Review and a former Navy Judge Advocate, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, greeted guests with his usual sense of humor in a well-fitted gray pin-striped suit, accented with a purple tie.

As guests dined on a grand buffet of roast beef, roasted pork and assorted accompaniments, the best man, New York investment banker Dan Skolds, moved the crowd with a humorous toast sprinkled with anecdotes of the couple’s dating years – and his own childhood memories of Harvey, whom he’s known since kindergarten. Skolds noted that the pair, unlike Hollywood couples who tend to be photographed facing each other, were standing side by side, facing the world as one.

The decorated ballroom where the reception was held did not disappoint, thanks to the Sutra International Design team. Old Florida décor came alive in vibrant colors of aqua, fushia and yellow, with tropical palms and birds of paradise accenting the room. The DJ, Adam Lipson, knew how to get the crowd on their feet immediately following the first dance, “You Were Always On My Mind.” The guests soon stormed the dance floor, jiving to an eclectic mix of dance music and continuing into the wee hours.

This week, the couple plans to depart to the private island of Useppa on the southwest coast of Florida, where they can indulge in one of their favorite shared hobbies: fishing. They looked forward to a week at a destination that bills itself as offering “no bridges, no cars, no crowds” – the perfect destination for busy professionals to relax, celebrate their new life, and ponder the quote recited by Harvey to his new bride at the reception, “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” (Dr. Seuss)


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