Y’all ready for this? It’s swoon-time. I’m typically attracted to bright, colorful weddings, but Hillary + Kyle’s classically Southern wedding was full of the romance that also pulls at my heart strings. The delicate baby’s breath and rose wreath for the flower girl (who, by the way, is adorable) and the lush blooms that filled the bride’s bouquet are only the tip of the iceberg. Rows upon rows of gold chiavari chairs lined on the front lawn of the Pine Lakes Country Club look positively epic and gold tassels hanging from the monogrammed programs are so simple but so decadent. We’re so grateful that Pasha Belman was there to capture all of the beauty! There’s much more to feast your eyes upon, so I won’t give it all away.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Unlike many girls who have imagined for years what their wedding dress would look like, I hadn’t the faintest clue. I scheduled an appointment at The Little White Dress in Myrtle Beach, SC and asked my consultant to pull every silhouette. Little did I imagine that the very first dress I tried on would be the dress to which I said yes. The Justin Alexander Signature creation was a strapless sweetheart ball gown with silk flower details on the bodice, complimented by the lace-covered cathedral train. The waist was accentuated by rows of ivory bands.
Describe your wedding flowers: My bouquet featured pink garden roses, pink peonies, magenta ravel roses, green and white hydrangeas, salal greenery, cream freesia buds and seeded eucalyptus surrounded by miniature cream calla lilies. The bouquet was wrapped in ivory silk shantung. The flower girl wore a halo of pink tea roses and baby’s breath. The groomsmen boutonnières were ivory freesia with a base of boronia heather backed by loops of green bear grass. The mothers of the bride and groom carried a bouquet of five miniature calla lilies with salal and seeded eucalyptus tied with an ivory satin ribbon.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No. As a traditional Southern girl, I wanted my first look to be when the plantation doors opened and I saw my groom waiting for me at the alter. The wait was worth it.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Isaiah 55: 10-13 and Colossians 3: 12-14
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our signature music was played by noted harpist Becky Nissen and recording artist Wendy Jones. The mothers were seated to “The Prayer” by Hart/Corey. The wedding processional was Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” The bridal processional was to “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner. Upon presentation of the bride, the solo “Surely the presence” by Wolfe was played. After our vows were said and rings were exchanged, “Love of my Life” was sung. The recessional was “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn. Our first dance was Coffey Anderson’s, “Better Today.” A traditional shag to “My Girl” was a must for me and my dad. Kyle and his mom slowed it down with “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. We danced the rest of the night away to Tru Sol Band from Conway, SC.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The graceful Southern architecture of Pine Lakes Country Club, nestled in the heart of Myrtle Beach, dictated a traditional Southern wedding. Magnolia flowers festooned the railings of the plantation and an embroidered silk shantung flag announced the Hawks-Melvin wedding at the entry. We had gold monograms and selection of Southern flowers used throughout the wedding. The sweetheart table featured 1936 sterling silver toasting goblets, an heirloom from the Collier family in Whiteville. We served shrimp and grits, beef tenderloin, fried green tomatoes with mozzarella and pesto, macaroni and cheese, garlic green beans and pimento cheese biscuits. A Kentucky derby party was occurring in another section of the club and the revelers lifted their mint juleps in a toast to us.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: It was a five-tiered creation with a square bottom layer and four round layers. The cake designer replicated the lace on the skirt of my dress from a detail I sent her. The flower beading on the bodice was replicated in sugar. The middle layer featured tucking as appeared on the dress and the top layer was our monogram “HMK” created for us by my mother. The flavors were fresh strawberry mousse, key lime, hazelnut with milk chocolate ganache, chocolate mousse and for our anniversary topper, pineapple rum.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. A good friend’s relationship radar is sometimes better than your own. Such was the case with our relationship. A close friend of mine had known the three “Melvin boys” for years and was dating the youngest of them. She thought it would be pretty cool for best friends to be dating brothers! Kyle started shamelessly flirting with me through AOL and I eventually began to enjoy his messages and his tenacity! All in all, it took a close friend to know that our hearts were created from the same mold. Ours was not an instant romance but it is certainly an enduring one. I found a man who greets me with “Hey, pretty girl,” even when I’m not at my best, who will hold my hand and show affection in front of his friends, who likes to snuggle and will laugh and cry with me.
Describe the proposal. I had anxiously been awaiting a proposal from Kyle for quite a few months, so I thought the surprise factor was out of the question. As a pharmacist, I often work late nights and such was my work schedule on September 21, 2011. Something seemed amiss when I came home and walked in my door, finding my alarm system disabled. With trepidation, I entered, wondering what was going to greet me. To my surprise, there were candles everywhere and a path of rose petals that led me to my nervous boyfriend down on one knee. The words “marry me” spilled out and my answer was a resounding YES!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My mother created the intricate monogram for our wedding. Ferd Thering, a German wood artist then created twenty wood monograms that were used at the sweetheart table and on the guests’ chairs during the ceremony. They were painted gold and hung by satin ribbons.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Holding our breath while the weather radar was checked on a minute-by-minute basis, threatening to ruin our garden wedding. Luckily, the ceremony was at 5:30 and rain didn’t appeared until well into the reception.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photographer
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Wiping tears from my groom’s eyes at his emotional response to seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t think you have to have a year to create the wedding of your dreams. Having a mother who proved to be a great event planner and made sure every detail was taken care of made our day a success. Organization and time management is key to not being a bridezilla!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Currently, we face the challenge of having jobs in different states. I am a Walgreens pharmacy manager in North Myrtle Beach, SC, where I own a home. Kyle is a practicing lawyer for Womble & Campbell attorneys at law in Elizabethtown, NC. The commute is not ideal but we are both very fortunate to have such promising careers. The future holds lots of happiness for us. Our fairytale wedding was just the start of a life full of love and sharing.