I have to say that between Melanie’s have-fun-planning mentality and the fact that in addition to their wedding cake, they offered milk and cookies and a late night spread of yummy comfort food at the after party – I would love to have attended this wedding! Big hugs to Brooke Mayo for making me feel like I was there!
Melanie + Joe’s goal for the weekend was to exude true Southern hospitality at its finest! I’d have to say that they nailed that! Just looking at the glamorous glittery linens makes me want to put on my dancing shoes, then watching a gorgeous Carolina sunset at their reception definitely gives me the warmth they were looking for.
I wanted a very intimate and romantic feel for our wedding flowers. I described my “vision” to my amazing wedding planner, Katrina Hutchins and she created a breathtaking inspiration board to share with our florist. Together they created a masterpiece! For the reception, we used plush white peonies, roses, and baby’s breath in unique mercury glass vases. Mixed in were floating candles accented with mint colored ribbon to add a subtle pop of color to the tables. The final product far exceeded my wildest expectations!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? After considerable debate, we finally decided to do a first look. Of course there is nothing like that moment when the groom sees the bride for the first time at the end of the aisle. At weddings, instead of looking at the bride when her processional begins, I look at the groom to see his expression. I love the tradition in that. However, our wedding day was about what made the most sense for us as a couple, for our families, and for our friends in attendance. The first look was a really special moment that allowed for us to have those few minutes alone and absorb the beauty of our special day. It also allowed for time alone, pre-ceremony, with our families and wedding party to take the edge off, so to speak, and calm nerves and emotions. Since we got married outside, the heat was a factor and we wanted our wedding party to be as comfortable as possible. Doing the first look allowed them to quickly move on to the cocktail hour after the ceremony and begin celebrating!
At the reception, the wedding party was seated at long farm tables, creating a warm sense of inclusion among the group. In addition to our wedding cake, we offered milk and cookies, along with a late night spread of yummy comfort food at the after party. To cap off the weekend, we offered a drop-in style Sunday brunch for our guests to drop in and say goodbye on their way out of town. We wanted the weekend to exude true Southern hospitality at its finest!
There were SO many details that made the entire day perfect for us. Joe and I were able to take a few minutes before the reception began to sneak a peek at the reception hall in all its glory and really soak in every detail before our guests arrived. We wanted classic elegance, paired with rustic warmth. The silver sequin linens mixed with a natural hard wood in the chiavari chairs and farm tables really portrayed this perfectly. We also had three gorgeous chandeliers hanging from the gazebo overlooking the sound. We loved that our guests could watch the gorgeous Carolina sunset at our reception!
Our wedding cake was perfection! It was four tiers of yummy goodness! The layers alternated between chocolate chip cake and a very unique and delicious key lime bliss cake.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story: Joe and I met just over four years ago through mutual friends in Charlotte, NC. We hit it off immediately, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Describe the proposal: Joe’s brother and his girlfriend were in town visiting, so we took them out for a fun night on the town, which included an outdoor concert in Charlotte. It was a gorgeous night and we enjoyed showing off our city! As the night came to an end, Joe arranged for a limo take us back home. While I questioned why a trusty cab wouldn’t do, I went along with the plan and alas, was none the wiser. Finally we made it home and upon walking in our front door, I noticed dozens and dozens of red roses. Thoroughly confused and caught off guard, the next thing I see is Joe down on one knee, holding THE most gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen, asking for my hand in marriage! I was completely shocked! Joe had arranged for friends to come over and set the stage for what would be one of the happiest moments of my life!
In what month did you get married? June
How many guests attended your wedding? 126 guests
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I visited several boutiques in Charlotte, and had settled on two dresses that I really liked, but didn’t “love.” My mother was in town, so I decided we should try one final boutique, which is where I found “the one.” It was love at first sight! I felt like a princess in a fairytale in my dress! I never wanted to take it off!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings: An “Apache Wedding Blessing” and “1 Corinthians 13, 1-13”
Tell us about the music you used throughout your wedding: Music can set the tone for any occasion and we certainly realized the significance of having outstanding talent to make our special day even more memorable. We absolutely loved the musicians who performed for our wedding. First was Roy Murray, who is an artist local to the Outer Banks. Our ceremony music included a trumpeter, flutist, and string quartet. I walked down the aisle to Clarke’s “Trumpet Voluntary.” For our reception, Joe and I knew we wanted to have live music to keep the energy high and people on their feet! We first heard a band called “Rubberband” at a concert in Charlotte and loved every minute! We were so lucky they were available to play for our wedding. We still have guests commenting on how fantastic they were! They performed our first dance song, which was “Crazy Love” and father/daughter and mother/son dance, which was “Wonderful World.” The band was certainly a highlight of the night!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Perhaps the most Southern attribute to our wedding was the setting itself. We chose the Outer Banks in North Carolina as our wedding destination because of our love for the Carolina beaches. You can’t help but to relax and enjoy your time in such a serene and beautiful place! In addition to the setting itself, sweet Southern touches were infused throughout the long weekend. We hosted a welcome party, offering traditional Southern fare, and opened the rehearsal dinner invitation to all guests in attendance of the wedding. We wanted to keep it casual, offering Southern barbeque and all the fixin’s! During the ceremony, guests could cool off with a glass of pink lemonade and the family of the bride and groom were seated at traditional wooden church pews in the front rows.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? By far the biggest challenge was that while in the midst of planning a destination wedding, we were also planning a move and building a house in Boston. Physically the planning was quite demanding, but perhaps emotionally it was just as difficult, considering all the very big changes that were ahead!
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? We were SO thrilled with the exemplary service, food, and ambience of our venue – the Sanderling Resort and Spa. They were a dream to work with from start to finish. We also were thrilled with the work of our most fabulous photographer, Brooke Mayo. Her work is by far extraordinary, and we couldn’t imagine anyone else capturing the memories of our special day!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Joe and I would agree that the highlight of our wedding day was taking a moment during the reception to look around the room and see all of our closest friends and family members laughing and having such a good time. It was a surreal moment. I remember being overcome with gratitude and emotion over the fact that everyone made the effort to be there with us to celebrate our special day. There is no feeling quite like that. It was a beautiful thing!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner you love, choose vendors that are a good fit for you and your wedding vision, be organized, and don’t procrastinate! Don’t seek out too many opinions from other people – trust your own!, and most importantly, HAVE FUN with the process! It goes by so quickly — absorb and appreciate every minute of it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We recently left our home in the South for a new adventure and job opportunity in Boston, MA. We are getting settled and enjoying exploring a new part of the country! Once we’ve had some time to adjust, we’d like to start a family. It has been an exciting year for us and we look forward to what the future holds!