Real Wedding: Melissa & Ryan

JUNE 4, 2011: The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Photographs by THE SCHULTZES
The couple wanted to get married outside so they chose the secluded White Garden at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

Even though Melissa Williamson and Ryan Tuck went to the same college (UNC Chapel Hill), it wasn’t until they worked for the StarNews in Wilmington that they met. Ten months later they were engaged and planning a garden wedding in Belmont, where Melissa, a wedding photographer, grew up. For their wedding, the Athens, Georgia-based couple chose to keep things simple and have all the events at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, making transportation easy for the guests, who were scattered between hotels in downtown Charlotte and the nearby Hampton Inn in Belmont. For the evening ceremony, the bride walked down the aisle in a silk organza gown by Amy Kushcel, a guardian angle necklace (a gift from her parents), and flower headpieces she found on Etsy. After the vows, the 220 guests moved to the cocktail hour and reception site, where an indoor/outdoor tent decked out with market lights and peach lanterns kept a fresh-air feel and food stations were set up by theme (alfresco, Tuscan, carving, and dessert). The evening’s entertainment included a photo booth, indoor/outdoor dance floors, and, as a playful touch, a Mad Libs game-turned-guestbook created by event specialist Rachel Irvine.




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