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Real Wedding: Melissa & Luke

An Intimate Backyard Wedding

Real weddings are so inspiring! To get you in the mood to plan, we asked real brides to spill the details on everything from getting engaged to finding their wedding dresses to the special touches and surprising moments that made their celebrations completely one-of-a-kind. Read on for Christy and Jeremy’s intimate backyard wedding!

How did you meet? How did he propose?

We’ve actually known each other since we were kids, maybe 8 years old. Our families had close mutual friends with kids our age, so one time, we ran into each other. The first time I laid eyes on Luke, he was showing us how he can put both of his legs behind his head (a skill he has since lost).  From then on, our lives crossed a few times until we began serving in middle school and high school at our church. I was in the band, and Luke helped set up and the lighting and the sound system. Our church met in a theater. During that time, we rarely spoke to each other. He had a bowl-haircut and was really dorky! But one day, in high school, we had a birthday party for a mutual friend. My tire was popped, but I made it just in time to go to the party anyway. That day, it clicked. We were inseparable after that.

Four years later, Luke proposed by having our photographer and friend trick me into believing we were doing a product photoshoot. I walked into a nearby forest when all of a sudden, Luke was there, dressed to the nines, with a sign and our friends nearby. I’m pretty hard to surprise…and somehow, he did it!

Tell us about your wedding day! We know it wasn’t exactly what you had originally planned on!

Our wedding was originally planned on April 25, 2020. It was going to be on an estate by the ocean in Miami, FL. It was going to be beautiful! But, with COVID-19, we very quickly needed to make adjustments. Unfortunately, Luke’s grandfather passed because of the virus in New York, and the rest of his family there could not leave the state. Even if our ceremony could go on as planned, we were not in a celebratory mood. We decided to elope by the canal in our apartment complex with our parents, pastor, and photographer.

We linked a Zoom account to connect the rest of our friends and family. Honestly, it was perfect. Literally against all odds and just about every curveball the world can throw at you in just a few weeks: we finally did it. We were married! We got to exchange our vows with a handful of 130 people, and I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was real, it was authentic, and it is life! We had to grow, change and adapt. It was everything I could’ve dreamed of.

Melissa and Luke Virtual Vows

Is there something you wish you had known before the big day or while you were planning the wedding?

I had always said I preferred a low-key, backyard wedding. If someone told me the coronavirus was going to ruin my wedding day and all that hard work, I would’ve just done a backyard wedding from the get-go!

Did anything funny or unexpected happen on the day-of?

SO many unexpected things! For starters, Miami had been having the most incredible evenings. Of course, on our evening, it was torrentially raining. After watching the radars all day, we decided to move the wedding up an hour to beat one of the storms, which, as you can imagine, was crazy! Luckily, during the ceremony, the rain stopped. However, just as we were saying our vows and wrapping up, it started to pour, very à la The Notebook. It made for some pretty epic pictures.

Also, as I was walking with my dad to the ceremony, there is a bagpipe player playing a song for me to walk down the “aisle”. If anyone knows my husband and I, we LOVE Scotland. We spent 2 months living there and you might say we’re obsessed. My sister, though she couldn’t be there because she’s pregnant, hired a piper for me on that day. I walked down the aisle laughing because honestly, it was perfect!

What flavor was your wedding cake?

We didn’t have a cake, just Prosecco! 🥂

What was your favorite DIY or personal touch?

My favorite personal touch was that our ring box was the ring box my grandparents in Argentina used back in the 50’s. They both passed a while back, but I was glad to have them present in that way. That grandpa was a jeweler, so, a few months before he passed, I had asked him to make my fiancé and I gold wedding bands. I am so grateful we have that last gift of his forever.

What did you do to stay stress-free on your wedding day?

Have a low-stress wedding! I know it seems dumb, but sometimes luxurious, expensive weddings can be so stressful because they’re so much riding on that day being PERFECT. Knowing that the day will not be perfect in any way, and even enjoying the mess-ups, is the best way to stay stress-free.

Melissa and Luke leaving the ceremony!

What’s your best wedding planning advice? And what advice do you have for brides that are going through a similar situation right now?

I’m a self-proclaimed control freak, so everyone thought I’d freak out with the wedding being canceled and rained on. But in reality, at the end of the day, the purpose of this event is not for your friends and family to see how awesome your wedding is—it’s to marry your best friend and for YOU two to enjoy it. If that means eloping in the back of your apartment complex…do it! Don’t put so much pressure on yourselves to make this day perfect, because it won’t be…and that’s what makes it so lovely.

More Details

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