Kate + Jason

Written by McKenzie Gritton // Photography by KMI Photography

Through a mutual friend, Jason Sellers and Kate Hooks met one summer night in June 2012 at local Wilmington bar Satellite. Good ambiance, good beer, and good conversation became a lifelong relationship. “We just got to talking all night,” says Kate. “We never really were just friends, we kind of jumped into the dating.”

Two and a half years later, Jason proposed. The couple was enjoying a relaxing November evening in their backyard, chimney lit, their dog, Brody, close by—just a regular evening that would become the next chapter of their lives. “We were out there one night, and he got down on a knee and proposed while we were enjoying each other’s company,” says Kate. “It was so us—simple and relaxed.”

Kate’s parents were married at the United Methodist church only two blocks from the Brooklyn Arts Center, making it extra special for Jason and Kate, who could be a part of their family history while also being a part of the rich history of the BAC.

Kate, a self-proclaimed control freak, knew exactly how she wanted the wedding to look. A lover of folk and bluegrass, the bride wanted a rustic theme to match the exposed wood of the 128-year-old, iconic church. With help from wedding coordinator Ashlyn Burke, Kate was able to make her dreams come to life. “The month before the wedding she took a lot of the stress off me and finalized a lot of things. She was amazing,” Kate says of Ashlyn.

Deciding on a burgundy, peachy blush, ivory, and gold color scheme, the bride looked beautiful in an Allures Bridal strapless, blush, laced mermaid dress with a deep sweetheart neck decorated with a rhinestone belt. She found her perfect dress at Coastal Knots in Shallotte and was fitted at Coastal Knots in Wilmington.

“My aunt is a really great seamstress, and she’s really crafty. She made my veil out of some pretty tulle she had saved, and she was able to line it with my mom’s lace from her wedding dress,” says Kate. “So that was really special for me to have a piece of my mom with me.” The garter was also made from the lace of Kate’s mother’s dress. This garter wasn't thrown that night—Kate was able to keep it as a memory—the bride had a second garter just for tossing. Sticking to the traditional new, used, borrowed, and blue: Kate’s dress was new, Jason’s baby rings were tied with a blue string to her bouquet, and she borrowed one of her mother’s wedding bands to wear during the ceremony.

During the day, a trolley took the couple downtown, where Kevin Millard of KMI Photography took pictures of the couple and the bridal party. With stunning flowers done by Chelsea of Fiore Fine Flowers, the Brooklyn Arts Center was transformed into the gorgeous, wedding day vision Kate had dreamed of. Six bridesmaids and six groomsman waited with Jason at the end of the aisle for Kate, who was escorted by her father. Folk and bluegrass melodies of Roger Davis played in the background. “I used to take guitar lessons with him,” says Kate, “and he is a family friend that I’ve known forever.” It was a bit of a journey to get to the altar. “My dad stepped on me coming down the aisle,” says Kate, laughing, “and I tripped. My dad can sometimes be kind of clumsy and, well, I get it from him.” But she made it, and the couple was wed in a beautiful ceremony.

Following the “I dos,” the newlyweds headed off to meet their friends and family in the BAC courtyard, where everyone listened to the music of local, bluegrass band Masonboro Sound during cocktail hour. “We actually extended the cocktail hour because the band was so good,” says Kate.

The guests strolled back into the church, where shortly after the couple was introduced and shared their first dance to Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” Jason’s favorite song. “He told me when I planned the wedding that he only cared about one thing,” says Kate, “that he would like our first dance to be to that song.”

For dinner, legendary Middle of the Island Catering Company supplied a little bit of everything to feed the cheerful guests buffet style. A beautiful, four-tiered, naked cake from Creative Cakes was decorated with flowers that matched the color scheme. The cake’s layers featured everything from crumb with cream cheese icing, to coconut, and raspberry. It was topped with figurines that were painted to look like Jason, Kate, and their golden retriever, Brody. The highlight of the night was the photo booth. “I don’t think one person didn’t do the photo booth,” Kate said. “It was just good, clean fun. Jason’s grandma even got in there.” After an evening of laughter, heartfelt toasts, and even some tears, the newlyweds exited the Brooklyn Arts Center in a British Taxi and stayed at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside.

A honeymoon is still in the works for Kate and Jason, who are currently saving up for a trip on their one-year anniversary. “Hopefully in the Caribbean somewhere,” says Kate. “I want to go somewhere all inclusive, so we can just relax and not worry about anything.”

The newlyweds currently reside in Wilmington—with Brody, who is still a “spoiled, rotten mess,” says Kate, laughing. Jason, an outdoorsman, works for North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and Kate currently works at Discovery Dental Studio.