By Danielle Naurayan
Breanne Gurley and Kevin Hatcher met through mutual friends on spring break while attending East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. They became an inseparable couple and, years later, in January 2010, while vacationing in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, they took a boat trip to Paradise Island. While snorkeling, Kevin presented Bre with an engagement ring … while a friend recorded the epic moment with an underwater camera.
The surprises of their wedding journey didn't stop there.
In April 2010, Bre booked Orton Plantation as the venue for her April 2011 outdoor wedding. She carefully selected all of her vendors and was in the process of sending out invitations when she received a letter from Orton informing her that they were cancelling her wedding date. For Bre, this was the ultimate wedding crisis, a true moment of panic. She called every venue on the Southeastern Carolina coast, trying to keep the wedding date so she wouldn't lose her fantastic team of vendors.
When a friend told her to check out the Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews, Bre made the call and set up a meeting. When she arrived, the building was still in its reconstruction phase. The courtyard was a "junkyard jungle." A layer of construction dust covered everything in the sanctuary. The manse was an office for Historic Wilmington Foundation. If she was going to get married in Brooklyn, it would be a big leap of faith. "Being the first wedding, we were nervous, and so were our vendors! It was new for them too, but when we showed up for the rehearsal, all those months later, the venue looked breathtaking!"
Bre and Kevin had attended many of their friends' weddings, and they wanted a style they could call their own. They hired Salt Harbor Designs to help them develop an atmosphere that would reflect their love of the outdoors. "Salt Harbor is so good at molding your personalities into a stimulating vision. Meeting with her was like an interview because she wanted to get to know us as a couple." After the meeting, Salt Harbor encouraged Bre to email pictures of anything and everything that inspired her wedding vision.
At the rehearsal dinner, guests enjoyed margarita chicken and mixed vegetables from Coastal Catering and a slideshow of Breanne and Kevin's transition from childhood to couple, followed by the video of their engagement. It was a prelude to a most memorable wedding.
The ceremony was a magical moment in time. Yellow roses lined the aisles of the Brooklyn Arts Center courtyard, where one-and-a-half-year- olds commanded the aisle as flower girl and ring bearer. Breanne wore a magical, beautiful wedding gown with a sweetheart neckline. Some of Bre's family history--fabric from her mother's gown and grandmother's brooch--was woven into the gown itself. Breanne says her favorite moment was when she walked out of the manse and down the wedding stairs and saw Kevin for the first time. "After walking down the aisle, you look back and think gosh seven years and we're married! Just knowing that there are 150 people to celebrate your special day … it's incredible, you don't even realize it until it's happening!"
Under the crazy-good energy and talent of DJ Brian Hood, who mixed an electric combination of shag, hip hop, country, and rock, the reception guests danced all night long, literally until the very last minute of the party. With the BAC sanctuary ceiling changing colors to the rhythm of the music and Bre and Kevin leading the way on the dance floor, it was truly a wedding to remember.