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.”
Jackie Cerami and Mike Chaney met for drinks in the beautiful Windy Park neighborhood of Washington DC. “I was really late,” says Jackie. “It’s kind of a running joke because everywhere we go he’s 15 minutes late, and I’m always the one on time. So it was kind of funny, our first date it was the opposite of how it normally is now.” Mike let Jackie’s tardiness slide that evening, and the couple ended up sparking what would be a two-and-half-year relationship.
Katie Hodges and Matt Langford met in August 2007 in their Northern Virginian hometown, where they were both playing in an adult ice hockey league with their fathers. Needless to say, there wasn’t too much crosschecking out on the ice because they’ve been together ever since.
Love was more than just a game for college athletes Christi Laite and Tanner Milson. The two met the first week of their freshman year at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Both were attending on athletic scholarships--Christi for volleyball and Tanner for basketball. "We were best friends for two years, much to my frustration," says Christi, "but he finally asked me out our sophomore year of college and we've been together ever since."
Morgan Pope and Andrew Carson met in Charleston, SC, while she was studying to be a physicians assistant. Andrew's brother, who was in the same program as Morgan, introduced them. After 10 months of dating, Andrew proposed--the day after Morgan's birthday. Morgan said she had a feeling a proposal was coming soon but didn't expect it to be right after her birthday. "We went out to dinner, and I was really tired and not really in the mood.
Crystal Jones and Jason Harrell shared an endearing bond even before they decided to date. "It really was a friendship first," says Crystal. Crystal and Jason met in 2008 while doing the same job at the same company, INC Research, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Working in close proximity, where they talked, joked, and learned more about one another, the two became close over time. Once coworkers brought Jason's attraction to Crystal's attention, she played coy at first. "It took his persistence for me to really just kind of get it, to see that he wanted to be with me," says Crystal.
Anna Wiest's and Steven Smith's relationship began seven years before their wedding date. In 2008, Steven, who was serving in the Marine Corps, met Anna, who was attending Kent State University in Ohio. "He was friends with my sister at the time, and he was visiting for spring break," says Anna. "We met and started dating from there." The couple maintained a long distance relationship for about a year until Anna graduated from college and Steven left the Marine Corps. From there, the two decided to move to the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, area.
Talk about online love! Beverly French met Josh Lovell on eHarmony in April 2013. The couple began their first week together with a five-hour FaceTime that was soon followed by several successful dates at Satellite Bar and Lounge in downtown Wilmington. Bev and Josh dated for 10 months after that, and then Josh popped the question in February 2014.
Jenna Smith and Ken Johnson found each other online while he attended flight school for the U.S. Marine Corps in Pensacola, Florida. Four years of long-distance dating later, they returned to Florida for a Disney World vacation and, to Jenna's surprise, a proposal on the beach at the Polynesian Resort, beneath the Magic Kingdom's fireworks.
Culinary Creations is a top-line catering company working all around the greater Wilmington area. With a reputation for customizable menus featuring only the highest quality ingredients, Marcus Buric, owner and chef of Culinary Creations, prides himself for putting together “something special” for every client.
Asha Dave and Jake Junot met during their first semester of college at the University of Florida (Go Gators!) while attending the Freshman Retreat with the Baptist Collegiate Ministries. The two played Catch Phrase until 5 a.m. and became close friends. They began dating in February 2008.
Ali Bowen and Rick Duncklee met at a Fox and Hound restaurant, where they had intended to watch a Red Sox/Yankees game on television. The game, it turned out, wasn't on, and the two, along with their respective groups of friends, traveled together to different bars until they finally found one showing it. After the mini-adventure, Ali and Rick sat together, enjoyed the game and, apparently, each other, because they became inseparable from that point on.
After participating in two wedding shows, BAC executive director Richard Leder was less than thrilled. To his way of thinking, it was unrealistic to try and sell the huge, magnificent, 123-year-old church, the beautiful, circa-1906 church manse next door, and the large, private, gorgeous courtyard behind the manse in a 10-by-10, pipe-and-drape little booth. "Why am I trying to sell my venue in another venue?" Leder asked himself. The answer was loud and clear: Leder decided that the Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews would host its own wedding show.
Lauren Mumbalo and her husband, Gary Langdon, met in Atlanta, Georgia. Their love story, while not typical, is the kind of romantic tale everyone loves to hear. They spent three months together and then he left for boot camp with the Marines. Ever since their first parting, they have worked at a long-distance relationship. "We were willing to wait for each other since we both knew we had found the one," says Lauren.
Six years ago, Paige McKenzie and Derek Kon were transfer students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington when they met through mutual friends. Paige has transferred from a school in Greensboro to study marketing and Derek had transferred from Worcester, Massachusetts, to major in finance. Over time, as they became more serious about their relationship and knew they were going to spend their lives together, they chose to wait for financial stability before sharing their vows.
On May 28, 2011, a creative couple from Santa Monica, California, fused their boundless energies to create a storybook wedding with a magical spirit and bring their special Story of Love to life at the Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews in Historic Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina.