Bride Spotlight: Melissa F


I have to say, I have been anticipating the wedding of Melissa and Mike for over a year now, and I can’t believe their wedding week is actually here!! Melissa reached out to me moments after they were engaged in Thailand early in 2018, and I was instantly excited to work with them the moment I met them. I truly believe weddings should be a sincere reflection of each couple and that you should have a wedding that is reflective of the two of you, your interests, your style, and what you love most. When Melissa and Mike told me they were contemplating a garden, intimate brunch wedding, you know I was all in!! I am thrilled to (finally!) be planning my first brunch wedding, and you can bet that the details and the entire day are going to be utterly phenomenal, so meaningful to these two, and such a sweet celebration of their love with their nearest and dearest family and friends.

It has been so fun to get to know Melissa and Mike over the past year, to learn more about these two, and to witness their love for one another! They adore Crossfit and working out, adventuring and traveling together, and curling up in the mornings with coffee and a crossword puzzle. You can bet that so many of their favorite things to do together will also be a part of their wedding! As much as I want to divulge all of the bespoke details and design right now, I’m going to try to wait til after their wedding so that their guests can fully enjoy everything. As Melissa mentions below, their brunch wedding will kick off with a coffee truck and mini pastries for their family and friends to enjoy before the ceremony even begins, and the fun and surprises certainly don’t end there!

I love have my brides do a little spotlight/interview in the weeks before their wedding, and I am so excited to share Melissa’s with you today! I am so, so excited to bring their wedding to life in just a few days with so many of my very favorite local vendors, and you can bet it’s going to be the most stunning, memorable, colorful Spring brunch wedding for a truly remarkable couple!!

1. Tell us a little bit about you and your fiance, Mike!
Mike and I met six and a half year ago.  Our first date lasted the whole day.  He asked me out for coffee after a Crossfit workout.  We got coffee and then got a bite to eat.  After lunch we decided we would meet back up later to see a movie and after the movie we went out for drinks.  Now we live in Raleigh with our two cats, Aries and Rooney.

2. What are you most excited for about your wedding day? Do you have a moment of your wedding day that you’re most anticipating? 
I am so excited for all of it, but if it had to pick one thing it would be the coffee truck! I love all things coffee.  Some of my earliest childhood memories are hanging out at Dunkin’ Donuts with my mom.  Going out for coffee was our first date and remains one of our favorite things to do.  When Mike and I are traveling, I love to try all the local coffee shops. I am so excited to incorporate my love of coffee into our wedding day.  I hope the guests enjoy their lattes before the ceremony as much as I know I will!
The moment I am most excited about is walking down the aisle!

3. What was your biggest inspiration for your wedding design? 

I never saw myself having a big traditional wedding and we even tossed around the idea of eloping, but when I saw some pictures of a brunch wedding on Instagram I immediately knew that would be perfect for Mike and I.

4. Are you doing a first look or saving it for walking down the aisle? 
My favorite part of a wedding is seeing the groom’s reaction to his bride walking down the aisle so I wanted to be traditional in having Mike not see me until I am walking down the aisle.  Also, with it being a morning wedding, we wouldn’t have had much time for a first look.

5. Describe your style in one word. 

6. What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind? 
My favorite way to relax is to spend time with Mike lounging around the house drinking big cup of coffee and snuggling with our two cats.


7. What is something you’re passionate about? What are some things you and Mike love to do together? 
We are passionate about traveling and experiencing new things together.  Continuing to travel and go on adventures together is something we want to make a priority in our marriage.

8. What has been the biggest surprise in the wedding planning process? 
How fast it goes by! We started planning 15 months in advance, but it has flown by.  I can’t believe our wedding day is almost here.


9. What is your favorite part of your wedding design? 
My favorite part of our wedding design is all the personal details! I cannot wait to see how everything comes together.

10. What is your favorite thing about Mike? 
His patience

Stay tuned this weekend for sneak peeks from Melissa and Mike’s brunch wedding, and you can see plenty of behind the scenes on my Instagram as we celebrate the marriage of these two!

gorgeous downtown Durham engagement session by Rebekah Senter Photography

Anniversary traditions


Celebrating milestones is something I am passionate about and always have been, as you may have guessed by now! Long ago, I declared myself a celebration enthusiast, and I am unapologetic about how much a love celebrating life, the big and little moments that make up our days, and establishing meaningful traditions in our own little family. I LOVE traditions… the ones that I grew up with and continue to maintain, the ones that Rob and I have started together, and being inspired by and learning new traditions and celebrations that we hope to make a part of our joyful home life.


With our second anniversary just a few days ago, I wanted to share some of our personal favorite traditions that have become a part of our annual rituals and celebrations. I have had a Google doc for several years now (but have a Celebrations Binder from Cultivate What Matters on its way to our house right now!), and it’s a compilation of all of the traditions that my family had growing up (my mom, in particular, is the queen of special, sweet little touches and traditions!), the traditions and celebrations that Rob and I have created for us, and the traditions, sweet touches, and culture we’d like to instill in our future children one day. I am incredibly passionate about instilling a sense of magic, play, and wonder in our day-to-day lives, and there are countless ways to make an ordinary event or moment extraordinary. I believe that the meaningful little touches and surprises matter — and this is one of the ways that I show love and thought best. Oh, I have so much to say about creating meaningful, thoughtful, special traditions to celebrate life well!


For our anniversaries, some of the traditions that are most important to us to commemorate another year of marriage are:

  • watching our wedding ceremony video together (it’s a definite that I bawl throughout the entire thing; it’s so incredibly special to watch our wedding day again!)
  • scrolling through our wedding gallery (I’m a total softie; it’s true — these gorgeous images are our family’s legacy, and they’re such a beautiful depiction of our first day of marriage and all of the enormous love and joy we felt that day!)
  • dancing to our first dance song (Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love! It brings back the happiest memories every time I hear it, and I firmly believe Rob can sing it just as well as Elvis can.)
  • popping our favorite bubbly and toasting to our marriage using the crystal Waterford champagne flutes that we toasted with at our wedding (we also save the corks from year to year!)
  • going on an anniversary weekend celebration, just the two of us (last year, we went to Beaufort, and this year, we went to Charleston. These trips are so, so special!)
  • picking up cupcakes (or for our first year, our anniversary tier) in our wedding cake flavors
  • reading our vows to each other again (I think this is the most important one, for obvious reasons. My favorite line from our vows is: “I vow to pursue your heart and love you the way God does: unconditionally and never-ending.”)


As much fun it is to have these meaningful traditions to commemorate and celebrate our marriage and anniversary each year, quality time together, reminiscing about our wedding and the past year while dreaming about the coming year(s), is truly the most important thing. I’m endlessly thankful for the past two years of marriage with Rob and a million more together!