Mallory and Michael met when neither of them expected to meet their future spouse–at the local Target pharmacy, of all places! Their meet cute was followed by a proposal that didn’t go exactly as planned (don’t miss Michael’s sweet side of the story below!), and finally, a wedding full of their favorite things. Mallory’s “signature color,” fuchsia, was widely present, for example, and there were plenty of classic wedding traditions and Southern delicacies to go around. At Southern Weddings, we absolutely love when couples let the joy and excitement of their marriage inspire their wedding, and Mallory and Michael most certainly did!
Big thanks to Anna Routh for sharing this happy wedding with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to bridal stores everywhere from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, and after I had tried on about 80 dresses and liked them all, I finally returned to Traditions by Anna in Raleigh. I came back with my best bridal consultant girlfriend in July, tried on my dress, and knew it was the one. In the end, I knew I wanted a dress with lots of personality; something I could never get away with wearing again. From the flowers on the belt to the fullness of the train, I loved everything about my dress!
Describe your wedding flowers. Gorgeous!! The ladies at The English Garden created a beautiful bouquet for me, filled with blooms in my signature color, fuchsia. To honor my maternal grandmother, we incorporated three mini calla lilies (her favorite flower) in her signature color, purple. My girls carried smaller versions of my bouquet, but in mostly white with a touch of blush and a pop of bright green!
When Michael and I started dating, neither of us had found our “spiritual home” in North Carolina yet. Together, we decided to go to the UNC Newman Student Center Parish in the heart of Chapel Hill. He had been there a few times and felt comfortable and I just wanted to get us both to church! We loved the community and felt at ease amongst the congregation instantly. When we decided to get married, it was important to us both that we had a traditional ceremony, just like our grandparents and parents had before us, and that we were married in a church. It dawned on us that the Newman Center could be the perfect place. As the wedding was in a Catholic church, we used traditional readings from the Bible. In order to make the service as personal as possible, we read all of our options and chose the readings that spoke to us the most. We chose Tobit 8:4b-8 and Philippians 4:4-9. Neither were readings we had heard over and over.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? A lot of our guests were coming from up North, so we tried to incorporate a touch of the South whenever we could! We served chicken and waffles during cocktail hour, which was a huge hit. Our late night snack was a macaroni and cheese bar that folks are still raving about. My favorite new-to-me Southern tradition that we used was the house party, and my favorite Southern detail was the abundance of monograms!
Our first dance was to John Legend’s “All of Me.” It was perfect–every lyric touched me the first time I heard it. We danced in the middle of a circle of all of our nearest and dearest, but as I softly sang him that song, it felt like we were alone in the room.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Everyone that knows me knows that cake is my favorite food! The cake tasting was one of my favorite pre-wedding activities. Our cake was beautiful and so delicious! The bottom layer was chocolate with white frosting, the next tier was white cake with lemon filling (perfect for spring), and the top two layers were chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse–a special request that the pastry chef at Prestonwood created for me. I can’t wait to eat our top tier next April!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After a 28-hour inpatient shift, I decided to stop at Target to grab a few things. Michael usually picked up his prescriptions from CVS, which was a few miles away, but since he lived across the street from Target, he decided to go to their pharmacy this time. While waiting for his prescription to be filled, Mike noticed me smile at him–a few days earlier, he and a friend had had a conversation about how if a woman smiles at you, you should approach said woman and see what it turns into. Mike made a witty joke about the medication I was browsing and struck up a conversation. He then asked for my email address, and after a few sarcastic exchanges over cyberspace getting to know one another, we decided to go on our first date at City Beverage. Mike wore a shirt that I hated and was a few minutes late (his last time, as well as my last time being ready first!). Two and a half hours later, we were planning our second date.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Michael: I was traveling a lot for work and figured it would be great if Mal thought I was out of town so she’d never see the proposal coming. On the day of the proposal, while she thought I was in New York, I left work around 2 p.m. to grab some flowers and write notes. I often left Mal flowers to come home to when I was on trips, so I knew she wouldn’t think it was out of the ordinary…except this time, the roses were accompanied by a clue. The next six roses were hidden throughout our apartment, with each rose containing a card with another rhyming clue that included memories from our time together. I hid the roses and set everything up by 4:30, and thinking I had some time, I decided to bring our dog to the park. Just fifteen minutes later, I got a text from Mal that said she was heading home. I frantically parked my car at the opposite end of our development and sprinted to our outside storage closet, where the last clue would lead her to me. Half an hour later, I left my hiding spot to see where the heck she was. Of course, on the night I was going to ask her to marry me, she had decided to stop at the mall and Christmas shop for me! For the next two hours, I waited, and when I finally saw Mal coming around the bend towards our building, my heart started racing. I sprinted back inside, locked the door, and rehid in the storage closet. When she finally opened the door, I managed to keep my composure and ask for her hand in marriage. My plans of a nice dinner were shot due to Mal’s three-hour shopping spree, so I ordered a pizza (I know, classy). My cousin came over to take pictures of the moment, since Mal loves pictures, and we watched the Giants lose to the Redskins while Mal excitedly updated her friends on the phone. I never take a Giants loss well, but on that night, I made an exception.
When did y’all get married? April 5, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 185
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Absolutely!! This is one of my favorite wedding traditions. I borrowed the bangles my matron of honor wore on her wedding day. I had a few something blues–my bridesmaids gave me my new monogram in blue stitching that I had sewn inside my dress. I wore the blue topaz ring Michael gave me for my 30th birthday on my right hand. And most importantly, four of the ladies in my house party, the girls I grew up with, all wore different shades of blue to represent how “true blue” they have always been to me. My something old came from my grandmothers. On the ribbon wrapped around my bouquet, I carried my maternal grandma’s monogram pin and my paternal grandparents’ wedding rings, so they could all be with me all day long! My something new was the bracelet my mom gave me, my earrings, my shoes, and of course, my new last name!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We had a long engagement, so we had plenty of time to plan, but during the last few months before the wedding when we were spending most of our time and energy finalizing the details, we decided to buy a house. By far, our biggest challenge was furnishing and preparing our new home while finishing up our wedding plans. Thankfully, it all worked out and we were able to accommodate 40 people for a “welcome party” at our new home the Thursday night before our big day. It was the ultimate slumber party!!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Being organized! By knowing some of the things I wanted early on (paper products, gifts, and vendors), we were able to get some things on sale.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? A good DJ and videographer are worth the investment–the memories they create will stand the test of time. Also, at your reception, do your best to be sincere and present in each conversation you have with your guests.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are definitely most excited to settle into our new home and make it our own. More than anything else, we are looking forward to simply enjoying one another before we are hopefully blessed with a beautiful family!!
Photographer: Anna Routh Photography / Videography and Lighting: K2 Productions / Planner: Tia Jones of Erin McLean Events / Ceremony Venue: University of North Carolina Newman Student Center Parish / Reception Venue, Catering, and Cake: Prestonwood Country Club / Florist: English Garden / Rentals: CE Rentals / DJ: Joe Bunn DJ / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair and Makeup: Bella Trio / Bride’s Shoes: Betsy Johnson / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Laurie” by Coren Moore in Fuchsia Silk Shantung / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Groom’s Attire: Bernards Formal Wear