Wrightsville Weddings

BY Cory Mac Pherson

Chelsea and Heath

Even though it has been more than two years Chelsea Cooley Miss North Carolina 2005 and Miss USA 2005 can remember exactly what husband Heath Altman was wearing on the day they met: his 84 Lumber cap and his Aussie Island long-sleeve T-shirt.

The couple dated long distance for about a year and then Chelsea made the move to Wilmington. On a beautiful day this past June on one of their long walks on Wrightsville Beach with their boxer Brooks Chelsea thought Heath was bending down to pick up a shell in the sand. When she looked closer she saw that it wasn’t a shell in his hand; it was a sparkling diamond ring.

Four months later Chelsea and Heath were married in an intimate ceremony at Airlie Gardens. The best part of the occasion for the couple was being able to see their friends and family who traveled across the country for the wedding including Chelsea’s best friend from New York and two friends who were Miss Teen USA 2004 and 2005 when Chelsea was Miss USA. “Everyone felt like they had a special part in our day. It was absolutely amazing ” Chelsea says.

The couple honeymooned at Sandals Resort in Antigua. For the first few days the newlyweds were stuck indoors as a Category 3 hurricane crossed the island. When the storm passed the sky turned pure blue and Chelsea and Heath enjoyed the Caribbean beaches.

Heath is a loan officer for Alpha Mortgage and Chelsea is co-owner and president of Standout Productions. The newlyweds are very happy to be living in Wilmington. “I don’t think we ever plan on leaving ” Chelsea says.

Bride’s Full Name: Chelsea Scott Cooley Groom’s Full Name: Christopher Heath Altman Wedding Date: October 12 2008 Ceremony Site: Airlie Gardens Pergola Reception Site: Airlie Oak Rehearsal Dinner Site: Bride and Groom’s Home Photography: Carter Studios Videography: Joan Allisen York Wedding Planner: Jane Roberson Officiant: Dr. Jim Everette Gown: Nicole Miller Veil: custom-made by Charlotte Davis of SewBiz Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti Jewelry: Kim Alessi Hair & Makeup: Heather Carter Bridesmaid Dresses: Nicole Miller Formalwear: custom-made by Kendall Register Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas Flowers: Salt Harbor Designs Catering: Taste of Italy Cake: Nancy Hearne Rentals: Party Suppliers & Rentals Music: Global DJ Entertainment; Jason Jackson Favors: Personalized water Transportation: Azalea Limo and 1960 Bentley by private owner Accommodations: Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Honeymoon: Sandals Resort at Antigua

Jennifer and Wesley

Jennifer Suggs has known Wesley Marshburn her entire life. They both grew up in Wilmington. “I was always the younger girl that tagged along ” she says of their six-year age difference. However that all changed in the spring of 2006 when the two reconnected after Wesley returned from college.

They knew it was something special from the start. After one of his first dates with Allison Wesley remembers thinking that he was going to marry her. He was absolutely right. Eleven months later while walking along the riverfront in Historic Downtown Wilmington Wesley got down on one knee and proposed.

On a warm morning in late July Wesley and Jennifer stood on the beautiful lawn at the Country Club of Landfall and said “I do.” The wedding was extra-special because of the roles their family members played. Jennifer’s father Rev. Jimmie Suggs Jr. presided over the ceremony with the help of Wesley’s uncle Jack. Instead of having a traditional maid of honor Jennifer’s older brother and best friend Jimmie was the “man of honor.”

Wesley and Jennifer are both very active and love being outdoors so it’s only fitting that they honeymooned in Mexico spending their time zip-lining and rappelling into caverns.

The newlyweds settled in Hampstead where Wesley owns Intercoastal Detail Services and Jennifer monitors oncology clinical trials for Kendle International.

Bride’s Full Name: Jennifer Lee Suggs Groom’s Full Name: Wesley Tate Marshburn Wedding Date: July 26 2008 Ceremony & Reception Site: Country Club of Landfall Rehearsal Dinner Site: Bluewater — An American Grill Photography: Wayne Edwards Photography Wedding Planner: Pamela’s Wedding & Events Inc. Officiant: Father of the Bride Rev. Jimmie L. Suggs Jr. Gown & Veil: Suzanne Ermann Shoes: Michael Angelo Jewelry: Britanny’s Jewelers Hair: Mother of the bride and hair stylist Janice Suggs Makeup: Julia Cesario Formalwear: Cape Fear Formalwear Invitations: Pamela’s Wedding & Events Inc. Flowers: Ikebana and Pamela’s Wedding & Events Inc./Décor Catering: Country Club of Landfall Cake: Flower & Flour Rentals: L & L Party Rentals Music: Ceremony/ Violinist Roy Robuck vocalist David Warren Reception/Concordia Strings Transportation: 1951 Ford Fairlane Honeymoon: Cancun

Mindy and Robert

Mindy Humphreys met Robert Gera through work in the furniture industry. They didn’t hit it off until one weekend in June 2005 when Mindy visited Robert and a mutual friend in Wilmington. She was living in High Point. “He did a lot of listening that weekend and I did too. We had a lot in common ” Mindy says.

In late 2005 Mindy moved to Wilmington. The couple spent their time on the water — one of the many things they love to do together. On Mother’s Day in 2007 Robert asked Mindy to go on a sunset boat ride. While watching the sun dip below the horizon Robert proposed.

The couple had a series of parties before the big day. They threw a co-ed bachelor party and took their friends out on their boat for a cookout on the north end of Wrightsville Beach. “The beach party was a great representation of what our weekends are like ” says Mindy.

With the help of their families’ design and artistic skills they had a beautiful black-and-white vintage-themed wedding. The simple and elegant ceremony took place on the lawn at the City Club at de Rosset in Historic Downtown Wilmington.

The newlyweds made no reservations for the honeymoon. Instead they rented a boat in the Virgin Islands and went wherever the wind took them.

Mindy and Robert live in Porters Neck where she does design work for Monument Signs and he develops rental homes for Gera Concepts.

Bride’s Full Name: Mindy Kathryn Humphreys Groom’s Full Name: Robert John Gera Wedding Date: September 20 2008 Ceremony & Reception Site: City Club at de Rosset Rehearsal Dinner Site: Country Club of Landfall Photography: Wendy Weeks Officiant: Carl Seaholm Gown: A Carolina Wedding Shoes: Lori’s Shoes Jewelry: Ann Gera (mother-in-law) Hair: Kendall Fugua Salon Beyond Basics and Day Spa Makeup: Sonni Blackwelder Salon Beyond Basics and Day Spa Flowers: Sam Haddock Catering: City Club at de Rosset Cake: Nancy Hearne Music: The Lazy Birds Favors: Four parties leading up to the wedding Transportation: Wilmington Trolley Accommodations: Wilmingtonian Inn Honeymoon: Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands

Allison and Avery

Allison Eaker doesn’t remember when she first met Avery Grant because their friendship dates back to the first grade. It was just that — a friendship — until she broke up with her boyfriend during sophomore year of college at NC State. Avery also a student there asked her out on a date and two weeks later she said “Yes.” The couple can still recall what the other ordered for dinner — shrimp pasta for Allison and oysters for Avery. “We remember everything about that date ” Allison says.

After they had been dating for six years Avery surprised Allison by knocking on her apartment door and proposing. The ceremony was held at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Historic Downtown Wilmington and it was by all accounts a dream come true. Allison always wanted to be married in a Lutheran church by her childhood pastor (who also happens to be her maid of honor’s father). “It was very special that he could do that for us ” she says.

Allison’s favorite wedding day memory occurred during the reception at Porter’s Neck Country Club. The couple strolled through the golf course at sunset while golden light streamed through the trees. “It was the perfect day the perfect place it was beautiful. We were just so happy ” Allison says.

The newlyweds honeymooned in the Dominican Republic horseback riding boating and snorkeling before settling in Charlotte North Carolina where Allison teaches second grade and Avery is a sales engineer for CaptiveAire System.

Bride’s Full Name: Allison Lauren Eaker Groom’s Full Name: Lonnie Avery Grant IV Wedding Date: June 14 2008 Ceremony Site: St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Reception Site: Porter’s Neck Country Club Rehearsal Dinner Site: Bluewater Grill Photography: Indigo Photography Videography: DJ Professionals & Video Wedding Planner: Pamela Jenkins Pamela’s Wedding & Events Inc. Officiant: Reverend Joseph Judge Gown: Romona Keveza Veil: Elegant Brides Shoes: David’s Bridal Jewelry: Skatell’s Jewelers Hair: Becky Dreshel Head to Toe Day Spa Makeup: Amy Kennison Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor Formalwear: MW Tux Invitations: Pamela’s Events Flowers: Pamela’s Wedding & Events Inc./Décor & Ikebana Catering: Porter’s Neck Country Club Cake: Flower and Flour Rentals: Party Suppliers & Rentals Music: DJ Professionals & Video Favors: Caramel Apples Kilwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream Transportation: Classic Limousine and The Wilmington Trolley Company Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Honeymoon: Paradisus Palma Real in the Dominican Republic

Tara and Adam

Even though Tara Faw and Adam Ritchie are both from Annapolis Maryland and knew each other through their love of soccer they didn’t really hit it off until Tara was a freshman at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. They reconnected when Adam had a soccer tournament in the area. In this case absence really did make their hearts grow fonder.

For the five years Tara and Adam dated long distance they spent a lot of time planning and making visits to see each other. However the visit Tara remembers best wasn’t planned. It was a rainy day and when the doorbell rang Tara was surprised to see Adam standing outside with a bouquet of flowers. He surprised her even more by getting down on one knee and proposing.

The couple had a low-key ceremony at Wrightsville Beach Access #43 — Tara’s favorite spot during college. Trolleys transported the 120 guests to the beach and the reception. “It was simple and laid back. Everyone wanted to keep partying after it was over ” Tara says.

The newlyweds live in Maryland where Tara is a cardiac ICU nurse and Adam is a kindergarten teacher soccer coach and owner of the Greater Experience Soccer Academy.

Bride’s Full Name: Tara Ann Faw Groom’s Full Name: Adam Robert Ritchie Wedding Date: September 20 2008 Ceremony Site: Wrightsville Beach Access #43 Reception Site: Bluewater — An American Grill Rehearsal Dinner Site: Wild Wing Cafe Photography: Eric von Bargen Wedding Planner: A Carolina Wedding Officiant: Skip Corbitt Gown: Watters & Watters Veil & Shoes: David’s Bridal Hair: Phyllis Gates Bella Salon and Spa Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm from Elegant Brides Formalwear: Banana Republic Tommy Bahama Flowers: Wendy Wright A Beautiful Event Catering: Bluewater — An American Grill Cake: Sweet ’n Savory and Aunt Grace Osborne Rentals: Party Suppliers & Rentals Music: DJ Professionals Transportation: Trolley Co. and Pedicab Accommodations: Hilton Garden Inn Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Honeymoon: St. Croix and St. Thomas.