April 17, 2010
Ceremony and Reception: Holy Trinity Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Cathedral
A picture is worth a thousand words”¦ or so it is said. In this case, a picture on Facebook turned into just five words: “Melissa, will you marry me?” Now, these five words came four years, a move to Chicago, a graduate degree, and a terrible motorcycle accident,, and many memories later”¦ but it all started with a picture!
The Back Story
Around the time of Katrina, a massive marker of time for those of us living in the South, Grant Musgrove, who works for Alabama Power, was working loads of extra hours. On one of these long days, he was talking to a co-worker who happened to be one of Melissa’s best friends since elementary school days. Grant spotted Melissa’s picture on her Facebook page and asked about her. Melissa remembers the friend’s words”¦ “I think you™ll like him, but it’s not like you™re going to marry him or anything!” Well, in fact, she did! The couple hit if off after their initial meeting and they began dating. Their first “official” date, set one week after they met; a motorcycle ride though the area of town where Grant grew up, Bluff Park. It turned out that Melissa also grew up there”¦ just a few blocks from Grant. They stopped to look over the Bluff and then rode to Ross Bridge Resort and picnicked in the grass. And five years later, the couple spent their wedding night there.
The couple had been maintaining a long distance relationship while Melissa was in graduate school at Northwestern University in Chicago. For a year and a half, they took turns commuting to see each other. The proposal wasn™t one of those planned out, orchestrated moments. In fact, it was completely spontaneous”¦ Grant had the ring, knew he was going to propose but didn™t really have a plan for it as he flew into O™Hare Airport that day. Since her classes ended early, Melissa decided to meet Grant at the airport. So, knowing Melissa was on her way to meet him, Grant befriended a fellow passenger at baggage claim and armed the traveler with a camera. When Melissa walked up to greet him, Grant got down on one knee”¦ Melissa says she thought he™d dropped something. Melissa says she realized what was happening about the time “will you marry me” came out of Grant’s mouth. She was so surprised; she almost forgot to say yes! A crowd of people gathered around the couple; clapping and wishing them well and they have photos taken by the friendly passenger to remember it all.
The couple got engaged on April 9, 2009 and set the wedding date for a year later in Birmingham. This meant hours of long distance wedding planning. Luckily, Grant had a few friends they called on to help them implement their ideas for the wedding. Melissa is Greek and wanted to incorporate the traditions of her heritage into the wedding. She says it really was like My Big, Fat Greek Wedding! Melissa knew that she wanted to marry Grant in the church she was baptized in and where her parents were married, so once the church was confirmed, they were able to get down to the details of planning. Melissa’s grandfather had been in the restaurant business in Birmingham and knew George Sarris, the popular restaurant owner of many landmark dining establishments in the area. Mr. Sarris told Melissa he wanted to cater her wedding, so they knew the food would be wonderful. The rest of the wedding details began to come together. A gorgeous Kenneth Poole gown from Bridals by Lori in Atlanta, turquoise blue bridesmaid gowns by Dessy from Bella Bridesmaid, classic black tuxedos from Mr. Burch Formal Wear in Hoover were all decided. They had friends help them with the floral design and the spectacular lighting, which really transformed the church’s banquet hall. The flowers included a variety of blooms: purple roses, calla lilies, orchids and other exotic flowers were used in the arrangements and bouquets.
A traditional Greek marriage ceremony lasts over an hour and includes rich, time-honored traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. One of the most significant traditions includes both the bride and groom wearing a crown. Melissa and Grant wore the same crowns her parents wore years before”¦ as they stood in the exact same spot and repeated their vows.
Melissa and Grant gave guests the traditional Greek wedding favor of Jordan Almonds. Five sugar-coated almonds called koufetta are given to represent five wishes for the couple. The sugar coating symbolized the wish that life will be sweet for the couple and as legend has it, if an unmarried woman sleeps with these under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband.
One of the couple’s favorite details was their ice cream bar! Since Grant loves ice cream, the couple decided to treat their guests to ice cream instead of cake. Served in margarita glasses rimmed in turquoise sugar, guests were able to select favorite toppings including Greek baklava granola and monogrammed M&M’s!
Melissa’s favorite moment came when Grant surprised her by singing to her at the reception. Grant played and sang First Dance by Corey Smith. After the reception, the couple spent their wedding night at Ross Bridge”¦ the setting for their first date.
After a romantic honeymoon to France, which was briefly interrupted by the volcanic ash over Iceland which delayed their trip by a week; the couple is at home in Birmingham enjoying all of their Bromberg’s wedding gifts!
Melissa & Grant’s Bromberg’s Wedding Registry includes:
Formal China: Kate Spade Library Lane Platinum
Formal Crystal: Waterford Lismore
Casual China: Vietri La Fenice and Rosso Vecchio
Congratulations, Melissa and Grant! Our very best wishes to you for a long and happy life together!