Five years ago, Holly Brooks Evans graced our October/December 2006 cover as we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Carolina Bride. We caught up with Holly, her husband Josh and new baby Waylon Doss, who was born last August, to talk about what they’ve been up to since their wedding.What do you remember most about your wedding day?
The way I felt walking down the aisle – I was so excited! Also, the way I felt when I looked at my husband, as my husband for the first time. I love him so much!How did you use Carolina Bride Magazine to help plan your wedding?
The vendors that advertise in the magazine are all local and I was able to use the magazine to find everything I needed for the big day!What have each of you been up to recently?
I am in real estate and I love it. Josh is in medical supply distribution. We have the most beautiful son, Waylon Doss. We still live in Charlotte – I could never leave; I love the history I have here.What do you and Josh enjoy doing together?
Boating on Lake Tillery, eating out and enjoying our life together.How have you made your marriage last?
We make it fun and TRY not to take ourselves too seriously.What advice do you have for brides-to-be?
Don’t try to rush through all the pre-wedding get-togethers. Enjoy all of the attention and special moments your friends and family try to make for you!
Here is Holly's wedding story as it ran in the October/December 2006 issue of Carolina Bride:
Dancing Around the Issue ...
Dancer Holly Brooks Evans grew up under the spotlight, so it’s no surprise that gold and turquoise and sparkly things were what she wanted on her wedding day. But deciding on whom she wanted was not so easy. “The first time she met me she said, ‘Never talk to me again!’” laughs her husband, carpenter Joshua Evans. “But I did, and she married me. I’m persistent!” When Holly graduated from Providence High School in 1995, she didn’t go straight to college. She danced her way through several local companies before enrolling at UNC Charlotte three years later. But she was torn as to the direction she wanted her studies to take. Although she had a strong interest in psychology, dance was in her soul. She resolved the issue neatly, by majoring in both. Her senior year, Joshua, a 1996 Sun Valley graduate, attended a party at Holly’s apartment. As a friend of her roommate’s boyfriend, Joshua thought Holly should at least acknowledge his presence. But she wouldn’t give him the time of day.“I was ending a 10-year relationship and I didn’t have any interest in anyone else,” Holly explains. “Here’s Joshua looking through my CDs and making smart comments, and I couldn’t stand him! I told my roommate that he was never allowed in the apartment again!”A few months later, Holly and Joshua ran into each other at a local nightspot, but she didn’t recognize him. “All these guys always hung out in large groups, at least seven or more at a time, just acting like college guys, and I never bothered to tell them apart,” she says. “But people came over to our apartment that night, and we were listening to Al Green. Joshua and I danced and I didn’t even realize he was the same guy I had thrown out months earlier!”After that, the two would meet for drinks occasionally and go out in a group, but they were just friends until Valentine’s Day 2003.“I was working at Capitol at Phillips Place and he sent me roses! I decided I’d better give this guy a chance,” Holly smiles. She called him to ask where they were going that night. Joshua, not thinking she would respond, was taken by surprise. Now was his chance to take out this girl he really liked. But he hadn’t made dinner reservations, and it was one of the busiest date nights of the year. They ended up eating at a Mexican restaurant, where, at some point between the salsa and the guacamole, something clicked, and the two soon found themselves wanting to spend more time together. As Joshua describes it, he and Holly “continued to grow on one another.” After dating for a couple of years, Joshua proposed on Holly’s 28th birthday.“On May 12, 2005, he took me out to dinner at Hotel Charlotte and asked me to marry him. I kind of felt it coming, but I was still surprised. And I was even more surprised when we got back home and he had a big engagement party waiting for me! Family and friends – 30 or 40 people were there. It’s a good thing I said yes!” Holly laughs.Holly immediately began collecting issues of Carolina Bride magazine. “From the day I got engaged up until the day I got married I still looked at them. I must have had about 30! I got so many ideas from Carolina Bride. It was great to see the vendors and the pictures of their products in the magazine.” Working around Holly’s dance year, the couple set their wedding date for June 24, 2006, a week after her last recital. They decided on First United Methodist Church for the ceremony.“I had always wanted to be married on the beach,” Holly reveals. “But both families felt it was important to be married in a church. So I caved in. I fell in love with First United Methodist, and Dr. Ivan Peden agreed to marry us.” From the beginning, Holly knew each vendor she selected would have to be patient and understanding to be able to satisfy her creative and artistic side – and she succeeded in every choice.She set aside a day for dress shopping, going to several stores before arriving at La Bella Sposa, where, she says, “I saw the dress on a mannequin when I walked in the store. I tried on several others that looked okay.” But Holly’s mind kept going back to the first dress that had caught her eye. “I brought my mom, Rose Brooks, in to see what she thought. She loved the mannequin dress too!” La Bella Sposa owner Shannon Starcher special-ordered the Ines Di Santo gown and veil, with gold embroidery instead of silver, to go with the gold Manolo Blahnik shoes that Holly had found to complete her wedding attire.The turquoise Jim Hjelm bridesmaids dresses discovered at New York Bride were exactly what Holly wanted to complement her color scheme and the rather unique ideas she had in mind for accessories and décor. She says that The Place for Flowers had her hooked after she learned they were willing to step out of the usual wedding bouquet box and embrace those unique ideas. “I wanted white flowers, gold leaves, and peacock feathers in the bouquets. Robert (Clark) said his mom had a peacock we could use – I don’t know if that was true or not,” Holly jokes. “But the flowers and the feathers were gorgeous! They did a wonderful job.”Holly says she selected Latasha Gary’s Personally Yours for invitations, thank-you notes, and other stationery needs because she was able to combine paper, envelopes, covers, inks, fonts and more, to her heart’s content. Once again, her creative and artistic nature was more than satisfied with the results.When it came to the photographer, Holly was impressed with Indigo Photography right away. “I really liked the way Critsey (Rowe) seemed to get into her subject’s personality, and her candid shots were done in such an interesting format,” she says.With so many decisions to make, the details to take care of, and the questions to answer, not to mention all the young students Holly taught at Miller Street Dance Academy, her engagement year flew by. Before she knew it, her wedding day had arrived.The night before the wedding, Joshua’s parents, Bill and Maryanne Evans, hosted a barbeque rehearsal dinner at The Omni hotel. The next day, Bella Bella’s Jade Wills arrived to do Holly’s hair and makeup, as well as that of most of the bridesmaids. Silver Fox Limos then delivered the wedding party to the church, where everyone gathered for wedding photographs at 4:30 p.m. An hour-and-a-half later, Holly stepped into her pre-performance persona, very quiet and reserved, as she waited for her wedding to begin. Joshua, however, was ready to faint. “Before the wedding I told her she was going to have to hold me up,” he admits. “I’m not real good in front of a crowd. The last time I got up in front of people was at a spelling bee when I was little and I collapsed. But I did it for her. She’s worth it!”Holly says once she and her dad, Robert Brooks, started down the aisle, she felt a sense of relief. “All of a sudden I was calm. There was nothing to do then but enjoy the moment and be happy.”Joshua watched through welled tears as his bride entered the sanctuary. “It was all a blur until she started coming down the aisle. Then I just cried – I couldn’t help it.” After the wedding, the limos took them to Byron’s SouthEnd, where Best Impressions, the catering division of Byron’s, had put together a lovely buffet dinner for the reception. The beautiful wedding cake, made by Holly’s aunt, Gaynelle Brooks, was a hit with the guests, who later enjoyed dancing to the music of The Dickens band, booked through Daniel Entertainment Group. Holly says she and Joshua were delighted with the way everything turned out.On Sunday, the new Mr. and Mrs. Evans departed for a nine-day trip to St. Maarten, courtesy of Joshua’s mom and dad. “It was heaven!” Holly exclaims. “We ate fantastic food and lay on the beach every day!”Now at home in Charlotte, the honeymoon continues for the newlyweds.“The best thing about being married to my husband is that he is my husband. Every day is just so much fun,” Holly beams.And Joshua adds, “The best part about being married to Holly is waking up next to her each morning. She makes me laugh and feel good about myself. She’s just awesome!”
Holly’s Tips for Brides-to-Be:-- Gather copies of Carolina Bride magazine to refer to throughout the planning process.-- Buy a wedding planning binder to store all your information in one place. Mine had pockets, tabbed pages, and a budget planner inside.-- Don’t get too caught up in the details, don’t over plan, and try not to stress out. -- Remember to just let go and enjoy your day. Whatever happens, it will be wonderful!
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