“We call each other teammates,” says bride Marissa Acker. “Robert and I bring out qualities in each other that we don’t naturally have on our own.” Indeed, the teammate metaphor could not be more appropriate for this athletic couple. The two met Marissa’s freshman year of college on move-in day. “I made the dance team, and the team was required to move in before the other students so we could practice,” she explains. “Robert, a year older than me, was on the football team, and the university had the brilliant idea to have the football team help the dance team move in. Robert, as you can guess, helped me move in We joke that we knew that first day that the other was the one.”
After seven years of dating, Robert proposed with a daylong adventure on Marissa’s birthday. They journeyed all over the Carolinas that day, enjoying mimosas, a hot air balloon ride, and a wine tasting at the Italian-inspired Raffaldini Winery, which Marissa assumed to be the finale of the perfect day. Little did she know, Robert had just one more surprise in store.
“After the winery, we headed back to Charlotte and I took a nap in the car,” says Marissa, “but the next thing I know, we’re pulling into a deserted parking lot and I see sign that says McGill Rose Garden.” Though the garden was closed, Robert insisted that the two could get in and “found” a key in a flowerpot. “I was so nervous we were going to get arrested for trespassing,” says Marissa, “that he ended up telling me he arranged it and that it was okay, so we went on in.”
The couple walked around the deserted garden, admiring the beautiful flowers and foliage as they talked about their relationship, but Marissa still had no idea that a proposal was in the works. “I really didn’t see it coming,” says Marissa. “We took a few pictures in front of the pergola and then we set the self-timer for our last photograph.” It was then that Robert ran back to Marissa, dropped to one knee and asked her to be his wife.
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After becoming a bride, one of the first things Marissa did was find her dress. The Ulla-Maija Couture gown that Marissa chose from Nitsa’s influenced the flavor and feel of her and Robert’s autumn wedding day, with elegance and romance exuding from every detail. The event was held at The Duke Mansion, and Marissa credits her vendors with making the magic of the day happen. “For us, the vendors made our wedding day truly great,” says Marissa. “I felt like had a personal connection with each of them and these people were going the extra mile to make our day perfect.”
Old South Studios
Ceremony and Reception Location
The Duke Mansion
Bridesmaids’ Luncheon Location
The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge
Split Second Sound
Got What It Cakes, cake
David’s Bridal, bridesmaids’ dresses
Men’s Wearhouse, tuxedos
Kokkinos Creative Jewelers, rings
Legacy Hair Salon, hair
True Beauty by Samantha, makeup
Rev. Patrick Maloy, clergy
Vacation Plus Travel, travel agent
Lauren Soloman, Ta-Da’s, wedding design