Carolina Bride

A nomadic romance

Both Midwest natives – and bona fide gypsies – Melissa Scheneman and Tyler Epp met in the summer of 2002 as interns at the Kansas Speedway. Melissa was new and Tyler was put in charge of showing her around. Tyler moved to Charlotte and Melissa to Kansas City to begin careers, but the two kept in touch. During a visit, Melissa realized a shift in the relationship. “I don’t know what it was, but I remember thinking I may really like this guy.” Time passed, then while in Charlotte, Melissa met Tyler for dinner and they decided to go for it. A long-distance relationship commenced while both continued to travel for work. In 2007, they took their relationship to a shared city: Charlotte.In an effort at a romantic weekend, Tyler suggested the two visit Blacksburg, Va., where Melissa lived for a time growing up. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. A rainstorm extended the trip and foiled Tyler’s plan of proposing under the weeping willow tree of Melissa’s youth. When they arrived at the bed and breakfast, Melissa – having been in the car for five hours – bee-lined to the bathroom. When she came out Tyler was down on one knee. “I was literally like, ‘Are you serious?’ and kind of pushed his shoulder,” Melissa says. “He said, ‘I’m trying to ask you to marry me!’” The ring was a “holding” ring from Diamonds Direct. “Tyler knows how picky I am and scheduled us an appointment for me to select the exact ring I wanted,” Melissa says. “I love how well he knows me.”They decided to have a traditional, yet simple destination wedding on Bald Head Island on the North Carolina coast. “When I saw the lighthouse, I was sold,” Melissa says. “It had a Cape Cod feel, which was perfect because we didn’t want a typical beach wedding.” To fit the setting, the bride searched for a simple gown. With help from her mom and sister she found a knee-length, strapless dress with pleated bodice at J. Major’s. At a work event, Melissa learned of Glenn Roberson Photography. “His wife was there also and heard I was getting married,” she says. “I really liked his contemporary style and the idea of having a husband and wife team. Plus, they provided full access to the photos, which many places won’t do.”In the months to come, Melissa arranged housing accommodations, including a list of activities, as well as a golf cart for each guest. The bride and groom elected to see each other on the big day and everyone met for brunch and to play volleyball and bocce ball on the beach. In planning the wedding, Melissa’s only reservation was having a stranger marry them, so the couple asked Tyler’s father. “My dad has dementia and could not attend,” Melissa explains. “His father made a point to mention my dad during the sermon and read lines from Emerson on friendship. It made it very intimate.”The reception was held at the Shoals Club where guests dined and danced while taking in the seascape from the three patio decks. “The best part was bringing both sets of our friends together for a whole weekend to hang out and really get to know each other.”Now residing in San Diego, the couple plans to take their honeymoon this May to Maui. “We figured we need to do it now while we’re on this side of the country.”

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Glenn Roberson Photography


Wedding Gown and Veil

J. Major’s Bridal Boutique


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