Carolina Bride

Close call

Middle school sweethearts Debbie Hyde and Collin Ricks were finishing up packing the night before a week-long trip to Cabo San Lucas when Debbie had a startling realization: As Collin handed her his passport, she noticed something was amiss with the all-important document. Four days earlier, Collin’s passport had expired, leaving them stranded in the States hours before their departing flight.

Wrought with devastation, Debbie frantically tried to figure out what to do. Meanwhile, to Debbie’s confusion, Collin was desperately trying to get her to forget about their passport problems and hurry to make their dinner reservations at Global. Frustrated and unsure why he was being so insistent, Debbie called her mother for some insight. Little did she know, her mother – along with a group of family and friends – were also en route to the restaurant, where Collin was planning to pop the question.

When Debbie and Collin arrived, an appetizer tower topped with her grandmother’s diamond ring awaited them. Collin dropped to one knee, Debbie said yes, and their family and friends arrived to celebrate with the newly engaged couple.

Over the next year, Debbie began planning all the details for a much larger celebration set to take place on July 23, 2011. A self-proclaimed procrastinator, Debbie was surprised by the time and attention it took to pull off a grand event. But in the end, all the elements came together – right down to the last-minute headpiece graciously sold to Debbie by J. Major’s. “They were so nice,” Debbie says. “I had no idea something like that had to be ordered, so they gave me the one right off the floor!”

The tuxedo fittings went just as smoothly. “As soon as we walked into New York Bride & Groom, it couldn’t have been any easier,” Debbie says. “They require that everyone be present for the fitting, so everything ended up fitting well. It seemed we were there for only about 10 minutes, and they were very, very helpful!”

On the big day, Debbie walked down the aisle to personalized music she and Collin meticulously selected a few weeks before the wedding. She donned a borrowed veil from one of her bridesmaids and tied her grandfather’s World War II wings to her bouquet from The Place for Flowers. “I never get on a plane without his wings,” Debbie explains.

A personal friend of the couple, photographer Critsey Rowe, captured all the details of the festivities. “She and Thomas (Geist) are the most genuine, sweetest people you’ll ever meet. It’s rare to meet people like that, and they are so talented. I can’t say enough good things about her,” says Debbie.

After the ceremony, guests dined on chicken, steak and fish, and a five-tier cake with layers of black and white, triple chocolate and Grand Marnier. “We took the cake top with us to our honeymoon in Hilton Head and ate the whole thing there! I couldn’t wait!” says Debbie. Split Second Sound kept the party going with a high energy mix of crowd-pleasing tunes. “They had a plan, and they know the flow of the event. They know how it goes, so you don’t have to worry about anything,” Debbie says. “They come highly recommended.”

Featured vendors:

AttireJ Major’s Bridal Boutique


New York Bride & Groom


FlowersThe Place for Flowers


Music/EntertainmentSplit Second Sound


PhotographyCritsey Rowe Photography


Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: ’Campus courtship’