Friends had tried to set-up Eddie Cole and Melanie Burroughs before. But, it wasn’t until they met at a homecoming game at his alma mater in Nashville in November 2010 that a connection was made.
“We talked all night,” says Melanie. “Our conversation didn’t feel forced; just comfortable.”
The couple quickly became inseparable--- despite being 600 miles apart while Eddie attended graduate school in Indiana.
“We saw each other every chance we could,” she recalls, “and just had fun together.”
Still, the proposal in May 2013 came as a surprise.
In Europe to celebrate Eddie’s graduation, the two were heading back to their London hotel when he got down on one knee under a street lamp, an effort she later learned was his last opportunity to make his move before they left for home.
“It was a sweet moment,” Melanie says. “He had been so worried he was going to the lose the ring during our trip!”
“HE EMPHASIZED THE NEED FOR PRAYER AND COMMUNICATION BETWEEN US IN OUR MARRIAGE.” - MELANIE BURROUGHS
Intent to marry quickly so they could begin their lives together, the couple agreed on a December date, the perfect complement to plans for a formal event. Not one to obsess about every last detail, she confides she only had a few requirements.
“I had to have my church, my hotel, my photographer and my dress,” Melanie laughs. “For everything else, we were up for ideas.”
Metropolitan Baptist Church, an active congregation Melanie has been a part of since she was little, and the historic Peabody Hotel, dated back to 1869, served as the backdrop for the grand affair. Ross Oscar Knight, a photographer whose work had impressed her years before, documented the day.
For her walk down the aisle, the bride wore an A-line gown featuring a tulle overlay imbued with gold beads by Monique Lhuillier, a limited edition she had to track down 200 miles away from home.
“I knew it was the one before I had even tried it on,” she says. “It had just the right amount of sparkle.”
Melanie’s long time pastor as well as the couple’s new pastor took turns with matrimonial rites. But, the couple admits the most memorable part of the day took place before the ceremony even began.
“We met with our pastor at the front of the church—just the three of us,” she says. “He emphasized the need for prayer and communication between us in our marriage.”
Following the service, their 450 guests kicked-off the after-party with cocktail hour before dinner and dancing in the ballroom. Bathed in green lighting and crystal accents, the reception space served as an ode to an enchanted forest, complete with a custom-made tree that lingered over the bar. Mini chandeliers hung from its branches and tall topiaries graced guest tables.
To offset the formality of the evening, the couple infused a little fun with a photo booth, a craft room for the kids and a live band that kept the crowd begging for more.
“It was an amazing evening,” says the bride. “It just went by too fast.” The newlyweds ventured on a one-week excursion to San Francisco and the Napa Valley for their honeymoon.
Location, Caterer and Cake: The Peabody Memphis, Memphis, TN; Event Planner and Event Designer: Andria Lewis Events, Memphis, TN; Floral Design: Holliday Flowers & Events, Inc. Memphis, TN; Rentals: Grand Rental Station, Memphis, TN; Lighting: Event Production Services, Bartlett, TN; Stationery: Something So Write, Memphis, TN; Wedding Dress and Veil: Monique Lhuillier; Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo