How one family gave the ultimate wedding gift in Wilmington, NC

July 21, 2019

If you follow us on social media, you know that we spent this weekend in Wilmington filming not one, but two weddings. There is actually an incredible story behind these 2 very special weddings that we had to share with you all!

A few weeks backs, we spoke with Mary Blevins Thacker whose daughter Erica was getting married. Unbeknownst to us at the time, Erica had managed to do the very impressive task of planning her entire wedding in 3 weeks!! But to quote Mary "When we make plans, God laughs". Due to permits, their original venue would not be finished in time for the wedding date and so it was time for plan B. After an extensive search with the help of Carol & Andrea, the dream team at Forward Fig Events, Erica & Ben booked The River Room which is a beautiful venue located in the historic JW Brooks Building (the first overwater warehouse in Historic Downtown Wilmington). For anyone that doesn't know, Forward Fig Events is well known for paying it forward, typically in the form of donations to a charity of the special couples choice. But Erica & Ben decided to pay it forward in the most generous way possible. After almost throwing in the towel on their dream wedding, they decided instead to graciously share their venues with another couple. Erica told her mom "I really feel like God is telling me to share my venue space with another Bride. I can think of nothing that would make me happier than to stand and get married in the spot that someone deserving stood there earlier in the day". And so as Mary began the search to find the bride, Carol kindly offered to plan what would be the first wedding of the day free of charge while George, the owner of The River Room also jumped on board to help in any way he could!

With less than 2 months until the big day, Mary received an email from a lovely lady called Cathy who spoke about how this dream wedding would mean so much to her granddaughter Taylor and her fiance Ryan. After talking and praying, Mary realized that Taylor & Ryan were the perfect couple to pick for this amazing gift. After talking more with Cathy, she discovered that Ryan’s Dad has passed away the year before. Cathy also shared that “you choosing her is only from God cause this date is the Lord’s hand in turning a sad date into a happy date for our family. July 13 was the date Taylor’s mom was killed in auto accident. From now on it will be a happy date that Taylor was married in a beautiful wedding with her mom smiling down." What came next can only be described as some of the most wonderful acts of kindness we have ever witnessed.

  • Ray who is the owner of Belle Vue, the bridal suite where Erica would get ready on the day, was more than happy to accommodate another bride and made sure the girls were well looked after on the day! Nothing was too much trouble for Ray and Mary said that he made everyone feel like they were the only thing that mattered to him that day. 
  • Meagen from Meagen Spivey Hair Design gifted her services for Taylor and a bridesmaid to have their hair done for the wedding free of charge.
  • Eric from Eric Boneske Photography and Amy from Makeup by Amy Kennison kindly offered reduced rates for Taylor & Ryan's wedding. 
  • Mary's mom Nancy offered to not only pay for Taylor's wedding dress, but also put together her wedding flowers for her (the most gorgeous brides and bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages). Taylor found her dream dress and when Mary & Nancy went to pay, an anonymous person had paid for the gown in full along with alteration costs!
  • Mary's good friend Patti made beautiful full size cupcakes decorated as hydrangeas and made decorative boxes with a tag to match Taylor & Ryan's wedding day colors. (She also delivered the cupcakes and flowers on the wedding day and helped set up!) 

Once all of this was set, Mary decided that they would love a video from the day to remember the kindness everyone had bestowed upon these 2 special couples! And that's where we fit into the story! After Mary explained the situation to Matt on the phone, we were honored to offer a wedding package free of charge for Taylor & Ryan.  

July 13 2019 could not have been more beautiful. To be surrounded by good people celebrating 2 lovely couples was such a dream. The altruism also didn't stop after the wedding. Taylor & Ryan were kindly given a 2 night honeymoon at Blockade Runner. After the wedding, Taylor & Ryan requested to send their amazing wedding flowers to a local nursing home to brighten up the residents day.

In a time where it seems like the world can be very unkind sometimes, we were so humbled by the generosity from not only the vendors, but also the incredible families involved. Every single person involved worked so hard to make the day a success and it was a joy to be a part of. We've listed all of the vendors below and so if you're in the process of planning your wedding, please consider them! You can also see the teaser trailers for both Erica & Ben and Taylor & Ryan below.

Planner - Forward Fig Events

Venue - The River Room

Bridal Suite - Belle Vue

Photography - Eric Boneske Photography

Makeup - Makeup by Amy Kennison

Hair - Meagen Spivey Hair Design

Catering - Middle of the Island Catering

Video - Whitt Photography and Film

Erica & Ben Taylor & Ryan


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