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This Washington, D.C.- area couple were in search of a relaxed, intimate setting that offered enough on-site activities to keep guests busy — and allowed the groom to indulge his love of golf. They chose the Pinehurst Resort

Busy professionals Melissa and Matt lived just two buildings apart, but didn’t meet until they matched on Hinge. A Sunday date led to a late-night comedy show, then a second concert, then more drinks … you get the picture. They knew they were meant for each other.

Two years after that blessed meeting, Matt led Melissa to the top of a mountain at Shenandoah National Park and got down on one knee. They were married 364 days later.

All photos courtesy of Joe Payne Photography

The couple had one goal for their wedding day: Find a relaxing, comfortable space that would accommodate all of their guests, while being small enough to feel intimate and special. Since Matt spends his vacation time enjoying his parent’s condo in Pinehurst, the area was a no-brainer — plenty of options for golf and access to a spa over their wedding weekend sealed the deal.

An elegant event filled with touches of whimsy followed. We asked Melissa how she made it all happen:

What Was It Like Planning a Wedding at Pinehurst Resort?

It’s interesting planning a wedding long distance, but Bailey Grinde helped us the whole way through. We visited once and picked out food, drinks, linens and more for the whole weekend. She set us up with Tim at Jack Hadden, for our flowers and even suggested where we would hold each event. 

Bailey suggested the Village Chapel for our wedding. My dad, who is a deacon, was able to perform the ceremony, which was really special.

I went to architecture school in New Orleans, and the resort made us a traditional NOLA cake — wedding cake flavor with hints of pineapple. We had a brass band from Chapel Hill that escorted us from the reception at the end of the evening and turned our exit into a full parade!

What was Your Favorite Part of Your Wedding Day?

We had a horse-drawn carriage from Kirk Tours that took us from the wedding chapel to the members club, where we had our reception. It was the only 20 minutes of the day that we got to spend alone, and we got to bask in a few moments of being newly married before rejoining our guests for the reception.

What Advice Do You Have For Not Stressing Out on Your Wedding Day?

1.Hire a day-of planner! We had Nicole Smith, of Vision Events, who made sure the day was seamless. Sure, there were things that our parents could have helped with, but having Nicole there allowed us to ask for help without taking away from our loved one’s special day. Paired with all of Bailey’s planning that we’d been doing since January, it really was seamless. 

2. Don’t be afraid to ask (or pay) for help. In the beginning, we focused on personalizing everything and that added a lot of stress. I designed all of the paper products myself. The madness started with the invitations, where I hand-drew the Carolina Hotel, made it into a stamp and then stamped and embossed each card. It was a process. Afterward, I realized it would have been a lot less stressful to pay someone to do all of that.

3. Take a step back and remember the day is for you. People don’t know all of your options and aren’t comparing your wedding to anything. Pick what you like, and remember that people notice how much fun the bride is having — if she’s having fun, they’ll have fun!

Did Everyone Enjoy their Weekend?

What we loved about having the wedding at Pinehurst Resort was that there were so many activities you could do right there. The resort provided transportation so nobody had to worry about parking, finding directions or looking for things to do in between wedding events. It made everything so special and comfortable.

What’s it Like Marrying Into a Golfing Family?

I have been loving learning to play golf! I love the Cradle, especially because there’s music, it’s not too long, and there’s a bar cart on the course. That makes it really fun.

This content was produced as part of a partnership with the Pinehurst Resort. Learn more about their wedding services to plan your special day.

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