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Melissa + Joel


Today, a wonderful couple will be getting married at the Diana at the Biltmore Estate…Melissa and Joel.  It is a beautiful day today, and I am so looking forward to seeing these two united in marriage!   I must say, I am super impressed with this power couple.  Melissa just finished law school, slayed the bar exam, and is now and Immigration and Human Rights Attorney.  Joel is a United States Marshal who arrests the countries most violent criminals.  Yikes!  So glad that I am a wedding planner…
How did you meet each other?
We met when I was an intern at the United States Marshal Service and Joel was a Deputy United States Marshal. I was scared to death of him, and he thought I was annoying. Oh how things have changed ☺
How long have you two been together?
We have been best friends for 4 years, and have been together officially for about two and a half years.

When did you get engaged, and how did he ask?
We got engaged on October 18, 2015. Melissa has always loved those big, beautiful open fields that always seem to be right along the side of the road. She has dreamed that one day someone would stop, while in the middle of a drive, and have a picnic with her in the middle of one those fields.
One day, at the very beginning of their relationship, Melissa was explaining this dream to Joel and right at the moment, she looked out her window and said, “Look! That field right there would be perfect!” Joel looked at her, laughed, and said, “Babe, that’s a landfill.”
Fast forward to their annual trip through the Blue Ridge Mountains. After two days of failed attempts thanks to Melissa getting food poisoning, Joel decided today was the day. However, Melissa was not going to make it easy.
Joel pulled over to a Firehouse Subs shop and Melissa (admittedly being quite bratty) was less than thrilled about the stop. However, he pressed on with the plan to get a large sub “just in case we get hungry later on in the drive.”
As the drive continued, Joel found the perfect field on the side of the road to stop and have the picnic Melissa always wanted. This was it! Well maybe not, Melissa was sleeping….
Joel continued driving on, confident that another opportunity would present itself. Melissa finally woke up from her nap, and now she was hungry. She dove into the “just in case we get hungry” sub and Joel immediately asked her, “what are you doing?” She replied, “I’m hungry. I’m eating my half.” I’m sure you are all totally feeling for Joel at this point. Poor guy is trying to make this absolutely perfect for her and she is making it as difficult as possible. For those of you who know Melissa, you are all thinking, “typical Melissa”.
Finally! Joel finds a perfect, big, beautiful, open field right off the beaten path. He had everything, a plaid picnic blanket, the now half sub, all of Melissa’s favorite snacks, and had strategically placed the Go-Pro on the front of the Jeep to capture every moment of the proposal. Joel thought, finally things are going as planned – until the Go-Pro started beeping. Why was it beeping? Because it was indicating that it was dying. Needless to say, the Go Pro did not capture the proposal.
Despite all of the bumps in the road, Joel made sure Melissa had the picnic she always wanted. When he finally asked her the big question, she was so surprised that the first thing out of her mouth was, “Are you kidding?” This was probably something Joel was thinking to himself ALL DAY.  Needless to say, every, single moment of the proposal was perfectly imperfect and Joel and Melissa wouldn’t change a thing!
What are some of the activities that you like to do together as a couple?
We like to go to Jacksonville Jaguar games, go off-roading in our Jeep, spend time outdoors, and take spontaneous weekend trips to new cities.
Why did you choose the Diana at the Biltmore Estate as your wedding location?
I have always wanted to get married in a castle. Additionally, Joel and I started a tradition about 3 years ago, going to the mountains in North Carolina for my birthday. We instantly fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains! What could get better than a venue tucked away on a hill, inside a forest, overlooking a castle and the Blue Ridge Mountains?!
When you think about your wedding, what are you most excited about?
Cliché answer: We are both so excited to spend the night celebrating our love and friendship with our family and friends. My answer: FIREWORKS! Joel’s answer: Pizza station!
What do you love about each other?
Melissa: What I love about Joel is that he has this tremendous courage in every situation and has a very tough exterior, yet he has an incomparable respect and kindness for every human being he meets.
Joel: What I love about Melissa is the passion and determination she applies to every situation. She is also incredibly considerate and caring, not only of people close to her, but of complete strangers.
Anything else you would want people to know?
I am SO incredibly proud that Joel served our country as an Army Ranger and as soon as he came home, he decided to continue to serve out country and communities as a United States Marshal.

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