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What's Up Weddings

Real Weddings: Melissa Connell & Daryl Wowk

Apr 16, 2015 08:19PM ● By Anonymous

The Proposal. Melissa and Daryl had just purchased their first home—they hadn’t even moved in—when Daryl planned the big surprised. While they were in the midst of some renovating, Daryl headed to the house to finish painting while Melissa went to her parent’s house to bake a cake. “On the living room wall I painted, “Will you marry me?” and staged the empty room with rose petals, candles, and champagne,” Daryl recalls. Then, he called Melissa and asked for help at the house. When Melissa arrived, she walked in to see the message. “I got down on one knee and while she was crying I asked, ‘So will you?’” Daryl says. “Luckily, she said yes and here we are today.”

The Venue. Daryl and Melissa were married in front of their closest family and friends overlooking the water on the beach of Coco Reef Resort in Bermuda on their five year dating anniversary. Six days later, they held a reception with 190 guests at Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa. “We wanted a waterfront venue to tie in with our beach theme,” Daryl explains. “Chesapeake Beach [Resort & Spa] had the best overall experience in what we were looking for. The food was great, the venue was great, and it was like you had the whole little town to yourself.”


The Decor. Melissa and Daryl opted for a beach theme, and created a bunch of DIY projects to achieve the look. Seating arrangements were inscribed—with the help of a bridesmaid—on sand dollars neatly placed in a homemade box of sand. Centerpieces included water-submerged orchids and candles placed among beach netting, drift wood, and starfish. And turquoise uplighting lit up the walls with tropical flowers. For favors, the couple offered guests crab mallets personalized with the bride and groom’s names, the wedding date, and the phrase, “We got hammered at Daryl and Melissa’s wedding reception.”

The Dessert. “After arriving back in the States from our wedding, we only had two days until our reception,” Daryl notes. “On top of unpacking, entertaining family from out of state, and getting ready for our reception, Melissa managed to bake and decorate our wedding cake and cupcakes.” Melissa made the beach-style wedding cake—three tiers of red velvet, chocolate, and, upon the groom’s request, funfetti—and wrote their initials in the “sand.” On top of the cake, she placed two Adirondack chairs, and to top off the accompanying lemon-flavored cupcakes, gummy crabs rested in the “sand.”


The Favorite Moment. Both Melissa and Daryl report that the garter and bouquet toss were their favorite parts of the day. “It was so fun,” they say. One of the bridesmaids caught the bouquet, and a groomsmen, the garter. They were a couple then, and, Daryl and Melissa said, “As the tradition goes, the two of them are engaged to be married in January of 2016.”

The Best Decision. Melissa and Daryl agree that the best decision they made in planning their big day was hiring photographers Andrea and Renata. “They did an awesome job at capturing every moment and every single little detail,” they say. “At the end of the day, memories are all you have. And the day went by so fast, it was impossible to soak everything in.”

First dance:
“I’m Yours,” Jason Mraz

Father/Daughter dance:
“Butterfly Kisses,” Bob Carlisle

Mother/Son dance:
“My Wish,” Rascal Flatts

Lori Kirby-Medlin

Connie Clark with Violets Florist

Crowe Entertainment

Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa

Sweet Cheek Bakery (bride)

Maggie Sottero, Mary’s Bridal

Bride’s shoes:
Chuck Taylors

Bridesmaid dresses:
Davids Bridal

Men’s attire:
Under Armour golf khakis,
Kenneth Cole white button down

Bride’s jewelry:
Moonlight Treasures
(sister made all jewelry for the girls)

Engagement ring:

Wedding bands:


J.O. Spice Company

Andrea & Renata

One Rock Studio

Val Stanovich with Vintage Veils

Utz/ Natty Boh champagne flutes:
Krafty Mama Boutique