Bride: Bethani Ukah, 29, Digital Sales Account Executive
Groom: Joel Mentor, 28, Aerospace and Defense Research Analyst
Married On: July 16, 2011
Wedding Location: Grand Bohemian Hotel, Ashevellie, North Carolina
Wedding Style: Vintage Glamour
Joel and Bethani met for the first time at a mutual friend’s party. They lived in different states but they sporadically kept in touch in the months after their encounter. When Joel moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown, he sent flowers to Bethani’s New York apartment. She was flattered and the next thing they knew, he was on a bus to visit her for their first date. They hit it off famously.
Joel proposed to Bethani when she came to visit him for his birthday. “I was so happy,” she tells us. “It’s amazing because you always think you will know how it feels, but no one can prepare you for the type of high that you experience. At that moment I was floating in the clouds— I did not come down for weeks.”
Bethani wore a beautiful Mori Lee gown on her big day. She says dress shopping was one of her favorite wedding planning moments.
Bethani's shoes were her "something blue."
“My mom was the one who actually chose my dress,” says Bethani. “I tried it on because I love my mother. It was straight and bland on the hanger, but once it went on my body it was completely transformed. When I walked out of the room everyone knew it was the dress.”
Bethani’s lovely earrings were Swarvoski crystal, her bracelet came from Etsy.com and she chose two pairs of shoes for her special day – a blue pairs from Badgley Mischka and a white one from Cole Haan.
“Our wedding flowers were garden roses and ranunculus,” says Bethani. “We chose them because my favorite flower, the peony, was not in season and these flowers closely resemble the peony.”
The back of Bethani's Mori Lee gown was absolutely stunning, and fully deserving of this close-up.
Joel won me over with the incredible way that he pays attention to my needs,” says Bethani. “He loved me with a depth and wholeness that makes me feel safe with him.”
Bethani’s two sisters and close friends were her bridesmaids on the big day.
Bethani was all smiles in the trolley in route to her wedding ceremony.
A precious portrait of the lady of the day and her little helper.
Bethani's beautiful bridesmaids flash smiles for the camera.
Bethani, Joel and their bridal party took fabulous portraits during a pre-wedding shoot at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville.
The team at Blossoms Florist at Biltmore Park in Asheville created the beautiful florals for the couple’s wedding day.
Bethani and Joel’s evening ceremony and reception were both held at the Grand Bohemian Hotel because they wanted things to be most convenient for their guests.
Flower petals could be found all over Bethani and Joel's ceremony and reception site -- a romantic and unforgettable touch.
Bethani’s father had the honor and pleasure of walking her down the aisle. “Seeing the ceremony isle for the first time was one of my favorite memories,” she says. “It took my breath away. Standing there looking at Joel, our family and close friends all in that one setting, that I designed, was a moment I will never forget.”
“We chose the Grand Bohemian because we wanted an intimate setting where we would feel close to our guests,” says Bethani. “Also, since our family and friends were traveling all over the Eastern seaboard, we wanted a site with a central location. The Grand Bohemian had an Old World classic ambiance that suited the vision for our wedding setting.”
We love the way Bethani looks at Joel. Now that's love!
Joel decided to go with a midnight blue tuxedo. Doesn’t he look dapper?
“We wanted the wedding to be an elegant, yet simple affair that adhered to classic traditions,” says Bethani. “Joel is a fan of classic minimalist aesthetic while I love anything that sparkles. We were able to merge the two styles beautifully.”
Bethani's smallest bridal party members watch on as she and Joel say "I do."
During their heartfelt wedding ceremony, Bethani and Joel did the Holy Communion while the Lord’s Prayer was read.
“I tried to incorporate elements based on our interests,” says Bethani. “Joel loves the color blue, so I chose that as one of our color themes. I love flowers, so I decided to incorporate flowers as much as possible, including using roses for the wedding aisle.”
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Mentor!
To pay tribute to their relatives who died before their special day, Bethani and Joel named their reception tables after each of them. What a special and unique tribute idea.
“We had a live jazz band made up of four teenaged musicians,” reveals Bethani. “They were amazing performers and one of the highlights of the wedding.”
Bethani and Joel share their first dance as husband and wife.
The couple’s floral-inspired wedding cake featured four flavors: hummingbird, chocolate, strawberry and lemon. Isn’t it a beauty?
“My wife, who loves to dance, got up spontaneously and begin dancing as a live jazz band was playing during the reception,” says Joel of one of his favorite wedding memories. “She literally danced for about twenty minutes straight as the whole wedding party stood at attention, captivated by her energy, joy and beauty. That moment has remained etched in our consciousness.”
“The groom’s cake was pineapple, coconut and lemon,” Bethani says. “I had it designed to look like two of Joel’s favorite books: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and The Two Ocean War, a history book by Samuel Eliot Morrison.”
Before they left, guests were invited to visit the couple’s fun photo booth and take home hilarious picture keepsakes with the couple’s name and wedding date printed on them.
Did you enjoy Bethani and Joel's sweet romantic ceremony and reception style? Tell 'em so! Leave your well wishes and comment love for the newlyweds below.