Engagement: Dalton and Grant

With the recent hit of Hurricane Florence, we wanted to share some beauty and joy from the coast. Dalton and Grant are getting married in May of next year and we could not be more excited. This sweet couple will be hosting their ceremony and reception in Oriental, NC which has such a special meaning to them. Sadly, Hurricane Florence did some damage to the area, but their community is so strong we know it will be even more special to host their wedding there. The ceremony will be out on the lawn of Grant’s family home overlooking the Pamlico Sound with the reception taking place a few doors down at The Stallings House.

We asked Dalton and Grant a few questions about their upcoming wedding and the planning process. Take a peek below to see what they had to say! Also, check out these adorable images from their amazing photographer Caroline Lima from their engagement session!

Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

Beach Engagement Pictures

How did you two meet?
  • Where to begin on this question. Grant joked around about this question and I have to say some of his answers were quite funny. In all seriousness though the story of how we met has a short version with a long back story.
  • Grant and I grew up in the same small town, attending neighboring high schools, and little to my knowledge both going to Holden Beach where both our families have extensive history.
  • My first real memory of seeing/meeting Grant was at his senior week (beach week) for some. He graduated a year ahead of me and I had went with some friends from his class. I remember hearing this truck with loud Country music and out popped this guy and his buddy … Grant in a cowboy hat and a Bikini Patrol tank top and Country (Grant’s best man) in almost matching attire.
  • While this trip provides a great source of stories our relationship truly begins when you fast forward to the summer of 2011. Grant had been spending the majority of any of his free time at beach and I had just gotten down to my family’s place as well. He had reached out and suggested I meet him and his cousins for drinks at the local beach bar. The first night I made up some excuse not to go (being antisocial) but the following night when my Mom came down she insisted that I go out and have some fun. Mom we owe you.
  • Well here I go and show up to Castaways the local beach hang out and there is no one really there except Grant, who has let’s say indulged slightly after a full day out in a fishing tournament. A few drinks later, Grant informing me he wanted to be a fishing Captain when he grew up, and me driving both he and I home and I was hooked even if I didn’t want to admit it. That was July of 2011 and here we are 7 years later.
 
How did Grant propose?
  • Everything works out in its own time, right? Just as with Grant and I meeting, which was not in my plans, the timing of Grant’s proposal ended up being perfect. Timing is a large theme of how Grant proposed. This guy fought hurricanes, trip cancellations, and other delays all the while keeping his secret under wraps. To be accurate he actually kept the ring in his shoe in his closet, and from me for ~ 6 months.
  • Admittedly I had begun to wonder if Grant was going to ever propose. We had been together quite a while, were very happy and taking big steps in life. And lord the grief he received from people. The funny thing is, when you are as happy and content in a relationship as we are I had come to the realization that I was going to do life with Grant no matter what. Proposal or no proposal it was Grant and I for the next 80 years. Of course, like I said, timing has a funny way of surprising you.
  • The weekend after Valentine’s Day (which was spent apart) Grant working and myself on a work trip in Cincinnati, we headed down to Holden Beach. We had been dying to get back down to the coast since the start of the new year. The weekend in itself wasn’t all that special on the surface, it was just a nice getaway to one of our favorite places to relax for the weekend.
  • That Sunday it turned VERY special though. If I had any thought he might propose, when Saturday night passed so did any inclination. Sunday morning was spent drinking coffee on the porch at his families home and being lazy. About lunch we decided to head down to my family’s and take Jasper (our Boxer) out on the beach. Later sitting on the deck at my Grandparents as I was kinda hurrying Grant up saying we should go clean up his place and head home he turned to me and said “Well before we go I have to give you something”, he proceeded to get down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I remember saying “Are you for real!? Haha. Is this real you want to spend forever with me?” And of course I said YES!
 
So far, what aspect of planning the wedding has been the most enjoyable?
  • Well we haven’t had our food tasting yet, that one may win out in the end given how much we love to eat but so far though I think it would have to be our initial walk through in Oriental. Walking through the ceremony and reception sites, envisioning how everything will come together really made it all seem real.
 
Do you have any advice for recently engaged brides to help them stay stress-free throughout the planning process?
  • Wine, white or red.
  • Haha…no in all seriousness, I think the most important thing that helps is to take time to just be engaged. You might feel like you have to jump right into the planning stages but Grant and I enjoyed a few months where we didn’t really do much other just enjoy the fact we were engaged and we’re getting married.
  • Additionally you will find that all those dreams and ideas you might have had as a child about your wedding, while still important and may help shape the style of your wedding, they aren’t the most important aspect. Keep focused on the fact that you are getting to celebrate spending the rest of your life with your best friend and the details/party is the cherry on top. To Grant and I, what is most important is the feel of the day and I remind myself of that anytime I get stressed.
  • Lastly for the grooms, remember that while they may have a slight understanding that weddings require planning they don’t fully understand the extent of the planning. Ask them what they want to be involved in, don’t pressure it. You’ll be surprised to find out they care more about certain things. Also break up lists into key items that need to get checked off say every other week and do it together vs. giving them a laundry list of things to decide on. I promise they will be more receptive. Lastly if you really need help getting them to decide on something (if they’re indecisive) your planner putting down a timeline for them certainly helps.
 
What are you most excited about for the day of the wedding?
  • Hmm this is hard. I think just being able to share this amazing milestone with our family and friends. We can’t wait to share Oriental with them, while also celebrating our next step in life together. We hope the entire weekend is a celebration which reflects us and our love for being able to share what brings us joy (each other, family, friends, the coast, and good food, music, and drinks).
 
What are three words to describe the feel of your upcoming wedding?
  • Elegant, and timeless, yet relaxed
 
What made you decide to hire a planner?
  • I knew that with mine and Grant’s schedules it would be very hard for us to be able to enjoy the process of planning a wedding, and have the event we envisioned without one. Also I knew my mom and I would have more fun during the wedding planning process without having to worry over all the details. A planner, and an experienced one like the team at Southern Soiree are great at understanding the ins and outs of all the various pieces of the puzzle that go into planning a wedding.
  • Hiring a planner became even more of a priority when we did officially decide to get married at Grant’s family’s home on the Pamilco Sound. We wanted the entire weekend to be relaxed and fun for all of our family members. Grant, my parents, and I have all said that hiring Southern Soiree was the best decision! I would suggest hiring a planner to any bride, I promise it is well worth it.