COUPLES ON THEIR WEDDING DAY
Stone + Tehrani
When Matthew Tehrani and Emilee Stone decided to marry, they couldn’t think of a more perfect setting than the beautiful Casey Key beachfront home of Matt’s father, Haji and his wife, Sherry. It was also perfect in that Matt’s mother, Janet, and her husband, Dave Swanson, live close by in Osprey. Family would be together, and relatives and friends from afar would have a wonderful destination wedding to attend!
Matt, who works in his family business, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Notre Dame University, and just a week before the wedding, earned his Master in Business degree from Indiana University. Emilee, who plans to work as a family nurse practitioner later this summer, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Indiana University, and recently earned her Master of Science degree of Nursing from Goshen College. It would be Emily’s patronage of Matt’s family business that would bring this beautiful couple together.
It seems that Matt’s associates thought Emilee was perfect for Matt, so they set them up on a blind date. It worked. After a whirlwind courtship, Matt proposed to Emilee the day after Christmas when Emilee came home from work.
When it came time to plan their special day, the couple decided on having two ceremonies. The first ceremony was a traditional one performed by Matt’s brother, and the second ceremony was a Persian ceremony called Aghed, which was performed by Matt’s cousin. Matt’s father is Persian so it was important for Matt and Emilee to represent his Persian culture. They used gold and Moroccan-style lanterns to add Middle Eastern flair and included belly dancers for entertainment. The couple hosted a next day barbeque and beach day for their guests to unwind. This truly was their dream destination wedding, as they had family and friends from all over the United States and as far away as London and Australia attend.
Wedding Planner: Maria Brady of Choreographed Events | Photographer: Tibor Imely | Caterer: Michael’s on East | Cake: Cakes by Ron | Music: Jonathan Cortez | Belly Dancers: Omaris Saneaux | Lighting/Draping: Affairs in the Air | Florals/Rentals: So Staged Events and Rentals | Tent: US Tent | Linens: Linens by the Sea
Dohme + Hill
This story does not start out well, but it does have a happily-ever-after storybook ending. It was January 24, 2012. He kept calling and calling, telling Melissa Dohme he just wanted to say good-bye. She resisted, but eventually she gave in when he said, “Please, just one more hug.”
He was her high school boyfriend, and he just could not accept that Melissa wanted to end the relationship. She thought, what’s the harm? It’s just a hug. Hopefully, it will give him closure.
Harmless. Except it wasn’t. “One more hug” turned out to be a brutal attack. Melissa was stabbed in her neck, face, arms and hands a total of 32 times. The horrific assault caused her entire blood supply to need replacing – twice. She flat-lined four times and suffered a stroke in the emergency room, which paralyzed the left side of her face.
Thanks to the first responders, and the doctors and surgeons who took care of her, Melissa miraculously survived the vicious attack. While she lay fighting for her life that terrible night, she couldn’t possibly know that a new and happy chapter in her life had just begun.
Cameron Hill is a Clearwater firefighter. He was one of the first paramedics on the scene that night. He saw what happened to Melissa – the blood, the wounds, the horror. He couldn’t get her out of his mind. And while Melissa faced two years of rehabilitation and would need 10 surgeries, nothing deterred Cameron. He eventually asked her out, and since that first date, they’ve been inseparable. together
Melissa believes that God saved her that night so she could speak out for women who suffer in silence, and for those who have been forever silenced because their abuser succeeded in taking their life. She now works as a Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate for Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay in Clearwater (www.handsacrossthebay.org).
Melissa said, “I share my story to educate teens about the dangerous warning signs and red flags of abuse, what to do and where to go for help. When I was in high school, no one spoke to me about dating violence. I believe if I had seen a presentation like the one we provide though Hands Across the Bay (HATB), I would have never gone through what I did. I would never want to go through the horrific attack again, but with where I am today, I wouldn’t change it. I know I lived to share my story. At HATB, we also help survivors rebuild their lives after leaving abuse, and stabilize families who are in crisis through no fault of their own.”
Julie Weintraub, co-owner of Gold & Diamond Source in Clearwater, founded Hands Across the Bay in 2010. Its mission is to assist and mentor families in need, supporting other organizations, and advocating for change.
It was Julie who invited Melissa to the Tampa Bay Rays game to throw the ceremonial first pitch in recognition of her work as an advocate. It was May 11, 2015. It seems Cameron asked for Julie’s help and told her he wanted to plan a very special marriage proposal that night. Julie and Cameron joined forces and came up with the plan together.
That night, Melissa walked out to the pitchers mound and began waving and smiling as she waited for the ball to be brought out to her to throw to the catcher. Then she noticed Cameron running toward her. She thought how sweet it was that they would have Cameron coming out to bring her the ball. When Cameron got closer, she saw that the baseball he held bore the words Will you marry me? He got down on one knee to propose, the answer which, of course, was an enthusiastic YES!
The couple waited two years before their special day since Melissa was still a full-time student. She graduated college in May 2016. She also underwent facial nerve and muscle transplant surgery in Boston during that time. It was her dream to smile down the aisle, and she did. A nerve was taken from her left calf and used in her face, and after about eight months of regeneration, a muscle was taken from her thigh and transplanted to her face. It took 18 months to heal, bringing her to her wedding day.
Cameron and Melissa married on March 4 at the Lange Farm in Dade City. Brooke Palmer Kuhl of RSBP Events volunteered to donate her services to plan the couple’s wedding. She then spent nearly two years working on every special detail of Melissa’s dream wedding, assembling a terrific team of vendors to make it all happen.
Melissa made her grand entrance on a horse-drawn carriage under a beautiful old oak tree with hanging chandeliers that sparkled in the sun. The wedding was a lovely mix of country and elegance and the decor was breathtaking. Melissa even donned lace-trimmed cowboy boots under her exquisite wedding gown.
Melissa Harris, the Clearwater police officer who was first on scene, has become one of Melissa’s closest friends; she was one of Melissa’s bridesmaids. The trauma surgeon who saved her life at Bayfront Medical, Dr. Jeff Johnson, attended the wedding with his wife. Several other EMTs and paramedics who helped save Melissa have become her friends and also attended the wedding.
Cameron and Melissa took a weeklong road trip to the mountains to enjoy the cool breezes and breathtaking scenery. At the end of this year, they will enjoy a stay at the Waterline Marina Resort and Beach Club on Anna Maria Island, a gift from the resort. The couple is forever grateful to all who have done so much for them. For them, their wedding was perfect, and will be a day they will cherish forever.
Venue: The Lange Farm | Flowers and Customized decor: Events in Bloom Tampa | Cake: The Cake Zone | Dress: Malindy Elene Couture for the Bride | Bridesmaids: Bella Bridesmaids #TAMPA | Hair & Make-Up: RachelArtistry | Suit: THE BLACK TUX | Horse Carriage: Classic Reflections Carriages | Music & Lighting: Matt Winter Band | Stationary & Invitations: URBANcoast | Jewels: Gold & Diamond Source | Favors & Popcorn Bar: Chef Inspired Popcorn Company | Photography: Amy Pezzicara/Pezz Photo | Videography: VHVIDEO.COM, Inc. – Videography | Petcare for Flower Dog: FairyTail Pet Care | Fun photobooth: Snapshoot Photobooth | Rehearsal Dinner: The Smoke Shack | Wedding Food: Puff ‘n Stuff Catering | Drink: Catering by Lundy’s | Gourmet Coffee: Café Ala Carte – Tampa/Sarasota/Orlando | Decor: So Staged Event Design + Rentals, Over The Top Rental Linens, A Chair Affair, Inc. | Limos & Guest Bus: BLU Moon Transportation All Access Transportation Inc | DJ: Coro Almonte | Dessert: Mini Doughnut Factory | Honeymoon: Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club | Fire Truck: Pasco County Fire Department