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Posted: 04-02-2011
Bre and Kevin: BACís First Couple

By Danielle Naurayan

Breanne Gurley and Kevin Hatcher met through mutual friends on spring break while attending East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. They became an inseparable couple and, years later, in January 2010, while vacationing in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, they took a boat trip to Paradise Island. While snorkeling, Kevin presented Bre with an engagement ring Ö while a friend recorded the epic moment with an underwater camera.

The surprises of their wedding journey didn't stop there.

In April 2010, Bre booked Orton Plantation as the venue for her April 2011 outdoor wedding. She carefully selected all of her vendors and was in the process of sending out invitations when she received a letter from Orton informing her that they were cancelling her wedding date. For Bre, this was the ultimate wedding crisis, a true moment of panic. She called every venue on the Southeastern Carolina coast, trying to keep the wedding date so she wouldn't lose her fantastic team of vendors.

When a friend told her to check out the Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews, Bre made the call and set up a meeting. When she arrived, the building was still in its reconstruction phase. The courtyard was a "junkyard jungle." A layer of construction dust covered everything in the sanctuary. The manse was an office for Historic Wilmington Foundation. If she was going to get married in Brooklyn, it would be a big leap of faith. "Being the first wedding, we were nervous, and so were our vendors! It was new for them too, but when we showed up for the rehearsal, all those months later, the venue looked breathtaking!"

Bre and Kevin had attended many of their friends' weddings, and they wanted a style they could call their own. They hired Salt Harbor Designs to help them develop an atmosphere that would reflect their love of the outdoors. "Salt Harbor is so good at molding your personalities into a stimulating vision. Meeting with her was like an interview because she wanted to get to know us as a couple." After the meeting, Salt Harbor encouraged Bre to email pictures of anything and everything that inspired her wedding vision.

At the rehearsal dinner, guests enjoyed margarita chicken and mixed vegetables from Coastal Catering and a slideshow of Breanne and Kevin's transition from childhood to couple, followed by the video of their engagement. It was a prelude to a most memorable wedding.

The ceremony was a magical moment in time. Yellow roses lined the aisles of the Brooklyn Arts Center courtyard, where one-and-a-half-year- olds commanded the aisle as flower girl and ring bearer. Breanne wore a magical, beautiful wedding gown with a sweetheart neckline. Some of Bre's family history--fabric from her mother's gown and grandmother's brooch--was woven into the gown itself. Breanne says her favorite moment was when she walked out of the manse and down the wedding stairs and saw Kevin for the first time. "After walking down the aisle, you look back and think gosh seven years and we're married! Just knowing that there are 150 people to celebrate your special day Ö it's incredible, you don't even realize it until it's happening!"

Under the crazy-good energy and talent of DJ Brian Hood, who mixed an electric combination of shag, hip hop, country, and rock, the reception guests danced all night long, literally until the very last minute of the party. With the BAC sanctuary ceiling changing colors to the rhythm of the music and Bre and Kevin leading the way on the dance floor, it was truly a wedding to remember.

And still the surprises kept coming.

BAC's first bride received an unexpected gift on her wedding day from the Brooklyn Arts Center team. The courtyard wedding steps were named--with a pretty gold plaque--the "Bre Gurley Steps." It was Bre who suggested that BAC should build a straight staircase, as opposed to the existing switchback, for all the Brooklyn brides to descend. BAC took Bre's advice to heart and gave her the credit she deserved.

"The weekend of our wedding was just perfect," Breanne says. "I went from being devastated by Orton to having the most beautiful, romantic wedding I could ever imagine at the Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews. Everyone one there was so helpful, so attentive, it was a perfect, storybook wedding."

The newlyweds honeymooned in St. Thomas and St. John, where they explored the beaches and did some fishing. "We caught mahi mahi, snapper, and yellow tail tuna, then brought it to a restaurant, where they cooked it for us!"

Breanne and Kevin both work in Washington, DC, as government contractors. They make their home in Annapolis, Maryland, with their dog, Ellie, where they enjoy weekends of wakeboarding, fishing, crabbing, and boating while planning trips to Seattle, Colorado, and back to North Carolina and BAC, where the "Bre Gurley Steps" are doing just fine.


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