Wedded: For Melissa Malcolm and Edward Cullison, the first date was worth the wait

DATE: May 27, 2017

HER STORY: Melissa Susanne Malcolm, 35, was born in Baltimore. She works as the director of national sales and field marketing for Milk Processors Education Program. Her parents, Barry and Sue Malcolm, live in Bel Air.

HIS STORY: Edward Sterling Cullison, 38, was born in Manhattan, N.Y. He works as a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. His father, Joseph Cullison, lives in Carlisle, Pa.

THEIR STORY: Three years ago, Ed and Melissa had busy lives. Melissa was traveling full-time for work, and Ed was working a full-time job during the day and picking up shifts on weekends at a restaurant for extra money.

“We both just happened to stumble into each other on an online dating website,” he said. “Because of her travel schedule, it took a few weeks to meet.”

Ed immediately knew there was something special about Melissa on their first date a few weeks later.

“I knew that there was something different about the night — cliche as that may sound,” he said.

The two went to Mama’s on the Half Shell in the pouring rain. They shared an umbrella.

“It was very romantic,” he said. “We talked for hours, ate a nice dinner and drank orange crushes. Melissa was very easy to talk to and everything just flowed.”

The relationship strengthened. And after a few months, he moved in with her in Canton. They’ve been living together ever since.

THE PROPOSAL: Edward proposed to Melissa on April 9, 2016, in St. Michaels.

Melissa had a work event in Bowie, so she asked Ed to join her.

“Since Ed had never seen me speak at any of these events before, he decided that he would come with me and then we could go spend the weekend in one of our favorite places: St. Michaels,” she said.

After a long day at the work event, the two came back to their hotel to relax.

“When we walked into the hotel room, there was a huge bouquet of two dozen beautiful roses,” Melissa said. “Ed doesn’t normally send flowers, so I thought instantly that something was going on. However, he was cool and calm.”

It was raining outside, so the two spent the rest of the afternoon watching the Masters Golf Tournament, the couple’s favorite.

After dinner at 208 Talbot, Melissa asked where they were going next.

“I thought that he had something else incredible planned,” she said. “He replied, ‘Nowhere. It’s raining out and I thought we would just go back to the hotel.’ ”

Melissa admittedly was disappointed.

When they arrived back at the hotel, Ed dropped her off at the front door and went to park the car. When he returned, he was carrying a picnic basket.

“I asked what was in the basket. He said, ‘Oh nothing, you’ll find out later,’ ” Melissa said, adding that she figured that the basket was for a picnic the following day.

“We went up to the room and everything looked normal. Ed followed me into the bedroom and told me to stay inside for a few minutes, then closed the door,” Melissa said. It was “the longest five minutes of my life.”

Ed eventually came to the bedroom and escorted her into the living room, where he had decorated the table with rose petals, candles, champagne and a cupcake platter. Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love” was playing. The two danced to the song, and Melissa couldn’t stop crying.

“I knew what was happening,” she said. “Then he had me sit down on his knee while he read me a handwritten letter.”

The letter talked about their life together and what he loved about it.

Ed then got down on one knee and pulled out the ring.

“I happily accepted his proposal,” she said.

VENUE: One hundred forty guests attended the black-tie-optional wedding and reception at Swan Harbor Farm in Havre de Grace.

FLOWERS AND DECOR: The couple opted for a Southern-style wedding. The colors were blush, white, ivory and gold. The flowers were peonies, garden roses and ranunculus.

HER DRESS: Melissa wore a dress by Maggie Sottero from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection. Her long cathedral veil with blusher was by Jennifer Leigh Veils. She wore her grandmother’s blue sapphire pin, Banana Republic earrings and Henri Bendel bracelet.

BRIDESMAID’S ATTIRE: Bridesmaids wore blush sequin gowns from Badgley Mischka and Kate Spade earrings.

MEN’S ATTIRE: Ed and the groomsmen wore classic ivory dinner jackets and black tuxedo pants with black suspenders and black bow ties from Joseph & Feiss.

MUSIC: Reign, a band from Philadelphia, provided the music. The couple’s first dance was to “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett.

FOOD AND DESSERT: Rouge Fine Catering provided the food. Appetizers consisted of buttermilk chicken and waffles with peach-horseradish maple syrup drizzle; cornmeal-crusted fried green tomato with applewood bacon, goat's cheese and sun-dried tomato aioli; sesame crusted Ahi tuna wonton and Maryland crab fondue. Dinner included southern-style cornbread and warm biscuits with sweet cream whipped honey butter; grilled peach and goat's cheese salad; pan-seared filet mignon in a house blend of seasonings topped with sauteed lump crab over truffle mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus finished with lemon Beurre Blanc; and shrimp and grits. The couple also served a five-tier cake from Pitango Bakery.

FAVORS: The couple gave away milk and cookies. The first cookies were monogrammed in green wreaths with gold lettering of the couples full monogram (mCe).

SPECIAL TOUCHES: The night of the proposal, Ed played Rhett’s “Die A Happy Man,” which later became the couple’s wedding song. They spent two weeks traveling through Italy for their honeymoon.

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