Susquehanna Style
Just Married: Kyle & Melissa

January 2016

By M Diane McCormick
Photos by Thomas Beaman

Reprinted with the kind permission of Susquehanna Style

The Details

The threads: Renaissance Bridals, York,

The wedding planner: That’s It! Wedding Concepts,

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The venue and caterer: Café 1500, Harrisburg,;

The wedding cake: Sophia’s on Market, Camp Hill,

The custom cake pops: A Piece of Kake, Enola,

The custom cookies: Sweet Sanctions, Lebanon,

The cupcakes and desert bar setup: Couture Cakery, Lemoyne,

The blooms: Blooms by Vickrey, Camp Hill,

Brooch bouquet and boutonniere: Vintage Expressions,

The rentals: MCR Productions, West Pittston,

The paper suite: made to keep (bride’s business), Linglestown,

The live music: Carmen and Kira Acoustic Duo

The images: Thomas Beaman Photography, Lancaster,

The surprise: The entire wedding. A few select relatives, the bridesmaids and some vendors knew a wedding was on tap. Guests thought they were coming to an engagement champagne toast. Wedding planner Susan Moran cooked up the invite wording, “Guys Suit Up . . . Ladies Grab a Dress.” Melissa changed into her wedding dress after guests arrived.

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The reveal: Kyle slipped his friends a hint that he would be asking them to be his groomsmen. He asked, and then he added, “BUT I need you to do it RIGHT NOW!” Then he gave them socks and ties to wear. Melissa’s dad, told the secret as she was on her way to change, asked what she needed him to do. “Well, I want you to walk me down the aisle,” she said. He teared up.

Meant-to-be: Melissa Miller always dated the bad boys, but her mother would say, “The nice guy is the one you want to marry.” A friend convinced her to attend a downtown Harrisburg Santa Stumble. Dressed as Frosty the Snowman, she ran into Kyle, a considerate and respectful friend of a friend, dressed as Santa. Suddenly, a light went on. “He’s a great guy,” she says now. “I just didn’t see it.”

The officiant: Dawson Flinchbaugh, the well-known part-owner of Flinchy’s restaurant, presided. “Well, I guess at this point what I’ve got to say is, ‘Surprise!’” he said to open the ceremony. “We gotcha. This is not an engagement party. It’s Shocktoberfest. April Fool’s has come early. This is the real deal.”

The theme: Cocktail party relaxed. The rooftop setting overlooked the city of Harrisburg. Signage made wordplay with the couple’s name, urging guests to take cake pops “for the Rhoads” or suggest sites for their “annual Rhoads trip.” An acoustic duo covered Kyle and Melissa’s favorite songs, including Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”

The dessert bar: Custom cookies included a Volvo motor grader for Kyle, an engineer. Dachshund cake pops honored their dog, Lulu.

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