Melissa + Michael

Anderson Japanese Gardens – Rockford, Illinois

Tell us about you and Michael! How did you meet?

I met my husband Michael our freshman year of college in 2013. We were in the same calculus class and lived in the same dorm building so we ended up walking the same path after class and going into the same elevator to the same floor 4x a week. One day he got the courage to make small talk and commented how strange it was that we saw each other there almost every day- he had no clue he had been staring at the back of my head and sitting right behind me in class for about 2 months!! (I love telling the story, he gets embarrassed but the story made it into the ceremony so he can’t hate it that much, haha!!) Shortly after that we started hanging out and learned we had a few mutual friends since starting college and the rest is history!! We both graduated college together, moved in together, and he went on to get his Doctorate in Physical Therapy while I started my career in analytical chemistry and now work in pharmaceuticals. Michael is my most favorite person, he’s so incredibly caring, understanding, and so much fun to be around! He brightens up a room and I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone else in the world! We settled in southern Wisconsin in 2020 and adopted our adorable dog Maya and then got married May 15th 2021!!!!

Can you tell us all about your dress and your experience at Bon Bon Belle?

Bon Bon Belle was amazing!! I unfortunately do not recall the name of the wonderful woman was assisting me the day I came in, but she was perfect! Bon Bon Belle was the third shop I had tried, the first being too expensive and could not order any dresses in time even though it was 9 months out, the second was not up to the quality I wanted and I didn’t have a good connection with the stylist I was working with. When I got to Bon Bon Belle, it felt like that “just right” balance of what I had envisioned in a bridal boutique! Bon Bon Belle gave me that special 1:1 bridal feeling I was looking for and always made sure not to bring me anything that was outside of my price expectations. The stylist heard what I was saying about each gown that I nit-picked and worked with me to find the perfect one! The moment we found “THE” gown, we knew immediately because we were both speechless before even finishing buttoning up the back! I bought my dress that day on the first visit! The Stella York 6888 in Almond was the perfect feel for my romantic floral wedding and was so comfortable to be in, I danced all night long!!


How did you wedding day go?

It rained on our wedding day, but we didn’t let that get us down!! Our ceremony was at a covered outdoor pavilion in a Japanese botanical garden and we still did all of our pictures outside as the rain was light enough for most of it! The bottom of my dress got pretty soaked and a little muddy, I think a leaf got stuck in between some of the layers of tulle at some point, but we were running high on wedding day emotions nothing could get in our way!! We were going to get all the pictures we could in those beautiful gardens! All our vendors exceeded expectations and everything went without a hitch (even if we took a little too long crying together during our first look that the ceremony started a little late!!) The entire day was perfect but went entirely too fast!

What is your best advice for future brides to be?

Don’t fret over every little detail, try and be present with all your loved ones and your most loved one that you’re marrying!! Take your time and enjoy it, the day goes by too fast!

Ceremony: Anderson Japanese Gardens

Reception: Franchesco’s Ristorante

Photographer: Robert Colletta Photography

DJ: Reflex DJ Service

Flowers: Petals & Pickin’s Florals.

Officiant: Ann Brown from My Best Ceremony.

Bridal Salon: Of course, Bon Bon Belle!!!!