Read the Amazing Love Story that Won the $17,000 Wedding from Singing River Mall!

Congratulations to Wayne Byars and Melissa Trahan, the winning couple of Singing River Mall's "Amazing Love Stories" Contest! 

Here's their captivating love story...

The Story of Us

Growing up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, crowds seem to run in the same circles, or so I thought. I went to the public high school, but most of my best friends went to St. John, the private school. I knew most of the people that went to school at St. John except for one, my future wife. Her name is Melissa Trahan and she is the most amazing person I have ever met.

The two of us actually met at work and initially she had no interest in me what-so-ever. Despite that fact, after about two months of working at the same company I got the nerve up to ask her out; of course she accepted! We began to go to lunch together on a regular basis, where we would talk about all of the people that we both knew, and wondering how it is that we had never met. After a few weeks of lunches, I decided to ask her out on a real date. We went to the Broadway musical Cats, at a local casino, and then to a fancy restaurant. I thought it was a great date but I could tell that she was not into me all that much.

There was something about her that I did not want to give up on, so I asked her out a few more times; a few more expensive times. I was getting a little discouraged but I thought I would give it one more chance before I gave up - it was the do or die date. I took her to the Elton John concert and pulled out all of the stops. After the concert I got the "I just want to be friends" line. So I stopped calling as much and stopped asking her out. I guess she missed it and began calling me and we became very good friends.

A few weeks later, Melissa's father sprung some huge news on her. He called her on Wednesday to let her know that on Friday he was getting married to his girlfriend of four years. This was very unexpected and really seemed to shake her up. She called and told me the story about how her mother had passed away five years ago and that she expected some sort of notice before he got married. She was happy for her father but was clearly still in shock after the big news, so I sent flowers to her house before she left for the wedding. I did not send the flowers to score points but I knew that she was going to have a tough day and I at least wanted it to start out on a good note. She called to thank me for the flowers and asked me to go out and celebrate the wedding with her and the newlyweds. This is the night I received my first "official kiss", so believe it or not, we have the same anniversary as her father and his new wife. She asked me to go to a Halloween party with her the following weekend, I gladly accepted. We dressed up as Venus and Serena Williams and we were a huge hit, it was a great night. We soon started dating only one another and I was very happy to finally be with the girl I had wanted for so long. I asked her what finally made her come around and she told me that it was the flowers, not the fact I sent them but the timing. I told her that if I knew that flowers would have done the trick, I could have saved a lot of money and time.

Melissa is a football fan, I could never marry a girl that isn't, and I took her to New Orleans to meet my college roommate and go to a Saints game. We had been dating for a few months now and things were going great. We went to a restaurant called Jacamo's, which is one of the most unique restaurants that I have ever been to. The night before we left, SHE was the first to say "I Love You", and I reciprocated. Even after all of this, we still had not told the people we work with that we were dating, and that kind of bothered me.

We finally told them about us around Thanksgiving, I remember because I had just returned from my parents' house in Tennessee about the time it happened; everyone was very happy and supportive. It was the Christmas season so we went to Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, which is unbelievable, especially around the holidays. Things were going awesomely, but she still had not met my family.

For the Christmas Holiday, I took Melissa to Tennessee to meet my parents. She had never been to Nashville so we took the hour trip to see the sights. It was Christmas Eve and the streets were empty, so we went to the Wildhorse Saloon and learned how to do a country dance. Later went back to my parents to open presents and then went to Christmas at my grandparents in Memphis. After Christmas we spent our first New Years in Mobile, with about four other couples.

Melissa's birthday is January 14, and for her birthday, one of the gifts I gave her was an Italian Charm Bracelet, which is a bracelet made up of links that are all blank in the beginning. They sell links with just about anything you can imagineon them. I picked out about four that represented our journey as a couple together and she was very touched by the effort I had made.

We spent our first Valentines Day apart from one another, she had gone to Jamaica for one of her friends weddings and did not return until the 17th. When she returned I had made a picture frame that had photos from all of the trips we had taken together and gave her some more charms for her bracelet among other things. I also sent her flowers at work for the first time; I had not sent them to work in the past because I figured all the guys would give me a hard time. I did not know this at the time but she had said for years that the man who sends her flowers to work is the man she will marry.

Soon after, we began looking for rings. Actually, Melissa was looking for a ring, I was trying to get ideas of what she liked. We looked for a couple of weeks and then I just let it go and quit talking about it for a while. About two months later I called a jeweler that I know and had him come to my office and show me what types of rings he had. I picked out the perfect ring for her but was not ready to buy it. Two weeks later, I had him come back because I was ready to buy a ring. I went through all of the ring settings again but was convinced that I had found the right one. So I had the ring set and began trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it.

A week after I had the ring set , I went and picked it up. A nervous wreck, I headed to her fathers house to ask his blessing. I was actually more nervous about asking his permission that asking Melissa to marry me. I actually had the ring locked up at work for two days before I gave it to her. The hard part was yet to come. I knew how I wanted to propose to her and I knew what I needed to accomplish the task. So here is what I did:

I rented a Cessna 172 airplane and had a friend who is a pilot come down and fly while I did the deed. I got in touch with some of her friends and some of mine to do the work on the beach. Melissa and I both had to work for a couple of hours on Saturday morning so I left early and delivered some large cardboard sheets that I had gotten from work and brought them to the beach. I had four of my friends come down and paint the sign while we went and pre-tripped the plane for take-off. We got up in the air and I could see the sign from where we took off. We flew over to Ocean Springs and stalled for time until about 12:00 when we were to fly over. I was a little nervous that the sign would be too small for us to read but things worked out great. We got clearance to go to 400 ft. altitude and we could read it perfect. I presented the ring to her over my shoulder and she could not believe what was happening. We had about twenty friends on the beach waiting for us to fly over and then to meet back at my house after we landed. So we flew over and she accepted, and immediately the questions started. She wanted to know who, what, when, where, and how, and she could not get the answers soon enough. She could not believe that her friends knew and she had no clue. It was AWESOME!

One morning we were talking about how we would finance the wedding because her father is on a very tight budget and cannot afford to give us enough to pay for a wedding. We saw "An Amazing Love Story" on WLOX and thought we would give it a shot. I really want to give her the wedding that deserves and has always dreamed. So, "Amazing Love Story", please help me in giving my Cinderella her fairy tail wedding.

The Beginning

Wayne Byars