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From Single to Swept Away

By Allison Mitchell | September 25, 2015 | Articles

SHE SAID YES!
Most Eligible Atlantans from 2012 to 2014 give us the scoop on their epic engagements.

Hunter Hamm & Kelly Travis
The Proposal Spot: GoldenEye Resort, Jamaica
Save the Date: May 2016 at The Cloister at Sea Island, Ga.
When Conyers native Kelly Travis nabbed a spot in our 2013 Most Eligible feature, she had recently split from her boyfriend of four years Hunter Hamm. During her year as one of the A’s top singles, Travis skipped town to Los Angeles to take part in season 18 of ABC’s The Bachelor, featuring the infamous Juan Pablo Galavis. It was during filming she knew her heart was elsewhere. “I found myself wishing I was with Hunter, instead of at all the incredible places the show was taking me,” she recalls. When her final rose ceremony concluded, the marketing exec booked it back to the South and called her former flame to reignite the spark. “He was there when I got to the airport, and we have spent every day and night together since,” says the 29-year-old. Aw! Finally, last November, Hamm, a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley, whisked Travis off to GoldenEye Resort in Jamaica, where he proposed with a 3-carat oval-cut diamond ring during a candlelit seaside dinner. The duo will wed next spring with an intimate ceremony at The Cloister at Sea Island, followed by a rockin’ reception at The Cloister Beach Club. Final rose, accepted.

Stephanie Ming & Levine Toilolo
The Proposal Spot: Atlanta
Save the Date: Summer 2017
As a former Atlanta Hawks cheerleader, 2014 Most Eligible Stephanie Ming is no stranger to rubbing elbows with pro athletes. While she didn’t find love on the basketball court, she did find it at Buckhead’s Yebo restaurant, where Atlanta Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo was enjoying a night out with his teammates. Soon after a first date at 1Kept, the power couple was inseparable. “I knew right away God sent Levine to me,” says Ming. “I had such a peace about him; I can’t explain it.” The feeling was mutual. “I felt like I knew Stephanie my whole life,” gushes Toilolo. “Time only solidified that for me.” Then, on Toilolo’s birthday this past July, he made his feelings official after a date at Westside’s Bacchanalia. The footballer created a memory box for Ming filled with letters, cards, flight itineraries and more from the last year of their relationship before dropping to one knee and giving Ming a flawless emerald-cut diamond ring. Swoon! Expect a summer 2017 star-studded wedding. “We are only weeks into our engagement and loving every minute!” reveals Ming, who’s currently launching her pop singing career while gearing up for her beau’s third Falcons season. Touchdown, indeed.

Kelsey Grubbs & Luka Cline
The Proposal Spot: Maui, Hawaii
Save the Date: Nov. 14, 2015, at Chota Falls in Clayton, Ga.
Georgia Southern University alums Kelsey Grubbs, a 2013 Most Eligible, and her fiance, Luka Cline, began their love story at a wedding. How fitting! And funny enough, the couple whose wedding they met at will serve as the maid of honor and best man on their special day in November, exactly three years from that fateful weekend. Grubbs, who lost her father two years ago, knew Cline was the one after he stuck by her through the hardest period of her life. “Luka was standing there, loving me for who I was no matter what,” says Grubbs. “That’s when I knew I found my husband.” Cline proposed with a stunning 2-carat oval diamond ring in a Tacori classic crescent setting on the beach in Maui while on vacation with friends last April. Expect a glitzy affair this fall, where everything will be “gold, white and completely glam,” says Grubbs.

Lewis Sharpless & Marissa May
The Proposal Spot: Camelback Mountain, Ariz.
Save the Date: Fall 2016
As a senior publicist for Allied Integrated Marketing, Marissa May, a 2013 Most Eligible, works with A-List celebs on the reg to promote their blockbuster movies. When a superhero-themed race popped up in support of her latest account, May gladly took on the task of rounding up fit guys, one of which was then future fiance Lewis Sharpless. While it took three months for the pair to grab dinner at King + Duke, May knew early on that she was hooked. “I knew Lewis was the one from the second we started dating each other,” says May. After falling hard for each other over the next couple of years, Sharpless proposed to May during a Camelback Mountain hike in her home state of Arizona this past June. When her prince charming got down on one knee at the end of their tiresome trek (where a photographer was hiding to capture the moment), it was all worth it. “Lewis reminisced that it was in Arizona where he first told me he loved me, and to him it was the perfect spot to tell me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me,” says the bride-to-be.

Jason Garnier & Rebecca Briggs
The Proposal Spot: Vail, Colo.
Save the Date: Oct. 10, 2015, at Dunwoody Country Club
Ever the avid traveler, Delta Air Lines pilot Jason Garnier, a 2012 Most Eligible, found love with a fellow travel bug. After meeting through mutual friends at a Christmas party in 2013, Garnier and optometrist Rebecca Briggs had their first date at No. 246 in Decatur before heading to Colorado for a ski trip to celebrate New Year’s a week later. Since Colorado was where the duo began their love story, it was only fitting that Garnier take his fiancee to a 12,000-foot mountaintop near Vail to pop the question, where a photographer and Champagne were waiting. “Rebecca challenges me every day to be a better person,” says Garnier. “She is my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine a day without her.” The ambitious pair will make forever official this October at Dunwoody Country Club before heading to the Maldives for a sun-kissed honeymoon.

"I DO" DIARIES
Two Most Eligible Atlantans find their happily ever after.

Larissa Mychalczuk & Joey Ranieri
The Spot: The Georgian Terrace
The Details: Planner—Michelle Phillips of Twig and Vine Event Design, Dress—Morilee Blu Collection from Bride Beautiful, Groom’s Suit—Savvi Formalwear, Bride’s Shoes—Badgley Mischka, Flowers—Julie Coffin of Unique Floral Expressions, Catering—The Georgian Terrace, Cake—Frosted Pumpkin Gourmet Inc., Candy Bar—Lisa Ranieri and Donna Swedberg, DJ—Fernando Silva of Lethal Rhythm Events, Honeymoon—Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino
The Photos: Matt Yung Photography
For 2012 Most Eligible Atlantan Joey Ranieri, meeting Larissa Mychalczuk at that year’s Most Eligible party at Tongue & Groove was love at first sight. “As soon as our eyes met, we both just knew,” gushes Ranieri. “It’s cheesy but true!” At the time, Georgia State University grad Mychalczuk was creating Modern Luxury’s most exclusive fetes as JEZ’s marketing and events manager and couldn’t resist the charm and intellect of Ranieri, a UGA grad who’s currently the managing attorney at Scherr & McClure Law. From there, the duo went on their first date at Maggiano’s after a JEZ cocktail party at STK. A year later, Ranieri surprised California-native Mychalczuk with a 2-carat round center stone ring complemented by a 1-carat cushion-cut halo during a sunset proposal on the famous Santa Monica Pier. “I surprised Larissa with an early Christmas present by flying her out to Los Angeles to visit a friend,” he recalls. “The bigger surprise was that I flew out there after her and surprised her [with the proposal]. She was speechless!”

Happily ever after arrived on March 14, 2015, when the twosome wed surrounded by friends and family at The Georgian Terrace. A candy bar, cigar bar, photo booth by ShutterBooth and dance party kept guests entertained throughout the evening before the fun-loving couple said their goodbyes and headed off to Curacao for a week of sun and sand.

Chris Madsen & Paisley McDonald
The Spot: Amelia Island, Fla.
The Details: Planner—Todd Smith of Amelia Island Beach Weddings, Dress—custom Jovani, Groom’s Suit—custom H.M. Cole, Bride’s Shoes—Steve Madden, Flowers—Dottie B Florist, Honeymoon—Amsterdam, Bali, France, Tanzania and Thailand
The Photos: Pam Bell Photography
2014 Most Eligible Atlantan Paisley McDonald told JEZ in her original feature that the gutsiest thing she’d ever done for love was fly to Paris on a whim with an old friend. Little did we know, the trip sparked a romance with her now husband, Chris Madsen! The self-taught interior decorator met Madsen 10 years ago after buying a car from his twin brother, Matthew, but lost touch before reconnecting last summer in a big way. “We learned a lot about each other after spending a week together in France,” says McDonald. “We shared stories, had magical dates in Paris and laughed until all hours of the night. I think after the trip we both thought: OK, this may be going somewhere.”

Fast-forward to Christmas 2014 and Madsen, a senior consultant at Deloitte, surprised McDonald with a getaway to Italy, which included a pit-stop proposal in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower with a custom cushion-cut ring. Hello, fairy tale! “He asked me to marry him in French!” reveals McDonald.

Six months later, the happy couple said “I do” in an intimate ceremony on Amelia Island surrounded by immediate family. True to their travel-bug ways, they set off on a monthlong honeymoon around the world with a post-wedding photo shoot in Paris, followed by visits to Amsterdam, Bali, Tanzania and Thailand. “It was an incredible trip and a wonderful way to start our marriage,” says McDonald. Friends joined in on the celebration when the couple returned to Atlanta with an epic party at Le Fais do-do. Ooh la la!



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