“After date one, I knew that this relationship was something that was real,” Matt Katrosar declares of the connection with his bride. “I can’t buy a T-shirt without spending hours second-guessing, but when it came to Missy, there was no question in my mind.” 

Stepping out of character and into her own wedding was something Melissa Claire Egan was excited to do. “I’ve been married about nine times on television,” says the veteran actress of two popular daytime soap operas. “I’ve had every hairstyle, all different dresses, various ‘themes’ to my TV weddings… so it was pretty cool to finally do it my way.”

While the groom handled all the contracts and negotiations, the bride took the lead on the creative aspects of the event. “I wanted [our] wedding to feel ethereal and look very rustic-chic,” explains Melissa. To that end, she commissioned invitations that were bound with lace and twine, and located a pastoral, ranch-style property that both she and Matt fell in love with on sight. “The venue was by far the most unique aspect of our wedding,” affirms the groom. “With three different event areas, we really took our guests on a journey that day. They didn’t know what was to come next!”   

The first of the event spaces was a stunning waterfront bluff overlooking the ocean. Banks of powdery flower petals outlined the aisle that led to a chuppah of natural branches. Champagne roses and pale blue hydrangea blossoms wound around a framework bound with delicate greenery. The occasional jewel-hued flower added a bright pop of color. 

“I’m obsessed with purple,” says Melissa, “but I didn’t want to do all purple lest it end up looking like a Prince music video or something. So I also chose blues and then greens too, which added to the ranch feel. And I put my girls in green because I found a color so beautiful and truly rich that it worked on all eight bridesmaids. They looked gorg!” 

The ceremony itself was officiated by a rabbi, and a priest was on hand to bless the proceedings. “It was extremely important to have both of our faiths represented,” shares Matt of his Jewish religion and Melissa’s Catholic upbringing. The bride concurs: “It was very special to have both religions' [clergy] standing up there with us.”

The couple further personalized the service by writing their own vows. “They declared our love but were also very specific to us,” says the bride. “I said something like, ‘I vow to eventually, maybe, one day, contemplate, at some point, take a cooking class.’ People were crying, laughing, crying, then laughing some more.”

After enjoying an hour of cocktails on the beach, guests strolled from the shore to a barn for the reception. Lanterns and candles selected by the bride lined the pathway to a portico draped with gossamer fabric. Strings of delicate lights were arranged overhead where crystal chandeliers were suspended with ribbon. Candles glowed from crossbeams alongside framed vintage mirrors on the barn’s weathered walls, and tables in a range of shapes were topped with crates of flowers. The effect was indeed ethereal, tempered with the down-to-earth charm of the rustic setting.

Immediately upon entering the space, guests swarmed the dance floor. An outdoor lounge area offered a respite from the excitement, and a buffet stand piled high with miniature cupcakes allowed guests to indulge in dessert at their leisure.  

“Missy and I were ready to walk around to greet all our guests at their tables, but no one was sitting down,” Matt recalls. “They were either on the dance floor, in the bar area, enjoying the lounge – you name it. We then took a beat and watched everyone else enjoying the day. It was pretty special.” 

The wedding was everything for which the couple had hoped: it was beautiful; it was memorable; and it was absolutely real.