This is the text of an interview that Melissa has given to the Wedding Channel website.
Q: What was the first thing you noticed about Mark when you met him at the Kentucky Derby?
A: I saw him through a curtain and I noticed he had a great silhouette.
Q: When did it dawn on you that he might be the one?
A: I went to his first concert, and it was right before the concert that I told him I loved him for the first time. He said it back, and I think it was right then.
Q: How long was the time period from the Kentucky Derby to that evening?
A: Probably two-and-a-half weeks. Within a week and a half we met up in New York, where he saw everything about where I grew up and met my friends and family there. Then I went to Alabama and saw his friends and family. After his second show we came to LA and he met my friends and family that live here. After he left, he was gone about two days, and I called the airline and booked a ticket to meet him in Texas. I was supposed to wait about two weeks to see him but I couldn't ... after two days I was gone.
Q: In that two-and-a-half-week period, was there a moment where you thought, "This is the one"? Was there a key moment, or was there just a build up?
A: I guess it was a build up. We got to really know each other over the phone, and then it was interesting the first time we were face to face. We knew each other so well, and turned to each other with our problems after only two weeks, but to be face to face was a little scary! But after being around each other and on the road together, we were just inseparable.
Q: How did Mark propose?
A: It was the day after Christmas and he had just flown in from Alabama. I was really nervous ... I had this weird feeling. When we opened our gifts by the Christmas tree, I was just shaking the whole time. I said, "Thank you for my presents they're beautiful," and he said, "Close your eyes, I have one more." And when I opened my eyes there was a big ring in the box in front of me. I just couldn't believe it! And then I had to call my mom and I was crying, and couldn't stop giggling. I don't think I slept for four days.
Q: Did you pick out rings together, or was it his choice?
A: I'd been ripping pictures out of wedding magazines of things that I liked for the last few years, and I put them in order and gave them to him a couple of months before. I said "Here, I don't want these anymore, you hold onto them now."
Q: What kind of bride are you? The type that's had a vision of your wedding since you were a little girl, or are you a laid-back bride willing to go with the flow?
A: I'd say I'm very organized, but at the same time I'm high-stress. I tend to freak out about things, but at the same time I'm also pretty organized about it.
Q: Is the stress because you want it to be perfect, or just because you have to keep working at it?
A: I think there is a lot of stress in [planning] a wedding because you know it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You want it to be perfect. It's your one shot to get it right.
Q: What celebrity weddings influenced you most as a girl?
A: Princess Di's. I actually put Mark's initials on my veil, similar to what she did.
Q: How has your idea of a perfect wedding changed from when you were a little girl to now?
A: Everything is different! As soon as you meet the right person it all kind of changes; I think that you can only visualize so far. Plus I'm not 17 anymore, so my ideal wedding at 27 is a little different than I thought it would be. I thought I had it all lined up, but I really didn't.
Q: What was most important to you and to Mark when planning your wedding?
A: The guest list was most important and difficult, because we really wanted to keep it small. It is so hard to keep it small. It was something difficult for our families to agree on and for us to agree on with each other. It was the biggest struggle.
Q: What was another challenge you faced during the planning stages?
A: The dress! It took a lot of searching, and I got really frustrated. I had drawn in my head what I wanted, but when I had it on, it was too busy. When I saw the dress I chose, it fit my body perfectly, complimented me in all the right places, and it was comfortable. I knew it was the one, just like you know when the guy is the one.
Q: What made you want a destination wedding as opposed to marrying in the U.S.?
A: I couldn't think of any place more beautiful [than Italy], and I thought it was a good idea to get out of town, to really get people away somewhere they could really enjoy themselves. [A destination wedding] also keeps the numbers down.
Q: How important was it to have a wedding planner advise you throughout the wedding process?
A: It was very helpful. For instance, we had a mix-up with our cake. When little problems came up, especially overseas, he really helped iron them out and take some of the stress off of me.
Q: What were some of the compromises you and Mark made when you registered?
A: Well, the good thing about registering is that you can register for things both of you like. You don't really have to compromise.
Q: Was it difficult getting Mark involved in the registry or planning process?
A: Well, it was difficult in terms of his working and not having a lot of time to devote. I learned that it was a lot easier if I delegated tasks. I would say, "This is the one thing I need you to do today," and then leave him alone.
Q: Tell us what your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue are.
A: I'm borrowing an Erica Courtney tiara, and my lingerie is blue. For my something new I'm wearing a necklace of Mark's initials, and my something old is a handkerchief I'm carrying that was made from my christening hat.
Q: When your wedding day arrives, what moment do you envision being the most moving to you?
A: When I walk down the aisle, my nine-year-old sister is going to play the music from our grandmother's music box on the piano. That's going to be just amazing.
Q: Do you have any advice for WeddingChannel.com brides?
A: Don't stress about the dress like I did! You'll know when you see it that it's the one.