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TODAY

Explainer: The making of TODAY’s modern wedding

  • The honeymoon

    Melissa and Jeremy will vacation on the island of Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The newlyweds will spend seven nights in their own villa and enjoy activities such as snorkeling the pristine barrier reef, relaxing at a spa and eating at a beach barbecue.

    Read more about the honeymoon

  • The personal touch

    How can Melissa and Jeremy's family and friends express their love? By sharing personal notes for the couple in a custom engraved wish box.

    Read more about the personal detail

  • The wedding cake

    Image: Choose the TODAY Throws a Wedding cake
    TODAY

    Guests will enjoy a "classic romance" cake by Ana Parzych Custom Cakes. The dessert has alternating tiers in four flavors and is adorned with hand-made sugar flowers.

    Read more about the cake

  • The bridesmaid and flower girl dresses

    TODAY

    Viewers picked the “Old Hollywood” style! The ladies will wear a gray  Bari Jay dress with a dropped waist and shirred bodice, while the flower girl will wear a Fox ‘n Lily dress with an airy crinkle chiffon overlay and crisscrossing straps.

    Read more about the dresses

  • The gown and tux

    Viewers picked the “classic elegance” style. The bride will wear a champagne lace Paloma Blanca dress with a sweeping train, while the groom will don an ivory Kenneth Cole Black Label tux.

    Read more about the styles.

  • The reception venue

    Melissa and Jeremy will celebrate at the Hudson Terrace, an urban oasis featuring a retractable glass dome, where guests can take in the serene ambiance with scenic views of the Hudson River.

    Read more about the venues.

  • The rings

    Melissa and Jeremy will exchange vows with rings from celebrity jeweler Neil Lane. Melissa’s platinum band is set on three sides with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds, while Jeremy’s platinum band is designed and signed by Neil Lane.

    Read more about the rings.

  • The favors

    What's in store for the guests? Melissa and Jeremy will give each of their loved ones a Sony DSC-WX5 digital camera. With amazing features like great low-light shots without a flash, a smarter point and shoot, and background defocusing made easy — they'll be able to capture all of the memorable moments in vivid, crisp, true-to-life color. The camera also has video capability to capture HD videos.

    Watch more about the favors.

  • The winners

    Jonathan Woods/msnbc.com
    Melissa McMillin, 21, and Jeremy Gebhardt, 22, will wed on Rockefeller Plaza — and on national television — as excited fans and well-wishers look on.

    The young Missouri couple — separated for years because of Gebhardt’s tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan — earned the most votes on Facebook to become the recipients of TODAY’s wedding.

    When submitting videos along with their application, they said such a wedding would be a dream come true for them after living apart for so long under such serious circumstances. When Jeremy isn’t deployed in the Middle East as a senior airman in the U.S. Air Force, he’s stationed in Anchorage, Alaska.

    “We have waited three long years for each other and I’ve dreamt of the day that I can finally say, ‘Hi! I’m Melissa Gebhardt,’” Melissa, 21, said in her video.

    Read more about the winning couple.

  • The theme

    Image: Today's Wedding. modern.love
    Today show

    TODAY is partnering with Facebook to throw a modern day wedding!

    From the bride's dress to the honeymoon location, we're counting on viewers to plan a unique dream wedding on the Plaza.

    Become a Facebook fan and follow the exciting progress!

Photos: Melissa and Jeremy’s modern wedding

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  1. Melissa McMillin, 21, and Jeremy Gebhardt, 22 — separated for years because of Gebhardt’s tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan — earned the most votes on Facebook to become the recipients of TODAY’s annual wedding giveaway and gala on the Plaza. With a theme of "modern love," TODAY viewers chose everything from the wedding cake to the honeymoon location.
    At left, the groom gets some touch-ups before the ceremony, live on the Plaza on Sept. 30, 2010. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. TODAY's bride Melissa McMillin lets loose while getting ready for her wedding, planned by viewers and TODAY Facebook fans. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The groomsmen, clad in chic bathrobes, are a festive entourage. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Viewers picked the "Old Hollywood" style for the bridesmaids. The ladies wore a gray Bari Jay dress with a dropped waist and shirred bodice. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The groom takes a moment to relax before his wedding on the Plaza. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Bride Melissa McMillin spends a sweet moment with her mother, Mary McMillin, before the ceremony on the Plaza. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The bride shows off her stunning hairstyle. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Melissa McMillin came prepared for a rainy wedding! She wore a champagne lace Paloma Blanca dress with a sweeping train. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The mother of the bride Mary McMillin looks on as her daughter prepares for the big day. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Bride Melissa McMillin gets her hair and makeup done by the TODAY crew. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. The TODAY crew fusses over Melissa McMillin. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A string quartet played the "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner and "Empire State of Mind" by Alicia Keys. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Flower girl Abigal Warczakoski received enthusiastic applause from the wedding guests.
    Of the wedding, the bride said "Everyone is just so excited just to be a part of this whole process and we’re just so glad that everybody’s going to be able to come and have such a fun time for our wedding." (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Members of the bridal party make their way down the aisle. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Father of the bride looks on as his daughter prepares to exchange vows. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Melissa and Jeremy exchanged vows with rings from celebrity jeweler Neil Lane. Melissa’s platinum band is set on three sides with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds, while Jeremy’s platinum band is designed and signed by Neil Lane. (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Melissa and Jeremy become man and wife on the Plaza. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. The bride shows off her stunning bouquet. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The newlyweds kiss before family and friends. "Everything thus far has been great," the bride said of the TODAY wedding experience. "It’s been perfect." (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Viewers voted to send the couple off for a luxurious seven-day vacation to a private villa in the Turks and Caicos, complete with a private butler. Melissa beamed when she opened an envelope on the plaza telling her where she and her new hubby were headed. “We’re so excited! We can’t wait to go to a beach.” (TODAY) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Melissa and Jeremy enjoy their first laugh as husband and wife. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Melissa and Jeremy exit as newlyweds. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. TODAY's Al Roker, Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer share their wedding wishes. Al Roker raised a glass and said, “Melissa, you are studying to be a nurse, which shows you care about compassion and kindness. And Jeremy, with your service to our country, you’ve showed that you put that above all else, and for that we thank you.” (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Gorgeous setting at the the Hudson Terrace, an urban oasis featuring a retractable glass dome, where guests enjoy scenic views of the Hudson River. Executive chef Thomas Besnard kept things light, serving smoked salmon with caviar, Swiss cheese and prosciutto with truffled eggs and frisee salad. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Reception cocktails included peach Bellinis, strawberry mimosas, Bloody Marys and coffee martinis. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. The bride shows off her platinum ring from celebrity jeweler Neil Lane. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Jeremy made a quick change out of his military dress to the Kenneth Cole tux TODAY viewers had selected for him. Guests mingled with the happy couple while nibbling hors d’oeuvres, fruit salad and chocolate mousse laced with coffee, along with goat cheese and fruit tartlets. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Treated like celebrities, Melissa and Jeremy had the renowned Colin Cowie as their wedding planner. Cowie, who has written five best-selling books on planning the perfect wedding, is known as the party planner to the stars, with a client list that includes Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey, Nicole Kidman and Elton John. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. With their loved ones looking on, Melissa and Jeremy enjoy their first dance to "You Got What I Need," an original piece performed by Joshua Radin. Melissa noted the song reflected her own situation with Jeremy in a very profound way: “It was the perfect song for us.” (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. The couple enjoy their first dance. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. The groom, clad in an ivory Kenneth Cole Black Label tux, poses with his groomsmen before cutting the cake. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. The bride, in a lace Paloma Blanca dress with a sweeping train, poses with her bridesmaids at the Hudson Terrace. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Melissa and Jeremy's loved ones have a bit of fun for the camera. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. Guests share personal notes for the couple in a custom engraved wish box. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. The happy couple cut into the winning wedding cake by Ana Parzych Custom Cakes. The dessert has alternating tiers in four flavors and is adorned with hand-made sugar flowers. Celebrity wedding designer Colin Cowie planned the reception at Hudson Terrace. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. A sweet end to a perfect wedding. (Denis Reggie Experience by Bella Pictures) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: TODAY’s modern wedding couple tie the knot!

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