UNC grad Helen Mitchell first met Antonio Nester at Cocoa Cinnamon in downtown Durham on a Sunday afternoon in August 2013. “We sat outside on the picnic tables and talked for at least three hours before we realized we had both gotten sunburned,” Helen says. The two started dating later that fall, but with Antonio’s spring deployment to Kuwait, the couple spent nine months dating long distance.
Shortly after Antonio’s return, he visited Helen’s parents to ask for their blessing. Her parents said yes, and Helen’s mother even presented Antonio with her mother’s 70-year-old ring. After a dinner in Winston-Salem, Antonio invited Helen to go on a romantic walk through town before asking her to marry him.
The couple was married at University United Methodist Church, and in tribute to the couple’s love of travel, guests waved international flags as they left. At the reception at the Carolina Club, everyone found his or her table by pulling a name card from a vintage suitcase. The space was decorated with globes and maps, and each table had a photo of the couple on vacation in a different locale. Appropriately, the newlyweds checked off a few more places from their list with a honeymoon to India, Maldives and UAE.
Antonio, an army officer at Fort Bragg, and Helen, a nurse practitioner at UNC Hospitals, live in Chapel Hill.