As Chapel Hill natives, Mary Lee Batista and Michael Hatley are no strangers to the White Cross area. Growing up together, Mary Lee and Michael became friends in elementary school. Michael went to Chapel Hill High School while Mary Lee attended Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough. The tight-knit community of White Cross kept their friendship fervent and eventually the pair started dating.
The engagement was a sweet, sentimental surprise to everyone. The proposal occurred at Sherwood Lookout overlooking Cedar Mountain, a favorite childhood place of Mary Lee’s and a spot frequented by the couple. In addition to the spectacular views, the most memorable part of the engagement for Mary Lee was having her now-late mother, Ilene Batista, enjoy celebrating the proposal when the two returned, a moment that will forever hold a special place in her heart.
The wedding took place at The Parlour at Manns Chapel on May 6, 2017. The location itself served as a special venue for the pair as both families have had long-standing connections to the church. Behind the scenes, multiple family members helped make Mary Lee’s visions of the couple’s special day into a reality. Mary Lee’s sister, Lindsey Dixon, was the wedding planner, family friend Tammy Norman of Rodwell Roots was the florist, and invitations were done by Chad Dixon Designs, a graphic designer and Mary Lee’s brother-in-law. In addition, Chatham County artist John Stevens, also known as Sentimental Johnny, played at their wedding.
The couple currently resides in the White Cross area.