If you’ve been following the Married By Mom and Dad saga, you’re most-likely rooting for Christina Rollyson. It didn’t take long for the 33-year old real estate investor from Charleston, South Carolina, to steal loyal viewers’ hearts.
After Rollyson’s father and stepmom chose Kevin to be their daughter’s husband, the groom-to-be called off the wedding just hours before the ceremony. Not easily discouraged, Rollyson carried on with the Married By Mom and Dad process, and thanks to her unwavering faith and trust in her parents, she is now living a real-life fairytale.
On the most recent Married By Mom and Dad episode, Rollyson lived out her lifelong dream when she met her now-husband Tom at the altar. Her parents had no doubt that he was “the one,” and viewers couldn’t help but agree. The Knot caught up with Rollyson, who is graciously sharing the intimate details of her wedding day, along with what it’s like to be married to a man who was a stranger the same day he became her husband.
“As we all know by now, it takes a very special man to have the kind of courage and faith necessary to meet me at the altar,” Rollyson says of the real-life prince she had been waiting for. “It was sort of my glass slipper test. I knew that only the man that had the same calling as I would feel compelled to do it. Of course Tom was worth the wait. I loved seeing the look on his face and hearing his sincere vows.”
Viewers were impressed that Tom managed to infuse both humor and sincerity into his vows. We were curious as to whether that combination helped Rollyson get through the ceremony. “Tom’s positive spirit was definitely a relief,” she recalls, “but more in his ability to rub my hand and comfort me through my nerves. I think he was trying to say things to make me laugh, to calm me down right after the ceremony, but that wasn’t really working for me at the time. I just really wanted to be sure that he was taking this seriously.”
Despite Rollyson’s dad and stepmom knowing that Tom was “the one” for their daughter, the new bride appeared to have doubts after saying, “I do.” “Tom is the one for me without doubt,” she openly shares. “After the ceremony, I think I wanted to be reassured that Tom was attracted to me and that I, his bride, was beautiful. I didn’t get that reassurance from him right away, so it just created a bit more anxiety for me. Looking back at the ceremony as a viewer, I see how he looked at me and what he told his best man.”
Because she had previously planned a wedding to Kevin, we asked the Married By Mom and Dad newlywed what set her wedding to Tom apart. “When I planned my wedding with Kevin, I had a venue that pulled out at the last minute,” Rollyson tells The Knot. “We just had a lot of unforeseen mishaps that made is so time intensive and stressful. Perhaps that was foretelling.”
“Planning the wedding with Tom was so much easier with a coordinator that made it her job to just allow me to show up and enjoy my wedding,” she shares. “She made suggestions and recommendations that I would not have thought of on my own.”
For her outdoor wedding to Tom, Rollyson chose to be married under an old oak tree at The Stables at Boals Farm in Wando, South Carolina. She was awe-struck by the venue, which had an intricate chandelier hanging from a tree branch. “The oak tree was in honor of my father,” the new bride reminisces. “He always says that when he goes to heaven, he wants to sit under a beautiful oak tree and just rest. The chandelier was simply because I love glamour.”
We asked Rollyson if she had considered the fact that she would have to find a connection and fall in love with her husband following their wedding day. “Our ceremony was just the seed of our relationship,” she shares. “Much like the oak tree, it takes years to develop, grow, and change.”
“No matter how long a couple has known each other, they have to make the choice to nurture the relationship for it to grow and be stable. I knew that going into the marriage,” she continues. “The post-wedding experience was a little different at first. I think it is more fun because we are in our honeymoon phase, but at the same time, we were still learning about each other and the dynamics of our relationship.”
In a sweet moment following the wedding, Tom picked up his wife’s train and carried it as they stole a few moments to themselves. Rollyson explains that her husband has continued to shower her with kindness. “Tom always thinks about others first. He is so sweet,” she gushes. “He surprises me with little sweet cards and notes, always makes sure I have my favorite snacks in the house, plays with my hair. The list goes on and on. He takes marriage and love very seriously.”
We just had to know if the couple had instant chemistry and if they “jumped right into marriage.” “Tom and I really wanted to enjoy the progression of getting to know each other,” Rollyson explains. “I told him privately that we needed to take the pressure off of any expectations we had or anyone else had for us. I wanted us to value each other and let things happen naturally and without a time frame.”
We asked Rollyson where the couple decided to live after getting married. “I was concerned about living arrangements,” she admits to The Knot. “I think that will actually [be] up for discussion in the coming episodes, so everyone will have to watch to find out what we decided.”
So, what has been the biggest surprise for the newlywed as she settles into married life with Tom? “Tom’s snoring was a surprise,” she tells us. “It’s something I tease him about. He also talks in his sleep, but it’s always German. He can be a very active sleeper.”
While we were anxious to ask Rollyson all about her prince charming, we couldn’t let her go without asking the Married By Mom and Dad bride to share details of her gorgeous wedding dress. “I always wanted [a] very feminine yet sophisticated dress,” she explains. “My best friend in Charleston is so on point with my style. She actually found the dress online and sent me the link. It was love at first sight. I found a local supplier, Palmetto Bridal, and tried on several dresses. Ultimately, I came back to my first love, the ‘Leigh’ by Sophia Tolli.”
Rollyson was happy to elaborate on other special details of her dream wedding day. “Monique with Semper Signature Events not only coordinated the wedding, but her assistant also made all of the floral arrangements including my bouquet (which I carried around with me for two weeks),” Rollyson tells The Knot. “My hair was done by Silvia Salon and Spa.”
“The beautiful chandelier and reception uplighting [were] done by Charleston Uplighting and EventHaus Rentals,” she shares. “Ashley Bakery helped us to incorporate Charleston elements for [the] cake, like their sweetgrass basket pattern and sugar magnolias.”
“Finally, we had a true southern style menu from Crave Kitchen and Cocktails, including their famous mac and cheese,” Rollyson tells us, “along with shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes.”
Now that Rollyson has her very own Married By Mom and Dad success story, would she recommend that other women meet their future husbands at the altar? “No,” she admits. “I would not necessarily advise other women to meet their husbands at the altar. I prayed about this a lot. I felt a sense of peace and God moving me forward in this direction. I knew it was right for me.”
“That certainly does not mean that it is right for everyone,” Rollyson continues. “I do, however, think that God sometimes calls us to do something out of the ordinary, something courageous to develop our faith and get us to where we needed to be.”
“I would tell other women to be open minded about life and love,” the new bride shares. “Sometimes we have to be willing to let go of our ideals before we can discover something even better. Without this adventure, I would have never met Tom. That’s simply what it took for our story. ”
Catch brand new episodes of Married By Mom and Dad, airing Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on TLC.