A New Year’s Eve Gala Engagement

Nolan Wahl and Anthony Mallard

I am going to be honest – I have commitment issues. I could have asked Anthony to marry me many years before, but I still was trying to find myself in this crazy world. However, every time we turned a corner, he was standing there ready to catch me if I stumbled. I knew I would never get to experience anyone who cares for me more than he does. It would be stupid not to take advantage of this opportunity. So, what led to the question being asked at the New Year’s Eve Gala at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences? Every day, I am blessed to have such valuable, caring, supportive friends in my life. I told my friends that I wanted to dress up and dance for New Year’s Eve. We knew from many only reviews and responses that the Rocky Top Catering New Year's Eve Gala at NCMNS was the place to go. So, we bought the tickets, invited our friends and the rest was history...sort of. I knew I would not only get to share this special moment with my future husband but with all our friends who mean the world to us.

Everyone was in on the surprise, except Anthony. The photographer Stephanie Rose was very excited to be part of this moment and knew of the PERFECT spot. As we walked down the stairs of the Museum, I started to get butterflies. We arrived at the first floor, beautifully decorated in winter apparel, and took a group photo. From there all our friends took individual couples’ shots so Anthony wouldn't be suspicious.

When it was our turn, all our friends shined their phones in our faces taking photos – Anthony had no clue. It wasn't until as he went to walk away that I turned and asked, “could I ask you a question?” while pulling the ring out of my suit jacket pocket. I got down on one knee and looked up with tears in my eyes. “You mean the world to me. Would you marry me?” Shocked, excited, surprised, and tearful (because I told him I would never propose on a holiday), he said YES! We got up and shared a special kiss. I stepped back to watch all our friends celebrate with him. It was such a wonderful feeling watching our friends embrace him in the same love they have shown me!

This night would not have been as perfect if it wasn't for our friends and the amazing event hosted by Rocky Top Catering at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. – Nolan Wahl

Photos by Stephanie Rose Photography

Enjoy life’s special moments at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Book your event today.

Past Clients

Here are a collection of testimonials from past clients after hosting an event with us.

Wedding Reception

"A fabulous, unique venue for our wedding. Guests enjoyed looking through the exhibits and walking around the museum, especially during cocktail hour (which we held on the 2nd floor). Tables fit nicely in the space, and we were able to seat 180 guests for a seated, plated dinner (with a bit of room to spare) on the third floor. There were some restrictions regarding amplified music - the dance floor had to be in a specific room, but it worked out quite well. It was nice for older guests - they could stay at their tables away from the loud music while the younger guests enjoyed the dance area. The perfect venue if you want a casual, memorable, fun event.

The feedback we got most was "fun" - and the location downtown can't be beat - we took photos at the Capitol, and took a rickshaw back to the hotel after a sparkler exit on the plaza - guests were able to walk to nightlife following the reception. Stephanie was very helpful and responsive to all of our questions."

–Amanda, Bride

Environmental Services, Incorporated

"Our meeting at the Museum of Natural Sciences was a success! Many of the people who attended our meeting were very impressed with the Museum and made a point of letting someone know. You and your staff are to be commended for doing a great job."

Gail Stelma, Vice President, Environmental Services, Incorporated 

Wedding Reception

"Our wedding reception was beautiful and we had so many compliments on the venue!"

Leigh, Bride

James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy

"Thank you so much for your consistent engagement with the NC Sciences Summit event (dinner) we held at the Museum on May 23. Your careful attention allowed us to have a most spectacular dinner and program. Many thanks for your efficiency and support in helping us make it a success.  I look forward to the opportunity to work together again."

Lisa Guckian, Senior Program Coordinator, James B. Hunt, Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy

Wedding Reception

"An excellent/different location for a reception. Being a science teacher, it was a very cool backdrop that really connected to my personality. Everyone was very professional and did an excellent job. The recommended vendors turned out fantastic and the staff at the museum was very open to helping with all factors of the reception. Overall we really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others!"

Shane, Groom

Duke University

"Thank you for your help in making our luncheon a success. We had good attendance and everything went very smoothly. Several legislators mentioned that they were pleased to know that there was such a wonderful room available at the Museum — they had not been in the Level A Meeting Room before. We look forward to using the Museum again."

Erika Layko, Meeting and Events Planner, Center for Child and Family Policy, Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University

SAS Institute

"I wanted to let you know that everyone really enjoyed the evening at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. I heard a lot of good comments about it. The food was delicious and your staff members were wonderful!  Thanks so much to everyone!"

Robin Bradley, Education Services Representative, Training Center Coordinator, SAS Institute

Kenan Fellows Program celebration

"Thank you for meeting with us to finalize the Kenan Fellows Program celebration at the Museum of Natural Sciences.  This is an exciting event for our teachers!  Thanks so much for all that you are doing to help make this event a success."

Cindy Malecha, Assistant Director of Programs, Kenan Institute, NC State University

Clients who have held an event or meeting at the Museum include:

  • Boeing North Carolina
  • Capitol Broadcasting Corporation
  • Cisco Systems
  • Duke University
  • IBM
  • James B. Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy
  • Kenan Institute
  • The News and Observer
  • North Carolina State University
  • Progress Energy
  • RDU Airport Authority
  • RTI International
  • SAS Institute
  • Sony-Ericsson

And many others! We would be pleased to assist you in ensuring that your event is as successful as each of these events has been.