Virginia Leigh Payne & Gregory Michael Lanier
March 3, 2018
Who says good ol’ cholesterol-crushing American food can’t inspire everlasting love? Virginia Leigh Payne and Gregory Michael Lanier shared their first date at Pawleys Front Porch in the city where they met, Columbia. While customers typically bond over the burger palace’s hand-cut fries, this couple left with a surprising, soulful connection. Three years later, the soon-to-be newlyweds retreated to the mountains alongside family and a handful of close friends. Michael, done playing games of his own, decided to secure his future with Virginia. He slyly requested she tour one of the area’s original mountain homes, only to reveal a 39-point Scrabble question displayed on the front porch—“Virginia, will you marry me?” The nuptials took place at the Old Cigar Warehouse in Greenville with Michael’s childhood pastor officiating. The couple now resides in Columbia, where Virginia is a board-certified behavior analyst at the Autism Academy of South Carolina, and Michael is in outside sales.