When asked what is the best advice to give engaged couples, Olivia’s response was both genuine and one that I echo all too often: “it is just one day, but it’s the one day that you will look back on for the rest of your life! Don’t regret not doing something you really wanted to do!” I hope both Carlton + Olivia are able to relive much of that same joy they shared on their wedding day at Castle McCulloch, and soon to be brides and grooms gain a feeling of excitement for what is to come.
Castle McCulloch Wedding
Complete with insights from the bride!
Carlton + Olivia
April 16, 2017
Share with us how you two met:
Olivia played basketball with her school and with the church, Gethsemane Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kinston, NC. CJ and his family were attending Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church in Greenville, NC. Ebenezer SDA Church congregation were traveling to Kinston for church due to the flood and the rebuilding of their own church. Pastor Robert Green Jr. was the pastor over both churches at the time and to keep the young people attention & involved in church he created a basketball team with the Kinston and Greenville congregation. CJ was on the Junior Varsity Mens basketball team and Olivia played with the Women’s Basketball team through the church. Olivia and CJ knew of each other but it never crossed their mind of dating due to the fact Olivia’s parents were very strict about no dating until she was a specific age.
Time passed by and the basketball team and youth activities dwindled down and everyone grew up and went their separate ways. Well, social networks brought Olivia and CJ back in contact with each other and it was history from there. They fell in love and here we are today!
Tell us about your proposal:
I thought I was going to be proposed to around July or August because I picked my ring out in June. I definitely was surprised the week before my birthday with a proposal. We always get dressed very nice and go on weekly dates to our favorite Japanese restaurant, so it did not dawn on me at all what was going to take place. The chef normally make smiley faces & hearts and etc with the rice. As the chef proceeded to do the normal, CJ proceeded to get on one knee and gave me this big smile and asked me, “as the love of his life would I marry him?” Of course I said yes & was very surprised he was able to pull it off without me knowing anything about it.
Tell us about your hair & makeup:
My hair was wand curled and pulled to the side with a crown placed on my head because of the Princess I am. My makeup was natural with gold shimmer and blue eyeliner.
Tell us about your bridesmaids:
My bridesmaids consisted of my best friend, roommates, medical school friends & cousins. I was able to delegate tasks to each bridesmaid and they pulled through each time. We had events we did together starting that Wednesday all the way until that Saturday night. My morning was truly stress free & I couldn’t have chose a better group of bridesmaids and vendors to have made that possible.
Tell us about his groomsmen:
The groomsmen consisted of the groom’s cousins and the bride’s cousins. They all were very outgoing and truly gave the groom the bachelor party of a lifetime.
Any bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts?
The bridesmaids received bridesmaid robes. The groomsmen received engraved drinking flasks.
Tell us about your flowers:
My bouquet was an orchid bouquet. I wanted something different that would stand out and be very unique. I felt as if the orchids done just that. The other flowers were royal blue and deep purple hydrangeas to bring out the royalty that we were looking for.
Describe your wedding dress. What was wedding shopping like for you?
I decided to go the last minute to look for my wedding dress, I’ve always been a procrastinator. I had plenty of pictures of what I wanted but ended up trying on a few ball gown dresses and fell in love with them. I found my dress 2 weeks before I would have to rush order it so that it would be back in time. My dress was a strapless ball gown dress with intricate sequins on the top portion and intricate designs on the bottom. It also had a cathedral train and the back had very small buttons to fasten leading to that train.
Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Wedding
How / why did you choose your ceremony venue:
We chose our ceremony venue based on the church we went to. It was just a perfect fit of what we were looking for.
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding:
Our wedding theme was “The Gibbs Happily Ever After.” My style that I looked for throughout the entire process was Royalty. Even with the colors CJ chose, they coincided with royalty.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
The best memory from my wedding was getting to the doors of the church and freezing up. I had so many emotions going through me as I walked down the aisle. I was excited, nervous, overwhelmed with the love. At times I was shaking, I was trying to hold the tears in! That was the best feeling ever!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell us more.
We incorporated culture into our wedding by having the wedding ceremony in our church with the preacher that we met with as our officiant.
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why:
My favorite image from the wedding day is with CJ & I walking out of the church. It shows our excitement, joy & happiness!
Castle McCulloch Wedding
Tell us about your reception venue
Our wedding theme was “The Gibbs Happily Ever After.” I picked this theme because I have always been “Princess Olivia” or “Princess Liv” to everyone that knew me. My father had given me that name as a little girl. When I began to research venues near Greensboro, NC I found Castle McCulloch. Because I am one of the Brides that know exactly what I want. That was actually the only place CJ & I went and looked at as a possible location. It went hand in hand with me being the Princess that I am. So a Prince met a Beautiful Princess & they lived Happily Ever After!
And your decorations:
My decorations included fish bowls & cylinders with blue light within them and marbles & flowers floating. I also had tall vases with beautiful hydrangeas flowers.
How about the wedding invitations & stationery:
The wedding invitations were a sneak peak of what the wedding would look like. A bunch of sparkle, the colors of the wedding & royalty.
Tell us about your wedding photography:
My wedding photographer is nothing short of AMAZING! Dajuan has been chose to do the wedding pictures since November of 2015. I found a picture that just stood out to me and was like this is the guy for our portraits. I did not look around for anyone else & I kept in contact with him for the updates when I finally started planning the wedding. He is professional, patient, caring, helpful and everything goes my way according to Dajuan, I LOVE IT! There aren’t enough words to describe his work! My reception venue was dark and 99% of the pictures that were taken on people phone were dark and not to my liking. When I got my pictures back from Dajuan 2 weeks later, I knew why I had chosen him to do all of our pictures. PHENOMENAL!
Tell us about your honeymoon:
My honeymoon was changed many times. I had always dreamed of going to Australia for my honeymoon. Well, the flight was just too long for CJ & me so we began to look up different places for honeymoons. We automatically fell in love with Santorini, Greece. To break up a week long vacation we chose to visit Rome & Greece. Santorini will always be my favorite place.
And your cake:
My cake was 4 layers. The stand was beautiful and each base was gold and had crystals flowing from each layer.
Favorite item on the reception menu:
My favorite item was mac and cheese because that is my favorite food. CJ’s favorite item was fried chicken and that is also because that’s his favorite food.
And your videographer (if you had one):
My videographer went by the name of Barry. I actually found Barry last minute and he was able to work our wedding into his busy schedule. Loved it!
Tell us about your wedding planner:
My wedding planner was Nishaka! Nishaka got to see the real me! There were times weren’t going my way and she was there for me to vent to and give me some real advice. She kept it real with me and I loved that. She took what I had already came up with and envisioned and put it into play. I am so glad I chose her as my wedding planner!
What songs did you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, and why:
Eric Benet ft. Tamia – Spend My Life with You
Chrisette Michele – A Couple of Forever
Donell Jones – Knock Me off My Feet
Tamela Mann – The Lord’s Prayer
Bebe Winans – I Found Love (Cindy’s Song)
Beyonce ft. Marc Nelson – After All is Said And Done
These were the songs we use for the ceremony and CJ & I had 2 of the songs that we had just always wanted to use in our wedding. The other songs were found by just googling and falling in love with the lyrics and how it related to our lives. Our reception songs showed our personalities. The hype songs were of course, Olivia and the oldies were CJ’s favorites.
Any advice for future brides:
Please get a wedding planner! I thought I could plan my wedding & do it all myself. . . I probably could have but I think I would’ve been more stressed & I seriously doubt things would have went the way I envisioned. When trying to decrease in your budget, do NOT compromise my choosing a cheaper photographer. You get what you pay for! Videos & pictures are the only things you have to live by for such a huge day you’ve been planning for all your life.