When I met Dwayne + Leslie at our residential studio for the consultation, I felt like I already knew them. We all attended NC State University, but we didn’t cross paths there. But the feeling of familiarity continued nonetheless which resulted in an awesome wedding day experience. They wedded at St. Matthews Baptist Church with a Garden on Millbrook wedding reception. It’s hard to believe that this was my first time photographing at the Garden on Millbrook. What’s not hard to believe is the sincere love between Dwayne + Leslie. Just look at how she’s looking at him during their nuptials. She loves her some him (and vice versa)! There is so much more to see and read. Celebrate their wedding day all over again, and enjoy!
Garden on Millbrook Wedding
Insights from the bride & groom!
Share with us how you two met:
We met through a mutual acquaintance during our undergraduate years at North Carolina State University. We dated for a few months, and eventually fell out of contact with each other. A chance encounter, via social media, put us back in contact. We later made arrangements to meet and chat. We talked for hours, and filled each other in on our lives’ happenings for the 10-plus years since we had last seen each other. We’ve spoken to each other virtually everyday since that meeting.
Tell us about your proposal:
We traveled to Baltimore for my family reunion. My original plans to propose in Tampa, Florida were foiled by Tropical Storm Andrea. I waited, impatiently, for my next opportunity to surprise her with the big question. After a very busy weekend with family, we decided to take a late night ride downtown to the harbor for a bit of sightseeing. Leslie, being a die-hard “The Wire” fan, was all for having a chance to experience anything new of Baltimore. During our walk, I expressed to her how happy I was in our relationship. She expressed similar sentiments. I delved deeper, and began to discuss our desires for the future. Despite growing more and more nervous by the second, I knew that this was the perfect night for what I had in store for us. As our conversation continued, we rounded the corner of the harbor, and I led her towards the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. As we stood marveling the T. Rex exhibit, I slipped the ring box out of my pocket, took “the knee”, and asked Leslie to marry me. Her response, “What are you doing?” I repeated myself, and received a resounding “YES!” Several passersby applauded us as we ushered in the next phase of our relationship.
How / why did you choose your ceremony venue:
We were well aware of our needs in a potential venue from a capacity standpoint. We also agreed very early in our planning phase that a church wedding was a must. Those points eliminated quite a few venues. The staff at Saint Matthew Baptist Church was extremely welcoming.
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding:
Our wedding would best be described as simple elegance. We wanted to incorporate the seasonal spring colors as much as possible, while still maintaining the traditional, formal style that we’d hoped for.
Tell us about your flowers:
MEWS-Design created all the floral arrangements. The flowers chosen were shades of pastels – pinks, purples, greens, blues and creams. The bridal bouquet consisted of roses, calla lilies, astilbe and succulents. The bridesmaids bouquets were pink astilbe. The reception venue had tall centerpieces of baby-breath balls, and the short tables had beautiful white hydrangeas.
And your gown:
The gown I chose was the Casablanca 2107. It was love at first sight and the ladies at Dimitra Design were able to rush order it for me. I chose the champagne color with ivory overlay because I never wanted a white dress.
And your shoes (and jewelry):
Comfort won out when picking my shoes. I’d considered going all out for fancy heels, but no one would ever see them and I wanted to be able to be as comfortable as possible. So I went with Dessy lace overlay flats in ivory. The razzle dazzle bows are clips that also came from Dessy that added that extra flair. My jewelry came from Tejani.
Tell us about your hair & make up:
I wanted simple hair so I put it in a bun for the ceremony and wore it loose for the reception. All of the ladies their makeup done by Sharon S. Davis, makeup artist. She’s absolutely the best! Not only is she the sweetest person, but she made us all look like stars. We all went for subtle glamour and I think it worked perfectly with the dresses.
Tell us about your bridesmaids:
The bridesmaids dresses were Lela Rose in taupe from Dimitra Designs. My bridesmaids represented different phases in my life. My matron of honor was my oldest friend and the jewelry was from Carolee. We met in a dance class at three years old and have been friends ever since. Although we don’t get to see each other as often as we used to, we never feel out of touch and pick up like we were never apart. The bridesmaids have known me before my husband and after we started dating and can appreciate the affect he’s had on me.
And his groomsmen:
For our formal-wear, I selected black Jones New York tuxedos with paisley, black accessories. I chose
ivory accessories for myself. My brother, Alan, did a great job as my best man. My groomsmen and ushers consisted of a medley of friends from childhood and college. Their support throughout our wedding week was nothing short of phenomenal.
Any wedding favors:
We debated if we would even have favors. I can’t count how many weddings I’ve been to and I left my favor on the table. So we decided on sparklers with matches that had our names and wedding date printed on them. While the sparklers were a part of the send off, there were definitely plenty for people to take with them.
How about the wedding invitations & stationery:
The invitations were by Wedding Invitations on a Dime. The founder is my matron of honor. I wanted to stay with the simple elegance theme, while also wanting to be unique. She wanted to test out her talents with her Silhouette cutting machine. We incorporated wood grain vellum paper. It took some brainstorming to come up with the perfect design, but once we did, the finished product was amazing. People are still talking about those invitations!
And your reception venue:
When I found the Garden on Millbrook, I’d found the perfect place. I knew with our guest list, we’d need a pretty large venue for the reception. All the places we looked at were either way too big or too small. The one constant, however, was the caterer on the preferred catering lists – The Garden on Millbrook. With their patio and gardens, ample dining room, and wonderful food, I knew I didn’t have to look anymore.
And your decorations:
I didn’t really do a lot of decorations. The decorations at the church were 5 large ferns in the front
of the church and our wedding party. That’s all you need sometimes. The reception included patio lights draped above the guest. Wrapped high top tables on the patio were finished with glass bowls with fairy lights. Inside, the tables included ivory linens, tall centerpieces of large baby’s breath balls stood atop 10 tables, while glass cubes of white hydrangeas finished 12 tables. All the tables included a large number of votive candles.
And your cake:
We chose Simply Cakes in Cary, NC. The cake design incorporated the laser cut on the invitation. We chose to have a 2 tier cutting cake and cupcakes in a variety of flavors. The cutting cake was red velvet with raspberry creme filling. Sounds like an unusual combination, but it was delicious. The cupcake display included cream and pink icing. The cupcakes with the pick icing created the “M” for Matthews on the cake table. The cupcakes ranged in flavors of strawberry lemonade, red velvet, carrot cake, and traditional almond wedding cake.
What songs did you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, and why:
Our first dance song was Anthony Hamilton’s Best of Me. For the service, we chose traditional hymnals:
- “Sweet, Sweet Spirit”
- “How Great Thou Art”
- “Great is Thy Faithfulness”
- “May the Lord Bless You and Keep You”
How about your photography:
My husband and I were very honored to have Dajuan Jones and his team photograph our wedding day. As an admitted camera-shy couple, we agreed during the planning process that we would need someone with a unique talent to give us the pictures to show us at our best on our biggest day. After visiting Dajuan’s website, suggested by a family friend, we knew that Dajuan was our wedding day photographer.
We opted for the full day package in order to fully capture the day’s preparation and events. He managed to get all the pictures that we wanted, but more importantly was able to get the best candids – an ode to how comfortable we became around him and how well he was able to blend into the background. It was as if Dajuan had known us for years. He joked around with us during the preparations, helping us to keep calm and loose for the ceremony.
Dajuan worked tirelessly during the wedding ceremony and reception. There didn’t seem to be anyone on the guest list that Dajuan was not able to capture candid shots of during the evening. Dajuan shot amazingly beautiful images of our ceremony. We love his photographs of the wedding party, parents and guests from different angles and vantage points.
We are in love with our post-ceremony pictures. With Dajuan’s direction and staging, we were able to get the pictures taken quickly, and move on to the reception to celebrate with our guests. He captured our reception brilliantly. We have hundreds of sensational images to help us remember and reflect on our wedding day for years to come.
Having worked with Dajuan, we have no doubt that we chose the best photographer for us. We joke about finding another event to have Dajuan photograph. He has an amazing talent, and his patience and kindness only underscore what a true professional he is.
Tell us about your honeymoon:
We were gifted a honeymoon and we chose Mazatlan, Mexico for seven days. We left the morning after the wedding. The people were wonderful and the food was amazing. The beaches meet the mountains and we can’t wait to return.
Any advice for future brides:
Enjoy it. Once its over, you’ll miss the late night seating chart conversations and the dress fittings every month. Try not to stress any of the small stuff. You can’t control the weather (for all you outside brides) and you can’t will everyone who accepted the invite to show up.
Would you share a memorable moment:
Memorable moments from the planning stage was my, then fiancé, helping with the invitations. He was so dedicated. The most memorable part of the wedding day was how calm both, my husband and I were. I’d imagined that we’d both be a bundle of nerves at the alter, but we breezed through it. A close runner up: My husband calling me a couple hours before the wedding saying he and the dog were locked out of the house – his second lockout in 3 days that week. (Maybe he was a little nervous!)
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why:
There is a picture of us at the reception sitting at the sweet hearts table. We’re actually looking at someone taking our picture while Dajuan is taking our picture looking in the opposite direction. It really is a great candid of us and another example of what a great eye Dajuan has. We joke that the picture is so good it looks like it came with the frame.
Any final thoughts:
Our wedding day was amazing. We were so lucky to have our friends and family with us and great vendors that created such a magical event. The pictures of that day will be cherished forever.
Dwayne + Leslie’s wedding was also featured on the Southern Bride & Groom magazine blog!