I had the pleasure of working with Dwayne + Erika for their wedding celebration at Prestonwood Country Club. Their wedding day was so memorable, full of laughter, personality, charm, and most importantly love. Please join in with me as we celebrate Dwayne + Erika in “A Couple of Forevers.”
Prestonwood Country Club Wedding
Complete with insights from the bride!
Dwayne + Erika
August 5, 2016
Prestonwood Country Club
Tell us about your hair & makeup:
Hair: Deja of Just Deja in Durham, NC.
Make-up: Vee of Natural Beauties by Vee.
Share with us how you two met:
We met while in college at North Carolina Central University. I was a freshman when I met Dwayne, who was a senior and SGA President. One of our friends introduced us when I came into the SGA office with an interest in becoming part of the Freshmen Class Council. I remembered Dwayne from pictures I had seen online before arriving to campus and thought he was very handsome. At the time he was in a relationship, so we kept our conversations very short and friendly.
After he graduated, he came back to help with his fraternity’s annual pageant. The pageant practices were held in the residence hall I was an RA in. His fraternity brother was giving him a tour of the residence hall, which recently had some upgrades, one was a movie theater. I was in the theater hosting an event when he peeked his head in. Since it was dark, I couldn’t see who it was so I went out into the hallway and got his attention by screaming “who’s that?” He turned around and I got excited because I hadn’t seen him in awhile. I found out he was now single, got his new number, and we began talking every day.
Tell us about your proposal:
Dwayne told me he was going to Virginia for a basketball tournament the same day I left to go home for Christmas break. My friends, Courtney and Jennifer (my maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids), planned to go to Busboys & Poets for open mic night as we had done before for a girls’ night out. A man who called himself the Homeless Heart got on stage and performed. I didn’t know it was Dwayne for sure until he took his hat off. Dwayne proceeded with his poem, called me to the stage, got on one knee, pointed to the audience to show my family and friends then finally asked if I would marry him. I nodded yes because I was crying and was literally speechless.
How about your wedding shoes and jewelry:
Wedding shoes were purchased from Maggi Bridal.
Jewelry was provided by Erika’s paternal grandmother.
Bracelet and necklace was something old.
Earrings were something borrowed.
Describe your wedding dress. What was wedding shopping like for you?
I went to Maggi Bridal with one of my friends from law school. Being that my bridal party was all over the east coast (Atlanta, Baltimore, DC, New York), I did not have any of them come and I also wanted it to be a private moment. I got the very first dress I tried on. As I tried on others, I kept staring at the dress I ended up purchasing. It was perfect!
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding:
The theme was: Great Gatsby and “A Couple of Forevers”
Tell us about your wedding planner:
Our wedding planner is a longtime friend of both of ours. She is very effective in event planning. She is always timely in everything she does and she always plans for the unknown. Our wedding was her first wedding, and many people are trying to convince her to make a career out of planning due to the success of our big day.
Any groomsmen gifts?
Groomsmen gifts: Custom cigar box spray painted gold with stickers of each groomsman’s name on the outside.
Inside the box included:
-Two mini-bottles of groomsman’s favorite liquor
-Custom keychain of significance
-Black Gun Metal Pocket Watch with Initials on the outside
-Shot glass with First Letter of First Name on the Outside
We gave the entire bridal party picture frames we painted ourselves for them to put a picture from the wedding day in.
Any bridesmaids gifts?
Bridesmaids gifts: Personalized robes to get ready in the morning of, personalized wine glasses, wedding day jewelry (necklace, bracelet & earrings).
About a week before the wedding (bachelorette weekend), the bridesmaids received a bag with their names stitched in it. Inside the bag were contents for their bridesmaid emergency kit. Included lots of things not limited to: nail polish to wear the day of the wedding, travel toothbrush & toothpaste, a personalized tumbler (with name and bridesmaid on it), a coin purse, lotion, hand sanitizer, body wash, band-aids etc.
How about the wedding invitations & stationery:
The invitations and stationery were completed with the assistance of family and friends.
Tell us about your flowers:
Bouquets and boutonnieres were done by Erika’s cousin at Irvington Florist in Baltimore, MD. Erika’s bouquet had one pink flower in the center which reflected one of Erika’s sorority colors. Erika also carried a blue flower down the aisle as her “something blue”, her deceased father’s favorite color, which she placed in an empty seat in remembrance of him.
Any wedding favors:
All guests had the opportunity to receive a free photo strip out of our rented photo booth. They also had the opportunity to receive a free wedding color glow stick.
Tell us about your bridesmaids:
The bridesmaids’ dresses were Alfred Angelo. The maid of honor’s dress was from J. Crew.
Tell us about his groomsmen:
Dwayne (the groom) wore a tan Jos A. Bank tuxedo with a pink vest and pink tie. He wore brown and tan Ralph Lauren dress shoes with argyle pink and tan socks. He complimented his look with custom cufflinks which read: “Groom 8/5/2016”
Dwayne’s groomsmen went with a Jos A. Bank tan tuxedo with the three-piece look. They wore striped champagne ties, with brown and tan Ralph Lauren dress shoes. They complimented their shoes with tan and brown argyle socks.
Prestonwood Country Club
How / why did you choose your ceremony venue:
We came across Prestonwood Country Club by using a few search engines online. When we went to Prestonwood in person, we knew it was the perfect place for our wedding.
I personally appreciated that Prestonwood had a great staff that was very personable. Everything was included in our package: the food, bar, and cake. This made our decision a no-brainer.
See more Prestonwood Country Club weddings here.
And your decorations:
Decorations were done by Fresh Affairs. We love candles so it was important that we had plenty for our evening wedding.
Tell us about your wedding photography:
Our wedding photography was exceptional and exceeded all of our expectations. In His Image Photography is very organized and efficient in everything they do. Dajuan made sure that we did not have to worry about anything on our big day. All the photos came out beautiful.
And your videographer (if you had one):
Our videographer was Damien Maass. He is a very artistic person who is very creative with his craft. We have fallen in love with the moments that he was able to capture during our engagement session and at our wedding.
And your cake:
Our cake was amazing! We had three different flavors: (1) yellow cake with strawberry filling; (2) marble cake with chocolate mousse filling; and (3) red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.
We also had a cake topper made to look like us; everyone, including us of course, loved the personal touch.
What songs did you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, and why:
1. Groom and Best Man Intro : “For the Rest of My Life” by Robin Thicke – Dwayne wanted to walk out to this because he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.
2. Parents and Grandparents Intro – “Real Love by Eric Benet” – We wanted this song because we hope to have that “real love” like our parents and grandparents shared over the years
3. Bridal Party Intro – “Like I’m Going to Lose You” by Meghan Trainor –
4. Maid of Honor Intro – “You and I by John Legend” –
5. Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Intro – “1000 Years by Christinia Perry”
6. Bride Intro – “Couple of Forevers by Chrisette Michelle”
1. First Dance – “Betcha By Golly Wow” by the Stylistics – Dwayne and I wanted something classic, and unique. We love what this song means to us, as we are each other’s fairy tale. This is also the first song we danced in the living room to.
2. Mother-Son Dance – “Smile by Rene and Angela” – Dwayne’s mother has always loved his smile, and used to sing this to him since the day he was born.
3. Brother – Sister Dance – “Elevators” by OutKast – When Erika was little, she took her first “dance steps” to this song by dancing and walking between her brother and cousin. She also tried to this song as a toddler. OutKast has a special place is Erika’s and her brother’s relationship.
4. In-Law Dance – “We are Family” by Sister Sledge – We chose this song to represent our families coming together as one.
Tell us about your honeymoon:
We went to Miami one day after we said “I Do”. We spent one night in Miami, and then headed to a Royal Caribbean cruise to get some much needed away time with just each other outside the country. We traveled to the Bahamas for a few days, and then traveled back stateside to Key West. Afterwards we sailed back to Miami, and spent three nights there. We had a terrific time together as we always do. It was great experiencing different cultures. The cruise provided much needed relaxation.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
My best memory is right before the reception when the groom and I were sitting across from each other, but hiding from our guests on the staircase. We were mouthing our excitement to each other before being introduced as Mr. & Mrs. Dwayne Johnson.
Favorite item on the reception menu:
Pecan crusted chicken was delicious; it was the only thing we put on the menu without tasting beforehand. Glad we chose it.
I also loved that our cake actually tasted good and looked beautiful.
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why:
My favorite image is the one of myself and the groom looking like we are about to attack our cake. It perfectly describes our relationship and wedding day: genuine, fun, loving, and full of excitement.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell us more.
We incorporated much of our fraternity and sorority in our wedding. Our colors, blush and champagne, were influenced by our Greek-lettered organizations, pink and gold, and our wedding date was set due to our line numbers.
Dwayne – 8
Erika – 5
Any advice for future brides:
Try to keep in mind the purpose of the wedding is to celebrate the love between you and your soon to be life partner. It is easy to get caught up in all of the “wedding hype.”
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
To enjoy the wedding planning process and most importantly the actual wedding day itself. Everyone told me it would go by so fast and of course time flies that day! Remember that you are preparing for YOUR union and continue enjoying each other.