The Cotton Room Wedding | Jason + Maisha

Jason Peace + Maisha Jackson

August 31st, 2018

The Cotton Room

Durham, NC

Back View of her Fierce wedding gown, by Ines Di Santo

Very excited to have their wedding published by:

Featured on Munaluchi
Carolina Wedding Photographer

Share with us how you two met:

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2014. My best friend had been wanting me to meet “this guy” for a few months. She told me all his attributes, including he was a star football player at UNC-Chapel Hill. I immediately gathered he was full of himself and this could not possibly go anywhere. She planned for us to meet, but all I wanted to do that night was play scrabble on my phone. So after much debate, I agreed to head out to Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, NC with my sister and best friend. When we got to the lounge, it was super crowded filled with Carolina alumni and students. We made our way to the outdoor patio where Jason and his friends were sitting. A round of introductions was exchanged and from there Jason and I hit it off. We went on our first date a few days later. We soon learned that we led parallel lives, in that we both went to rival high schools, our parents knew each other at North Carolina Central University, our mother’s worked together at the same retail store, and we shared several mutual friends. We were destined to meet and the rest is history!

Wedding rings
Bride putting on jewelry at the Cotton Room
Brides Shoes with Perfume

Tell us about your proposal:

It was early afternoon Christmas 2017. Jason fixed some of my favorites for breakfast- pancakes, bacon, and MIMOSAS! Leading up to Christmas, he kept saying he didn’t get me anything. Which was fine, because I still got him a few gifts. After he cleaned up the kitchen he asked if I was ready to open presents. After he opened his gifts from me, he told me to wait in the bedroom. I’m thinking, what is going on?! I come back into the living room and it’s full of nicely wrapped boxes. The first box consisted of 3 books, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, “The Knot: Wedding Planner”, and “The Knot” magazine. I immediately yelled out, “We pregnant?! Whose pregnant?!”. He just laughed and passed me the next gift. I was confused. The next gift was an elephant ring holder, which had a fake ring on it. I was still confused about these gifts. Jason is very black and white, no grey, so I was taking the gifts for what they were; books and a trinket lol. Then, Jason reached into a drawer, pulled out a red box, and got on one knee. While I was crying and losing my breath, Jason asked, “Would you give me the honor of being my wife and spend the rest of your life with me?”. I said, “Yes”.

Wedding Stationary Paper Suite
Dress Hanging on Chandelier at the Cotton Room

Let’s talk fashion. How did you choose your wedding day look? What was wedding shopping like for you?

I ear-marked and cut out several designs in The Knot, Brides, and Wedding Style. I was drawn to deep plunges, low backs, and fit and flare styles. Once we locked down the venue, I made three gown appointments. My mother, sister, and I went to Alexia’s Bridal Boutique of Raleigh, NC for the last appointment. For almost an hour, I tried on a handful of gowns. We were getting ready to leave and then my sister said, “Just try this one on. I want to see what this looks like on you”. I was a little hesitant because the dress was draped in beads and lace, which was not the style I was going for per se. The Fierce gown, by Ines Di Santo was everything I could have dreamed of. It was a custom statement dress, embellished in lace and beads. The dress included a nude and lace bodice, an illusion back, and small pearl details. After a few alterations, it fit me like a glove! I needed a shoe that would be comfortable for me and could support the weight of “Fierce” at the same time. I chose the champagne-colored “Seina” heel by Badgely Mischka, which included sparkling crystal embellishments. The block heel made walking down the aisle and dancing a breeze.

Bride Putting on Dress at the Cotton Room
Maid of Honor helping with the brides shoes
Champagne colored Seina heel by Badgely Mischka - Block Heel Wedding Shoes
Bride posed at window in her Fierce wedding gown, by Ines Di Santo

How did the groom choose his look?

Jason and I visited several custom clothiers and picked up several swatches for comparison. Jason had a natural connection with David Watkins of House of Abbeydale, Charlotte, NC and landed on a mid-tone navy custom suit. Jason decided on a marrone shoe by Paul Evans New York. His inspiration for his look that day was James “Ghost” St. Patrick, from Power. He loves the character’s tailored suits and pose. I must say, he gave that character a run for his money!

Groom Buttoning Jacket
Groom in blue wedding suit

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

I lived and worked in the New York City area for over 10 years and my job required me to travel and produce television shows all over the city. I became inspired by New York’s infrastructure especially the Brownstone’s of Brooklyn and the cobblestone streets of downtown. We wanted to find a space that incorporated the New York “city life” and the plush, natural beauty of North Carolina. Our theme was Sleek Urban Garden. Utilizing The Cotton Room’s exposed brick and wood floors, we had subtle hints of champagne, blush, ecru, navy, gold, and various shades of green.

Bride and Groom First Touch at the Cotton Room
Groom Entering Ceremony at the Cotton Room
Ring Bearers Carrying Broom at the Cotton Room
Father and Bride Enter Ceremony at the Cotton Room

Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day? If yes, tell us more.

Yes! Libation in African cultures is a ritual of heritage. A drink offering to honor and please the Creator, our sacred ancestors, humans present and not present, as well as the environment. We love to have a great time, honor our passed relatives, and celebrate with our family and friends. On the bottom of our invitations, they read “love, laughter, and libations to follow”.

We are big on family. The unity candle symbolized the joining of our families as one.

The jumping of the broom was a must. I was at my mother’s home looking up broom ideas online. I began to tell her how I needed to buy and decorate a broom. She stepped away for a moment and came back with a broom we’ve had in our home since the ’80’s! It was perfect. My mother throws nothing away- THANK GOD! I later enlisted Letta (the bestie that introduced Jason and me) for her design expertise. Letta is the ultimate design aficionado; she can make and do anything! It was exactly what I wanted; white and blush roses and the handle was wrapped in silk ribbon. It was truly made with love and from the heart.

Bride and Groom Exchange Vows at the Cotton Room
Bride and Groom Exit Ceremony at the Cotton Room

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

In television production, my team handles the logistics. I don’t pride myself on being creative. So, this is where my planner, Elana Walker, really did her thing. I told her we wanted “greenery” and she went to work! We wanted the alter to have falling greenery, so we worked with Fresh Affairs to dream up the perfect look. Greenery was displayed along with glassware and floating candles throughout every table during the reception. We spent a few days at CE Rental where we compared various linen, napkins, chargers, and silverware. Jason even got involved in the final round and switched out a few chargers :) I love gold, so the standout tables were donned in gold chargers, gold tall flower stands, gold forks, gold knives, and gold-rimmed water & wine glasses- ALL GOLD EVERYTHING!

Bride and Groom in Reception at the Cotton Room
Gold Table Setting at the Cotton Room
Reception Room Shot at the Cotton Room

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

ABSOLUTELY! Our theme was Sleek, Urban Garden so the day would not be complete without flowers. My bouquet was comprised of blush, white, and gold stained hydrangeas, peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, and dendrobium orchids. The aisle was decorated with tall floral arrangements on top of mirrored columns. The tall floral arrangements served a dual purpose. We later repurposed them for the flower arrangements on the standout tables. Flowered alters are all the rave, and we followed right in suit. Our alter was designed with falling white, blush greenery on top of a draped blush backdrop. The alter was the backdrop to our sweetheart table during the reception. Talk about resourceful!

Bridal Bouquet

Tell us about your bridesmaids and his groomsmen:

Jason and I both have a bunch of close friends and family. But after several conversations, we decided to keep it simple and have our closest friend/relative. Ellen, my younger sister, was my Maid of Honor. We share a special bond that only the two of us understand, so it only made sense that Ellen was by my side. She had my back all day and was with me throughout the entire process- lending advice, a helping hand, and an open ear. My goddaughter, Maya Hall, was my sweet, adorable flower girl. Jason and his cousin Tameka Brown have been close all their lives; they are close in age and attended school together all the way up to college at UNC- Chapel Hill. They call themselves “Twin Cousins”; they were born on the same day, a month apart. With their close bond, it was easy for him to ask Tameka to stand by his side on our special day. Ryan and Aaron Morris, Jason’s nephews, were our ring and broom bearers.

Bride with Bridesmaid and Groomswoman at the Cotton Room

What songs did you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, and why:

“Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind, & Fire, was played for the introductions of our families. I was listening to a few songs with my mom and sister and when we heard this one, my mother immediately started dancing. I knew this would be a crowd favorite and a fun way to begin our reception.

The wedding party was introduced to, “I Like It” by Cardi B. This song is fun, popular, and fits the personalities of our Maid of Honor and Best Woman. Jason and I were introduced to “Apesh*t” by The Carters. Is an explanation needed? What better way to get the party started by channeling our inner Jay & Bey! My father and I danced to “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. My father has been a Stevie fan for forever and he felt the words of this song described his love for me. Jason and his mother danced to “Three Times a Lady” by The Commodores.

Jason has the highest regard and respect for his mother and this song matched his love and emotions perfectly. I did a surprise dance with my mom to “My Girl” by The Temptations. I knew I wanted to recognize her in a special way because she has been so instrumental in my life. She was totally caught off guard. We smiled, danced, embraced, laughed, and cried. My mother is an exceptional woman and I am truly blessed to have shared that moment with her.

Bride and Groom entrance for their Cotton Room wedding reception
Bride and Groom First Dance at the Cotton Room
Father and Daughter Dance at the Cotton Room
Mother and Son Dance

Tell us about your cake:

We tasted several cakes and chose a 3-tier, half Lemon cake with Buttercream filling and half White cake with Raspberry Puree filling tuxedo cake by Ashley’s Cakes. Each tier had a soft stucco textured white buttercream icing with a marble design in light grey, soft dusty pink/mauve, gold, and marsala/wine. Fresh Affairs provided the matching flower arrangement on the top and bottom tier.

Wedding cake by Ashley's Cake at the Cotton Room
Cutting the Cake at the Cotton Room

Favorite item on the reception menu:

Ok, this is hard to nail down since we LOVED our food selections. Our favorites were the miniature shrimp & grits and lamp pop hors-d’oeuvres. We also especially loved our specialty drinks, “Maisha’s Halftime Slammer” (vodka, fresh strawberries, house-made lemonade, served in goblet over ice) and Jason’s Tequila Touchdown (tequila, jalapeño and agave syrup, lime jalapeño simple syrup, served with a salt rim in a champagne glass filled with ice accompanied by jalapeño ring garnish). It was a fun play on words since I was in Hampton University’s Marching Band as an Ebony Fire dancer and Jason played football at Carolina!

Toast Being Given at the Cotton Room
Bride and Groom Toasting at the Cotton Room
AKA Sorority wedding serenade at the Cotton Room

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

There are so many! Obviously being pronounced husband and wife, taking one-on-one photos with my mom, sharing the day with family and friends, and watching the smiles on all of our guests’ faces.

Groom Retrieving Garter at the Cotton Room

Tell us about your wedding photography:

Flawless! The pictures perfectly retold the day. As we were looking through photos, we kept seeing moments we forgot about because the day truly flew by. Dajuan and Ariana were patient, fun, outgoing, professional, and captured the magic of our day beautifully. Everyone felt like celebrities.

Bride and Groom in the Hall at the Cotton Room
Bride and Groom in the Hall at the Cotton Room

Do you have a honeymoon planned? Tell us about it.

We’re going to the cities of Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini in Greece. We plan to relax and disconnect for a week. We are looking forward to enjoying and exploring the local cuisine, culture, and historical sites. Visiting this country will be a first for both of us, and I’m so excited to be experiencing something new with my hubby!

Dancing at Reception at the Cotton Room
Dancing at Reception at the Cotton Room

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Planning for a wedding is a team effort; take your time, be patient, be open to suggestions, and be sure to delegate.

Bride and Groom sparkler exit at the Cotton Room

Any final thoughts:

Live, Love, Laugh, & PEACE

Maisha and Jason, we could not agree more!


Venue: The Cottom Room, Durham NC

Planner: Elana Walker Events

Florist: Fresh Affairs

MUA: Pink Diamonds by Tiwa

Hair: Vickie Parker

Baker: Ashley Cakes

Entertainment: Cool Receptions

Stationer: Cute Buttons


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