From the Photographer

EJ and Donveyea met on the HBCU campus of St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina. They plan on moving to Europe together in a couple of months.

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

Our themes for our big day were royalty and travel which we believe the Grand Marquise Ballroom was perfect for due to the regal essence the venue space encompasses. On our wedding day it felt as if we had traveled to our very own palace to celebrate our union with our guests and that is exactly the feel and vibe we wanted for our special day. For each table that we had at the reception, we decided to do something different instead of numbering them from 1-12. To match our travel theme, we decided to have each table be named after a country that we have visited together. The colors we decided on for the wedding were light purple (lilac/lavender) and navy blue with rose gold accents. We are glad we chose these colors for our spring wedding and very satisfied with how they were used throughout our ceremony and reception.


We incorporated the jumping of the broom into our ceremony to honor our ancestors who were denied the opportunity to be legally married in America due to the ugliness of slavery. It was very important to us to have this cultural tradition because it symbolizes our commitment to one another as husband and wife. It also represents strength, love, togetherness, loyalty, and respect which are all essential for a successful marriage.


Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful! It was very much romantic royalty vibes. We decorated the staircase with various heights of floating candle vases thanks to Fresh Affairs. We choose our uncle Canaan to be the officiate, who is also the Pastor of our family church, Soul Saving Station in Greenville, North Carolina. We decided on a unity heart which we assembled during our ceremony while uncle Canaan described the meaning of our unity ceremony. We also provided our guest with a story card in the wedding programs that provided further explanation on the significance of the unity heart.


For the reception we had beautiful purple uplighting throughout the ballroom and an awesome monogram with our initials covering the dance floor. We had our very own sweetheart table with throne chairs located on the staircase landing. For our guest, we had a few estate tables with big flower arrangements and floating candles, and for the remaining tables, we had simpler flower arrangements as the centerpieces with floating candles as well. Each table also was labeled as a country we have traveled to instead of a table number. Lastly, we had a few couches and ottomans surrounding our champagne tower for a more intimate feel.


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?

The flowers for our wedding were simple but elegant. We are not big on flowers but still wanted to incorporate them into our day. We feel as if we had just enough flowers needed for a romantic touch. We used floral design elements for the bridal bouquet, centerpieces, and dessert table. While we did not have a ton of flowers we definitely think the mixture of flowers and floating candles played an important part in the overall style of our wedding day.

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

Yes, personalizing our wedding day was very important to us so we sought out ways to ensure we were staying true to who we are as a couple instead of just following traditions that did not fit us. We opted for mini donut walls/dessert table instead of a wedding cake because while I enjoy cake my husband not care for cake but we both love donuts especially Krispy Kremes!!! We also added a champagne tower to the mix because we enjoy rose champagne and we thought it would be something fun and different to have during our reception. In addition to the champagne tower, we offered our guests open bar which we believe they thoroughly enjoyed lol! Lastly, to add more flare to our reception entrance and first dance added the heaven on earth effect (dry ice) and cold sparks (sparkler machine) which turned out so amazing on our wedding highlight video.


Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

Donveyea – I really just relied on how I envisioned myself looking and feeling on our wedding day which was a beautiful Black Queen ready to marry her handsome Black King. The dress, veil, and tiara I got from Zoya Atelier’s gave me all the right feelings and I am so pleased with how the final look turned out!

EJ – To be honest, I just wanted to match my groomsmen attire but stand out a tad bit. I am a very simple person, so I stuck with black and white with the bedazzle of a nice jacket and shoes for our special day.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

We met in undergrad at Saint Augustine’s University through mutual friends. One of our first memories together, was during the Homecoming parade when I was walking with members of the Falcon Poetry Club and he was on his fraternity float and I guess he felt bad for us (mainly me lol) since it was a long walk so he offered us a ride on his float. I’m not sure what we talked about that day but I remember thinking to myself that was very a considerate thing for him to do, this must be how men in the south do it and I can get used to this lol! EJ spent several months planning a surprise proposal with my family and friends. I typically go home in July to visit my family in Minneapolis, Minnesota and EJ had informed me that he could not join me this time because of a work training (or so I thought). On July 3rd, 2017 he had my family trick me into thinking we were having a family dinner at my favorite restaurant, Chino Latino. When I arrived at the restaurant and entered the private dinning room all I heard was “SURPRISE!!!” and I was so confused lol! As I looked around the room I was so happy to see my family then I noticed that EJ’s family was there as well at that point I knew something was up. I finally turned around and there EJ was to embrace me then he got on one knee and asked me to be his WIFEY!!!


Surprise Proposal Video


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

Walking down the aisle/meeting each other at the altar was for sure was the most anticipated moment. Our unique reception entrance and first dance were very special moments for us because it truly displayed our love story and who we are as a couple.


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

Yes, definitely consider hiring a wedding planner they will help make planning easier and less stressful. Also, consider having digital save the dates and invites to cut costs and use that money for other things you may want for your big day. Make a wedding website, we used Appy Couple this will allow you to effectively communicate with your guest and has a ton of beneficial benefits for couples planning a wedding. Lastly, stay true to what you both want for your special day and remember to take it all in and truly enjoy the day because it is going to fly by so quickly.