Featured in: Southern Noir Weddings
Venue: River Landing
Photographer: Donnell Perry Photography
Wedding Planner: Elana Walker Events
Florals: Fresh Affairs
Make-Up Artist: Sharon Davis Make-Up Artistry
Dancing on the Cloud: DJ Harlem Entertainment
Wedding Cake: One Belle Bakery
Videography: Twenty One Films
Officiant: Pastor Roy Brown & Pastor Mark Woodson
Ceremony Music: Blue Sands
Second Shooter: Niki Wilbanks
Photo Booth: Kat’s Photo Booth
Bridesmaids: Gift bag containing makeup, skincare products, hair accessories, and robes with their initials monogrammed in them with matching silk sandals.
Groomsmen: watches, pocket squares, and dress socks.
First dance song:
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Please share your engagement story and how you met? Kayla and I both attended the same college, and for the 4 years she was there we never met. It wasn’t until I graduated and went home for the summer that our paths would cross. Kayla had recently moved to California and was working on her master’s degree at Loma Linda University. Oddly enough, we both had a mutual friend from Oakwood, who I had previously invited to my graduation dinner. As fate would have it, Kayla decided to “crash” the dinner at the last minute and spent the afternoon trying to remain unnoticed. Obviously she was unsuccessful, since she had my attention as soon as she walked through the door. I asked a few friends who the cute girl was, since I remembered seeing her around Oakwood’s campus. I managed to keep my cool as she left the dinner early, having a feeling that I would see her again. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long since that very night we both ended up at the same birthday party. This time when I saw her, she looked even more beautiful than I had remembered, and I knew I had to make a move. We started talking, and like that, I was hooked. For AJ’s 25th birthday, I surprised him with a cruise to Bahamas; little did I know that I would be getting the biggest surprise of my life! It all started after dinner, AJ came to my cabin and handed me a piece of paper with a map of the ship on it titled “Kayla’s Treasure Map”. He had made a scavenger hunt and had hidden boxes all over the ship for me to find, and on the bottom of each box there would be a hint to the location of next box. I was so incredible, even the ships staff were involved and handed me the little treasure boxes when I went to their stations. On the last box, the hint on the bottom read, “ahem, it’s kneeling right in front of you”. I look up, and there he was on his knees with a gorgeous ring. Which of course was followed by the waterworks, I’m not even sure I actually said yes, I was crying so much!
Describe your wedding dress style?
Designer: Brides by Demetrios
How about your wedding shoes and jewelry?
Shoes: White Christian Louboutin heels embellished with Swarovski Crystals
Jewelry: Grandmothers vintage clock necklace decorated brides bouquet
Question for the BRIDE: What things do you love the most about him?
The way he can always make me laugh! If I’m having a bad day, he always knows exactly how to brighten my day!
Anything and everything! I am the adventurous one in the relationship, and love traveling and getting him to try new things. And AJ loves that he can relax and let me do the planning. Its a win-win!
Question for the GROOM: What things do you love the most about her?
She is the smartest, funniest, and most beautiful woman i have ever met. She makes every single day more exciting than the last.
Tell us about his groomsmen?
My 8 groomsmen are my closest friends from growing up till now. When ever i am around them it is nonstop jokes and fun. I am who i am because of the times i’ve spent with them. My best man was my oldest friends. He has been with me since day one and has always had my back. The day wouldn’t have been the same without him.
How / why did you choose your ceremony venue?
I love the outdoors, especially during the spring, but what I don’t like is the rainy weather during that time of the year. The venue at River Landing gave breathtaking views of the lake and greenery with the perfect about of covering just in case of a springtime shower.
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding?
I’m a sucker for romantic gardens so the wedding was styled in very soft spring colors with gold accents. I wanted as many flowers as possible to give the atmosphere a “secret garden” quality.
And your beautiful cake by One Belle Bakery?
Our cake was a six tiered white cake with bush accents and gold details. I have a sweet tooth, and thankfully with so many layers I didn’t have to choose one flavor. The flavors of each cake ranged from chocolate, to carrot, to raspberry/pineapple.
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why?
That’s a hard one, there are so many great shots. My favorite would have to be the one of us walking by the lake. The sun was just setting, and the shot was completely beautiful.
Amazing bridal bouquet by Fresh Affairs!
Any funny stories about yourselves?
Please share your experience with your wedding planner Elana Walker Events?
The entire wedding party loved Elana! She knew exactly what I had envisioned for my wedding day and made it a reality. She consistently went above and beyond to make everything perfect. It wouldn’t have been the same without her and her team!
Tell us about your bridesmaids?
My 8 bridesmaids are my closest and dearest friends. Each one of them have been with me through thick and thin at all the different stages of my life. My Maid of Honor is my sister, who is also my best friend. We have been through everything together, I couldn’t imagine my day without her!
Where was your first date? What did you do?
Our first date was actually on the day we met. After the party, AJ took me out to dinner. After that we were in constant contact.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?My Favorite part of the wedding was our first dance, after the excitement of the ceremony, it was so nice to relax, dance, and enjoy being a bride.
Tell us about your wedding photography experience with Donnell Perry Photography?
Donnell and his team were the best! They worked so well with all of the other vendors and were very professional. Donnell created a very comfortable and relaxed environment for the entire wedding party, that resulted in amazing natural looking photos. The entire experience from the first meeting was seamless.
Any advice for future brides?
My advice to all brides would be to avoid taking the stress and worry of planning into your wedding day. Try to relax and enjoy the moments of your day. And if little things don’t go completely according to plan, don’t sweat it, at the end of the day, you will still be married you your best friend.
Any advice for future grooms?
Donnell Perry Photography is an Award Winning Raleigh Wedding Photography company based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Please view our portfolio to see more of our work. We are available to travel for wedding and portrait photography, please contact us through the contact form on our website for more information.