The classic Bill Withers song, "Just the Two of Us" can serve as the theme song for Onteria and Fredrick's relationship aesthetic and intimate wedding ceremony. The two met at a barbecue at Fredrick's cousins house, chatted and later exchanged numbers. But it wasn't until a few weeks later, when Fredrick invited Onteria over for taco night at his place, that she got "that feeling" that he would be "the one".
And, alas, on Christmas Even 2015, Onteria unwrapped the gift of a lifetime. "We always spend Christmas alone together in Savannah, as that was our first travel destination as a couple. We love to travel. That night we decided to open gifts. He opened his first, and opened mine after. Once I began to unwrap my gift (which was a large box), I noticed there was nothing inside. I turned to him to let him know there must have been a mistake" says Onteria. But, there was no mistake. "[And] there he was on one knee with a blue box wrapped with a white bow. It was totally surprising and I was so unsuspecting. Needless to say, I burst into tears of joy, then I said yes" says Onteria.
This beautiful couple decided to opt out of a large wedding ceremony and wed at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur Georgia. Their elopement and intimate ceremony spoke to their solid bond as a couple. Check out more of their love story and enduring wedding photos captured by photographer and coterie member, Lajoy Hunter of L. Hunter Photography.
Bride: Onteria Nash
Groom: Fredrick David West, III
Occupations: Bride: Healthcare Consultant | Groom: Accountant
Wedding Date: 5/6/16
Wedding Location: DeKalb County Courthouse - Decatur, GA
Describe your wedding style
Our wedding style was simple. We had talked in the past about not having a large wedding, and knew we wanted to take the courthouse route. We decided early on to have it be just the two of us since we do everything together all the time. We didn't want our wedding day to be any different, and thought it would be even more special for the day to really speak to our bond with each other.
Tell us about your wedding dress! What was dress shopping like for you?
Though I knew our wedding would be simple, I wanted to add my own elegant touches of personal style. I had a simple white, lace dress that I found in a department store. It was very complimentary to our simple, yet elegant theme.
Dress shopping was pretty easy. I am usually a bit indecisive, so wanted to be sure I had more than one option for a dress on my wedding day. I found a few white dresses in a couple of department stores I liked, and finally settled on three. I knew that I would choose the one that I felt prettiest in on the day of.
Favorite item on the menu:
In place of the traditional wedding cake, we had cupcakes provided by Gigi's Cupcakes. We had our first meal together as husband and wife at Del Frisco's Grille since we had accommodations for our honeymoon night right across the way at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The Cheese Steak Egg Rolls are one of our favorite appetizers on the menu!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
We'd say somewhat. We think we went very non-traditional with this, being that we eloped at the court house; however I did want a bouquet and a white dress so that there would be some traditional components. I also really wanted for us to feed each other cake! We decided to order a few special cupcakes from Gigi's Cupcakes instead of having the larger traditional wedding cake.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
For both of us, seeing the smiles on each other's faces was the best memory. We were both just so happy. We are best friends and the day really highlighted that connection between the two of us. We would also say the experience in the court house and having a courthouse wedding was memorable. There are a lot of characters in that environment, and a lot of what went on kept us laughing. We love to laugh together.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Focus on your love for each other, and why the day is important. Try not to worry so much about the planning. Have fun, and really make it a memorable day. It will be the first day of your lives together as a married couple. In the end, that's all that matters.
Photography: L. Hunter Photography
Wedding Consultant: Nickie Jones Events
Bride's Hair & Makeup: Adrienne Smith, Hairstylist and Make Up Artist
Bride's Dress: Dillard's
Bride's Shoes: Macy's
Groom's Suit & Shoes: Macy's
Florist: Chelsea Floral Designs
Cupcakes: Gigi's Cupcakes