Joi and Augustus’ “Southern Sophistication” Wedding in Georgia

Joi and Augustus were brought together by mutual friends, initially being introduced during an evening out. They were introduced a second time by a friend playing matchmaker. Over the next nine months a friendship grew into love and romance until they officially began dating.
For Augustus, he knew Joi was "the one" when thinking about his future "she was always in my daydreams. I knew I wanted her in my life forever!"

Read all about Joi and Augustus' love story, surprise portrait gallery proposal, and experiences in their "Southern Sophistication" wedding Georgia.

Bride & Groom: Joi & Augustus
Occupations: Associate Director of College Success & Government Services Advisor
Wedding date: September 17, 2017
Wedding location: DeKalb History Center in Decatur, GA

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Washington DC is so small we actually met twice! We met on two separate occasions through two mutual friends. The first time we were introduced through my mutual friend and co-worker when we all met up for a fun night on U Street (a local bar/club area in DC). At the time I only knew my husband by his nickname. That night we met we all just enjoyed each others company hanging out for the evening. A few weeks later, my roommate at the time kept talking about her new co-worker Augustus, and how he was such a great guy. She wanted to play matchmaker, and thought we would hit it off well. I agreed to meet with him, but not as date, but another group hangout situation. Imagine my surprise a few weeks later when I met "Augustus" and it turned out to be "AJ"! We remained in contact as friends. We started dating about 9 months later after (my version) I finally said yes to a date or (his version) I found him on Facebook!

The proposal... It was a total surprise! Augustus told me that we were headed to a work gala at the National Portrait Gallery. When we arrived, I was confused because I didn't see anyone else dressed in gala attire, but I assumed we just arrived at a different entrance. While we walked to where the "gala" was located, I occasionally noticed a guy snapping pictures in our direction. However, it is a public museum, so I just brushed it off as coincidence. "The Gala" was located in a quiet, more secluded part of the museum. When we finally arrived and I didn't hear music or see signs, I was really confused. I turned around to ask a question, and found Augustus down on one knee. I just put my hand over my mouth and started crying. I mouthed the word "Yes"! (I physically said "Yes" later after the shock wore off). Out of nowhere, two photographers and a videographer appeared. They had been following us around the museum and documented the whole proposal. My last surprise was that our friends were waiting on us at W Hotel to celebrate the engagement. I was so proud of him for pulling off the surprise. Everyone knew but me!

How did you know they were “the one”?
Augustus: I got to a point where I would think about my future, and she was always in my daydreams. I knew I wanted her in my life forever!
Joi: I prayed, and God answered! I knew he was "the one" pretty early in our relationship because with Augustus I am completely and utterly authentic. He loves me for who I am in the moment, and encourages me to be my best self.

Wedding Style: Southern Sophistication! We both like to dress up and we wanted to set a romantic and celebratory mood for our evening affair. We asked our guest to dress in formal attire to show off their sophisticated side.
As for our wedding wedding attire, we both new we wanted to stand out in our "wedding white". Shopping for my wedding dress went really smooth. My mother and I planned this elaborate dress shopping day with my friends in DC where we live. However, prior to the scheduled shopping day, my mother and I met up in Atlanta and decided to go dress shopping on a whim. I found my dress that day! I knew it was the one because it fit me in all the right places, was elegant, yet still gave my mother the princess vibe she was looking for. I found my dress a year before my wedding, and time allowed my bridesmaids to find a dress that played off my dress's style. All my bridesmaid dresses had the same silhouette but were different to fit their style and personality.
Shopping for my husband's tuxedo was a bit different. I feel like we waited to the absolute last minute, but he found a look that he loved. He wanted something suave and classic. I think he pulled the look off perfectly!

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We are both from the south. Our food HAD to be a reflection of southern cuisine. It was delicious! Augustus's family is from New Orleans so we made sure we had parasols and played some 2nd Line Jazz. His groom's cake was decorated to highlight his favorite team, The New Orleans Saints.
It was important that our wedding highlight our family, faith, and culture. I wore my grandmother's ring in my bouquet. We had a special seat to honor our loved ones who were in heaven. We made sure to say the Lord's Prayer and we jumped the broom (my bridesmaid decorated it for us). We also had our guest sit in a circle around us so we could be surround by love and support as they witnessed our union.

Wedding Party gifts: Bridesmaids: Swag bags that included color coordinated "fast flats", personalized flasks, and perfume; Groomsmen: Personalized cigar boxes and football team swag
Favorite item on the menu: Shrimp and Grits
First dance song: "Here I Stand" by Usher

What is your best memory from your wedding? Joi: I told myself that I wouldn't look at Augustus too much as I walked down the aisle, so I wouldn't cry. As soon as they opened the doors, my eyes locked in on him and I couldn't look away. I didn't see anything or anyone else the entire time! I had to look at pictures to see who was in the audience. Another special memory for me was when my husband's fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, welcomed me into their family through song.
Augustus: Taking photos with the wedding party, and seeing all our friends and family enjoying themselves at the wedding reception.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? It is your day! You only get this one day and it goes by quickly, so just enjoy it. Don't sweat the small details because they don't really matter and know one will know/care. Don't go into debt trying to create your "dream wedding". If you focus of the purpose of the day, it will feel like a dream. We are so thankful that we had so many great people around to encourage and support us on that day. It allowed us to solely focus on each other and celebrate our love together. It was the best feeling!

Wedding Planner -Julienne Vinson, Jeweled Events by Julienne,
Florist and Day-off Coordinator (our wedding planner had a baby the week before the wedding, so she stepped in to support us) - Autumn Hartman; Harts & Petals
Photographer - Janelle Chung; Janelle C. Photography
DJ - KD Morley, DJ KD & KD Sounds, Inc.
Wedding Dress designer - White by Vera Wang, David's Bridal
Bridal Shoes - Betsy Johnson
Hair Stylist - Fairren Thompson, Flawless Hair by Fairren
Makeup Artist - Nickey Martin
Groom’s Tuxedo - Bonobos (purchased at the Washington, DC location)
Wedding invitations - Wedding Paper Divas
Cake - Alpine Bakery Custom Cake Division
Catering - Endive Fine Catering
Room lighting - Rent My Wedding

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