Nichelle and Dwayne’s Beautiful Bayside Wedding in Virginia

The love story of Nichelle and Dwayne was born from heartache. After losing her mother to cancer in 2016, Nichelle learned byway of a mutual friend that Dwayne had also lost his mother to cancer that year. Connecting over social media they found support and encouragement in each other. A strong friendship soon formed and over time blossomed into the deepest of love as they found comfort in each others hearts. It wouldn't be long before Dwayne began planning their perfect proposal, following the path to together forever as husband and wife...

Read all about Nichelle & Dwayne's love story, proposal, and experiences in their beautiful bayside wedding in Virginia - with makeup artistry by MunaLuchi Coterie member Modernly Beautiful Makeup.

Bride & Groom: Nichelle & Dwayne
Occupations: Corporate Communications & Cyber Security
Wedding date: 07/06/18
Wedding location: Woodbridge, VA

How did you meet? We met through mutual friends after both of our mothers passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2016. We went to the same college, but never knew each other. So when I found out about his mom from my friend, I blindly "slid in his DMs" offering support and encouragement. We became friends and then fell in love along the way, while he lived in DC and I lived in NY.

Tell us about the proposal: It was a beautiful day in Dallas, Texas and I knew my boyfriend was coming in town for the weekend (he lived in DC). My boss told me to head out early because it was Friday and she knew he was going to be in town. "Great," I thought, "I can head home early, relax, and then make it to dinner."
When I got home, DC was just on the couch relaxing, so we had an afternoon drink before getting ready for dinner. I proposed two different outfits: one was white, one was black. He voted for the white outfit.
Earlier in the week, DC mentioned that he wanted to check out this park, Klyde Warren Park, because he thought it was cool that it was over the highway. I thought it would be cool to check out too, so we made plans to go before dinner. (And we had dinner plans because we were going to celebrate our anniversary since we wouldn't be able to the following month.)

I get dressed, do my hair, do my makeup and we head out. We park and start strolling through the park chatting casually and admiring the park (I was still new to Dallas so everything was new and exciting to see). We kept strolling and we turned a corner, and I saw sunflowers waiting on a table. Confused, I turned to him and asked, "Did you put those there??" He responds, "Yes, it's our anniversary so I thought it would be nice." I didn't think about the logistics of how or when he would have done it, I just knew they were for me.
"Aww, that's so sweet," I replied. He then follows up with, "Yeah, this park has a bunch of sunflowers, if you just turn this corner you'll see!"
I turned the corner, and to my HUGE surprise, there were sunflowers (which are my fave) but there was also a massive sign made of wood with the words, "Will You Marry Me" staked in the ground. My jaw dropped and I kept saying, "No way, this isn't real, this isn't really happening, I don't believe it."
DC proceeded to say words that of course I barely heard, then got down on one knee, presented the ring and asked the question every girl waits her whole life to hear, "Will you marry me?" I immediately said yes, and had to get closer to the woodwork and admired the engravings on it with special dates - the day we met, when I met his dad, our anniversary, our was all so well thought out and magical. He even hired a photographer to capture the special moment! I was blown away, and so began our happily ever after.

What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? I was torn between wanting something big and dramatic, or something more fitted, and found the perfect happy medium with my dress, which had a removable skirt. I had the big dramatic effect for the ceremony and entrance into the venue, and then had my fitted beautiful gown on display at the reception. My husband chose gray which we thought would complement our bridesmaids purple perfectly, which it did. I had a great shopping experience with my closest family at Kleinfeld in NY during the holidays. My mom and I used to watch “Say Yes to the Dress” all the time before she passed away, so I knew I had to find my dress there – and I did!

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We both have Caribbean backgrounds, so we made sure that was incorporated, including our signature “Rum Punch” beverage (which my husband actually made). We also are both in Greek organizations, so our entrance was a stroll to Beyonce and Jay Z’s “ApeS#*t”

Wedding party gifts: Bridesmaids: custom bags with their initials filled with goodies including face masks, a shirt to wear while they got ready on wedding day, a bracelet to wear during the wedding, etc. and I paid for their makeup; my husband got the groomsmen unique gifts to match their personalities; whiskey, knives, cigars, etc.
Gifts for each other: He got me rose gold earrings (my engagement ring and wedding ring are rose gold), and I got him Burberry cologne and a picture of the night sky the night we met.
Ceremony entrance song: "Ape$#*t" by Beyonce and Jay Z
First dance song: "Best Part" by H.E.R.

What is your best memory from your wedding? I think the entrance as husband and wife was so memorable and fun, followed by the choreographed dance with my brother. The speeches after dinner were also so special because they came from the heart. Everyone in the room knew how much we had gone through and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room (infused with some jokes of course) as our family expressed their joy on this day.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Take everything one day at a time and don’t get overwhelmed. It’s OK to take a break and know that everything won’t be perfect. Figure out what are your non-negotiables, and make sure they’re the best they can be, and leave some room for adjustments for everything else. It’s about you and your husband and your closest friends and family – HAVE FUN!

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Catering: Blu Sage Catering
DJ: JM Night Life
Florist: Ella's Florals
Gown: Kleinfeld Bridal
Hair: Kinetra Stewart
Jewelry: Tiffany
Makeup: Modernly Beautiful Makeup, LLC
Men’s Attire: Men's Wearhouse
Photographer: Leandra Brown
Shoes: Alexandre Birman
Venue: Ospreys Golf
Videography: Andre Jones
Woodwork: DC The Builder 

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