Picturesque Redondo Beach Wedding: Courtney + Darrell

Courtney and Darrell first met casually at a rooftop pool party in downtown Charlotte. There was definitely a love connection between the two when they first met, but it wasn't until they bumped into one another in grad school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte that their relationship really started to take off.  Today, were sharing their picturesque Redondo Beach wedding.  Against a backdrop of palm trees and mountains and their closest loved ones, the lovebirds made things official.  Thanks for sharing your love story with us and wishing you nothing but the best!

Couple: Courtney & Darrell Potts
Occupations:  Financial Consultanta + High School Administrator
Wedding date:  June 10 2016
Wedding location:  The Porfofino Hotel & Marina - Redondo Beach, CA

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts:  Bridesmaids: Personalized Robes, Jewelry, Makeup Service, Champagne Gummy Bears, Wine // Groomsmen: Personalized shot glasses, liquor, monogrammed cufflinks, pocket knife
Favorite item on the menu: Wedding Cake (we had three flavors: Red Velvet, Tropical Coconut and Marble)
First dance song: Musiq Soulchild - Don't Change



How We Met:
It was a hot summer day and nothing was going on. Darrell was invited to a rooftop pool party in downtown Charlotte by a friend. Courtney accompanied some friends to the same party. Little did they know, a love connection was about to take place. Darrell had already been at the party for while mingling relaxing. Then all of a sudden this slim, beautiful, classy young lady with a gorgeous smile walks out onto the pool patio with her girls. Darrell could not keep his eyes out of her direction. She smiled at him and the rest is history. Both the group of guys and girls met up later that night at a club. This gave Darrell a chance to learn a bit more about Courtney. He learned that she was from Los Angeles, CA and that sparked a conversation between them. We continued to communicate some after this occasion, but not consistently. A few months later, we saw each other again on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Ironically, we were both in graduate school and on our way to class. From this point on, our interest in each other was solidified.

The proposal:
August 3rd, 2014 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport...It was Courtney's Birthday. She was returning to Charlotte after visiting Los Angeles, California to see Beyoncé in concert with some friends. As she exited off the plane, she called Darrell to see where he was located. He was parked in the airport arrival lane trying to buy more wait time from traffic patrol. Luckily he was able to persuade them to allow the execution of his proposal plan. Courtney made her way to baggage claim, grabbed her belongings, and she walked through the double glass doors leading to the pick-up location. As she walked out, she notice Darrell standing along with his brother, Horatio who was also the best man. Horatio was flashing a big sign in his hands displaying "Happy Birthday!" Darrell then walked up to Courtney handing her a gift and said “Happy Birthday Love”. Courtney opened the gift and noticed it was a curling iron! Nice gift she thought, but no t really what she wanted for her birthday. Darrell laughed and said this isn't your real gift. Courtney was relieved and waiting for him to pull out another gift. This time Darrell pulled out a large box. Courtney was excited and anxiously opened the box. Inside, she found another sign but this one was different. It displayed this message..."Courtney Kemp, I love you...WILL YOU MARRY ME?" Darrell then rested on one knee and removed a small box from his pocket. As tears started flowing down Courtney's eyes, she said yes!! Filled with joy, Darrell placed the ring on her finger. Courtney was overwhelmed with emotion and embraced Darrell with a long hug.

Wedding Style:
My wedding dress was a Monique Lhuillier mermaid style gown with Chantilly lace, a strapless sweetheart neckline and a tiered tulle skirt with a horsehair trim. My veil was also made by Monique Lhuillier veil and it was a Cathedral veil with crystals along the horsehair trim. Shopping for my wedding gown was an exciting time for me and filled with so many emotions. I got to share my wedding shopping experience with my mom, mother in-law, some friends and bridesmaids. The first stop I made was Bridals by Lori; I tried on, and fell in love with the gown and decided to purchase right then. Just to be sure that was THE dress, I shopped around and tried on other dresses, but I always had in the back of my mind the gorgeous low back gown I recently purchased at Bridals By Lori and I knew I made the best decision!

Culture: Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell us more.
Yes, we are both African American and during the ceremony we decided to jump the broom. We had our broom designed by a friend of the family. We plan on getting the broom framed as well. Darrell is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc. so during the reception some of his brothers put on a mini step show!! Everyone loved it! Also, during the reception we did the Second Line Dance with decorative umbrellas, designed by a friend of the family that displayed our HBCU alma maters: this stems from a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans, Louisiana. We chose to represent the HBCUs on our umbrellas to show respect to our undergraduate schools for creating such a solid foundation of knowledge and opportunity in our lives.

Memories: What is your best memory from your wedding?
My father had passed away in 2014 and to honor him, my mother and I did a dance to one of his favorite songs - Before I Let Go by Frankie Beverly and Maze in place of the father daughter dance. Everyone got up and started doing the Electric Slide! We also had a slideshow playing with pictures of me and my dad. Everyone thought that was so touching!

Advice: What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Don't sweat the small stuff! There were a couple small things that I wanted to add during the reception, like a signature drink, however we didn't have enough time to add it. At the end of the day, no one even noticed and everyone had a great time! Just focus on each other and embrace the moment when it comes.

Wedding dress designer: Monique Lhuillier
Wedding dress salon: Bridals by Lori
Bridesmaids dresses: David’s Bridal
Hair: Cherrice Lacour
Makeup: Hollywood Makeup Studio
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Ceremony/Reception Location: The Portofino Hotel & Marina
Photography: Jason Burns Photography
Videography: A Pro-Vision Production
Photo Booth: MichaelAngelo
Wedding planner: Josie Martin
Florist: Flowers by appointment - Mr. Bill Only
Cake: SusieCakes 

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