Shanetra and Brian first met during lunch on college campus. Both being in a relationship at the time their connection didn't go beyond a good friendship. Fast forward to the birthday party of a mutual friend, and in walks Brian... Shanetra recalls how, "I went over to talk to him and we ended up talking most of the night and exchanging phone numbers." That next week they went on their first date and have been inseparable ever since.
Read all about Shanetra & Brian's love story, proposal, and experiences in their intimate historic river wedding in South Carolina - featuring menswear by MunaLuchi Coterie member Miguel Wilson.
Bride & Groom: Shanetra & Brian
Occupations: Digital Content Coordinator & Civil Engineer
Wedding date: Friday, June 1, 2018
Wedding location: Stone River, West Columbia, SC
How did you meet? Back in College, the Grand Market Place in the Russell House was the place to be during lunch. Everyone who was anyone sat with their usual group, laughing and shooting the breeze. That is where I originally met Brian, at lunch, with my friend Shavonna, and his friend Mike. We would see each other on campus, but we were both seeing other people, so we would speak and keep it moving.
Fast forward to July 2006, my friend Ashley invited me to one of her friends' 21st birthday party. We were all there hanging out, and in comes my friend Brian. I went over to talk to him and we ended up talking most of the night and exchanging phone numbers. He took me to the Olive Garden on our first date a week later and we officially started dating November 15, 2006.
Tell us about the proposal. On December 23, 2016, I thought we were having a small Christmas party, just a few friends and family. To my surprise, Brian had been plotting (with the help of my mom, sister and a few friends) to give me the biggest surprise of the year.
While we were planning the party, I had some suspicions, but my friends reassured me, since they "didn't know" about it, that I couldn't possibly be right. Or that he wanted all of this extra stuff because "you know he's a little fancy." So I let the suspicions fade and continued on prepping and planning.
During the party, everyone did a good job keeping me distracted with food and champagne, so when the party guests began encircling me, I still didn't know what was going on. Oh! But when Brian started talking I knew something was up. You see, Brian is not a talker. He's definitely not a "make a random speech" type of guy.
His speech was beautiful. He spoke of how he and his friends gleefully reported to each other every time one of them saw me on campus. He recalled the moment he realized I would be his wife.
I was on cloud 9! He had finally asked! After all the ups and downs, all the laughter and tears, we were getting married. I was literally walking on the air!
Describe your wedding attire. My dress was an Allure gown. It was mermaid style and was covered in beading and had a full tulle train. His suit was custom made by a company here in Columbia, SC named BP Skinner.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? My mom passed earlier in the year, so my sister, my cousin, and I went shopping together. We had group chat, a Pinterest board, and an email thread with wedding dress examples. So when we went to an actual bridal store, we thought we knew what he wanted. But after trying on 5 dresses, we finally found the one.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes, we incorporated the jumping of the broom tradition.
Wedding party gifts: Bridesmaids: I bought each girl a pair of earrings and a bracelet to wear on the wedding day. They also got a gift bag with a customized champagne flute and a handkerchief.
Groomsmen: I ordered monogrammed cufflinks for each groomsmen, my best man, and my dad.
Gifts for each other: Her: I ordered Brian a Movado watch and inserted a handwritten love letter in the box.
Him: I hired a saxophonist to serenade her with her favorite song by her favorite artist, “He loves Me” by Jill Scott. I also had vase etched with our wedding date and a love note from me to her.
Ceremony entrance song: “All The Way” by Ledisi
First dance song: “If This World Were Mine” by Luther Vandross
What is your best memory from your wedding? Him: Our son was the ring bearer, and a part of his role was to say “I forgot something” and then go to get his mom to walk down the aisle. When he ran down the aisle, and I saw her at the top of the stairs, I couldn’t help but smile.
Her: I have 2 moments. When I made it down the aisle and Brian and I were at the altar, he gave me the sweetest smile. It was as if in that moment, everyone else disappeared and it was just he and I and nothing else mattered but our love. My next moment was at the reception. Brian arranged for a saxophonist to serenade me with my favorite Jill Scott song, “He Loves Me.”
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Focus on each other. There will be lots of things that will try to distract you. There will be errands to run, decisions that need to be made, and invoices to pay. But make sure to take time to check in with each other. Ask them how they are doing, take a moment to have a “non wedding” conversation, make sure you are focused on each other and the bigger picture.
Planner & coordinator: Timely Expressions, LLC
Bride’s gown: Elegant Bridal of Augusta
Groom’s Attire: BP Skinner
Wedding party attire: Elegant Bridal & Miguel Wilson Collection
Décor engineer: Sweet Dreams Events, LLC
Make-up artists: Sonya Sims Beauty & Takory Shauntrell Artistry
Photographer/videographer: Sierra Collins Photography
Invitations/programs: LMH Printing
Wedding cake: Michelle’s Cake Scapes
Catering: R & T Catering
Ceremony & Reception DJ: Derrick Wilson aka DJ D Dubb
Venue: Stone River, West Columbia, SC