Briana and James’ love story first began on the campus of Hampton University, but didn’t truly take root until reconnecting on social media years later. Their tropical elegance wedding took place in beautiful Dominican Republic, at the Palmera Resort in Punta Cana. For James, he knew Briana was the one as he has “never been more comfortable and relaxed with another person…as if someone has been in your entire life while knowing they haven’t been…”
Continue reading all about Briana & James’ love story, romantic proposal, and experiences in their tropical elegance destination wedding in Punta Cana – captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member RSWeddings Photography.
Bride & Groom: Briana & James
Occupations: Nurse & General Manager
Wedding date: July 7, 2017
Wedding location: Palmera Resort & Golf, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Tell us how you met. It depends on who you ask. James will say that he first noticed Briana on social media and decided to take a chance and talk to her. He sent her a message in an effort to try and get to know her, but to his surprise, Briana replied with “You don’t remember me?” James then realized that they did attend Hampton University together and had run into each other once or twice during their tenure!
Tell us about the proposal. For the proposal, James reached out to his friend at RSWeddings to try and come up with some ideas. He was eager to make Briana his future wife. They came up with a grand scheme to use a drone for the proposal. James and Briana went out one morning to brunch while their family and friends gathered at the Crowder household to surprise them upon return. As they were stepping out of their vehicles and walked up to the door, the drone swooped down with the ring attached and flew off. There with friends and family watching from inside the house, James got down on his knee and proposed to Briana at the front door.
How did you know they were “the one”? James knew Briana was the one after their date to Six Flags. He says he’d “never been more comfortable and relaxed with another person and that it’s like feeling as if someone has been in your entire life while knowing they haven’t been. I could place her in the happiest memories of my life and swear it was real even though I knew it wasn’t true. She had woven her life with mine.”
Describe your wedding attire. Briana wore a Bohemian-inspired dress accented with a tropical floral headdress. James wore a navy blue Hugo Boss tuxedo with a complimenting tropical boutineer.
How was your wedding shopping experience? Wedding shopping was a whirlwind to say the least. Planning a destination wedding ourselves involved a lot of trust in the resort coordinator, Mayte Mari. She was able to handle all of the accommodations for catering, decor rentals, and the DJ for us. We recommend to anyone that you plan it out as much as possible and weigh all your options very carefully.
Wedding Party gifts: James gifted each groomsman with cigars and Briana gifted her bridesmaids with custom robes.
Favorite item on the menu: Steak au poivre
First dance song: “If This World Were Mine” by Luther Vandross & Cheryl Lynn
What is your best memory from your wedding? As soon as the couple began to share their vows, it began to rain. In that moment, the couple says that they felt their wedding went from amazing to truly magical. Briana’s smile broke through the rain during her vows and James’ words brought Briana to tears.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Enjoy every moment of the experience and remember the wedding is for YOU and NOT other people. Do what makes you and your significant other happy, not what is expected or anticipated from you.