When Brittiney and Derek met in college at Mississippi State University, they quickly built a friendship, that eventually evolved into a relationship.
They share, “College happened…life happened…and we both grew and decided to take different paths. No matter where in the world (literally) we were, we always kept in touch to wish each other Happy Birthdays, to share well wishes on life milestones, and simply to say, ‘Hi.’ ” Little did they know they would cross paths again almost 10 years later and the outcome would result in a proposal and marriage.
They went into wedding planning with a clear theme and vision. Brittiney shares, “The overall theme of our wedding was centered around the symbolism of the peacock. It is thought to represent spirituality, awakening, royalty, and clear vision among other symbols. These are all things that we prayed that our upcoming wedding and marriage would represent. I initially wanted live peacocks at our wedding, but after that was quickly shot down by my husband and wedding planner :-), we decided to use a color pallet that was representative of a peacock. Our main colors were amethyst and turquoise, with gold foil accents.”
Their wedding was full of exuberant colors, chic decor, including a stunning floral and jewel-toned 5 tier wedding cake, and memorable moments. Their wedding planner Enraptured Events shares, “The Bride unfortunately lost her mother, yet honored her in the sweetest way. She made a lantern, inscribed with her mother’s name and a message of love. The bride snuck towards the end of the night with the lantern in tow to take evening photos at the bridge to honor this very special mother and daughter relationship.”
See all of the details and read more of Brittiney and Derek’s inspiring love story below.
- Couple: Brittiney and Derek Pegues
- Wedding Date: October 12, 2019
- Wedding Location: Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina; Atlanta, GA
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
It was a hot summer’s day in 2005 in God’s Country, also known as Starkville, MS home of of THE Mississippi State University, and Brittiney had just moved into her Freshman dorm on campus. Many of her closest friends also decided to attend State, including Charles Burns, who just so happened to be on the football team.
Well on this hot August day Brittiney and Charles were chatting with some mutual friends and some of Charles’ teammates and one of those guys just so happened to be Derek. Of course, Charles attempted to play matchmaker between the two! They briefly chatted and went about their day.
A few days passed and they would see each other on campus and at different social events, and then Derek finally got the nerve to ‘slide in those Facebook DMs’ and ask for Brittiney’s digits LOL .
They quickly built a friendship, that eventually evolved into a relationship. College happened…life happened…and they both grew and decided to take different paths. No matter where in the world (literally) they were, they always kept in touch to wish each other Happy Birthdays, to share well wishes on life milestones, and simply to say “Hi”. Little did they know they would cross paths again almost 10 years later and the outcome would be totally different resulting in a proposal and marriage. The proposal was very heartfelt and an intimate moment between Derek, Brittiney, and our dog! It started with a day of activities including a scavenger hunt and some spa-style appointments and ended with a ‘YES!’.
Tell us about your wedding!
Our wedding day was beyond amazing. The overall theme of our wedding was centered around the symbolism of the peacock. It is thought to represent spirituality, awakening, royalty, and clear vision among other symbols. These are all things that we prayed that our upcoming wedding and marriage would represent. I initially wanted live peacocks at our wedding, but after that was quickly shot down by my husband and wedding planner :-), we decided to use a color pallet that was representative of a peacock. Our main colors were amethyst and turquoise, with gold foil accents. I loved that we decided on these colors because they were unique, vibrant, and held a significant meaning for us. We did incorporate some cultural and religious traditions. We completed the ‘Cord of Three Strands’ ceremony to represent our entwined relationship with Christ as well a special ceremony that my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, does for all brides.
Let’s talk about wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?
We left the major decor items up to our wedding planner and floral designer, and I am so happy that we did. They took our vision and executed it perfectly. From our gold acrylic invitations that set the tone for our upcoming nuptials all the way down to the infused water that matched our color pallet during the cocktail hour. We knew we wanted a grand affair, but also wanted to keep it intimate for our 100 guests. Although we had a team of vendors that all played a role in the decor, the overall execution of it was flawless, as though a single person completed everything.
There were some DIY elements that we personally completed, and looking back on them I would still have my husband and I do the same thing again. We personally created each individual place card, welcome sign, and additional small signage throughout the reception. There are 2 main DIY items that stick out the most; our guest favors and a personalized lantern I made in memory of my mom. Our guest favors were miniature cowbells spray painted amethyst with our monogram on them in gold. These were special to us because they represent where we met. We met in college, at Mississippi State University, and the cowbell is not only a noisemaker to alumni, but it represents perseverance. You can’t be a Mississippi State fan without a cowbell… or 2 or 3! The personalized lantern was important to me because it was a way for me to have my mom be a part of our big day, even though she is no longer physically here with us. I struggled with this through the entire planning process of what exactly to do and when the lantern idea came to me it was perfect timing. It meant even more that I was able to execute it myself and truly have that 1 on 1 time every bride dreams of having with their mother.
What were the florals like at your wedding?
Our floral designer exceeded our expectations. I was determined to have only real floral arrangements across the board, and Hacman Floral was able to work with our vision and budget to make it all a reality. I was a bit concerned that our bold color pallet would cause issues, but it didn’t stop a beat! Our cake designer was even able to incorporate real flowers on our 4 tier wedding cake that perfectly matched our colors. The flowers exuded elegance, royalty, and grace. We loved our large, towering centerpieces, but I would say my favorite out of all the floral pieces would hands down be my orchid bridal bouquet! It was unique, showcased the bold amethyst color, simple yet made a statement, and represented my personality perfectly with the large overflowing of orchids.
Did you personalize the day in any way? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding
We definitely personalized the day by making sure our monogram was on everything! We wanted it all to be cohesive from start to finish. One of our most memorable personalized items would definitely have to be our monogrammed dance floor. We knew we wanted a monogrammed dance floor, but we were unable to find a full-service vendor within our budget. We were able to find a company that would ship the vinyl dance floor to us, but we were responsible for installing it. Despite multiple people telling us we wouldn’t be able to execute laying it ourselves we did and felt so accomplished afterward. It was truly a group effort by our bridal party and allowed us to spend some quality time with our closest friends and family prior to the big day. After seeing the dance floor in conjunction with our overall reception look I’m so glad we persevered through the roadblocks of having it. because it truly anchored the look.
Our guest list was 90% made up of out of town guests, and our welcome weekend bags were personalized with our favorite snacks, monogrammed hotel door hangers, and Atlanta specific items and locations for our guests to explore over the course of the weekend. The ceremony was very sentimental, but our reception was a huge party – by design! Our open bar, photo booth, and amazing DJ gave our guests a wonderful time!
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?
Our wedding day looks were classic and timeless. We both wanted to choose looks that were in line with our overall theme and truly made us feel like royalty. I knew I wanted a mermaid fit gown to show off my physique and definitely something with lots of bling. I only tried on 3 gowns before finding ‘The One’; a form-fitted Justin Alexander gown that hugged all the right places. I initially wanted a train that was obnoxiously long and very southern-belle-ish, but after selecting my dress I found out the train could not be extended. The dress attendant at the bridal shop suggested a cathedral veil to give me the length I was searching for and it worked out perfectly.
For comfort purposes, I never even thought of wearing heels. When I ran across a pair of blinged-out Kate Spade white Keds I was in love. After having my hair and makeup completed, my sister, who also severed as my matron of honor, gifted me with a bracelet and ring jewelry set that once belonged to my mother. It was gold and blue and added the perfect touch of elegance and ‘something old, something blue’. After the waterworks (tears!) stopped I quickly realized this was the most favorite part of my overall look for the day, and was another way to have my mom right by my side.
My husband initially wanted an all-black custom tuxedo to match his groomsmen in their all black. He was searching for a sleek, debonair look. However, I really wanted him to wear something that would stand out and give him a unique yet cohesive look with the bridal party. After much debating, he decided to wear a classic white tuxedo jacket with a black lapel, black tuxedo pants, and all black loafers. He was happy he took my advice – marriage lesson #1 :-)
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
We had so many moments that will forever hold special places in our hearts during our wedding weekend. However, we both agree that our ‘Look, No-Look’ was the most special moment during that day. This is one area that we never fully agreed on during wedding planning. I wanted a full ‘pre-ceremony’ moment with my then-husband to be, but he wanted to have his first view of me in my wedding gown as I was walking down the aisle. After much back and forth, our photographer suggested a ‘Look, No-Look’ as the perfect compromise. We were able to pray together, reassure one another, and speak to each other before we said I do with a wall in between in us. I was able to get that ‘moment’ with my husband before the day got crazy and he was able to see his bride for the first time walking down the aisle, and we got some awesome emotional pictures from it as well. It was truly the perfect compromise, marriage lesson #2 :-), and a very special moment for us both.
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
From a wedding planning perspective, I would suggest hiring a wedding planner if your budget allows or at minimum a weekend coordinator so that you can focus on the special moments of wedding planning and not the stresses of it. I am a very hands-on person, and I plan projects and run a team of people for a living, so it was very difficult for me to relinquish control to a wedding planner, but I am so glad we did! Our planner helped us to see around corners and think of things we would have never thought of, and it was those little things that really brought everything together.
Tip #2 is something our pastor and pre-marital counselor shared with us, and that is to take at least 30 minutes together on the day before your wedding with your spouse and decompress. The day before the wedding is so busy and hectic, and it’s easy to let the reason why everyone is gathered slip away. Taking that alone time, with no friends or family, and no wedding topics is invaluable. It gives you the opportunity to focus on one another, shut out all of the noise, and truly absorb the monumental journey that you are about to embark on…together!
- Photographer: Social Shots Photography
- Planner: Enraptured Events
- Wedding Gown: Justin Alexander
- Baker: Cake by Petite
- Chairs: Luv Décor Rentals
- DJ: Pro Tools Entertainment
- Flowers/Décor: Hacman Florals
- Hair (Bride): Nakia Crouse
- Linen: Linen Hero
- Makeup (Bride): Brittany LeCesne
- Photo Booth: AMJ Production
- Stationer: Zaylla LLC
- Venue: Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina
- Videographer: Zach Veatch
- Violinist: Nicolette Whaley