Introduced by a mutual friend, Raven and Franklin met during sophomore year while attending Virginia State University. Though in that moment they had been introduced to their soulmate, it wouldn’t be until a year later that they decided to give dating a try. Love soon took hold as they walked hand-in-hand throughout the remainder of pursuing their degrees, but that love would be tested, when following graduation, life would distance their relationship. Over the next three years, once a month was the extent of their time together, but their love persevered – unshakeable in its foundation. And in 2016 Raven made the move to North Carolina, completing each other’s lives once again. It wouldn’t be long before Franklin began planning their perfect proposal, never wanting to be apart again.
Bride & Groom: Raven & Franklin
Wedding Location: East Brunswick, New Jersey
Wedding Date: August 30th 2018
Photographed by: Volodymry Ivash
The proposal took place during the weekend of Raven’s birthday. To celebrate her special occasion they decided to take a trip to Washington DC. Little did she know that this particular birthday would be one of the most memorable of all. It would be during her birthday dinner at a popular restaurant that the pieces would begin to fall into place. Upon their arrival she was greeted by their family and closest friends. Still thinking it was solely about her birthday, Raven had not suspicions that her “surprise birthday dinner” was also soon to be her surprise marriage proposal. And after much celebrating with good food, drinks, and dancing, Franklin spoke to the entire party, sharing with everyone his love and appreciation for the woman who was soon to be his fiancé, before taking a knee and asking her to spend the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.
For Raven, she knew Franklin was the one because of “the care and love he put into the simple things of our relationship. Franklin is a simple man, humble and because of this he knew how to enjoy the simple things in life and make what seems like a small gesture like cooking, seem as if it was the greatest one could have. I admired this and knew that with a heart like this, he would forever treat me like a queen.”
Raven and Franklin’s estate wedding at the Park Chateau was timeless, elegant and with a touch of whimsy. After trying on over sixty gowns, Raven ultimately decided to design her own dress. Utilizing a gorgeous jeweled fabric with a hint of sparkle she created a long two-part Great Gatsby-esque dress, with a sweetheart cut mid-back – completed with a flowing embellished cape. Together, Raven and Franklin jumped the broom,as Franklin’s parents had before them at their own wedding, crossing over into the threshold of happily ever after.
Best Memories: My best memory was the garter removal. I was in total awe by my husband although I wasn’t shocked. My husband is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and this moment for him was important (he’d been talking about it for 2 years). Since I had no inclination of what he would do for the garter removal, I knew he would make it special, funny and sweet. To see the smile on his face, joy in his eyes and all the mouths dropping from his performance made me feel so incredibly special and loved. It was an amazing moment.
Advice for Engaged Couples: Communicate with your partner and be transparent. Understand the that the commitment the two of you made to one another begins and ends with you. It’s for this reason that your wedding must reflect who the two of you are as individuals. I also think it’s important to give yourselves ample time to plan out the wedding that you would like to have. There’s a notion that a wedding must take place no later than a year after engagement, but it
doesn’t. If you want to take your time to plan your wedding and grow closer to one another, do just that and stand firm that you are doing what’s best for your relationship. On your wedding day, be in the moment and take lots of pictures. You will get pulled a million different ways that evening, but it is important to realize this is your big day filled with friends and family and you
want as many memories as possible. Don’t worry about the time. It will move whether you check your watch or not so, enjoy your spouse, family, and friends. Of course, before the ceremony, there is so much going through your head. It is extremely important to take some time for yourself and take it all in. As my husband likes to say, “take a step back and look at the forest and not just the tree.” Focus on the big picture and everything will fall in place. I urge you to take this approach with your relationship as you move forward. Be mindful of you and your partners big picture. Focus on the activities to get there and how the two of you can achieve that.
Ceremony and Reception Location: Park Chateau Estate & Garden
Wedding Planner: Elle Audrey New York
Floral Design: Makini Regal Designs
Party Rentals: Glam Party Rentals
Dance Floor: GotoShout
Stationery: Hanan Paikin
Cocktail Napkins and Drink Stirrers: Gracious Bridal
Music/DJ: DJ Mark Battle
Custom Drapes: Perez Event Rentals
Cake: Palermo’s Bakery
Brides Makeup: Renee Made U Look
Bridesmaids Makeup: Jisel Nunez
Hair Stylist: Modimel Studios
Wedding Gown Designer: Raven Miller (Bride)
Bridal Party Gown Designer: Raven Miller (Bride)
Attire Tailor: Guy Wood of 5001 Flavors
Brides Robe: Catherine D’Lish
Bridesmaid Robes: Etsy
Brides Shoes: Tom Ford
Bridesmaids Shoes: Boohoo
Groomsman Shoes: Magnanni
Groomsmen Shoes: Calvin Klein