Meaningful love connections are being everyday on social media, and this is exactly what happened to John and Natalie. They first noticed each other on social media when John invited Natalie to like his Business Page on Facebook. Eventually, they started communicating on Instagram. John began to respectfully comment on Natalie’s IG stories and like her posts. A sign, in the social media world, that he was into her. Natalie became more intrigued by him after she posted a few photos from a photoshoot, which he described in the comments as “pulchritudinous” (beautiful). She was impressed! He seemed friendly and passionate about his community; he was handsome, and had sophisticated style. She eventually agreed to exchange phone numbers. A few phone conversations later, they decided to meet at a local Hibachi restaurant. The conversation went so well that they stayed for hours.
John wanted his proposal to be intimate, so he decided to pop the question on the rooftop of a hotel. When they arrived, he noticed a photographer was there and thought, “Perfect! Natalie LOVES taking pictures!” Minutes before the clock struck midnight, he suggested that they go out to the balcony to snap a few photos for the occasion. Natalie was anxious and thought they would miss the NYE champagne toast if they went outside, but he assured her it would be quick. It was a clear night and bit windy, but the Mississippi River and Hernando de Soto Bridge made for a perfect backdrop.The photographer took several pictures, but John asked him to take one more. At that moment, he got down on one knee and took the ring out of his back pocket. John then asked Natalie to spend the rest of her life with him.
They wanted an industrial-chic vibe for their fall nuptials in Memphis, TN. It was an intimate event filled with about 100 of the couples’ closest family and friends. The exposed brick interior of their venue gave them the New York City feel they desired. Rich hues of maroon, black, cream and blush accents, and luxurious white velvet drapes brought a touch of glamour and color into the space. The ceiling twinkled like stars with light coming from crystal chandeliers and string lights. The night continued with dinner, coinciding AKA and Alpha strolls, an emotional father/daughter dance, toasts, and plenty of dancing. At the end of the night, the couple planned to leave by sparkler exit, but the sparklers were nowhere to be found. A creative friend of the bride suggested a phone flashlight exit instead, which turned out perfectly. It was definitely a night to remember.
- Full Name of Couple: John Cedric Cornes and Natalie Yvette Gilmore-Cornes
- Location of Wedding: Memphis, TN
- Wedding Date: November 16, 2019
- Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: I got my bridesmaids personalized drawings and embroidered robes with their initials, as well as matching earrings for the ceremony. The groomsmen received gifts that the groom chose based on each of their personalities.
- Ceremony entrance song: Live performance of “Hey” by King.
- First dance song: “The Last Time” by Eric Benet
- Advice for brides: Enjoy the process and the actual day. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle, but it all goes so fast. Just take a step back and take it all in.
John wore a classic black and white tuxedo but his floral Jacquard jacket brought the wow factor. Prior to the ceremony, Natalie gifted him a keepsake photo of his father who passed away the prior year. He pinned the keepsake to his tuxedo during the ceremony.
How did you know they were “the one”?
Natalie: He was very intentional. With every interaction, he was purposeful and pursued me. Early on, when we officially started dating, he told me that he had to “talk to God about me and us.” He also initiated the idea of us praying and going to church together, which was HUGE because that was one of the most important qualities I desired. His convictions about our place in each other’s lives were strong, and though I was afraid, I believed and trusted him.
John: I had many personal conversations with God about her and about us, and one day a calm voice said to me, “This is it. This is her. And this makes sense.” It didn’t make me nervous or afraid. It was matter-of-fact. I knew I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life.
John- My best memory is of Natalie walking down the aisle to meet me while live musicians performed “Hey” by King. It was like a scene from a movie, and I was amazed by her beauty. Natalie says it was something that she had been playing in her head for nine months, and when it finally came, it was everything she had dreamed of and more.
Advice for Engaged Couples
Two things: Consider extended marriage counseling. There is a specified amount of hours for pre-marital counseling in order for you to get a discount on your marriage license, but we would recommend adding additional hours. Also, do everything on your own time. Don’t be pressured by outsiders.
- Photography: Uche Onyeyiri of SkyTouche Photography
- Event Decor/Design: Events Beyond Imaginations
- Event Coordinator: Social Couture Events
- Florals: Events Beyond Imaginations
- Wedding Venue: Brickwood Hall
- Bride’s Dress: Maggie Louise Bridal
- Bride’s Headpiece/Veil: BlissWeddingVeil on Etsy
- Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
- Groom’s attire: Men’s Warehouse, Jacket custom
- Groomsmen attire: Men’s Warehouse
- Cakes/Desserts: Karrington’s Kreations
- Catering: Heavenly Catering
- Soloists: Sequoia Gray & Christina Woods
- Musician: Calvin J. Barnes
- DJ: DJ Houston
- Officiant: Pastor Bartholomew Orr
- Hair: Yvette Granger of Natural Divinity Salon
- Linens: Events Beyond Imaginations
- Bridal MUA: FaceGirl x Nikki Chanel
- Bridal Party MUA: Beonka’s Beauty Studio & Marnelia Roy
- Rentals: Chair rentals – Affordable Party Rentals
- Stationery: Designed by the bride
- Chargers: VBO Designs
- Microphones: DJ Tim Bachus