From the beginning Laurey and Joel’s relationship has been built on faith. They first met in church where they were ale to fill their hearts with love for each other and their love of God. Over time, they’ve grown both spiritually and emotionally and are ready to spend the rest of their lives together.
Read all about Laurey and Joel’s relationship, surprise proposal, and alluring and heartfelt wedding in Louisiana.
Bride & Groom: Laurey & Joel
Occupations: Membership Executive for Girl Scouts Louisian East & Musician
Wedding Date: October 6th, 2017
Wedding Location: New Belmont Baptist Church, Labadieville, LA
Reception Location: Warren J Harrang Auditorium, Thibodaux, LA
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. Joel and I met at church. We’re both from a small town, so we’ve known each other for awhile. Fast forward to December 20, 2016. We were getting ready for our annual Christmas dinner outing with our close friends. Funny thing is I plan and send the invites for this dinner. That year was no different. While sitting at the dinner table, I open my dinner menu to find an envelope with my name on it. So I open the envelope to find a card with our Christmas picture and a date, October 6, 2017. Still no clue of what’s going on, our good friend Arthur gets up from the end of the table and starts singing our favorite song, “Share My Life” by KEM, accompanied by our other good friend Marcus on acoustic guitar who literally appeared of out nowhere. I was then given 2 dozen long stem roses and I knew! IT WAS HAPPENING!! With tears in my eyes and Joel on one knee, I SAID YES!! Our friends Brian and Sabrina Brazil of Brian Brazil Photography, captured the entire moment. Not realizing my future husband had proposed with a save the date, venue and some vendors picked, I had 9 months to plan a wedding!
How did you know they were “the one?”: (Laurey) I knew Joel was the one when I experienced his love for God, his children, and for me. Joel is the true definition of a servant. His love and respect for God and the Kingdom he represents supersedes all. I think I admire that the most about him and we shared very similar values. My mother always told me, that men will show you by actions and not words. I knew Joel was the one when he became my best friend. We had fun together. Even during arguments, we would laugh at each other because we really didn’tknow how to argue. I wanted to make it work with him even in hard times. I knew that was important because walking away was easy. I couldn’t imagine life without him. Our relationship flourished in ways I had never experienced. His calming tone would soothe my chaos. The little things matter to him. I love him today even more than I did then. I know God created Joel just for me.
(Joel) First off, let me just say that Laurey is an amazingly beautiful woman inside and out! The moment it became evident that Laurey truly was the one, was when God said yes and she displayed her love for me as both a man and a musician. Both can be difficult to deal with at times but she handles it extremely well. She made it a priority to ensure that I was taken care of in all areas. Also, Laurey’s genuine, uncompromising acceptance of my kids, Jalen and Jillian, solidified the fact that she loves me unconditionally! I’ve witnessed their relationship grow into something really beautiful! What more could a man ask for? The love we share is so undeniably amazing! Love becomes real through a person’s actions. Laurey constantly shows that whatever’s in the best interest of our family is #1 on her priority list! God couldn’t have blessed me with a more caring, loving, selfless, and not to mention sexy woman with whom I’m overwhelmingly excited about spending the rest of my life with! I’ve learned that choosing “the one,” isn’t all about the wining and dining but more importantly about mission and motive.
What was wedding shopping like for you? With only 9 months to plan a wedding, dress shopping had to happen very fast. My mom and I went together and she actually picked my dress. On the second visit, my mom, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, and daughter came to the big reveal of the final dress. I wore a Casablanca bridal dress with and cathedral length veil with beaded trim.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? With Joel being a musician, music is a huge part of our culture and a huge part of our lives. The ceremony band and singers consisted of some of Joel’s closest friends. The reception was highlighted by 2 live bands, 1 of which Joel is the lead keyboard player for. We also had a New Orleans brass band and a second line. It just wouldn’t be a Louisiana wedding without them!
Wedding party gifts: Wedding day shoes, jewelry, embroidered makeup bag, personalized toasting flutes, satin personalized robes, wedding day socks, and custom shirts.
Favorite item on the menu: Shrimp & Grits
First dance song: “Together” by Chrisette Michelle
What is your best memory from your wedding? The whole weekend was quite memorable, but my favorite memory was out first look. The wedding day can be pretty hectic so sharing a quiet moment alone with each other away from the crowd was just what we needed to settle our nerves. We held each other, laughed, and smiled the whole time. That moment was priceless and well worth the wait.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
(Laurey) After the engagement your life becomes a whirlwind of ideas. Have a solid foundation for your love. Make sure your partner is your confidant. Make all wedding planning decisions with them because sometimes outside opinions become overwhelming. Remember to grow together. Communication is a key factor in relationships. Learn how your partner communicates and go from there.
(Joel) The advice I would share with engaged couples is to make sure that God is in the forefront of your love and both of you have a good relationship with Him. Also, a simple principle we believe and stand by daily is you get what you give. The two shall become one and so you should always operate as one. No longer is it what can I do for me but it becomes what can I do for us. If that unselfish mentality is understood and enforced on both sides a successful marriage is inevitable!
Photography – James Willis Photography
Videography – B Bryant Productions, Cinematic Weddings
Bride’s & Bridesmaids’ Attire – The Bridal Corner Inc.
Bride’s Shoes – Badgley Mischka
Hair – Valerie Simoneaux and Chaz Gilton of Main Attraction Boutique
Makeup – Chanell M Malott
Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Attire – After Five The Tuxedo Company
Fresh Flowers – June Gonzales
Transportation – Southall’s Limousine Service
Ceremony Location – New Belmont Baptist
ChurchOfficiant – Pastor Darryl Smith
Church Decor – Andrea Clark
Ceremony Singers – Nancy Armstrong-Holmes, Dameon Roberson, Kimberly Spruel, Torian Henderson, and Devin Barber
Ceremony Musicians – Jason Hodges, Zane Gipson, John Stutts, Ronnie Turner,
Reception Location – Warren J Harang Jr. Municipal Auditorium
Reception Decor: Memorable Events Decor & Event Rental and Simple Elegant Events and Rental
Music – Sweet Southern Heat and Snapper and the Fishsticks
DJ – Toranza EveryFood
Caterer – Sam Cashio
Cake – Kelly DēMerrick Williams
Groom’s Cake – Chez Cake BakeryBridal
Party Souvenirs – Flawless Screen Printing 2
Day of Coordinating – Keisa Joshua Bradley, Yolande Joshua, and Geralyn Robinson
Stationery – Reginald Gales