Chantal and Harry’s love story is grounded in a strong friendship.
They briefly met in 2005 coming back to the military base Fort Bragg, North Carolina after a deployment. They had another brief encounter in 2010, but it wasn’t until they became co-workers in 2013 that their friendship flourished. Chantal shares, “Who would have ever known from that first encounter in 2005 we would be together and married in 2020!”
Their wedding exuded romance. The vision was to create a soft, elegant, romantic look combined with non-traditional colors to give an organic effect. The color scheme consisted of dusty rose, cornflower blue, navy blue, white, green, with an accent of gold.
See all of the fabulous details, including their stunning 7-tier wedding cake below.
- Full Name of Couple: Chantal Yashia McCray & Harry LeVerne Montgomery
- Occupations: Harry – Regional Sales Manager & Chantal – US Army Warrant Officer
- Wedding Date: August 22, 2020
- Wedding Location: StoneBridge Gardens and Events; Columbia, SC 29210
- What gifts did you give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
- Maid/Matron of Honor: Gold necklace; Custom T-Shirt; Bottle of Wine; Makeup Session day of the wedding
- Bridesmaids: Custom T-shirt; Bottle of Wine; Makeup Session day of wedding
- Groomsmen: Teardrop Bowtie; Socks; mask
- Gifts to one another:
- Harry gift to Chantal: 2021 Yukon Denali; Movado Watch; Picture Frame
- Chantal gift to Harry: Silver Diamond Link Bracelet; Personalized Handkerchief
- Ceremony Entrance Song: Bride: “When I First Saw You” (Beyonce/Jamie Foxx); Groom: “Fall for You” (Leela James)
- First dance song: “Thinking Out Loud”
How did you meet?
Our first encounter was in 2005 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Harry and I were both coming back from a deployment and was attending demobilization briefs. I was talking to someone that Harry knew, so we casually spoke and continued on….
Harry and I didn’t see each other or speak again until November 2010. We were both advancing our military career by attending Warrior Leader Course in Eastover, South Carolina. We were in the chow hall (cafeteria), and Harry spotted me out. He came by my table and we got acquainted as far as where we were from and whether I knew some of the people he knew. We completed the course and didn’t see each other again until January 2013. We became coworkers at this time, which led to us developing a unique and close friendship.
In 2016, we both were battling some situations in our lives. Our situations led us to communicating all the time and allowed us to be each other confidant, which made our friendship so unique. We eventually decided to take things a little further, started dating, and became involved in a romantic relationship. Who would have ever known from that first encounter in 2005, that we would be together and married in 2020!
Tell us about the proposal?
On October 12, 2019, Harry made plans for us to attend a couples night with some friends (well that’s what he said!). At the couple’s night, we were to mingle, play games, have a best dress competition, and have dinner. For some reason, I was very skeptical that something was up about this couples night because he kept demanding that we go. He even got one of his close friends to call me to persuade me to go. Harry showed me the flyer for the occasion which led me to believe that there was a couple’s night. So I decided to go.
We got dressed and went to “Solstice Kitchen” in Columbia, South Carolina. As we walked in the dark, private dining area of the restaurant, everyone had their heads turn to the front looking at the projector. Harry created a video that included several pictures of us together and incorporated one of our favorite song “Fall for You” by Leela James into the video. Once the video ended, the lights came on, and I saw that audience included some of our family and close friends. He pulled me to the middle of the room, sat me in a chair and got down on one knee. He talked and explained how much I meant to him. Once he finished, everyone got up, went to the front of the room, and held up individual letters saying “WILL YOU MARRY” and our 10 month old daughter (at the time) had a shirt with a picture of her dad on it saying “MY DAD”? And of course, I cried and said YES! We mingle and had a nice dinner afterwards.
Describe your wedding style.
Dress and Veil: New York Bride and Groom – Columbia, SC
Chantal’s wedding dress was a white, sexy and refined, fit and flare silhouette flourishing into a voluminous soft tulle skirt that flows into a semi-cathedral length train. Silver beading adorns the bodice of this Casablanca Bridal gown, stretch chiffon and organza sitting underneath her extravagantly detailed pattern. Spaghetti straps cross in the back, transitioning into a low-plunge front neckline. She wore a cathedral veil with intricate embroidered and beaded design to compliment her dress.
Chantal wore a soft white “Vogue D’Orsay Evening Shoe” with heel crystal embellishment made by Badgley Mischka. She accented her wedding dress with long pearl earrings embellished with silver crystal rhinestones and a leaf bracelet to match.
Suit: Imperial Custom Clothiers – Columbia, SC
Harry wore a custom design with the intentions to compliment his beautiful bride. Every intricate detail was carefully thought over to have a timeless effect. The jacket and vest were the definition of custom from the color combination of cornflower blue, marina blue, and navy blue to the floral print lining of the inner jacket. Another great detail that was added to the tuxedo was embroidered wedding date in the left inner pocket. The dress shirt was detailed with navy blue buttons. Harry’s name was embroidered in the inner neckline of the shirt, as well as his initials on the left cuff. The two pair of pants for the tuxedo was created so Harry would be able to switch things up between ceremony and reception.
Harry wore Magnanni Drach Cuero lace-up shoes. The Drach Cuero is a modern wing tip highlighted with brogue detailing at the wing, combined with hand stitched lines at the heel. The Manchester patina is aggressively burnished at the toe and heel for a dramatic effect. The Drach Cuero features a double Artesano sole, where the sole is wrapped onto the upper on both the inner and outer arch and then hand stitched. Harry’s shoe was a perfect way to complete his ensemble.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
Wedding shopping was fun. I had ten months to search for a wedding dress. My vision for my dress was to always have a fitting mermaid dress with some sort of straps along the shoulders. Nonetheless, I am very indecisive and always like to hear others opinion, so I knew it would take me a while to decide on a dress. I searched in three different locations (Columbia, Charleston, and Charlotte). My entourage was my mother, sister, sister-in-law, and Maid of Honor. My first location was in Columbia at New York Bride and Groom. I tried on dresses and there was two dresses I really loved. However, my thoughts on searching for a wedding dress was that I just didn’t want to settle for the first dress that I like. I wanted to explore my options and make sure that I exhausted all means. So I traveled and tried on nearly 25 or more dresses, and I ended up coming back to one of the first dresses I tried on in Columbia.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
There were so many memories that I will forever cherish from my wedding day. But one of the best memory from my wedding is embracing the moment during the ceremony when walking down the aisle. Being able to see my future husband at the other end of the aisle, along with our family and friends to witness the occasion made my heart smile.
Another memory was the first look at the wedding reception area. My business partner
(Crystal) and I created the design and decorations for the wedding ceremony and reception. Seeing everything come together so beautifully and elegantly overwhelmed me for awhile from knowing the effort, hard work, and love that was put into the creation.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
The best advice we can give to engaged couples is to keep an open line of communication throughout the wedding process. Compromise and make sure that both of you are allowing each other to incorporate their vision for the wedding day. Remember that wedding decisions are between you and your partner, so don’t let outside people influence the outcome of your wedding. Also, don’t let the wedding planning process consume you to the point you forget the most important part of the wedding, which is your love for each other and the union of the bride and groom.
- Wedding Planner: The Diva Wedding Planner
- Design: RSVP Events & Design, LLC
- Officiant: Pastor McKenzie
- Makeup Artist (Bride & Parents)- Kimberly Henderson & Makeup Artist by Monet Wiley Bride
- Wedding Photography: Creative Images Photography
- Wedding Videographer: Silovision
- Catering: Tasteful Kreations Catering
- Bartender: JW Bartender The JW Bartending Group
- Cake: Jazzie Cheesecakes
- Wedding music: Keyboardist Thomas Slater
- Singer (Ceremony): Doretha Washington
- Singer (Ceremony): Brian Sumpter
- Saxophonist (Cocktail Hour): Curtis Bates
- Band & Show (Reception): Level 10 Live
- Draping , floor, chairs: Illuminations Illuminationssc
- Dancing on Clouds (Reception): DJ Nyce Mitch
- Programs/Menu Cards: Bluebox Paperie
- Men’s fashion: Imperial Custom Clothiers
- Wedding Bridal Party Hair: Ashleigha Hairstylist Rogers Brown