Jennie + Wade | DoubleTree by Hilton Wedding

Jennie and Wade met on match.com . Their first date was grabbing a drink and snack at Alivia’s Bistro in downtown Durham. Wade was completely enamored after Jennie ordered a Guinness and bacon cheese fries, and Jennie’s mother convinced her to give him a second date after she thought he was too shy but after the second date, he brought a little stuffed dog for her because he remembered how she said she missed the dog she left with her mother and the rest was history. After about 8 months of dating, Wade learned he would have to deploy to Bahrain for about a year’s worth of training. They started planning their future relationship with half a world in between them. Wade was scheduled to depart on Easter Sunday to his training in El Paso, before flying to Bahrain, and took her father for coffee that morning to ask for his blessing to propose. He took Jennie to the location of their second date, and sitting next to a fountain, she started to cry, thinking about how much she would miss him. He wrapped his arm around her and told her everything would be okay, because he had talked to her father that morning and gotten his permission and blessing to ask her to be his wife, and pulled a ring out of his pocket. The rest is history!

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Describe your wedding dress style? The dress was classic, lots of tulle and lace overlay. Jennie didn’t want anything too “cookie cutter” and found the dress in a small boutique in downtown Durham.

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How about your wedding shoes and jewelry? Jennie choose a navy blue pair of heels to wear that matched Wade’s ASUs (dress blues/uniform) and made this decision to be her “something blue” for the wedding. She wore a strand of pearls as “something borrowed” from her mother, and diamond earrings Wade had purchased for her that week as her “something new.” The last two pieces of jewelry were her new husband’s first pair of dog tags, and her late fathers wedding band (he passed just 6 months after Wade asked for his blessing, and 6 months before the wedding); both of which were fastened to the bride’s bouquet.

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Tell us about your wedding photography experience? The photography was exceptional. Very professional and creative imagery. We loved working with Donnell Perry Photography, they captured some great shots that we wouldn’t have even thought to have asked for. He read our minds and gave us some beautifully captured memories.

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Tell us about his groomsmen? Most of the groomsmen were men of the military that Wade either worked with full time or deployed with. One of the groomsmen was a good friend of Wade’s since he moved to Raleigh about 10 years ago. One of the groomsmen, Whitlark (all of the military groomsmen were known by their last names), was fondly referred to as Wade’s deployment wife, as they lived together during their time in Egypt.

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How / why did you choose your ceremony venue? The convenience of having everything at one place was great. Guests could arrive at the venue and stay for the weekend, and there was such beautiful space for the ceremony and reception. The day-of coordinator made the process very easy to transition from being the planner to the bride.

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Tell us about your flowers? The flowers were selected to incorporate the colors of the wedding and tie in pieces of Slate (the couple’s last name) into the centerpieces. We loved the idea of fresh flowers and worked with the designer to really put together a beautiful vision.

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What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why? This is such a hard question!!! We loved the pictures. Jennie really loved the candid shot after the ceremony as they walked through the saber arch. Wade loved the picture of the first kiss.

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And your beautiful cake? We learned after the wedding that our beautiful cake almost didn’t make it! The wrong cake was delivered to the venue and they brought the right cake just as the bride walked down the aisle. It was a four tiered cake, two tiers had a dark chocolate cake with baileys and Guinness filling and the other two had a vanilla cake with a dulce de leche caramel filling.

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Any advice for future brides? Do your wedding your way. This is your one day to be selfish, after you get married you’ll be a wife and maybe one day a mother and you won’t have a lot of selfish opportunities. Do what makes you happy and you’ll look back on the day with no regrets because you tried to please the masses instead of making you and your fiancé happy.

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Tell us about your bridesmaids? The maid of honor is a long time friend of the Jennie’s, Tiffany, her first friend in high school. They went to college together and have worked together at a few different jobs over the years and currently work together at Duke University. The bridesmaids consisted of two friends from the bride’s undergrad at NC State Univ, Kandace and Gabrielle, who have both moved out of the state and remained very close friends of the bride and each other. The final bridesmaid, Courtnee, was the first friend Jennie made during her graduate school tenure at Clark Atlanta Univ, and they studied abroad together in China.

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First dance song: Sam Smith, Stay with me. This song was played last year when Wade deployed, it was the last song we heard together as he left and checked in for his assignment.

Venue: Doubletree by Hilton at Research Triangle Park, “Mansion on the Hill” in Durham, NC

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