At the recommendation of a friend, Alicia, apprehensive at first, decided to create a Tinder account and explore it's options. It would be on this platform that Alicia and AJ would swipe right into each other's hearts, and a week after their initial encounter, a dessert bar would be the setting of the first date. An unforgettable evening in which Alicia remembers "getting lost in wonderful conversation...It was by far the best first date I had ever experienced and it left me smiling for hours after.."
Read all about Alicia & Arthur's love story, sweet and endearing surprise proposal, and wedding aspirations.
(Photography by Chris Bollinger) - view the entire vendor list below.
Bride & Groom-to-be: Alicia & Arthur Jones (AJ)
Occupations: IT Recruiter & Logistics
Wedding date: November 11, 2017
Wedding location: Friendship Missionary Baptist Church - Charlotte, NC
Location of Engagement shoot: Midtown Park in Charlotte, NC and Element Uptown Apartments in Charlotte, NC
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. In the summer of 2014, Alicia's best friend convinced her to download the popular dating app, Tinder. She was hesitant at first from several stories that she had heard from friends, but she decided that it would be harmless, so she gave it a shot. Soon after she downloaded the app, she came across AJ Jones. He messaged her on June 16th 2014, saying 'You have a great smile, Ms. Alicia." The rest, as they say, was history!
Fast forward a little over two years: in August 2016, he started coming up with a sneaky plan to propose to Alicia. Little did she know that he would have her involved in setting up her own proposal moment. Her parents had planned a vacation to North Carolina for a week in late October and he decided that it would be the perfect time to propose. A few weeks before her parents came, he said that he wanted to do something special for Alicia's parents since they're always doing nice things for them. Her parents are not very into material gifts, so he had to think of something outside of the box that they would enjoy. One thing they do truly love is taking pictures at every gathering, so he decided to create a scrapbook for them. Throughout the week, Alicia and AJ put together a scrapbook full of memories from the past 2 years including as many of their favorite pictures as they could. AJ was very adamant about making it a countdown of their favorite memories since they had been together. He decided that since Alicia's parents were in town that he would coordinate a dinner so that both families could meet each other while everyone was in North Carolina. On Thursday, October 20th, they met at Alicia's Aunt's house in Mint Hill, North Carolina. AJ's family had come into town from Greensboro, NC. Alicia was under the assumption that everyone was there just to meet each other and spend time together for an evening, but oh was she wrong! AJ went to grab the scrapbook from the car and brought everyone together so that they could see. He started going through each page, counting down from 10 to 1. Once he got to the end of the book, he began telling everyone about why he intentionally left the last page blank. He explained that it was representative of the number 0. He continued by saying that, zero to some people can be seen as an ending but he thought of it more as a beginning. Zero could also be seen as nothingness, but he viewed it as the potential for something to grow. He then said "Personally, zero is significant to the fact that zero is the number of days that I want to spend without this beautiful woman in my life." In that moment, he got down on one knee and popped the question! Alicia was completely caught by surprise and she began to cry, but nodded her head immediately to say "YES!"
Describe your engagement session. Our theme was centered around showing off parts of Charlotte that we enjoy. We met here and fell in love in Charlotte, so we wanted to showcase some of our favorite things about it. We thought it would be a great idea to utilize some of the more serene outdoor areas (Midtown Park) and also utilize the the Uptown skyline as a beautiful backdrop during sunset. We caught the city lights at a perfect time to truly illuminate our favorite part of Charlotte.
What did you do on your first date? About a week after we first met, AJ asked me out on our first date and took me to a local dessert bar in Charlotte called "Crave." What was originally intended to simply be a short first introduction date turned into a full night of getting lost in wonderful conversation and enjoying each other's company. It was by far the best first date I had ever experienced and it left me smiling for hours after. I was certainly looking forward to seeing him again and what the future could potentially hold.
What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? We love to go to concerts together! It would be safe to say that we are "concert junkies." Both of us are huge fans of almost every genre of music and nothing is better than being able to experience our favorite artists perform live together. For Valentine's Day last year, AJ surprised me with tickets to go see my favorite artist, Beyonce. I would have to say that concert, by far, has been our favorite concert-going experience to date!
How has wedding planning been so far? So far, wedding planning has gone much more smoothly than I initially expected. Thankfully, AJ has been very involved in the entire process and has been more than happy to help so that it takes the pressure off of me, with my busy work schedule. Both of our parents are retired, so they have also been very helpful with a lot of the planning as well. I'm very thankful and lucky to have a great support system during this process.
Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. There are so many things that we are excited to experience on the big day, but I would have to say the thing we are looking forward to the most is just being able to share that time with family and friends, and make memories that we will look back on for the rest of our lives. Our family and friends have been a huge part of our relationship and are very important to us both, so we truly value the opportunity to share this milestone with them all!
Makeup Artistry - Briana Nicholson of Dolled Up by Bri
Hair Styling - Devin Raysor of Beyond Extensions by Devin Raysor
Photographer - Chris Bollinger of Bollinger Images