Who says you can’t find love overseas! Alicia and Derrickus met at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. Alicia offered to show Derrickus the great European city, and their love blossomed from there. Derrickus pulled off a unique and picture perfect proposal, when he popped the question to Alicia during a game of Pictionary! The ingenuity and creativeness of this gorgeous couple shinned throughout their wedding. Their venue was a perfect blend of modern and rustic design, and for their wedding attire both the bride and groom wore black! (Make sure you read to discover how Alicia found her dream black wedding dress.) To make things even more interesting, Alicia is an event planner with Soluna Events and Design and she worked with her partner Camille Bolton to put together the whole wedding! Their photographers, Courtney and Zahra of Project Duo Photography, really captured the love and the intimacy of their nuptials. This couple is so sweet, so be prepared to smile from ear to ear! Their beautiful wedding has also been shared with our partners at Ebony.com + more in the wedding gallery here.
- Bride: Alicia Tidball
- Groom: Derrickus Spratlin
- Date of Wedding: 12/15/2012
- Location: Niche Atlanta, GA
How They Met
We met in Brussles, Belgium. Derrickus was working as a marine security guard at the U.S. Embassy. My mom was living there at the time and I was home for the summer working a part-time job at the Embassy. One day I saw Mr. Spratlin and I was curious to get to know him so I gave him my phone number and told him I would be happy to introduce him to the great city of Brussels. Needless to say he called and we started exploring the city.
On the fourth of July 2011 we spent a wonderful holiday hanging out at the lake. We spent the day BBQing, relaxing with friends, swimming and playing games. All the great makings of a fourth of July and then during a game of Pictionary, Derrickus surprised me with a hidden proposal. He had drawn it I was so shocked I couldn’t speak. It was incredible, such a fun and emotional moment.
Description of the Event
This wedding was extremely fun to plan. Not only because it was my wedding, but also because I’m an event planner and my business partner, Camille Bolton, and I put the whole thing together. Camille and I had so much fun putting all the little details together from finding the perfect candle holders, to food and the cake tasting. It was a blast. Our wedding was elegant and sophisticated with a twist incorporating plays on whimsy and contemporary visions. Although the wedding was in December, we still wanted to incorporate the outdoors, and luckily in Georgia you can do that. We decided on a location downtown called Niche. It was the perfect blend of rustic and ultra modern. A large open air courtyard that featured old and exposed brick, rust covered columns that were lit with streams of white lights cascading around them, and lights strung overhead made for a “starry” night. There was also a fire pit that allowed for a welcoming warm feel. It also provided a perfect reason to add a smore’s bar, which we did. Inside the venue was a sharp twist to the whimsy of the outside with its chrome walls, iron chairs, and industrial light fixtures it exuded ultra modernism.
The ceremony took place in the courtyard. The path to my future was aglow, lit by large black iron lanterns that held huge pillar candles and with guests all holding candles, like a candle light vigil, it made for a very romantic setting. The stage, that would be the place where we exchanged vows, was bathed in light shining from the numerous candles that lined it. It was a breathtaking vista. Inside the venue we had a bar with specialty drinks, open seating for guests to mix and mingle and a wonderful buffet of food. Our goal was to make this wedding fun, relaxed and full of splendor. Our color scheme for the event was black, burgundy and silver and we used these colors throughout; from the candles, lanterns, and favor ties, to the linens, bridal attire, and flowers.
Our style is unique when compared to the conventional bride and groom. For our wedding we both wore black. The groom was dressed head to toe in black. Suit and shirt from Express and vest from G by Guess. Finding his attire was a lot easier than finding the wedding gown. We had many adventures looking for the perfect dress especially with the color I desired. I encountered many raised eyebrows and concerning looks and was turned away from many places simply because those companies had nothing close to the dress for which I was searching. A few boutiques did their best to work with me. They were able to show me dresses that incorporated black, either with lace detailing or by adding a black sash. One place stood out in the search…. Winnie Couture. They presented me with a beautiful gown that could be made in black taffeta and things were looking up, but sadly the price was beyond what I could spend. Not to mention I had my heart set on a satin fabric. I wanted a very formal wedding dress; I just wanted it in black. When I thought I was never going to find what I was looking for a friend of mine and a professional wedding photographer, Zahra, suggested a place I should try: Affordable Bridal. It was a bit of a drive from my house, but sure enough they provided me with the perfect dress, color, fabric, price, and all. It had everything I wanted, the sweetheart neckline, the ruching around the waist and a stunning train. The designer is Allure Romance. My advice to brides when searching for THE dress is to take your time, and think outside the box you may not need to spend as much money as you once believed and if there is something that you really want make you sure you have the right people around you to support you and help you find your dream dress. It’s worth it. I’m so fortunate that all of my girls believed in my vision and knew that together we would find the perfect all black wedding gown for me and we did.
Incorporation of Culture
Derrickus and I come from two different backgrounds and together we have experienced so much. From meeting in Belgium and living so far apart, to finally coming together and moving to Georgia together. Our food incorporated Latin and American inspired dishes bringing our two cultures together. We had taquitos, bbq sliders, chicken skewers and spinach artichoke dip. The drinks we had for our guests were a few of our favorites. For example: Mojitos, we used to go to a great mojito bar together in Brussels and Hoegaarden beer. Our first date we ended up at a wonderful little pub and drank Hoegaarden all night. We both love chocolate, our wedding cake was chocolate cake with covered in chocolate butter-cream. It was amazing. We had a wonderful sweets buffet, with our favorite whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies and a selection of mini cupcakes for those guests who weren’t as crazy about chocolate as we are. All in all our wedding encompassed everything about us and let our loved ones share in the things that are special to us.
Most Memorable Part of the Day
The best part of the day was getting to enjoy the event. After having worked so hard for it to all come together it was such a joy to just take part. As an event planner you normally are too busy working an event to sit back relax and take it all in. This event was so important to me, especially seeing as it was my wedding. I enjoyed being able to soak it all in and see my guests enjoying themselves. We had such a wonderful time with all of our families there together enjoying each other’s company. It is a day I will hold close to my heart always.
- Event Design: Soluna Events & Designs
- Venue: Niche Atlanta
- Photography: Project Duo Photography
- Food: Chef Raul Catering
- Buffet Treats: Cookies, Little Tart Bakery, Cupcakes, Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes
- Cake: Whole Foods
- Dress: Affordable Bridal
- Accessories: Dark Pony Designs
- Shoes: Iron Fist
- Hair: Meghan Geiger (Instagram:Styles_By_Meg)
- Makeup: Aileen Solis