Meeting on a college campus is not unusual. Meeting your future husband while on a college tour just may be a little out of the norm. During the summer of 2005, while Kelli was touring the University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill, she met Michael. Michael was in a summer program that allowed freshmen to move in a couple of months prior to orientation. Kelli and her friends had decided to meet the group of “know-it-alls”, in hopes that they could get help adjusting to college life. They met up with a guy friend that Kelli went to high school with, who was eager to introduce Kelli and her friends to his clan.
In a room full of nervous college hopefuls, Michael walked right up to Kelli, looked her right in the eye and simply said, “Hi, I’m Mike”, with a smile and a handshake on the end. She didn’t realize it immediately, but that’s all it took. Hook, line, and sinker. Kelli says that there’s nothing sexier than a man that has the confidence to be the first one to say hello. Right then, he became the first guy she met in North Carolina.
Kelli and Michael didn’t start dating until months later. They breezed through the “getting to know each other phase” and quickly became best friends. When he asked her to be his girl in December of 2005, she knew that they’d always be together. She says that liking him came easy and loving him was more natural, almost like breathing.
- Wedding Date: 5.24.14
- Wedding Location: Barclay Villa, Angier, NC
- Wedding Flowers: Kelli’s flowers were cream and peach roses with green hypercium berries.
- Wedding Theme: After choosing Barclay as their venue, the rest of the wedding plans revolved around the castle, creating a fairytale wedding full of enchantment. She wanted to create sweet and intimate details throughout the wedding day that showed both of their personalities. The colors of the wedding were peach and emerald green, which included several personal touches like the peach tea as the guests arrived, a date night jar for the bride and groom, a photo booth, and a choreographed wedding party dance at the reception.
- Favorite Accessory: Kelli’s something borrowed was her favorite accessory; a tiny framed picture of her late grandmother that was tucked into her bouquet. It was the way that her grandmother was able to walk down the aisle with her.
- First Dance Song: The couple danced their first dance to Janell Monae’s Primetime, featuring Miquel
- Wedding Cake Flavors: They had layers of marble cake, which is Michael’s favorite and strawberry because it’s Kelli’s favorite.
- Wedding Menu Favorite: Kelli and Michael really enjoyed the stuffed Cornish hens.
- Bridesmaids Gifts: The bridesmaids spent the day having fun. They enjoyed Zumba class with Kelli at the gym as Kelli is an instructor, then a private shopping party at her favorite jewelry boutique, followed by a bridesmaids luncheon. Each bridesmaid represented a different Fruit of the Spirit and they received a framed scripture and personalized goody totes!
- Groomsmen Gifts: The groomsmen were treated to a Men’s Cookout and the movies to see the X-men, hosted by the Groom. They also received engraved cigar holders and cigars!
Mike proposed to Kelli on March 9th, 2013, 3 days after her birthday. He got all of their friends together on the premise of a surprise birthday party. The both of them met at Frankie’s Fun Park in Raleigh, after a few hours of laser tag, golfing, and games. It was time to cash in their tickets for prizes. Mike collected tickets from everyone and they went over to the counter.
He gave her Kelli all of the tickets and told her to pick out what she wanted. He knew that she would be indecisive and took the opportunity to say “I see something I want and I thing I might see something you might want too”. As I gazed into the prize counter, trying to figure out what he was talking about, I hadn’t noticed that all of her friends (and her mom who had snuck in) were surrounding the as Mike had gotten down on one knee. He asked for her hand in marriage and of course she said YES!
The night was so memorable that the both of them returned to Frankie’s for their engagement shoot.
For the wedding, Kelli wore an Alfred Angelo gown that was a part of his Disney Fair tale line. The Cinderella gown was very appropriate and fitting for the venue. The dress made Kelli feel sexy and girly at the same time. Instead of changing dresses for the reception, she chose to change her jewelry to a pair of emerald earrings and an emerald and diamond bracelet from her mother, which was her “something new.”
Incorporation of Culture
Coming from strong family ties, Kelli and Michael decided to jump the broom, which was one of the things that has been in her family for decades. They also displayed a memory table for the loved ones that would be with us on the day, if heaven wasn’t so far away.
Most Memorable Moment
Kelli and Mike decided to meet in private for a prayer before the day got crazy. It was there way of giving glory to God and thanking Hi for another opportunity to serve and ask for His ultimate blessing of their marriage. After they were both dressed, before the ceremony, they also met on opposite sides of a door where they could only see each other’s hand. They exchanged wedding gifts and love letters, then, in the absence of their planners, wedding party, and cameras, they prayed together. It was the best and most humbling experience of Kelli’s like and set the tone for the rest of the day. The Lord truly gave them favor! Every moment after the prayer was magical, meaningful, and all that they could have asked for.
Help A Bride-To-Be Out
Kelli says that to future brides and grooms, please remember that this is YOUR day. Put God in front of everything and nothing will be out of place. Consider family and friends, but do what’s pleasing to Him first and stay true to the desires of your heart. Surround yourself with a solid team who will get the job DONE to minimize your stress. Our team went above and beyond for them and they were thankful! It goes by quickly so take a lot of mental photographs!
- Photographer: April Lamert Photography and Lauren Cowart Photography
- Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo
- Wedding Salon: Maggi Bridal in Raleigh, NC
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridal Mart in Burlington, NC
- Hair: Taji Natural Hair Styling
- Makeup: Mary Kay Consultant Barbara Benifield
- Bridal Shoes: Handmade by BeholdenBridal
- Ceremony and Reception Location: Barclay Villa
- Videography: Threelance Media
- Wedding Planner: K Dream Effects
- Florist: Dragonfly
- Cake: Sugar On Top, A Daylight Donuts Company
- Stationery: Twin Dog Designs
- Caterer: Barclay Catering and Event Planning
- Ceremony Music: Higher Calling Band- Lead Musician Braxton Braswell
- Reception Music: Brian Dickerson (DJ Nerve)