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Real {Atlanta} Wedding: Olivia + Anthony

Olivia and Anthony were age-old acquaintances, who immediately became friends upon meeting. However, distance would put a strain on their communication, until they reconnected. The embers of their previous friendship would eventually give way to the roaring flame of a loving relationship. Today, Anthony and Olivia are man and wife. :)

Their lovely Atlanta wedding was photographed by Leslie Marie Photography.  You can also see more from this wedding on our partner site Ebony.com.

Bride: Olivia Mitchell
Groom: Anthony Russell
Occupations: Bride – Project Manager; Groom - Auxiliary Manager
Wedding Date: 01.13.2013
Location: Loft at Castleberry Hill, Atlanta, GA

How They Met ….. “We met on a typical warm spring day in Atlanta, GA in 1997. Anthony was the newest addition to our neighborhood. Our friendship inaugurated immediately and developed quickly into a resilient bond that has remained throughout the years. I left Atlanta for college in 2001. This departure allowed us to nurture our acquaintance until I returned in 2005. Between 2006 and 2009, we lost contact; however, that did not diminish our bond. On February 14th, 2009 (yes, I remember the exact date), I received a call from an unfamiliar number; the voice, however, was extremely familiar. On February 15th, Anthony and I met in the morning with the intention of “catching up.” The plan was to meet and have breakfast together. We began this gathering at IHOP. From IHOP, we traveled to Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA to sightsee. Next, we visited Lenox Mall, walked through a park, revisited our old neighborhood, and ended at No Mas for dinner. We enjoyed the entire day together as if we hadn’t missed a beat. Every day since has been a magnificent adventure. ” – Bride

“On February 15, 2009 we reconnected. It was like we had not missed a beat. The feelings and the affection, even the connection was unbelievable. We both knew that day that we were ready to embark on this impromptu journey that we started so many years ago. With the determination we have this time around, we just had to make it “official”.” – Groom

How He Proposed ….. “Family is extremely important to both of us, and it was very important to me that Anthony ask my father for his blessing for our union. On Father’s Day, we organized a BBQ and all family was in attendance. Anthony and my father discussed whatever father and hopeful sons-in-law discuss. The next morning, Anthony asked me to marry him.”

Planning the Wedding ….. “Initially, we decided to complete the event as a 100% DIY project. We secured our venue, choose stationery to develop save the dates and invitations. I, with my mother’s assistance, found my gown and my husband and I choose the attire for the wedding party. Months later, we realized that the wedding would not work as planned if we did not incorporate additional help. 8 weeks before the wedding, we hired our phenomenal planner, and within a week with her guidance, we approved an inspiration board, secured all vendors, and were ready to take on the most wonderful day of our life. Naturally, we faced challenges in the actual planning because the majority of the planning was executed within the 8 weeks prior to the event. The major obstacle was staying within the wedding budget; however, the vendors that we secured were awesome and knowledgeable. All of the vendors provided options to choose which allowed us to realize our dreams within the allotted budget. Everything worked out as planned and the actual day was fabulous.”

Event Details ….. “Our wedding was a fusion of our spiritual beliefs, love for family and music, strong beliefs in education, and passion for speed. Our colors were black and champagne/ivory with emerald green and moss green accents. I would describe the event as understated elegance. We entertained approximately 100 guests in a swanky contemporary loft located in downtown Atlanta. Our ceremony was performed in the round under a chuppah, such that our union could be observed by our closest family and friends from every vantage point in the venue. The reception was preceded with live jazz during a cocktail hour. (I have played trumpet since age 5 and I absolutely love jazz.)  The evening ended with a motorcycle escort through downtown Atlanta by a motorcycle club. (My husband loves dirt bike/motorcycles so we incorporated his interest in a motorcycle theme). The event was planned and executed magnificently; every detail was purposefully integrated to represent some aspect of the journey of our lives together.”

Incorporating Culture ….. “We were both raised in Atlanta, GA and have strong spiritual beliefs. Our preacher is Nigerian and we incorporated many traditional Nigerian elements in our ceremony. Our preacher was adorned in his traditional Casuck. We recited the traditional wedding vows. Our ceremony was an abbreviated version of a Nigerian traditional wedding; however, we incorporated a practice in the ceremony which was the prayer from parents, in which my husband and I went on our knees in front of our parents for prayer with our preacher. The significance of this ritual was to receive the blessing from both sets of parents to move forward with love in our marriage.  As African-Americans, we chose to jump the broom. We added our unique spin on this custom by having a broom created from hymnal sheet music. Additionally, our culture was reflected in the musical selection played and incorporated throughout.”

Unforgettable Moments ….. “Every single thing, every single element was most memorable about this day. However, if I had to choose the “most” memorable, I would have to say the motorcycle send-off. My husband loves everything about bikes, from the sound to the smell. He enjoyed the groom’s cake fashioned after his favorite bike, but had no inkling to the surprise motorcycle escort. At the end of the night, it was a perfect conclusion to a perfect day to see him light up as he realized the motorcycle crew came specifically for him to escort us away.”

{You Make Loving You So Easy}

He loves ….. “my positive attitude.”
She loves ….. “His positive outlook on life, how he cherishes the beauty of nature, his sincerity and love.”
Click here for the full gallery

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  • http://afroniquelyyou.com/ afroniquely | shae

    Great article!! Gorgeous theme :)

  • Shalawn Beauty

    Congrats Anthony and Olivia many many Blessings!!! The article was amazing!!!

  • Cydney

    This is so gorgeous! I love how the music notes are incorporated!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/loveintheD LoveintheD

    Love this… and I second Cydney on the use of the music sheets :) Also sounds like they had a super efficient and helpful wedding planner to be able to get so much done in one week’s time!