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When Devonn surprised Janel with a romantic at-home proposal, she couldn’t stop the tears of joy from running down her face. “I knew I was going to marry the man of my dreams,” she recalls. What more could a girl want? Let’s revisit their romantic wedding day!
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For her big walk down the aisle, Janel chose the "Harbor" gown by Amsale. After a massive dress search that spanned from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. (her hometown) she tried on over 40 gowns until the found "The One."
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"Deciding how to wear my hair was a challenge," Janel admits. "After deciding on my bridal gown I knew that I wanted an updo for my hair. After searching pictures on Pinterest, I found a picture of Tyra Banks with a side bun with a swoop in the front. I knew it would go perfectly with my dress since it was a one-shoulder style. I did a practice run with my hairstylist and she was able to recreate it perfectly."
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There were approximately 100 cherished guests in attendance and Janel and Devonn's wedding celebration.
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"I said yes to Devonn's proposal because I knew in my heart he was the one God had intended for me," says Janel. "It was (and is) an unexplainable connection with someone who I saw myself spending the rest of my life with."
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Janel carried a lush bouquet of calla lilies, which is her favorite bloom.
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"I thought that one day I would find true love but I didn’t believe it would happen when it did," says Devonn. "It was a chance meeting the day I met Janel, and ever since that day my life has changed in ways I could have never predicted."
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Janel wore purple shoes to match her bridemsaids' gowns.
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"I knew she was the woman for me when I realized that we were able to talk about anything openly and honestly and without judgment," Devonn admits.
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"I knew he was the one when I realized he was a great friend," says Janel. "I can talk to him about anything and he has a very compassionate side, which I saw early on."
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"The bridesmaids dresses were designed by Alfred Sung," says Janel. "I knew I wanted deep purple dresses since it is my favorite color and the color of royalty. I also decided to go with short dresses because the wedding was in the summer and would be outside."
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"I chose my wife because she is beautiful and God-fearing with an adventurous side," Devonn shares. "She has been skydiving, traveled the world and experienced cultures that I hope to get to experience with her as well one day."
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"Devonn is charismatic and outgoing," says Janel. "I don’t think anyone that has met him has ever said a bad thing about him. He has a huge heart and is a very compassionate and family-oriented man."
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"My wife is an intelligent, beautiful, classy, steadfast woman with an incredible personality and sense of humor," says Devonn.
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"We knew we didn’t want the men to wear black in an outdoor ceremony so we decided on grey," says Janel. "The groom decided on an ivory tie to match my wedding dress and the groomsmen wore purple ties to match the bridesmaids."
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"Since our wedding was a destination wedding for both of us and many of our guests too, we knew we wanted to have the wedding and reception in the same location," says Janel. "After settling on Raleigh as a location, we took a weekend trip to see several venues in the area. I knew I wanted an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception. Brier Creek Country Club had the perfect balance of modern elegance without being overly formal."
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"Nicole Groves, a friend from college and awesome DIY gal, helped me plan and coordinate my day," says Janel. "She helped me make decisions about the day and even traveled with me to Raleigh to make major choices for the cake, florist and DJ. She made the signs and programs for the wedding based on pictures I saw on Pinterest. I would highly recommend at least a wedding day coordinator so that the day is relaxing. Nicole was instrumental in making my day less stressful. I don’t think I could ever repay her for her support and assistance throughout the planning of my wedding and the day of my wedding."
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A harpist was on hand to play Luther Vandross' "Here and Now" as Janel prepared to make her way down the aisle.
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Could Janel and Devonn's flower girl (Mariah, the groom's niece) be any cuter?
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"My father walked me down the aisle," says Janel. "He has been one of the most influential people in my life. I think most people would call me a daddy’s girl.”
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"The original plan was to have an outdoor, evening ceremony," says Janel. "God had other plans and it started to rain. The ceremony was delayed several times in hopes of the rain letting up so that we could have an outdoor ceremony but it never did."
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"I admit, I cried at the altar," says Janel. "He shed a tear but will never admit it!"
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"We wrote our own vows,"says Janel. "They were from the heart and had special meaning to each other. I read mine from my cellphone and he had his memorized. I have to say his had more of an impact since they were memorized and I wish I had done the same."
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"It felt very surreal looking into his eyes at the altar," says Janel. "I didn’t think the day would come where I would get married and after looking in his eyes I knew it was real."
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"Looking into her eyes at the altar was an amazing experience," says Devon. "I could envision our lives together living happily as husband and wife."
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"One of the special traditions we had during out wedding was the jumping of the broom," says Janel. "As an African tradition, we wanted to celebrate our ancestors as we united as husband and wife. My cousin sang a solo 'For You' by Kenny Lattimore and one of the groomsmen read an original poem he wrote."
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"Thinking back on our wedding day it felt amazing to be a bride," says Janel. "It was definitely all that I dreamed and more because I was able to marry the man of my dreams. It was even more amazing to have all of our closest friends and family there to help us celebrate the beginning of our lives together."
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"It was a great feeling to be a groom and to have our friends and family support us on our wedding day," says Devonn. "Besides not being able to eat during the reception it was all that I dreamed it would be and more." He's not alone. Most couple reveal that on of their biggest wedding regrets is not eating more of the food on their big day.
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What's not to love about this romantic moment shared between Janel and her new husband Devonn as they stay dry in the rain? It's a classic!
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Janel and Devonn partied their way into their reception party to the sounds of Beyonce and Jay-Z's hit "Crazy In Love."
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"Our first dance song was 'The Closer I Get to You' by Luther Vandross and Beyonce," says the bride. "Luther Vandross is one of Devonn’s favorite artists and Beyonce is one of my favorites."
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The couple's reception décor consisted of purple tablecloths with black and white damask napkins. The sweetheart table and the cake table had purple coin tablecloths on them and to add a romantic effect they added purple uplighting and a monogram logo projected on the wall. Our favorite detail: The table names consisted of musical artists who Janel and Devonn saw together live in concert.
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Janel, a proud member for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., chose to use elephants as escort cards and we just love it!
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Janel's father brought the moves when it came time to dance with his daughter.
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Janel made time for sweet photo opps with her sorority sisters on her big day. #aww
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"We had a two-tier personal square shaped cake for us and cupcakes for our guests," says the bride. "With the colors of the wedding being purple and damask (black and white), our personal cake had a damask pattern and the cupcakes had damask cupcake holders. Devonn is a big fan of key lime pie so our cake flavor had a layer of that too."
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Another super sweet sisterhood moment captured on camera.
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This looks like the kind of party we wish we could have attended. Good times, for sure!
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A fun photo booth allowed guests to make their own special memories with the couple.
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