“There is something special about my girl, and the fact that she loves me back the same way I love her is proof that true love can be found in places that you least expect it.,” Anthony tells us about the love of his life, Cori. The pair tied the knot last fall in their hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina.
Cori knew she wanted a drop-waisted dress that was off-white. She found this lovely wedding gown from Mori Lee.
"I knew I wanted my hair to be easy and it had to last through the honeymoon," says Cori. "Kinky twists were the way to go." Vee Washington of Natural Beauties by Vee styled her hair and makeup.
"I found a beautiful, vintage pearl necklace on Etsy," says Cori. "I bought my birdcage veil there, too. I couldn't stand the thought of wearing heels all day, so I found great wedges that were perfect for the wedding at ModCloth."
Cori admits that when it came to shopping for her dress, she was anything but a bridezilla. "My daughter, Corin, my matron of honor and her daughter drove with me to a bridal shop recommended by a colleague," she recalls. "I tried on four dresses and found the one. I loved it, bought it and we all went out to have a great lunch laughing about it."
"I realized Cori accepted me for me," says Anthony of his lovely bride. "We are oil and water but we meet in the middle."
Cori and Anthony chose a vintage rose theme for their big day. They hired day-of planner Chauntele Holley from Xhale On Us to help them execute their plan and pull everything together. "I definitely recommend a day-of planner," she says. "A bride doesn't want to worry about whether the cake has arrived at the site or whether or not the music is on cue."
"The moment Anthony proposed was surreal," admits Cori. "With the kids' excitement and Anthony's nervousness, I was just in a state of shock."
When it came to her floral arrangements, Cori wanted to keep things classy and simple. "I told the florist I wanted roses in my bouquet and cotton mixed in to honor my Black ancestors since Anthony and I decided not to jump the broom," she recalls. Daniel's Florist of Cary, North Carolina handled the arrangements on the big day.
“Anthony is genuine,” Cori tells us. “There are no pretenses or shady dealings with him. He is upfront, persistent and can always insert a sense of humor into any situation.”
"I knew Anthony was the one when I introduced him to my kids," says Cori. "My first husband died when my kids were very young; my daughter was seven and my son was a month shy of his third birthday. I had never introduced them to anyone I'd dated, until him."
Guests young and old had a ball at Cori and Anthony's wedding. Could this little bridal party member be any more adorable?
Cori pauses for a moment of reflection on her big day as she prepares to marry the man of her dreams and join their families.
We just can't get enough of the happy couple's vintage inspired wedding day fashions. From the newsboy hats to the burgundy gowns, we adore each and every detail.
“My son, who was eleven at the time, walked me down the aisle,” Cori tells us. “It was the right thing to do. Ultimately, my kids had to give me permission to marry again and this was a great symbol of that agreement.”
“We wanted an intimate, grown-up wedding,” explains Cori. “We didn’t want to bother with paper invitations or a whole lot of formal odds and ends. We sent out electronic engagement announcements and wedding invitations through PaperlessPost.com and kept guests updated with information through eWedding.com."
Cori and Anthony tied the knot beneath the trees at Nash Square Park in Raleigh, North Carolina. To decorate, the end of each alternating row held a single, red rose in a vase while pictures of other married couples in their family were hung on the other rows as a good omen for a long-lasting marriage.
Cori and her son walked down the aisle to the sounds of Beyonce and Marc Nelson's "After All Is Said and Done."
For their personal vows, Cori and Anthony decided to do things their own unique way. “We wrote down seven things we were grateful for in the other person,” she says. “It was very sweet, very heartfelt and very personal.”
Live musicians were on hand too. What a special and beautifully executed ceremony.
"At that moment, I was just so happy to be marrying my best friend," Cori admits. "I was amazed that I was so lucky."
"Our wedding definitely had our own vibe to it," says Cori.
“My bridal party was amazed at how calm I was the entire day,” Cori confesses. "It was an amazing day and everything felt right.”
"We both knew we wanted to get married outside," says Cori. "We wanted to be genuine, and since we are not particularly religous, we didn't want to marry in a church."
Cori and Anthony's romantic kiss sealed the deal as two officially became one.
Hooray for the new Mr. and Mrs. Banks!
The newlyweds happily strolled hand-in-hand from the ceremony site to their chic reception space.
"We had a budget, and we did a great job working together and keeping it," says Cori.
The couple’s wedding reception was held just a couple blocks away from Nash Square Park in a swanky Moroccan restaurant called Babylon Lounge. “Luckily, the space was beautiful, and the director was really great,” Cori tells us. “He lit the candelabra and dimmed the lights, and voila, there was instant ambience. It really didn’t need anything else.”
“Our cake lady is a real boss,” Cori recalls. “She runs everything out of her home. The cake was moist. It had buttercream icing and the most beautifully constructed flowers I had ever seen — roses, of course. Her name is Lynn Loomis, and she stayed for our entire reception and served the cake to our guests. She was a real Carolina treat. It was so personal.”
"I love Anthony's passion," says Cori. "Whatever his focus, he gives it everything. That includes his education, his stepkids, his job, our home and his duties as a husband."
Cori and Anthony cut their cake in style. The happy couple admit that love was the last thing on their mind when they met, but fate had it's way with them, and they couldn't be happier about it.
The camera just loves Cori and Anthony and we can see why. The pair were a vision of joy and style on their wedding day.
“When I first met him, I was pretty much satisfied with the possibility that I might never marry again,” says Cori. “Anthony was a wonderful breath of fresh air.”
“Cori has helped me reach within myself to be a better person,” says Anthony.
“My friends called me the anti-bridezilla because I was so chill during the entire process,” says Cori. “Anthony and I had so much fun from the planning stage all the way through our honeymoon.”
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