Bride: Brandy Nicole Preston, 36, Fashion/Style Blogger
Groom: Cornelius Bernard Miller, 34, Real Estate Agent/Business Account Manager
The Big Day: 8/3/2017
Location: Atlanta, GA
Style/Theme: Intimate and romantic elopement
“In 2008, Cornelius was a manager at Circuit City. One evening, my friends asked me to come to the store with them to find some electronics,” said Brandy of how she and her groom’s love story began. “Upon entering the store, my friends immediately saw that this handsome guy was staring at me. I didn’t pay it any attention until he approached me about purchasing a television, offering me all types of discounts. I was instantly attracted to his dark skin and perfect smile, his height wasn’t so bad either. We flirted a bit, but I’m shy and didn’t want to be the first to offer my number, but I also didn’t want this opportunity to pass me by. Therefore, after my purchase, I wrote my number down & gave it to my friend for her to take it back into the store to give to him. I know super corny. As she was walking in to give him my number, he was walking out to give me his number. It was so funny! After that day we communicated/dated, stop dating & everything came back full circle.”
“Things have always just felt right with Cornelius. He always accepted me for who I am. It didn’t matter that at one point, I didn’t know how to receive or reciprocate love. It didn’t matter that I was broken from past relationships, or cautious about a new relationship,” said the bride.
“Well I never really dreamed about that part,” said Cornelius about being a groom. “I dreamed about having a wife and family, the whole nine, but had never really pictured being a groom. I know one thing, it’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”
“I chose to marry Cornelius because he’s everything I could have ever prayed/hoped for in a man,” shared the bride. “He is the most loving person I have ever met, he constantly puts everyone’s needs before his. He is always thinking of ways to take our family to the next level. He makes me feel as if I am the most beautiful person in the world…he steadily pours into me on daily basis & consistently reminds me how much I mean to him. He truly completes me.”
“My accessories were quite simple, I wore a rhinestone alloy bracelet Christian Louboutin Pigalle shoes,” revealed Brandy. “I wasn’t the traditional bride, so I didn’t incorporate any of the traditions of ‘something old, something new something borrowed or something blue.’”
“He accepted me for the person I am,” said Brandy. “He always did what he said he would do, always making sure to never disappoint me or lead me astray. Everything was so easy and comfortable. He soon became my source of strength whenever I was weak and showed me unwavering love…that’s how I knew he was “the one.'”
“Cornelius planned date night for us to have a sightseeing helicopter ride over the city of Atlanta,” recalled the bride of how her groom popped the question. “I’d wanted to do it for a while, so I was excited. He isn’t a big fan of flying, so of course he was earning cool points for being so accommodating. During the flight, we didn’t do too much communicating as we so desperately tried to soak up all the beautiful views of the city. I was completely captured by the experience, and had not paid attention to any awkward behavior. So imagine my surprise when we landed, and exited the helicopter and he offered me a gift. I was taken aback, but I was not complaining when I saw it was an Alex & Ani bracelet that read on the back, ‘Will you marry me.'”
“Brandy always pushes me to be the best me,” revealed the groom. “Over the past few years, it was clear to me, my family, and friends that I was changing. No one knew it at the time, but I was becoming stronger both mentally and physically, and I credit her for a lot of it. When you have a woman take your health seriously, because she wants to make sure you’re around for the long haul, she is a winner in my book.”
“I really felt accomplished,” said Cornelius of being at the altar with Brandy. “I couldn’t help but think about everything it took to get us to that point. We are two strong willed people and it all could have turned out different. So I was proud that we stuck it out and stayed committed. All of the emotions from years of buildup hits you all at once, it’s truly indescribable. The fact that we were standing in the Eiffel Tower Gardens made it feel even crazier, kind of like a movie. It felt like we were the only people there in that moment.”
“Cornelius is a God fearing man, he is constantly growing and becoming more spiritually mature with each passing moment,” revealed Brandy. “He is one of the most positive people I know and constantly pushes me to be the best me. He is warm and affectionate, a great listener and let’s be honest here…he’s a pretty handsome guy.”
“When I looked into Cornelius’s eyes at the altar, I felt a love that I’d never seen or experienced before,” said Brandy. “I felt a love that saw no boundaries, an understanding love, a never ending love, a forever kind of love.”
Rather than swap traditional vows, the bride and groom chose to write their own.
“Although we love the idea of the traditional vows, there was so much more to our love that we wanted to convey through writing our own vows.”
“She pushes the limits and always willing to go against the norm, I love that,” said the groom of the bride. “More importantly she pushes me to be the best person I can. I’ve never had anyone to have my back like she does, she understands my vision for our family and she works with me to make it happen.”
“Our first dance song was a song that I’ve always held near and dear to my heart, Maxwell’s Reunion. It was a song that I loved so much and always said, when I get married this would be my first dance song,” Brandy recalled.
“I did think I’d find true love,” said the groom. “I’m more of a romantic type guy, so I figured I would come across true love, I just didn’t know it would have been this way. Our relationship has taught me that true love is not the butterflies in your stomach feeling, it’s much more. It’s the willingness to do what it takes to survive and thrive, and we are both committed to doing that with each other. That’s true love.”
“I wanted a never before seen, uniquely made for me and matched my personality dress,” the bride shared. “Naturally, I could not find this in any bridal shops. So, my friend suggested I consult with a Gown Designer for a customized wedding dress. Ultimately, I met with Erica Angeline, who took my vision right out of my head, and absolutely blew my mind with her creativity. My gown can be best described as one shoulder, champagne in color with white embroidered applique, featuring a silk tulle ruffled skirt in tea length.”
“I knew she was the one after a pretty heated conversation that ended in me storming out of our condo,” recalled the groom. “I remember saying to myself, ‘This is crazy, I have got to love this women, she makes me feel crazy, but I can’t get enough of her.’ I knew in that moment it was something bigger, something I hadn’t experienced before.”
“Strong, quirky, conscious, stylish, stubborn, persistent are all attributes of my woman,” said the groom of his bride.
“I would describe Cornelius as loving, loyal, charismatic, caring, self-less and driven,” the bride shared.
“There’s something magical about being a bride!,” Brandy exclaimed. “It’s like a dream, but its reality it’s honestly a very surreal experience. It’s this one day where everyone treats you like a queen and you can just feel the love radiating from everyone! It’s one day that’s supposedly about you and your groom but as it turns out, it’s all about the bride.”
“When we started brainstorming about our wedding, we knew we wanted something different that would allow us to stay true to ourselves,” said Brandy of she and Cornelius eloping. “I’m so not the traditional type, therefore I knew I didn’t want the “traditional” wedding. However, I didn’t want to take anything away from what my husband wanted. I brought up the idea of eloping and we both laughed and joked about it. But as we continued with the wedding planning/brainstorming we started to feel as if everything we thought of doing, was more so for our families and not what we really wanted for ourselves. So again, we pondered the elopement idea again, and started to become more serious about it.”
“It felt great to stand by her,” said the groom of being with his bride on their big day. “I remember taking pictures of the photographer taking her picture and being like ‘damn that’s MY woman.’ I also felt like the most dapper guy on the planet that day, so it was a major adrenaline rush!”
The bride and groom’s family and friends had no idea that the two had eloped until they arrived at a party under the pretenses that they were attending the actual wedding!
“Our family and friends were under the impression that they were invited to our “wedding” as we sent our invitations,RSVP’s, a registry and a wedding website. When they arrived to the venue, they enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for about an hour. Once cocktail hour was over, they were led into the venue where they were surprised by a 5 minute video revealing our elopement ceremony in Paris with the Eiffel Tower as our backdrop! Everyone was stunned & absolutely blown away by what we had done. We were really relieved and overwhelmed by the love and support that we received from our family and friends. Everything about our reception was pure perfection!”
Since the bride had a deep love for white flowers, the couple used white and ivory hydrangea, roses, spray roses and stock for their reception centerpieces.
How sweet, Brandy and her sorority sisters shared a special moment during the reception!
“Since this was our big reveal to our family/friends of our elopement, we wanted to lighten the mood a little so we entered the reception to Rake It Up by Yo Gotti,” shared the couple.
Now this looks like a good time!
“For our wedding cake, we decided on a gold five tier cake with a layer of vanilla cake with salted caramel frosting and vanilla cake with strawberry filling and butter cream cheese frosting.”
“I was always the one looking for love, in all the wrong places,” the bride began of how she knew Cornelius was the one. “It was if my relationships were on repeat. I pressed the pause button and took a look at my past, to determine what commonalities kept showing up, and why. Then, I took the time to gain clarity on what I really wanted and how to identify when it came into my life. From there, I began a beautiful journey of building a new foundation of love by myself, so when Cornelius came into my life, I knew without a doubt that he was the one for me.”