Dorian and Oludotun (aka Odee) first met at a mutual friend’s birthday weekend in Washington D.C., which kicked off with a day of volunteering to help feed the homeless. Odee caught Dorian’s eye as she was cutting onions. “As I walked past him to wash my hands, his cologne caught my sensory,” she says. “I told him he smelled nice and kept it moving.” Throughout the weekend, Dorian and Odee were like magnets, constantly finding their way back to each other. They exchanged numbers, and Odee even saw Dorian off at the airport with a kiss and a prayer for safe travels. “As I took off back to New York, I could not stop thinking about this man who was grounded in faith,” says Dorian.
After just over a year of dating, Odee planned the most romantic proposal to Dorian on her birthday. Though they originally planned on a City Hall wedding, the coronavirus soon thwarted their plans, and they suddenly had just three weeks to plan an intimate and socially distanced wedding for their 25 closest family and friends. “We quickly pivoted to Maryland/D.C. as the destination,” says Dorian. “Odee has a friend who owns the National Golf Club, a beautiful course in Fort Washington, MD, and said we could use it however we wish. We both did several walk-thrus and fell in love with the open outdoor space.”
The green and spacious golf course was not only easy on the eyes but also offered ample space to maintain social distancing and keep their guests safe. Scroll through the gallery to see the most beautiful moments from Dorian and Oludotun’s modern and intimate ceremony.
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Dorian decided to celebrate her birthday by attending the Oprah 2020 Vision Tour in Brooklyn with her girlfriends, then ending the evening with an intimate dinner with Oludotun. As she turns the key into their home, she discovered there was much more than dinner waiting. "As I walked further into the house I noticed that there were rose petals leading up the staircase so I shouted up the stairs 'Oooooweee!' I walk up the stairs and there he is at the top waiting. He then asked, 'how much do you love me?' I said, 'like a fat kid loves cake.' Odee replies, 'I am going to need you to love me more than that!' I laughed and as I turned, he was on his knees as if he was going to pray. It seemed all a blur amidst him asking 'will you marry me?' as he opened a blue box with an illuminating light on this amazingly beautiful and most perfect ring! I said 'yes' in my UGLIEST cry face ever!"
Stepping Into New Beginnings
Dorian's wore these gorgeous Bottega Veneta Curve Sandals for her "something blue."
"I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve," said the bride. "I was anxious, practicing my vows so I wouldn’t cry, but that of course was a fail!"
One Stylish Bride
Since the couple was originally set to marry at the Justice Of The Peace, Dorian initially chose a backless white maxi dress by Khaite for her wedding day look. After their wedding plans changed, so did her inspiration. "I had already envisioned a two-piece look and had purchased an AMURI top from Saks Fifth Avenue. I enlisted black-owned designer Jaye Bailey to make me a custom skirt and the whole look came to life."
Dorian's peachy, subtle glam was achieved using the black-owned makeup brand Honey Cosmetics
Dressed To Slay
"I tried everything on two nights before the wedding with my shoes and immediately began to have second thoughts like this could be THE look," says the gorgeous bride. "So I turned to my girls and without a doubt, I received a unanimous 'YES GIRl!' With that veil, it was an emphatic 'heck yes!!'"
Oludotun arrived at the altar in this sharp Calvin Klein suit. Excellent choice!
Love All Over
"It felt amazing being a bride and being handpicked by God to be a significant part of someone else's life," says Dorian
Forever Daddy's Girl
Dorian was walked down the aisle by her father to "Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder. "It was a proud moment for us both!," says Dorian. "I know he never thought this day would come, but he was ecstatic knowing that Odee was a man of faith and his beliefs aligned with that of our family."
Words From The Heart
"One of my favorite wedding memories was reading my personal vows and sharing my love journey with those around me," says Dorian. "My words were intimate, yet meaningful. Even those who may have never met Odee felt like they had a better understanding of why they were all there."
When Two Become One
"Experiencing the transition into being a married man was better than I thought it would be," says Odee. "That moment felt better than it did in my dream."
Clean And Simple
The Dawodus kept their ceremony unique and special by letting the golf course greenery set the stage for their aesthetic. "We added a flower wall and chanel lucite chairs for a clean vibe," says the bride.
Ask And You Shall Receive
"I was specific in my prayers for my wife," says Oludotun. "I got my prayers and wishes granted when I met Dorian."
How cute is this custom golf cart?
Generations Of Love
The couples were blessed with some words of wisdom on marriage from Dorian's parents who have been married 45 years.
Always And Forever
Oludotun says he knew Dorian was the one immediately after their first date. "I was on the phone with her literally until we met up the next day and we were inseparable from that day on," he says. "I told her 'we go together.'"
The Day Of Her Dreams
"I never wanted a wedding and preferred a backyard fete," says the low-key bride. "I kind of got the backyard part on the golf course, but it was an amazing feeling knowing I married my best friend and life partner in love and in faith."
The bride took every precaution to keep friends and family safe, which included wearing these custom face masks.
The After Party
"Our reception luncheon started at 2pm and ended around 5pm," the couple told ESSENCE. "We asked guests that they remain seated throughout to avoid much contact due to CDC guidelines, and we also arranged most seating with immediate family in mind."
Set The Scene
Guests dined in the venue's swanky Chandelier Room for the reception. "I am a fashion girl," says Dorian, " so I wanted our colors to be muted in nudes, rose blushes, soft greys with hints of blue. It worked!"
The table centerpieces included simple and elegant arrangements of peonies, hydrangeas, and white roses.
One Of A Kind
The couple's two-tier banilla bean custom map cake blew us away!
Let's Do Brunch!
The mouthwatering brunch menu included shrimp and grits, lemon ricotta pancakes, steak and buttermilk biscuits. As a personalized touch, name settings in mirror acrylic were custom made for every guest.
Tokens Of Appreciation
The newlyweds provided their guests with thoughtful gift boxes including n95 masks, hand sanitizers and custom golf balls fitting for the venue.
"I love how my husband loves, protects, and prays for me," says Dorian. "God knew exactly what He was doing, and this life was worth the wait!"
Time Stood Still
"My greatest moment happened on July 25, 2020 but I know GOD has so many more memories and amazing moments ahead of us," says Dorian.
Dorian's Advice To Brides
"A lesson I learned during the wedding planning process is to try and relax by finding a few minutes to yourself," says Dorian. "Whatever your spiritual journey is, find peace in the process. Mine was an evening prayer before bed and one when I woke up."
Just The Two Of Us
The Dawodus didn't go on a honeymoon due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. However, they ended the night with a relaxing stay at the Intercontinental Hotel. There were oysters, champagne, and quality time - everything the newlyweds wanted!