In November 2017, Mia decided to give a try. A few days later, William discovered Mia’s profile and messaged her. “I appreciated the time and care that William put into his meaningful messages,” Mia says. “One night, I randomly picked up the phone to call William him our conversation lasted well over three hours. We instantly clicked and arranged a formal date the following week.”

Within their 18 months of dating, William was smitten by Mia and knew she had the potential to be his forever. True to their habit of surprising one another with random trips and experiences, William planned a seemingly sporadic but romantic sunrise proposal on a hot air balloon that blew Mia away.

Their upscale wedding was originally supposed to be filmed for a reality show. However, just a few days before the big day, their venue decided not to allow filming on their property. Mia and William had two choices: scramble to find a new wedding venue in 72 hours or lose out on the opportunity. They chose to follow their heart and pass up the show’s offer. “William and I [realized] circumstances are either God’s direction or protection,” says Mia.

Looking back, the couple is not only happy to have kept their original wedding plans but also that they successfully secured diverse vendors for their wedding. “We wanted our money to flow through the hands of those that understood us the most,” the couple told ESSENCE. “We’re proud that 99% of our vendors were of color.”

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Scroll through the gallery for Mia and William’s gorgeous upscale North Carolina wedding.

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