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  • Writer's pictureCandace Wells

Mr. & Mrs. Gradney

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

This week's #WCW is a couple I've known since middle school. They are truly like family to me and I am so honored to be featuring them this week. High school sweethearts, the two have been together over a decade (Uh-oh.. I'm telling our Kyle and Brittany have made a beautiful family with two daughters, Kasiah (oldest) & Kaylin (youngest) and one son, Braelon. They have a beautiful house in the Northern Virginia area that they have made a home. Kyle and Brittany had a destination wedding in St. Lucia with just the two of them. The couple later, had a reception with close family and friends at a local lake (Lake Richie) which I had the pleasure to be apart of and it was beautiful. Please read on to get insight on how they made their destiny into marriage.

Wedding Date:

May 13, 2011 (official wedding date)

June 18, 2011 (reception)

Outside Ceremony (St. Lucia) & Outside Reception (Local: Lake Ritchie)

Color scheme for ceremony:

Cream/ Linen

Color scheme for reception:

Bride's party wore dresses as close to "Boysenberry" as possible

Groom's party wore white shirts & black pants (Groom wanted to point out that "most" of them followed the 'dress code'...hehehe)

Approximate expense: $10k

St. Lucia: $5K total (which included the flight, room, dinner, couples massage, butler service, wedding package with pictures...etc)

Reception and additional costs: approximately $5k

First Dance song:

All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo

Why did you all pick that date?

"We wanted it to be in November and then we moved it to September, but after talking to the guy with Sandals, he suggested May and said that he could get us a better rate for that time. We said okay, let's do it! He said we could do it Friday, May the 13th and it was set." -answered the Bride: Brittany

"It all happened so fast! My friend, Chris, came over and told us how he and his wife got married out there and how much they spent and before I knew it, 'Britt' was on the phone with the guy setting it up and that's the date they came up with"

-answered the Groom: Kyle

How long were you engaged?

"15 months" -the couple answered together

Where did you get inspiration from for the color scheme of your wedding?

"My friend Bryan reminded me that it was going to be hot in St. Lucia and that I should wear linen instead of a suit" -answered the Groom: Kyle

"It wasn't really that serious for us, but to keep it a little formal we decided to have all the ladies wear a dress close to the color Boysenberry just because I liked the color"

-answered the Bride: Brittany

What was your best memory of your ceremony in St. Lucia?

"Seeing her walk down the aisle. Seeing her finally in the dress that she had been talking about for so long" -answered the Groom: Kyle

"My best memory of the ceremony..." after pausing for a little bit, the Bride: Brittany continues "The day we got married we had breakfast together, but we didn't see each other after that. I got my hair done and got dressed up and when we got there, the way it was set up I had to stand back with the lady. I think it was that moment right before I walked around and saw him. I think that feeling of anticipation was my best memory. To actually see him and think like.. we-actually-did-this!"

What was your best memory of your reception?

"Driving up and then getting out that car and seeing everyone there waiting for us."

-answered the Bride: Brittany

Quickly responding "Family" the Groom: Kyle, enjoyed just seeing everyone there.

What was your worst memory of your ceremony in St. Lucia?

"Not having anyone there! That was the only flaw about the whole thing. She had someone there to help her get dressed and interact with... I got myself dressed... with no one to talk to... just me. I didn't say a word to anyone all morning." followed with a laugh-out-loud moment, -answered the Groom: Kyle.

"I have two." -answered the bride "One, not having my dad walk me down the aisle. I was a little sad before, but afterwards it was fine. I would also have to say the officiant. She.." followed by a deep sigh "She could've done so much better. The ceremony wasn't too bad, but we both think it ran a little too long and it was just us two. I think it would have been a little better if she was a little more interpersonal with us. She didn't really dress up so her appearance could have been a little better and then her accent made it a little hard to understand at times. There was one part during the vows that Kyle couldn't understand her and had to have her repeat herself."

What was your worst memory of your reception?

"Not having certain people that I invited, show up." -answered the Groom: Kyle

"I feel like we weren't as prepared for the first dance. The DJ just got into town that morning so we didn't really get a chance to discuss too much with him. The actual song we wanted to dance to, he played as we drove up. The original plan was when we got out of the car we were supposed to dance. Instead, we got out and started saying 'Hi' to everyone and before we knew it the song was over. After that he asked what song we wanted to dance to and it was so last minute we didn't really care and we just picked the K-Ci & Jo Jo song."

-answered the Bride: Brittany

Would you get married all over again?

"Definitely" -the couple answered simultaneously. I then asked would they do it the exact same way or change it up? Kyle answered, "I would do it the same, but I would definitely bring someone with me." Brittany responded saying "That part didn't matter to me. I feel like sometimes weddings are about other people and to me the way we did it was Perfect!"

Was it what you expected?

"I think all around it was more than I expected. I feel like you don't really know what to expect and to be out there in St. Lucia, it was beautiful."

-answered the Bride: Brittany

"I would have to agree." responded, Kyle. "You normally expect the church, coming up the aisle, and the preacher standing right there and it was different."

What is the best advice you would give to someone else planning their wedding?

"Take your time. Don't rush" -answered the Groom: Kyle "I would say not to jump on the first thing that you see. When we saw Westfields, I thought it was amazing and I wanted to get married there. I feel like when you get your hopes up high and it doesn't work out, it will crush you and that's exactly what happened. Then shortly after, Chris came over and told us about St. Lucia and it ended up being a lot cheaper and the experience was great and we still were able to have a reception with our family and friends. Looking back on all that, I would definitely say don't jump on the first thing you see." -answered the Bride: Brittany

Are there any pictures that you wish your photographer would have captured, but didn't?

"I think the photographer in St. Lucia could've been more creative. She could've told us to get in the water or something because we did the regular 'traditional' poses. I would also just say that she could have paid a little more attention to detail. There was one picture that 'Britt' was laying down and her string was hanging and the photographer should have fixed that."

-answered the Groom: Kyle.

What was your most wasteful purchase in regards to planning your wedding?

"I think inviting certain family and them not showing up was probably the most wasteful in my opinion because we paid for additional tables and we could've saved that money."

-answered the Groom: Kyle

Overall, the couple enjoyed their experience and was extremely pleased with having their celebration split up into two different events. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed sitting with them. They are a beautiful couple with great chemistry and I wish them nothing but happy times for them and their beautiful family. Thanks for reading and please stay tuned to next week's #WeddingCrushWednesday Couple.

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