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  • Writer's pictureCandace Wells

Mr. & Mrs. Griffin

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

This week's #WeddingCrushWednesday couple goes to Mr. & Mrs. Griffin. I've known this couple for approximately 8 years and I am extremely honored to have them featured this week. I attended Norfolk State University with the two and became eternal sisters with Ciarra in 2007 when we both became proud members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Justin is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. The two have an adorable daughter, Olivia, and have a beautiful home in Virginia. I had a great pleasure in attending their wedding, like many of my previous #WCW couples, and it was a beautiful day. Please continue to read on to see how these two planned their wedding 'Griffin Style'.

How and where did you two meet?

"We met at Norfolk State in English class." replied Ciarra

How long were you dating before you got engaged?

Justin replied, "We were together for 5 years."

How did you know she was the one?

Justin answered, "Good question. I think it probably came maybe a year and a half before we got engaged. I felt complete. In terms of us being together everything just felt right. I felt like she was the right woman. There was no one else; it was just her and it came to a point where everything felt like it was falling into place. We started going back to school together and I felt like the next step up from that was the commitment to get married."

How long were you engaged?

Ciarra answered, "We were engaged for 14 months."

Wedding Date: March 24, 2012

Why did you pick that date?

Ciarra answered, "So that's the funny part. We were in graduate school and we didn't want to have the wedding until we finished graduate school. We actually finished the weekend before, so that's why we picked that Saturday after. We got to celebrate two things at once."

Inside Ceremony (Fifth Baptist Church in Downtown Richmond, Virginia) & Inside Reception (Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Richmond, Virginia)

Was it mandatory, due to your religious beliefs, that you get married in a church?

Justin responded, "It just happened that way. We did look at other locations outside of churches, so that we could really do an all-in-one and that way we didn't have to worry about transitioning between the ceremony and reception. It just happened that this worked out and the church and the reception location was close by."

Approximate expense: $30k

Approximately $36K including the honeymoon (the couple went on a cruise to Mexico, Jamaica, and The Cayman Islands)

Color Scheme: Tiffany Blue, Black, and White

Where did you get inspiration from for your color scheme?

"This was just something that we both agreed on. I kept throwing out colors and he didn't like any of them, so finally we decided on these colors." replied, Ciarra

Did Justin help with the planning or did he just say 'you do it all and I'll just show up'?

Ciarra replied, "No, he planned everything but the flowers. Everything else he wanted to be involved in. I was surprised, but he was into it."

Justin responded, "I wanted to know. I wanted to be involved in everything."

What caused the most stress while planning?

"Ummmm...Because we had such a big wedding party, I would say trying to get everybody to do everything at the same time. We had some people that we know are always late, so trying to get everyone at the right place at the right time so everything could run perfect was stressful." answered Justin.

What did you find to be most helpful during your planning process?

"We had a lady, a family friend, and she was the 'Day Of Coordinator' and she kept me on track with everything. She was great as far as planning before and then the day of the actual wedding she helped everything run really smooth and it was really good. I enjoyed that part of it." answered Ciarra.

What was your best memory?

Ciarra replied first saying, "When they opened the doors and I saw Justin, I got really emotional. That was definitely the best part for me."

Justin then responded, "Probably seeing the reaction on her face when I started singing. She didn't know I was going to sing that day."

What was your worst memory?

"Yes, so when my sister-in-law started singing; the mic started screeching. That was horrible. Everything worked fine the night before at rehearsal and then I don't know what happened the day of." replied Ciarra.

"I can't think of anything that was really that bad. She called me that morning because she had left her shoes and had to go back home and get them, but other than that I can't really think of anything that actually went wrong that I would probably change." answered Justin.

If you could, would you get married all over again and if so, would you do it the same way?

"I would say yes we would, but also we would change it. I was more so for the traditional wedding and doing it local just because the amount of family and friends I wanted to invite. She was more so leaning towards the 'Destination' type of wedding. I was like there is no way all of the family I have are going on that trip, so I would say if we were to do it again, we would do a destination type wedding. That way we could just invite close family and friends." responded Justin.

Do you want or plan to renew your vows?

"Yes I ask all the time. I told him I was ready like two years ago" laughed Ciarra. "He told me that I had to wait until year 10. It was such a great day that I wanted to do it again!"

Was your wedding day everything you expected?

"I think it was more than what I expected because everything went so perfect. You kind of just wait for something to go wrong, but everything just continued to go so smooth throughout the ceremony and throughout the reception, so I think it was definitely more than what I expected." answered Justin.

Ciarra answered, "I definitely think it was more than what I expected. I worked so hard and you don't see it until at the end when you see all the people come together and it was just better than what I expected."

Are there any pictures that you wish your photographer would have captured, but did not?

Ciarra responded, "I do, I don't have any pictures with all my aunts or my first cousins, so I wish they could have gotten more pictures of my family."

Justin replied, "Yeah, I wish we would have had pictures of each individual table at our reception because it was hard to remember who was there. We had some great pictures from the reception, but it was hard to try to look through the pictures and remember who was actually there besides going to the guest book and seeing who signed in and trying to remember that way."

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

Ciarra replied, "I would say our wedding favors because we ended up with a whole box of them leftover and they just went in the trash."

"I would agree because I know how much time it took to put each individual box together and tie all the bows and all that type of stuff, so yeah we should have done something a little different." replied Justin.

What was your favorite wedding gift?

"I would say money. It's easy to spend" quickly replied, Ciarra

"Yeah, I would say the money probably because we used a lot of that on the honeymoon." later responded, Justin.

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

"I would say, make a budget and stick to it. Without a budget you just go to the store and pick up stuff and not really think about how much money you are really spending." said Ciarra.

Justin replied, "I would say, people that are in your wedding party; put them to work. I mean the two individuals trying to take it on by themselves is too much. The wedding party are there because of course they are your family and/or friends, but also they are there to help you as well. They are there to take some of the load of you so that you can get stuff done."

I really enjoyed talking to these two. They both have a very humble spirit and I love their 'teamwork' approach to life, parenting and their marriage. I was extremely impressed and appreciative to Justin's great participation in the wedding planning as well as this interview. The two seem very happy with how their wedding day turned out and I'm extremely happy they found each other to share their lives with. I wish them nothing but success and happiness. I thank you for reading and please stay tuned every Wednesday to see who the next #WeddingCrushWednesday couple will be. Happy Planning Folks!

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