This week's #WCW has a different story than my previous couples. Patrice and Dexter, close friends of mine, went against the 'traditional wedding' ceremony and had a civil ceremony. Working with Patrice for a few years, at my previous job, she and I became very good friends and our families mesh very well together. The couple resides in Maryland, where they purchased their first home last year. They have a beautiful blended family including their four children and newest member of the family, their dog ‘Duece’. I have had the pleasure to know both Patrice and Dexter for three years now and I see this couple's love for God and each other and I am honored to feature their union of marriage this week. Please read on to see their experience.
How and where did you two meet?
"On the phone" started Dexter and Patrice interjected saying, "Really?!"
"We'll start in 2011 instead of when we were eight." Patrice continued.
Persistent with answering with the truth, Dexter added, "That's the answer isn't it?!"
Patrice, finally giving in, continued saying "We met when we were eight years old over the phone, through our babysitters. We reconnected in 2011 via Facebook."
How long were you dating before you got engaged?
Thinking for a little bit, Patrice answered, "Six months"
How did you know she was the one?
"First off we met when we were young and knew each other for some years and the fact that she came back into my life I knew it had to be something there. Plus her personality and what she wanted out of life, I knew she was somebody that I could really build something with." answered Dexter.
How long were you engaged?
Wedding Date: May 4, 2012
Indoor Ceremony (Prince George's County District Courthouse) Indoor Reception Dinner (The Cheesecake Factory)
Approximate expense: $500
Why did you all choose to have a civil ceremony versus a 'traditional wedding'?
"Because it all happened so fast, that was the quickest route at the moment" Patrice answered
Dexter added, "It was the cheapest route"
"We decided that with how fast that everything happened, that if we made it to the five year mark, then we would do the traditional wedding." Patrice continued.
What did you wear and did you have a color scheme?
Patrice replied, "I wore a champagne colored dress with pumps and I got my hair, nails, and toes done. The colors were supposed to be a champagne and pink, but Dexter wore champagne and brown because he thinks that he's too manly to wear pink."
Did you have a reception afterwards?
"All of our close family and friends went to The Cheesecake Factory afterwards" answered, Patrice.
What was your best memory of the day?
"The ceremony, it was really nice, because it wasn't what I expected with going to the courthouse. It was really like a 'real' wedding. I was kind of nervous about it because it was the courthouse. Our minister did have on jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt, but other than that everyone else dressed up and the ceremony was nice, short, and sweet." answered Patrice
"When I said 'I do' and she said it back." answered Dexter
What was your worst memory?
Dexter answered, "Honestly I don't think there was one. I was trying not to cry, but I held it back."
"When my curls fell." Patrice laughed and continued, "I'm so serious because I put a lot into that and I was upset."
Looking back and seeing where you are today in your marriage, are you happy with the choice you made to have a civil ceremony?
Patrice answered, "Looking back now I wish I would have done it traditionally because now going forward my dad can't walk me down the aisle. I wish I would have done it traditionally then and planned it out a lot better instead of thinking that I had time. Now he won't physically be a part of it in 2017 when we renew our vows. That would be my main reason for wanting to do it over because I feel like I shorted him and myself, in that aspect, since I was his only daughter."
"My answer is pretty much the same because now my mom can't be here for it." Dexter started and Patrice interjected, "She was there for the ceremony though."
Dexter continued and clarified, "She won't be able to be there for the whole thing with the 'Mother and Son' dance and everything else."
Do you plan to renew your vows (If so, when and how?)
"Now I don't know. I have no clue and I'm sure I'm not going to have a clue. I'm going to be just told what to do and I just show up. I would like to do a 'Traditional Wedding' with the church and the people, but we’ll see." Dexter answered.
We all laughed because originally the two discussed this matter and Dexter always wanted to do a 'Traditional Wedding' locally and Patrice always wanted to the 'Destination Wedding' and Dexter eventually gave in to the idea. After having lunch a few days ago and discussing this matter with Patrice, myself, and a mutual friend, Patrice realized the inconvenience and expense that it may cost them and their guests (a fact Dexter had brought up numerous times before) and decided that 'Destination Wedding' may not be the best option.
After laughing, Patrice answered, "I would like to do it in Niagara Falls or something like that, but the way my family and his family are set up it's probably better to do it here. I think if we do it local, where everyone is, then we can go to Niagara Falls for our honeymoon. We had a 'Weekend Honeymoon' but didn't actually go far, so I would like to go somewhere like Niagara Falls or Barbados for that."
What is the best advice you would give a newly engaged couple in regards to planning their wedding?
"I would say go with a traditional wedding so that everyone is included. At the end of the day continue to follow your heart and instinct. The moment you get engaged, the devil plays and a lot of people come in from different angles with reasons as to why you shouldn't. Just stay true to your heart, instincts, and gut and just know that if your husband was your friend before then he will definitely be your best friend afterwards." advised Patrice.
"I would pretty much say the same thing. Ignore your friends telling you that you're making a mistake and all the negativity. If you know that's where your heart is at and who you want to live your life with and who you're blessed with then focus on that." advised Dexter.
I hope you enjoyed reading this week's Wedding Crush Wednesday. Remember, although everyone loves a great party, the key factor is your marriage, not your wedding. Many brides and grooms have mentioned this very quote/fact in their 'advice' and I hope people truly take heed to that thought. Please continue to tune in for more wedding and party tips, ideas, and guidance. Also, check back in every Wednesday for a new Wedding Crush Wednesday Couple.
Happy Planning Folks!