Real Wedding: Duan & Chauna – The Cloth Mill
After dating for a little over a year and a half, Duan surprised Chauna with a special proposal reenacted from the TV show “Martin.” In the show, Martin proposes to Gina on a park bench right after singer Brian McKnight sings “Never Felt This Way” to her. Unfortunately, Brian McKnight couldn’t be on hand for Duan’s proposal, but Duan did get another singer to serenade Chauna just before he proposed at the American Tobacco Road Pavilion. Members of his and Chauna’s families helped with the surprise and Chauna described it as “just perfect.”
Just about a year later, they were saying their “I Do’s” and declaring their love for each other before their friends and family.
Chauna walked down the aisle in a wedding gown from the Galina Signature Collection that featured a form-fitting bodice and skirt down to the mid-thigh. The lower skirt flared slightly before turning into a train. The gown was covered in a lace overlay with crystal and bead accents, and the lower skirt featured layers of ruching in cascading swags. She carried a bouquet of white blooms interspersed with florals in shades of purple. Her bridesmaids wore long gowns in different shades of purple.
Duan wore a dark grey suit with a white shirt and blush tie. He wore a pink rose boutonniere. His groomsmen wore the same ensemble, but they had patterned ties in different shades of purple.
The couple planned to get married in an outdoor ceremony, but rain sidetracked their plans. Fortunately, Chauna said that their wedding planner, Jocelyn Warren of A Paradigm Shift Event, LLC had the foresight to track the weather and create a Plan B for the ceremony. In fact, Chauna said, her planner knew that it was going to rain at 5:00 pm –the exact time Chauna was expected to walk down the aisle. The transition to holding the ceremony inside was so seamless that Chauna said no one could tell that was not the original plan.. But the most memorable part of the ceremony for Chauna was when Duan teared up watching her walk down the aisle and then hearing the vows that he wrote for her.
The beautiful, rustic, yet elegant, ceremony and reception were decorated with extravagant floral displays with plenty of lush greenery interspersed featuring cream, pink, and purple blooms. Different shades of pinks and purples were combined for an intriguing look.
The reception featured both long farm tables as well as traditional round tables. The wooden farm tables were set with purple charger plates and were decorated with long swags of greenery and white candles in clear pillars. Greens hung from the wooden ceilings, and twinkle lights adorned the ceiling. The round tables were covered in deep purple linens, and covered with elaborate floral centerpieces with blooms in shades of pink and purple. A wooden accent wall at the end of the room was entirely covered in twinkle lights.
To pull the look together, the head table was decorated with an elaborate floral runner with brightly colored blooms in purples and pinks. The couple sat at a loveseat with pillows that said “Mr. Right” and “Mrs. Always Right.” Above the head table was a hanging centerpiece decorated with fern leaves, lush greenery, and pink and white blooms. This suspended display of flowers and greenery added an additional layer of texture and vibrancy to Chauna and Duan’s alter turned sweetheart table.
Guests were served through various meal stations, allowing them to get all their favorites. The layout included a macaroni and cheese station, a shrimp and grits station, a chicken and waffle station, and a grilled steak station. Appetizers and salads were also served, and the meal was followed up with gourmet cupcakes and wedding cake. The wedding cake reflected the rustic theme, and each layer was designed to look like the bark of a tree. The initials “C+D” were “carved” in the frosting inside a heart.
At the end of the night, guests were given a late night snack of pulled pork sliders, turkey sliders, gourmet popcorn, and Krispy Kreme donuts.
The reception also featured a custom backdrop photo booth that coordinated with the greenery that adorned the guest tables and featured their names in script. In addition, Chauna and Duan treated their guests to acigar roller on the outside patio. Guests could experience a cigar be hand-rolled and then enjoy one for themselves.
For their guest book, Chauna and Duan asked guests to sign a square of fabric that would be used to create a quilt. The sign read, “With threads of joy and happiness and blessings from above, the bride and groom will always be covered in your love.”
Above all, Chauna said that it was important to her to keep God central in her mind and to remember WHY she was getting married. She said that though it was a big day for her and her husband, it was also a big day for all their friends and family, who sacrificed and prayed to see the day become a reality.
Wedding Consultant: A Paradigm Shift Event, LLC
Venue: The Cloth Mill
Photographer: One Vision Photography
Florist: Blossom Floral Artistry
Cake: Cake Couture Boutique
Caterer: One Harvest Catering
Entertainment: Jeremy Brooks
Bar & Beverage: The Cloth Mill
Hair & Make-Up: Pink Diamonds by Tiwa Lawrence
Stationary: White Oak Communications
Cinema & Photo Booth: MasterMIND Productions
Travel & Accommodations: Hilton Durham near Duke University