ONCE UPON A WILSON WEDDING
By Ayana Bryant-Weekes
The fairytale love story is any girl’s dream, but as we all know, behind every fairytale is an ambitious girl who put in WERK to make her dreams come true. We caught up with our cover girl, the newly married Lauren Wilson, to hear her love story and find out exactly how much WERK it takes to live happily ever after. This Fairytale is based on true events.
Once upon a time, there was a Princess who often dreamed of living her best life and made a habit out of making her dreams come true. The princess had just graduated from Bowling Green State University, celebrated her twenty-second birthday and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with an open mind and an open heart. A pink and green Girl’s Night Out led the princess to meet a charming gentleman, and the two became great friends. The Georgian Gentleman invited the Princess to The Burning Sands Ball to celebrate his brother’s birthday, and she cheerfully accepted. Atlanta was treating the princess exceptionally well and had become her happy place where there was no shortage of exciting things to do. She'd be able to build her best life in the Empire State of The South! One weekend the princess found herself with more than one Saturday night invite— a friend had also invited the princess to the 26th Annual Atlanta Football Classic, but it was the same night as the ball. Respectfully, the princess declined but, on the eve of the Burning Sands Ball, the Princess received word from the Georgian Gentleman that old love, another Pink and Green girl, had returned and would also be in attendance. Confused yet un-phased, the Princess insisted that his ex-lover's presence wouldn’t dare interfere with their celebration. Frankly, the Georgian Gentleman withdrew his invitation to the ball and left the princess confounded.
The Princess refused to let this ruin her weekend and thankfully, her ticket to the Atlanta Football Classic was still available. After the game, the Princess and a few of her friends went to hang out and celebrate South Carolina State’s victory over North Carolina A&T. As the Princess of Detroit Real Estate danced and celebrated with the team, the princess had everyone asking “Who is that?!” Suddenly, a tall, honey-colored man stepped forward, held out his hand and confidently declared, “That’s me.” It was love at first sight. The real Estate Princess and her Honeycomb King spent a magical night walking, talking and holding hands along the downtown Atlanta skyline. The two were inseparable and became the best of friends. The Honeycomb King was spellbound by the way the Princess carried herself, and craved her conversation and her time even more. As they fell deeper and deeper in love, the King desired to spend forever with the Princess, and there was no doubt in her mind that she had met the perfect guy. So when the King asked the Princess to be his Queen, without hesitation, she granted him his only wish. Before the Queen met her King, she spent her time having fun, enjoying life and the Georgia dating scene. Love was on the Queen’s To-Do List, and though it wasn’t a high priority, the Queen still knew exactly what her love would be like. See, the Queen was not one to eat the bread of idleness; she was very specific in her dealings and liked to consider a field before she bought it, thus, often ended up with her heart’s desire without settling for anything less. The Queen had only been in Atlanta for one month when she and a friend attended a singles’ conference hosted by Pastor Dr. R.A Vernon. He instructed the singles to write 10 ideal characteristics for a spouse and pray for them. The Queen prayerfully penned a character sketch of her King, bowed her head in prayer and three weeks later, the queen met her Honeycomb King on the same night of a canceled date.
Lauren’s Husband Checklist
Desires to attend church
I pray he is not my total opposite
Share similar life goals
In a fraternity *It doesn’t hurt to ask right?
When all the Queen’s family and all the Queen’s friends heard about the new love she had found, they were overjoyed and couldn’t wait to witness the fairytale wedding, even more, the Queen couldn’t wait to dig into planning this magical day. The Queen was an organized woman, and even though the King released a royal declaration decreeing that the Queen was free to plan as she pleased, she made a great effort to keep her and her King on the same page of this fairytale. The King and Queen worked hard to make sure this day was perfect and every detail had to reflect their fairytale love story. This was not an easy task but the Queen was also a resourceful woman; she made a Bridal To-Do list, rolled up her sleeves, and got right to WERK.
Lauren’s Bridal To-Do List 1. Don’t Be A Bridezilla! I wanted a fairytale wedding, I wanted specific things done, but I wanted to stay peaceful!
2. Get A Wedding Planner! I met Suhair Kalahbet in July 2014, and I said whenever I get married, I’m using her! I wanted the entire wedding to reflect who I am, what I like, and my fairytale love. Ultimately, Suhair gave me peace because she handled everything! I even worked up until two days before the wedding, but I was fine because I knew it was handled!
3. Focus On The Home We Want! It was important to purchase our home, as a realtor I understood that when this was all said and done, and we’re married, it would make sense for us to own our home together. We made sure to spend time figuring out exactly what we wanted in a home and figuring out how we would handle the actual purchase with me as Dominic’s realtor. In the end, I was his real estate agent, and he bought the home; after the wedding, I added myself on the deed to the house. 4. Skin Care! I didn’t want any acne to show under my makeup, I didn’t mind a few blemishes, but as long as my unedited photos were still nice, I was good! I drank a lot of water to stay hydrated and unintentionally lost 11 pounds from eating a balanced diet of mostly Oatmeal, Salad, and Chicken and staying busy with work and the wedding. I ended up going from a 24 to a SNATCHED 22-inch waist— I had to have my wedding dress taken in TWICE! 5. DON’T GET DRUNK! This is some of the best advice Suhair gave us. We didn’t want to miss the moment so we literally only drank Champagne during the toast, and for the rest of the night? WATER! Planning this wedding wasn’t perfect (we won’t even talk about the seating chart fiasco), but it was still an exciting part of the fairytale. Thankfully, the King and Queen did A LOT of praying and like always, and God came through for them in the most special way. As members of Triumph Church under Pastor Solomon Kinloch for two years, it was the King and Queen’s desire to have their pastor officiate the ceremony. This detail of their fairytale was so important that the King and Queen reached out a full year in advance but unfortunately; Pastor Kinloch had five other weddings to Officiate on May 26. The Queen was saddened by the disappointing news, BUT GOD! Within 15 minutes, the Queen received another phone call saying that Pastor Kinloch would, in fact, be able to officiate their ceremony! The King and Queen saw God’s hand at work in many more ways on their special day. Every single thing that they planned went exactly how they practiced and prepared for it to go— starting with the King, his well-timed groomsmen and the King’s amazing surprise during their pre-ceremony gift exchange. The Queen left clues for the King as the time came closer. He may have had an idea that a very nice watch was coming his way, but the Queen was caught completely off guard by her gift. Before the big day, the King had his queen list 8 items that her heart desired and after mentioning the typical jewelry, perfume etc., on the day of their wedding, the Queen unwrapped a Black Leather Chanel Bag before she even met her King at the altar! (Talk about expectations exceeded!) Among the many magical components of this fairytale wedding, the King and Queen made sure to honor both sides of their families through tradition. Even before there was a wedding to plan, the King set out on a noble quest to ask his future mother and father –in- law for their princess's hand in marriage. During their ceremony, they lit a Unity Candle to symbolize the two becoming one and Jumped The Broom which signified entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family. The King and Queen carried these meaningful traditions into their union. And though tradition calls for the Bride’s family to foot the wedding bill, both the King and Queen chipped in on certain must-haves (like an open bar at the reception!). True to the Queen’s upbringing, the King and Queen made sure not to accumulate debt by paying everything in cash. Some might call the task grand, but when your first dance is enclosed in a circle of your closest friends holding Sparklers while you’re floating on a cloud, the only thing that can ruin the fairytale is post-wedding debt. Equally, the only thing that can top the perfect first dance is a free wedding cake—which is exactly what the Queen’s mother gifted the new couple. Sadly, aside from all the support the King and Queen received, they also encountered discouraging comments about being married at 25 years old, not having dated or even lived enough, but that only brought the two closer, especially as the wedding neared. Throughout their relationship—and more-so as they approached the wedding day—the King and Queen often discussed things like religion, finances, goals, career, and parenting to make sure they stayed in sync with each other during the process despite any outside influences. The King and Queen sustained their natural connection with each other and were able to enjoy their magical day freely. After their fairytale wedding, the King and Queen set out to live happily together after and their first stop on the Best Life trail was Ocho Rios, Jamaica for their fairytale honeymoon where a candlelit seaside dinner awaited the newlyweds. The two were in no rush to get back, but their new home and life were also eagerly waiting for them. As soon as she came home from her honeymoon, the Queen’s best friend bought a new home in Cleveland and was having a housewarming that she couldn’t miss! The Queen always upheld a high level of organization to keep a low level of stress to maintain a good life balance, which was not always easy but she made it happen. Between school, work and business, family, friends and now a new husband, the Queen had an even fuller plate than before but hard work (and strategy) pay off. The King and Queen had their fairytale wedding on a glorious Saturday in May in the presence of God, family, and friends and continue to live purposefully. Happily Ever After. Here’s what’s next for the Wilsons! - Pay off our home in FULL and be 100% debt free - Travel together and enjoy each other as a couple - Children (Hopefully by the time I’m 30, but it’s God’s plan - 100% Housewife/mom
Images by Breann White