Program analyst/ system administrator
Aug 10, 2019
Prep - Courtyard by Marriott Greenbelt
Ceremony / Reception - Martin's Crosswinds
How You Met
We met at prom in 2008 (although Kenneth was dating someone at the time). So Nicole played her part as the Facebook friend for the next few years. One day, in 2014, Nicole posted about how she was looking for work in the IT field and Kenneth messaged her to help her find a job. From there, we started a friendship that lead to our first date and that's how it all began.
How did you know they were the one?
Nicole: I knew Kenneth was the one before our first date! I was impressed by how concerned he was with making a good impression on my mother! He wanted to make sure she wouldn't mind his tattoos. He was nothing less than gentlemen-like and very honest on our first date and only got better after that! Slowly but surely I fell in love with him and now I am his wife!
Kenneth: Simply put, when I realized she was praying for me. I always tried to grow spiritually on my own, but having a partner in spiritual growth really helps. I always felt that was a gap in my life and lifestyle, and she helps me grow and fill that gap.
Kenneth told me that we were going to celebrate us buying a new house! Little did I know, he had been planning for weeks and weeks a surprise dinner with both of our families! At dinner I see our families and I thought I had forgotten someone’s birthday. Then I turn around to see Kenneth reaching out for my hand. He proceeded to tell our love story and then got down on one knee and proposed! I was so shocked and elated that I could barely speak, so I tearfully shook my head yes! And then scolded our families for lying to me about their plans! They all said they were doing other things that weekend. Needless to say, I was surprised and so happy!
Nicole: It was stressful for me, I thought I had found the dress for me on the first round but I hadn't. The next time I went looking is when I found the one! And from there it was a breeze! Everything else fell into place after I found my dream dress. Kenneth: It was fun pulling the pieces together first as thoughts and samples. I made several trips to stores to get the perfect combination of style and color. I regularly wear suits, ties, and bowties, and I knew I wanted to do something extra special for the wedding day. To meet that mark I explored ascots and wore my first ascot on our wedding day. It's my new favorite accessory.
Advice for Engaged Couples
Nicole: The best advice I could give would be to get marriage counseling! It is very important to have a neutral party to talk to about planning a wedding, and learning how to properly love one another as well. You want to ensure that you will have a loving and successful marriage. The best way to do that would be to seek counseling! Love is beautiful but you'll need more than love to have a successful relationship and marriage! Kenneth: Keep the opinions and thoughts about your marriage and wedding day out of the conversation. The relationship is between the two of you. Communicate with each other often, even when you don't quite understand each other's points. Clarity only comes through communication.
Describe Your Wedding
I would say our wedding style was romantic and one of a kind! Our colors were burgundy gold and cream.
First Dance Song
Everything - Ella Mai ft. John Legend
Nicole: My favorite memory is when I turned the corner walking down the aisle and I saw my husband standing at the altar excited and happy! So handsome!
Kenneth: Seeing her for the first time that day as she walked around the corner. Her first words to me when we met at the altar were "Hey!", something so simple, yet amazing, settled the butterflies in my stomach
Wedding Party Gifts
Nicole: I got my girls personalized travel bags with wallets and personalized silk robes!
Kenneth: I gave the gentlemen custom gold cufflinks with the first letters of their name engraved.
Favorite Menu Item
Nicole: My favorite thing on the menu was the crab cake! It was also the only thing I ate that night!
Kenneth: The steak!
THANK YOU, MR. & MRS. GRAVES!
We had an absolute blast not only on your wedding day, but during the entire process and getting to know you both. We are truly happy for you both and look forward to watching your love grow. Wishing you both nothing but the absolute best -- SR & TS
Planner - We planned our own wedding! (High five)
Coordinator - Lolita Brown
Decor - Lolita Brown
Hair - Kelly Hubbard
Barber - Nicole Graves, (I only cut Kenneth's hair though)
Bridal Boutique - Nordstrom Wedding Suite
Menswear - Macy's
Officiant - Pastor Colin Pugh