Have you ever attended a surprise wedding? Jocelyn and her husband pulled off one of the best weddings without the stress of planning a wedding. Read their beautiful love story and find out why they decided to plan such a big surprise.
Photographer: Donnell Perry Photography
The Best Surprise Wedding | NaturalHairBride
Please share your engagement story and how you met?
Jocelyn and I met for the first time in 2010 at her sister’s house in Greensboro, NC. We laughed, talked and flirted in Janiya’s living room for about 3 hours. Before we parted ways that evening, we exchanged numbers and set plans for a future date — I thought I was in there! Fast forward to 2015. After a lot of ignored text messages from Jocelyn and never received “tell Jocelyn I said what’s up” messages through our sisters — we met again when my sister, Hershey, asked us to co-emcee her wedding reception. Being the planner Jocelyn is, she would call me the weeks leading up to the wedding. She had spreadsheets, diagrams, and detailed visuals about how this reception was supposed to happen. But my main goal when she would call me about the wedding was to make her smile and laugh as much as I could. Honestly, it had been so long since we last saw each other I couldn’t even remember what she looked like. And I did not care. The thing I could remember most vividly over all the years was how she made me feel the first time we met in Greensboro. The wedding came and we successfully hosted the reception and have been successfully hanging out every weekend since. I’ll just add a particularly “successful hangout” story from December 7, 2017. Harold and I had been considering purchasing a home for several months. Our good friends, Vershae and Jason, found a townhouse they loved here in Raleigh and they invited us to check it out. Two days after that, Harold and I set up a tour of another available unit in the same neighborhood. We toured the townhouse at 10am and signed the contract around 2pm that same day. Harold and I each went back to work, but Harold only lasted an hour. He was so excited about our future home purchase that he decided he was going to scrap his previous proposal plan and propose to me that evening. He suggested that we go to dinner to celebrate the signing of the house contract. I was totally oblivious that he chose our first date location for dinner that night: Fiction Kitchen. At dinner, I excitedly exclaimed, “I know we’ve been talking about getting engaged, but I am SO excited about our townhouse that I don’t even care when we get engaged anymore!” Little did I know, the ring was in Harold’s pocket. After dinner, he proposed on the Boylan Street Bridge and I cried like the bucket of water that I am.
Where was your first date? What did you do?
We went to Fiction Kitchen ( I was a vegetarian at the time). After dinner, we went bar hopping in downtown Raleigh. Our first kiss was that night as well (don’t judge us! lol). It was at the Architect Bar. Fitting, considering Harold is an architect. Haha
Describe your wedding dress style?
I wore my mother’s wedding dress that she wore 40 years ago this year. We altered the sleeves to make them tighter and we cut the back out. We didn’t have to change the length, width, size, etc. at all. It was crazy. My mom’s dress was a size zero and I never thought I could wear it because I haven’t been a size zero since high school. Then when I got diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2016, the medication caused me to lose 20 lbs that I haven’t been able to put back on. So, I was a size zero and was able to wear my mom’s dress.
Tell us about his groomsmen?
So we didn’t do the traditional “boys are groomsmen, women are bridesmaids.” Harold’s siblings stood on his side: his brother, Heath Mallette, was the best man; his sister, Harolynn Coplin, was the best woman.
Tell us about your bridesmaids?
My sister, Janiya Mitnaul Williams, was my matron of honor (I was her maid of honor! ) and my brother, Justin Mitnaul, was my man of honor.
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding?
Surprise wedding!!! We wanted our guests to think they were attending our engagement brunch. It took a lot of pressure and stress off of us and the guests to not think they were attending a wedding. As I described previously, Harold and I have received many “surprised” from life and we wanted our guests to realize that they can always roll with whatever life hands them. Even if it’s a wedding when they thought it was going to be an engagement brunch. It was so much fun and everyone (except one friend, who wanted to be in the wedding. smh and lol) had a wonderful time.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Surprising our guests with a wedding!!
What are your favorite things to do together?
Traveling, road tripping, going to museums, bar hopping, dining out, cooking, biking
Any funny stories about yourselves?
I always laugh thinking about the day Harold proposed. We had been in the market for a house for several months. We signed a contract for what I consider to be my dream townhome on the afternoon of Dec 7th. Harold suggested that we go to dinner that night to celebrate signing the house contract and I quickly agreed. At dinner, I said to Harold, “I know we’ve been ring shopping and I’m excited to get engaged soon, but I’m SO excited about this townhouse that I don’t even care when you propose!” Little did I know, the engagement ring was in Harold’s pocket when I said that. Hahaha He proposed after dinner that night.
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