A Chic, Elegant Wedding at Bakery 105 in Wilmington, North Carolina

Joy Pearsall (36 and a clinical research associate) and Cuncho Brown (38 and a security consultant) met at a social gathering in North Carolina in 2000, communicated for months, then lost touch. When Joy moved to New York five years later, Cuncho called (he was already living there, and he’d heard from his cousin that Joy had moved to New York). They went out the following night, dated casually for years, then finally decided to be exclusive. They got engaged on Joy’s birthday in 2014, “and the rest is history,” she says. They got married at The Atrium in Wilmington, North Carolina, with an open-air roof, greenery walls, exposed brick and wooden benches providing the perfect backdrop of classic Southern charm and modern-chic elements. “It created the ambiance of a magical day,” Joy says. She wore a stunning sheath gown with a crisscross back and fluted bottom, a birdcage veil, mini diamond drop earrings, makeup that gave her a “slight sunkissed glow,” and a short hairstyle. Two bridesmaids wore lightweight yet elegant black chiffon formal-length gowns; the couple's young son, Mason, wore a classic black tux and black-and-white Converse as the ring bearer and lone groomsman; and the groom was stylish in a custom black suit (complete with red suspenders—a detail he kept as a surprise). After Joy and Cuncho exchanged vows in front of a beautiful wall of roses, a jazz band serenaded the group down the street to Bakery 105, where guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on a patio before moving indoors. A Chic, Elegant Wedding at Bakery 105 in Wilmington, North Carolina exuded a modern, sophisticated, elegant vibe, with tables decorated in four-inch black-and-white table runners, dramatic arrangements of tree branches, fancy petal linens featuring arrangements of white garden roses, and plenty of candles. For their meal, Joy and Cuncho had a family-style Southern seafood boil, including lobster, crab, shrimp, corn on the cob, boiled potatoes and vegetables. After dinner, guests enjoyed vanilla cake with amaretto liqueur and custard and butter biscuits as favors. After the jazz band wrapped up the ceremony and cocktail hour entertainment, a DJ took over, keeping the dance floor packed with music from the 1990s, early 2000s R&B and hip-hop and crowd favorites for all ages. With all the details of planning a big wedding and the different opinions that come into play, it's important not to lose sight of what you love, Joy says. “You have to be sure you are making selections that tell the story you want to convey," Joy says. "But be sure that story is something you would want to go back and look at in pictures in five or 10 years. Stay true to yourself.” —Chrissy Sorenson