Puppy Love Becomes Wedded Bliss at the Hilton Charlotte University Place
We hear it all the time, boy meets girl … girl likes boy; eventually they marry and build a beautiful life together. Well as Thalya tells it, her journey with George began almost thirty years ago back in high school. They attended the same school and became close friends. In high school it was referred to as puppy love. George was that caring young man who walked her to class before the bell rang. He waited for Thalya at her locker. He was the one she just couldn’t seem to live without. Thalya said their young love was really something special. She even admits that she was his first kiss. Their relationship changed after graduation. The two went their separate ways and disconnected while living life as it were, each starting new families with amazing careers.
As Thalya puts it, there’s a season and time for everything. Through the power of social media, their paths would cross again. They rekindled their friendship by connecting and communicating on Facebook which led to phone calls. Thalya said after a lengthy phone conversation on January 3, 2016, she sent her friend a text with a picture of George telling her friend she was going to marry this man. I guess when you know … you just do! For George and Thalya, were very different this time around. They had experienced many life obstacles but the pair knew God had connected them back together for a reason. On Mother’s Day 2018, George proposed. During a family dinner, he dropped to one knee and said Thayla, “My queen, I love you. Will you marry me?” Through smiles and tears, her answer was “yes”!
Their Venue: Hilton Charlotte University Place
George and Thalya’s wedding took place at the Hilton Charlotte University Place located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s one of the top venues for hosting a wedding in the university area. It was a beautiful stopping point during many travels the couple made while visiting their property in Virginia. The couple, who lives in Atlanta, loves the City of Charlotte and the peaceful, pretty area surrounding the hotel. Thalya shared with me that there were many romantic walks around the lake and on one of those walks, they stopped to watch the wedding of a couple who were getting married on the dock. That’s when they decided the Hilton would be their wedding destination.
The stylish Hilton Charlotte University Place features indoor and outdoor ceremony options and accommodates up to 500 guests. The guests were all traveling from out of town too so the lodging at the Hilton Charlotte University Place made it the perfect place for George and Thalya to host their wedding. The lakeside dock with the beautiful scenery surrounding it is where outdoor events can take place; of course, if the weather permits. Just in case it doesn’t, the Hilton Charlotte Place has a variety of elegant indoor event spaces with windows showcasing the beautiful lakeside view. The wedding staff at the Hilton will make sure everything will come easy from selecting the space for your event to the great food tastings. If you’re searching for a great place to host your wedding, The Hilton Charlotte University Place should not be overlooked!
Planning the Unique Event
Preserving their precious new memories together was top-of-mind for the couple so George and Thalya planned ahead and booked Jpellin Video + Design six months in advance. The process was fast and simple! We met at the Hilton to arrange details while they were in town on business and kept the lines of communication open until the event. Getting to know the couple was an honor and I was excited that they chose us to capture their special day.
George and Thalya had envisioned an all white wedding with white wedding party attire and all-white decorations with a touch of yellow. The floral arrangements were a gorgeous variety of white roses and greenery by Narcisse Greenway Designs. Narcisse Greenway is a premier floral boutique located in Charlotte, North Carolina. The owner’s designs are unique with both trendy and traditional designs to suit the needs of every couple’s taste.
The Hilton Charlotte University Place had various gourmet dinners to select from. George and Thalya offered guests a choice of salmon and shrimp, filet mignon or a vegetarian plate with roasted potatoes. After dinner everyone was served a slice of a three-layered wedding cake designed by Cheesecake Etc. The cake was everything George and Thalya envisioned for their wedding. It was decorated with detailed floral designs, white single pearls, and a diamond initial on the top for sparkle. It was every bit as delicious and moist as it was beautiful. The chocolate top layer was the bride’s favorite and the red velvet bottom layer was (you guessed it) the groom’s favorite.
The Wedding Day
As I pulled up to the hotel to get an early set-up for filming George and Thalya’s wedding, I noticed the wind was blowing and the sky was changing rapidly. It had been a rainy week in Charlotte, and we were hoping the storm would pass quickly so the ceremony could take place on the dock. Despite everyone’s mixed thoughts, the bride had to make a decision, it was her day and the hotel staff gave her until noon, to allow them time to set up for the event. It was a very difficult decision but Thalya made the call to move the ceremony indoors. Although inside filming didn’t provide the natural light I was planning on, I was prepared to make the adjustment. There was enough light coming in through the windows that provided natural light which meant I didn’t need to add more artificial lighting. I was able to capture video outdoors and even had time to add drone footage of the beautiful area that was so special to George and Thalya.
After finishing filming outside, I met Thalya in her suite to begin capturing those special, tender moments of preparation. In the middle of Jpellin Video + Design’s signature one-to-one bride session, I noticed the wind outside was picking up and everything looked blurry. The rain and wind were so loud, it was as fierce as a tornado-like storm sweeping through. I looked at the bride, smiled and said … nice call to move indoors. I could tell Thalya had really wanted to say her vows on the dock but once the rain came through it was a sign of relief for her. She’d made the right decision. Despite the unpredictable change, Thalya was ready to walk down the aisle.
Family and friends gathered in the ballroom to witness George and Thalya’s commitment to one another at six o’clock. Everyone was dressed in white – even the DJ.😆 Their goal for making a statement with elegant décor was achieved. It was an amazing look for Jpellin Video + Design to capture on the camera. After pronouncing the two as husband and wife, guests waved little wands with white ribbons that the bride handmade. It was a beautifully coordinated send-off for the couple as they exited.
The captivating reception decorations coordinated throughout the venue in colors of white, and pops of yellow and silver. After the ceremony, the couple went back to their suite to switch things up. They returned to surprised guests who screamed and clapped at George and Thalya now dressed in king and queen African attire. The unexpected change-up worked as planned! Their family and friends, energized for celebration, danced the night away. Each guest was given a swag bag with a candle, bottle of champagne, and glass with a thank you note from the newlyweds.
In Their Words
“Our theme was ‘Living our Best Life’ for the rest of our lives and we wanted to kick that off with our closet friends and family. It was absolutely the celebration we desired which will reside in our hearts and memories for a lifetime. We had a few memorable moments, one was when our vow books went missing and our coordinator found George and I had to speak totally from my heart. The other moment was during the sand ceremony, when we included the guests and had them say a prayer for us over individual vials of sand to be added to ours. That was a very special moment.” Thalya’s advice for future brides is to embrace the entire planning process. “Do not sweat the small stuff or anything really. Everything truly does fall into place. Just simply enjoy the process.”
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Photographer: Enchantment Designs // Wedding & Reception Venue: Hilton Charlotte University Place // Entertainment: DJ Groove