Cynthia and Folarin's Elegant, Timeless Wedding

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We love a wedding that incorporates a little bit of the bride and groom’s personalities and their culture. Cynthia and Folarin’s wedding is one to swoon over!

Cynthia and Folarin wanted a timeless and elegant wedding, with a hint of vintage flair. They enlisted the help of

How did you two meet?
We met in Maryland on July 16th, 2011. Every summer, Cynthia’s friends throw a house party called Festivus. At the time, Cynthia lived in New York and decided to drive down with some other friends. Folarin lived in NJ and got invited to drive down to Maryland by some friends. At some point during the night, our paths crossed. We exchanged numbers and a week later, we went on our first date. We were officially a couple later that year. As life plans go, I found my self in DC for residency. Years later, we decided to get married in the city where we first met.

Fun fact: The house where we met was our wedding DJ’s house.

We knew early on that we were going to get married and had started planning without a ring. We did not get officially engaged until summer 2017. We had a really intimate proposal at home.

Anything super unique about the big day?

My dad passed away in September 3, 2011. We chose our wedding date to honor him and put a sparkle back in the month of September. Also, he is an identical twin and I had the honor of having his twin brother walk me down the aisle. My father was there and it was perfect!

Where did you wed and why did you pick the venue/site?
We took it back to Maryland, where we first met. We got married at St. John the Evangelist, Wheaton, MD. Cynthia’s family is Catholic and they are parishioners there.

Our reception venue was The Ballroom, Bethesda. One of the key things we wanted was a space that we could transform. We were adamant that we wanted a venue without carpet! The ballroom is a true Tabula rasa and we loved the way it transformed into our perfect space. It also worked out perfectly in terms of proximity to our ceremony venue.

Tell us about the wedding dress!
My style was timeless elegance with a touch of drama and vintage. I knew it had to be silk! My dress was Austin Scarlett’s Gentry in Silk Radzmir. It was Ivory and the bow in the back added that subtle drama.

I wore my hair in a natural textured, low bun. My make up and earrings brought the vintage elements, with the vintage Chanel pearl button earrings and pin up red lips.

Describe the Groom’s and Groomsmen look
I wore a custom fitted blue tuxedo with black lapels from Miguel Wilson Collections. My groomsmen wore navy blue suits with personalized chartreuse ties and pocket squares, embroidered in plum, to match the dresses of the bridesmaids.

What inspired your theme/style? What was your color palette? Why was it important to you?

I really wanted a color palette that stood out. I had always loved the mix of Chartreuse and Plum. I knew that Chartreuse was a difficult color to capture and any small deviation and you were in lime green territory. I saw it a welcomed challenge and decided to incorporate it in my bridal party fashion and decor. I actually went down to mood fabrics in Manhattan to pick the perfect shade of chartreuse for the bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen’s ties/pocket squares. This challenge was one of my favorites of wedding planning, as it allowed me take into my creative side, and helped me push through when things got difficult.

Folarin’s last name is Tella and this helped us settle on a social media hashtag: #tellalovestory. I felt like a genius when it came to me. I decided to incorporate our love story in the paper goods. We had pop up invitations which our guests could keep long after the wedding. It incorporated the skyline of a Maryland city and the flag of Maryland. We also had place cards, with each guests’ name, that read “every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite. #tellalovestory”

During the ceremony did you use and religious or cultural elements or traditions?

We had a traditional Catholic wedding. Our parents dressed up in matching traditional Nigerian attire.

What inspired your reception style?
The color palette, Chartreuse and plum, influenced our reception decor. For our sweetheart area, we challenged our decorator to give us something she hadn’t done before, so we came up with adding florals to the mirror structure. This was complimented by the floral garlands flowing from either side of the sweetheart table. I really wanted all the mirror details to add elegance and capture the light. It was perfect!

What menu items did you serve?

Folarin’s mom is a wonderful chef and owns a Nigerian restaurant in New Jersey. It was a no-brainer to have her cater the wedding. We had traditional Nigerian foods served. We wanted variety and having well fed guests was very important. We had 4 menu options: Jollof rice with beef, fish and plantain; Yam porridge with plantain beef and fish; White rice, stew, plantain and fish; Pounded with Efo riro (vegetable soup) with beef. Having these on the RSVP cards for guests to pick ahead of time, made for a seamless plated dinner. Long after the wedding, we still get compliments about the food!

Describe your cake.
Our cake was 5 tiers, all real, white fondant with one giant rose petal that was ombre from plum in the center to white with chartreuse dusted edges.

Where did you all go on your honeymoon?

We spent a blissful 7 days in Maui.

Any tips you would share with other couples getting married?

Decide early on what is important to you on your big day. Working with a planner helps with this. For us, we knew the fun, the food and the fashion were a big deal. Once those were in place, we knew we were good. Above all, make sure you have the best time because it is true, it flies by!