Ten years ago, Charné took her aunts out for Mother’s Day. They were at the same club where Darryl was celebrating his birthday with friends. They didn’t know each other, but he saw her from across the room. “Her beauty was the first thing that brought me to her,” Darryl says. “But after getting to know her, that’s not even her best quality. Her best qualities are her personality and her kind heart.”
He asked her to dance. “He was hilarious,” Charné says. “I love to laugh and for me, that caught me right away. His smile was gorgeous.”That was the beginning of their relationship. Though they broke up two or three times in the following years, they came back together in 2011, and they commemorated the reunion at Crustacean Restaurant in San Francisco.
In 2015, Darryl proposed at Crustacean, on Valentine’s Day, after a Bay cruise, morning brunch and wine tasting. Darryl presented Charné with his Valentine’s gift—a jewelry box with a ballerina inside. Thrilled with the surprise, she was stunned when she read the inscription:“Our never ending love story starts today.”And there were their names and the date.
“That’s when I started thinking, ‘what does this mean?’” Charné says. “It felt like it was just us…then he got on his knee and my heart was racing, and it was so intense in a very beautiful way. And then I do remember my full name being said, ‘Charné Charlene Brown, will you marry me?’ And the ring, of course, which is gorgeous, and I said yes.”That was when they remembered they were in a restaurant, and realized people at adjoining tables were clapping.
They learned a lot during the planning process, which extended more than a year, and finally the day arrived. As Darryl waited with the officiant—his uncle, a pastor from Pennsylvania—and bridal party at the front, he could see Charné in the distance, before she even started her walk down the aisle. “As soon as I saw her, my eyes just teared up,” Darryl says. “Then she walked down closer and I could see her better, and my eyes just teared up again, and then she came down the aisle, and I was just like, ‘Wow!She looks beautiful, she looks amazing.’”
Since her father lives in South Africa, Charné’s mom walked her down the aisle. “I was worried about my mom as we walked down the aisle. I found myself telling her knock-knock jokes all the way down. So I had some laughter before I actually got to Darryl, but it was very sweet to see him, because he was just in tears, and it was beautiful.”
Though they had trials over the years, “I think we’re stronger than we’ve ever been,” Charné says. “He is so sweet, so caring, loving, even a caretaker. That’s probably one of the things that I love about him the most.”
First Dance Song
“Love of my Life” by Brian McKnight
Father/Daughter Dance Song
Mother/Daughter: “Special Lady” by Ray, Goodman & Brown
Mother/Son Dance Song
“A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men
Money Dance Song
“Over the Rainbow” by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole
Cake Cutting Song
“I Can’t Help Myself” by Four Tops
Bouquet Toss Song
“Tambourine” by Eve
Garter Toss Song
A mix of the following songs:
“Apache” by The Sugarhill Gang
“The Choice is Yours” by Black Sheep
“Let’s Get it On” by Marvin Gaye
Last Dance Song
“Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
Details about the cake
Three tier cake: top tier (white lace with mint coloring), middle tier (gold/metallic), bottom tier (purple ruffles)
Three flavors: chocolate hazelnut, coconut pineapple, white chocolate raspberry
Details about the flowers
Centerpieces: curly willow branches with LED lights, white hydrangeas and stock roses.
Cocktail tables: fall flower mix
Bouquets: Lots of roses, gerbera daisies, white calla lilies, asian lilies and purple tulips (bride’s bouquet had a key attached)
Men: Succulents with an added flower (groom’s had a lock attached)
Details about the favors
Clear bags containing s’mores ingredients tied with a ribbon and an antique key bottle opener. It also had a sticker that had our initials and read “S’more Love” with the date of the wedding. The favors were a DIY project completed by the bride and her bridesmaids.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
My uncle passed away a few weeks ago. I feel very blessed to have shared my day and a dance with him; he was like a dad to me.
Dancing to the Golden Girls sitcom theme song with my cousin who is my best friend.
Watching Darryl dance with my cousin at the end of the night.
Watching her cousin make it through her MOH speech; she is very shy and didn’t think she could do it.
Watching other Mother/Daughter and Son/Mother duo’s dance together at the end of our special dances. It was a special idea that our DJ had.
The bride telling knock knock jokes to her mom down the aisle.
Our photographer Rita was the best! She was flexible and willing to try new things. She also took us out for a second shoot after a mishap happened at our venue that was out of our control. She’s amazing!
Our DJ, Jeremy was fantastic as well. He was like a wedding planner because he had the best tips and ideas!
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Bride: Do your research. You can find hidden gems. Also try to negotiate to stick to your budget. It can go a long way!
Groom: Using the WeddingSpot App on my phone was very helpful for finding venues and making sure that they were in budget.
What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
We wish that we started our wedding earlier so that we could have spent more time with our guests and on the dance floor. The day literally just flew by!
Orchard Creek Lodge Officiant:
Pastor Fred "Rick" Powell (uncle Ceremony Music:
DJ-Infinite Entertainment Photographer:
Temple Photography Videographer:
George Street Photo and Video Wedding Designer:
NC Event Designs Reception Site:
Orchard Creek Lodge Bridal Hair:
Tanera The HairGeek (bridal hair) & Channon Reed (bridesmaids' hair) Bridal Make-up:
Sandra Delgadillo (bridal and bridal party make-up) & Brenda Delgadillo (bridal party make-up) Bridal Attire:
Bride to Be Couture Bridal Veil:
Homemade by family member Bridal Shoes:
David's Bridal Bridesmaids' Attire:
David's Bridal Flowergirl Attire:
David's Bridal Groom’s Attire:
Men's Wearhouse Ringbearer Attire:
Men's Wearhouse Bride's Rings Jeweler:
Aquamarine Jewelers Groom's Rings Jeweler:
Aquamarine Jewelers Save the Date Cards:
Wedding Paper Divas Invitations:
Wedding Paper Divas Place Cards:
Wedding Paper Divas Thank You Cards:
Wedding Paper Divas Wedding Party Flowers:
Deanna Rafanelli, family member; Mary Trimble, assistant Ceremony Flowers:
Deanna Rafanelli, family member; Mary Trimble, assistant Reception Flowers:
Deanna Rafanelli, family member; Mary Trimble, assistant Cake:
Mirabelle European Pastry Café DJ/Entertainment:
Infinite Entertainment Live Band/Musicians:
Denver Saunders Transportation/Limo Services:
Elegance Limousine & Transportation Photo Booth:
The Photo Spot Decor Rentals:
NC Event Designs Decor Rentals:
Crystal Chandeliers Decor Signage:
DIY by friend of the Bride Additional Resources:
NC Event Designs (linens)
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