A Durham, NC wedding beautifully covered by Elizabeth Cayton

Everything about this wedding and this feature made me all smiley, coupled with the fact that I seriously think Claudia and Zakee really look alike! Coordinating with couples and photographers about featuring a wedding on E.W.A.M is not always the easiest thing that is why I really appreciate those who make my job easier like Claudia and her awesome photographer. Did I also mention this is our second wedding covered where the couple met on match.com? Yup, another exciting point about this feature for me.


Happy viewing and do not forget to check out her vendor reviews below especially if you are in the NC area and planning a wedding***

The Proposal: I travel a lot for work. About a month of so after we started dating I was headed to Connecticut to spend thanksgiving with my family. While on the plane I sent Zakee and email and the title was “4 things”. Four is my favorite number and I felt like this would be a great way for us to get to know each other. I emailed him four things about me and he did the same. As time went on this evolved, it was funny things, serious things, things that happened at work, etc. We did this for months, literally about 8 months and it gave us something to look forward to. About three months before he proposed, I found all these emails as Google keeps them all in one chain. I went back and read all of them and it was so funny to see how far we had come in our relationship since then.

So at Christmas, he was awesome, got me all kinds of great things, boots, headphones, etc. Lastly he looks up in front of my family and says “Claudia I have one more gift for you. You see about 26 months ago we met at a coffee shop…” Then he start to talk about our relationship and how much fun we have had and how we got to know each other playing this game called “4 things”. So he says “I have one more “four things” question for you, ‘will you marry me?’” Absolutely!! And the rest is history!–written by the Bride

Name of Couple: Claudia & Zakee 
Wedding Date: October 6, 2012
Ceremony Venue: First Calvary Baptist Church
Wedding Theme: Simple, Elegant, Clean, Us.
Wedding Dress(es) Designer: Galina Signature / Ralph Lauren
Wedding planner: The Bride
Month of Coordination: Bliss By Sam
Make-Up: Sharon Davis – S. Davis Make-up Artistry
Hair Stylist: Dedra Smallwood – Amaka’s International Hair
Photography: Elizabeth Cayton – Elizabeth Cayton Photography
Videography: Inkspot Crow Films
Wedding Cake: Greg Bingham – The Art of Cake

Cake by Greg Bingham – The Art of Cake

The Planning Journey

I am a planner by nature, and profession, so it was really exciting to be able to plan my own event! We got engaged at Christmas and naturally I was really excited and ready to get started on the planning. After talking with my fiance we decided to target the September/October time frame  Next up was deciding on the location, where we were going to get married; in Atlanta where we reside, or my hometown of Durham, NC. I loved my home church and the reception venue so once we looked at dates and locked it in, the rest was history.

After that, we decided that we would meet about the wedding once a week, each Sunday I would give my fiance all the details and we would make decisions together. It worked great, I got to handle all the details and things I like to do during the week but he was still involved in every major decision about the wedding, it was a celebration for both of us and this ensured that we were both involved – and I didn’t overload him!

Once we decided on all the vendors, I would say my favorite planning moment was just seeing it all come to light and become a reality. It was like the gift that kept on giving; engagement photos, save the dates, invites, calligraphy, picking out all the special things along the way, I had a blast doing it!

Its seemed like things moved so quickly and then the big day was upon us, my favorite part – really our favorite part, was just the entire day, sharing that day and really the days leading up to it with all of our family  and friends who have seen us through this journey in life was UNBELIEVABLE!

We had so much fun and have said since the wedding we wish we could do it all over again.

Vendor Review-Hair 

Dedra (from Amaka’s International Hair) and I have known each other since high school! I was so excited that have her work on my hair. We did a trial during my bridal portraits and she knocked it out of the park, it was better than I could have imagined. The day of, she did all my maids, my mom, mother-in law and flowers girls hair. My grandmothers also had their hair done the day before.

Vendor Review-Make-up 

If you want your make-up to look flawless, call Sharon! When I booked her she was already unavailable for my date but promised to provide me with a top make up artists on her team. During my trial we worked on the look and appropriate colors. Sharon then joined me at my bridal portraits. After having such a great time and really getting to know one another she was able to rework her schedule. She came for my make-up on my big day and had two assistants to handle the wedding party and touch me up throughout the day.

Vendor Review-Photographer

The photos speak for themselves. Elizabeth is AMAZING! I can’t say enough how much it fun it was work with her. Her packages are awesome and we were able to customize our services to our needs. Her team was great the day of and we never even noticed they were there, a sign of a true professional.

Vendor Review-Videographer 

Ummm, please check out their blog, enough said! Philip and MacKenzie were so much fun to work with, and are just great people in general! We can’t wait to see the video in a few months and are so excited to have the memories of our wedding live on in video for generations to come.

Vendor Review-Month Of Coordinator 

The Bliss by Sam team is phenomenal. The month before the wedding we decided to buy a house, I literally could not focus on the wedding as we had to pack, sell my other place and close on the new one, all in the three weeks prior to the wedding. I told LaShayla this and she stepped in right on time, handling all the vendors prior to our big day. It was an amazing thing to not have to lift a finger but just watch and enjoy my big day!

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About The Author

Wedding Blog Editor & Consultant

Gee || Jesus Lover || Wedding Blog Editor- KnotsVilla (Blog for theme-ful, Prop-ful, Color-ful & Culture-ful Weddings || Wedding Planning? I'd be the best e-friend you ever had!

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