All feature photos by Josh Wilson Photography
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College sweethearts, Laura Loaiza and Dustin Johnson, first met in the fall of 2009 at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Five years later and just prior to joining their families for a joint Christmas Eve dinner in Uptown, Dustin offered Laura a glass of fine Champagne and passed her an especially timely present. Upon unwrapping her gift, she found a pair of exquisite saddle-brown Burberry gloves to wear that chilly evening. But it’s what was planted inside the left leather glove that truly warmed her heart. Taking the diamond ring, Dustin immediately dropped down to one knee and asked Laura to marry him. After proclaiming “yes!” the two went on to the meet their families and celebrate in style.
Just a few blocks away from their proposal and nearly a year-and-a-half later on April 16, 2016, Dustin and Laura’s nuptials were held at the Charlotte City Club. From the ethereal bridesmaids’ dresses and the luxurious floral centerpieces to the prettiest of gum-paste blossoms adorning their cake, hints of blush pink were found throughout as paired with glamorous gold and timeless black accents. Of course, not a single detail was overlooked by the duo.
In fact, after an extensive search, Laura found her fairytale-worthy frock at the legendary Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City. She explains, “I wanted to try on every kind of dress… lace, beaded, mermaid, ball gown… In the end, it was my mom who found my wedding gown. It was the first dress she pointed out at the store!” Laura’s oh-so-classic A-line gown features lace, crystals, and beading along with layers of tulle and the longest of trains. Truly, the gown could not have been more regal.
Laura and Dustin, in so loving their dear black Labrador, Jax Hugo Johnson, were sure to make arrangements for a dog walker to personally escort him to their ceremony at the city club. Naturally, their dog-child came clad in a matching gold bowtie and ready for their wedding portraits together.
The sweetest of moments continued when Laura, native to Colombia, danced with her father to “Mi Nina Bonita” at their reception. The melody is particularly sentimental because it is the song that Laura’s parents sing to her in Spanish every year on her birthday. “It is something that I will cherish for a lifetime,” Laura reminisces.
And the groom made special plans of his own. “My favorite wedding detail was more of a surprise for my bride,” says Dustin. He knew that a horse-and-carriage was one way in which Laura envisioned ending their magical evening, and so he hinted at meeting with stable-owners. The time came, and their royal exit guided them past a long line of well-wishers bearing sparklers. But instead of riding off on his white horse, this prince had secretly custom-ordered his bride’s dream car, a white BMW X3. There it stood – complete with a giant red bow – and so it was that the newlyweds drove off to the Ritz Carlton instead!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Josh Wilson Photography
WEDDING PLANNING: Erin Padgett Events
CINEMATOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY: Phil Beebe, Go North Pictures
BRIDAL PORTRAIT LOCATION: The Duke Mansion
WEDDING CEREMONY/RECEPTION LOCATION: Charlotte City Club
OFFICIANT: Darrol Hood
CEREMONY MUSIC: Split Second Sound
WEDDING NIGHT HOTEL: The Ritz Carlton
CATERER: Charlotte City Club
CAKE: Ella’s Celestial Cakes
FLORAL DESIGN: Aubrey Rich, Willow Floral Boutique
PAPERIE: Red Stone Press
DJ: Split Second Sound
FAVORS: SugarPop’s Candy and Soda Shop
PHOTO BOOTH RENTAL: ShutterBooth
HAIRSTYLIST: Lindsey Regan Thorne, Be Pretty
MAKEUP: Lindsey Regan Thorne, Be Pretty
GOWN: Kleinfeld Bridal, Danielle Caprese
VEIL: Kleinfeld Bridal
SHOES: Neiman Marcus, Giuseppe Zanotti
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Weddington Way, Jim Hjelm
GROOM’S TUXEDO: Nordstrom, Armani