Bride: Cordny Golden, 39, operational risk manager at Ally Bank. (Hometown: Marion, South Carolina)
Groom: Shaun Golden, 44, commercial banker at First Horizon Bank. (Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee)
Wedding Date: July 3, 2021
Venue: Marriott SouthPark in Charlotte
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Cordny: Shaun’s job relocated him from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Charlotte on July 27, 2019. We met during his first week in Charlotte.
Cordny: Our first date was Aug. 2, 2019. We went to Bonefish Grill. We sat for hours and talked until we were basically the only ones left in the restaurant. We were having a great conversation. The chemistry was there. After talking until the restaurant closed, we were forced to leave and continue our conversation outside in the parking lot.
Once in the parking lot, we talked for another extended amount of time. We just had an instant connection. It was obvious that we wanted to see each other more. So, our relationship blossomed quickly.
Cordny: We got engaged on June 8, 2020. It was fantastic, wonderful! Shaun had planned a trip to Cancun, Mexico, for my birthday. That was canceled due to Covid, so we had to stay in Charlotte to celebrate. Unbeknownst to me, Shaun planned a lunch date at a secret location to complete my birthday weekend. It turned into him proposing.
He wouldn’t tell me where we were going. We picked up lunch on the way and headed to the secret location. He took me to this beautiful lake house overlooking Lake Norman. I thought we were just having lunch overlooking the lake. We sat there and sat there, with our lunch. I didn’t know he was going to propose. I was just thinking, “Oh, this is really nice, romantic, because he’s very romantic.” And then next thing, he got down on one knee and proposed.
Cordny: As I look back on the wedding-planning process, I thought it was going to be stressful, but it really wasn’t. I already had my venue, location and date set. I knew exactly what I wanted, and Shaun basically gave me free rein to plan whatever I wanted to, as long as we weren’t blowing the budget. I chose a wedding planner who had previously worked with a good friend of mine. I just needed her to pull everything together. She was excellent and able to recommend vendors that she had experience working with. She was patient, thorough and exceeded my expectations.
I also had my bride tribe. They called themselves the Golden Girls. They were there every step of the way. I had three bridal showers, one shower back home with my family, one given by the Golden Girls and one given by my sorority sisters.
Cordny: We were married July 3, 2021, in a tradition-filled ceremony at Marriott SouthPark. The whole day, from the time I woke up as bride until the end of the wedding, everything was seamless. There were many memorable moments. The first glance as I was walking down the aisle was very memorable for both of us. The rehearsal dinner was the last time we had seen one another. We were both ready to see each other. He looked really handsome in his tuxedo, and everything just seemed to come together.
We did a sand ceremony to demonstrate the joining of our lives, families and friends. We also jumped the broom, symbolizing our officially becoming husband and wife. My sorority sisters serenaded me with a sweetheart song.
Probably the biggest highlight of the reception was when Shaun serenaded me with a dance as he was taking off the garter. That was a total surprise because Shaun really doesn’t dance a lot and had to really come out of his comfort zone. I’m sitting down in the chair waiting for him to remove the garter and he just started dancing. That was really cool.
The day after our wedding, my parents threw us a big Fourth of July bash.
Cordny: We went to Montego Bay, Jamaica. We had an ocean view with a butler. We didn’t plan any excursions or anything like that. We just really wanted to take everything in and relax.
Cordny offers this advice to couples planning a wedding: Definitely hire a wedding planner or coordinator to bring your vision to life. Don’t ask your friends and family for their opinions about what you want for your day. You and your fiancé should discuss what vision you want. Don’t solicit a lot of feedback or opinions. That can make the process a bit more stressful. Have fun and enjoy the process. Save time to reflect and just let everything soak in. Don’t feel bad about not inviting everyone to your wedding. If you haven’t talk to that person in 15 years, they probably shouldn’t be invited to your wedding.
Wedding Coordinator: The Silk Veil Events by Ivy
Photographer: Dorn-Long Photography
Florist: April’s Floral Expressions
Venue: Charlotte Marriott Southpark
Bride & Groom attire: New York Bride & Groom Charlotte
Cake: Cake Expressions by Lisa
Makeup: Tai Charles
Rentals/Decor: Simply Unique 2177
Videographer: Favor 3D Pro
Hair Stylist: Sharon Monroe
Barber: Freshen Up, LLC
Stationery: Regina Womble-Miller