If what comes to mind when you hear the phrase “law and order” is the long-running television series or the subject of a political stump speech, prepare for a reset.
Bride: Jasmine Rucker-Burnside, 26, attorney, native of Gainesville, Georgia
Groom: Darien Burnside, 29, police officer, native of Mt. Vernon, New York
Current Residence: Morrisville, North Carolina
Wedding Date: June 18, 2022
Venue: The Canopy, SouthPark, in Charlotte
Darien and I met about four years ago. I had moved to North Carolina to attend law school at North Carolina Central University. Darien was in the police academy. We met on Tinder. We talked and texted for a few days, then agreed to meet for the first time.
We decided to go to Maggiano’s. That was my second time going there, but the first time in North Carolina. I guess Darien had eaten there often, because he raved about their food. We both ordered a drink and dinner. I ordered chicken alfredo which, surprisingly, I didn’t like. Darien ended up having to split his meal with me. After dinner, we went to see a movie. I believe it was “Thor.” It was a really nice evening. The conversation was great, and we just connected. We continued to date for about two years before he asked me to marry him.
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There wasn’t one specific moment when I knew I had met the one. It was more of an accumulation of things, like how thoughtful he was. An example was the time he gave me a surprise birthday party.
I love my birthday. One year he invited all of my friends from law school over for a surprise party. He had all of my favorite foods and gave me a gift with a picture of my late grandmother, who I was extremely close with.
Darien proposed on September 23, 2020. He picked me up from my apartment and took me to Bleu Olive Bistro in Durham. Before we went in, I noticed him going to the back of his car and taking something out of the trunk. I could tell that he was a little nervous but wasn’t sure what was going on. I just played it all off.
We went into the restaurant, and they sat us down. Then Darien excused himself, got up and started walking toward the hostess area. He was gone for a few minutes before coming back. He told me that he went to asked the hostess about the location of the restrooms. I knew he didn’t go to the restroom because it was literally three tables away from where we were sitting. I assumed something was going on, but I didn’t know what, so I didn’t say anything. We ordered our food and talked.
After eating our entree, he asked me if I wanted some champagne. I was like, “Okay, that’s cool.” While our waitstaff was pouring the champagne, he got down on one knee. He had written a note outlining what he wanted to tell me, but he was too nervous to read it. Instead, he just told me what was in his heart. Then he asked me to marry him. It was very sweet. We had been talking about getting married for a while. I just didn’t know that he was planning to propose on that day.
Our engagement photos were taken in a park in downtown Charlotte. Lots of people were walking by, and they stopped to congratulate us. Passing cars honked their horns. It was all very romantic.
Wedding planning was not too stressful. I was still studying for the bar, so everything remained very laid back and relaxed until the summer of 2021. That is when we found our venue. We already knew who we wanted to be in our bridal party, so it didn’t take long to make the bridal party proposal boxes and send them out.
Darien was really helpful. We toured all the venues together, and he was there for meetings with the decorator, florist and cake tasting. I made sure to include him whenever he was interested. Our wedding planner was The Silk Veil by Ivy. They were very helpful and made sure everything went smoothly.
Our wedding was everything we could have hoped for. We had 145 guests who came from Georgia, South Carolina, New York and North Carolina. The ceremony was traditional and started at 4:30 p.m. We wrote our own vows. I had been looking forward to hearing Darien’s vows. He did an awesome job.
Near the end of the ceremony, our families lit a unity candle. My mother and father lit one candle, while Darien’s parents lit the other. Darien and I took those candles and lit the center candle. The point of the unity candle was to visually signify that we were connecting two families and becoming one.
The reception was beautiful and a lot of fun. I was excited for my family members who hadn’t met Darien to finally get the chance to meet him. The tables were decorated with candles with lilac, purple, and white flowers. Our entrance song was “Welcome to the Party” by Pop Smoke. Our first dance was to ‘Here and Now’ by Luther Vandross. My father and I shared a dance to “Isn’t she Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. Many people said he was dancing like James Brown as he glided across the floor. Darian and his mother danced to “Mama” by Boys II Men. The party lasted well into the evening.
Following the wedding, we spent two wonderful weeks in the Dominican Republic.
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Wedding Planner: The Silk Veil by Ivy
Photographer: Paris Love Photography
Videographer: Truevision Productions
Venue: The Canopy SouthPark
Cake: Sweet It Is – Charlotte
Florals: April Floral Expressions