Fate helped Robin and Calvin Cleveland III cross paths during their final year of college, but it was ultimately true love that brought them together forever.

Their wedding day was illuminated by beauty and joy, and was a true celebration of the vibrant love shared between the couple. This is their romantic story…

There is that one sweet moment when the bride and groom see one ANother for the first time and before you know it, it’s over. Weddings can be magical, but there’s an extraordinary amount of work that goes into making sure everything ties together as you tie the knot. You want everything to be perfect, everyone to be in sync and you want to cherish every second of your special day.

But before we get into the details of the wedding, here are some details about the couple and the events that led to their magical day of matrimony. Robin Cleveland is originally from Massachusetts, but moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to study at the University of Charlotte. Calvin attended the same college, but it was not until after graduation that they met a friend’s party.

They got to talking and the relationship kicked off from there. Robin got her undergrad in public health and later got her Masters in business administration. She now works at Bank of America, and so does her husband.

It came as a complete surprise to Robin when Calvin popped the question. They work on the same floor and normally went to lunch together, so according to Robin, it was nothing out of the norm to go to lunch that day. Little did she know, he had got the manager and supervisor in on everything. They went to lunch at a really fancy restaurant with two floors. As they were walking down the stairs there was a large sign that said, “I made sure to have your nails done.” Robin says she had always told Calvin that if he ever proposed one day she wanted her nails to be done.

As she looked over at the balcony all her family and friends were there, screaming and yelling. It was then that Calvin got down on one knee and asked Robin to marry him.

The rest, as they say, was history, and in this case, a history worth retelling. Robin decided to set the wedding date for exactly a year later and the next step was choosing a venue. Whether in a place of worship, underneath a setting sunset or against the rising tide, when you wait until the walk down the aisle to see one another, that special setting can add meaning and atmosphere to the moment. While planning her dream wedding, Robin fell in love with The Grace Wedding and Events Center in Stateseville, North Carolina.

She recently spoke to Compulsive Magazine about her magical wedding on September 3rd 2016. Looking back a year later, the romance is clearly still alive and we got to hear Robin’s do’s and don’ts of wedding planning, and how to keep the flame burning after the wedding day!

Q: Robin, you are officially our first wedding guest. How does it feel?

Honestly, I feel very excited and honored to be a part of this magazine. I was not expecting anything like this! This is one of the best gifts my God mother and sister ( Publisher & Editor) could’ve ever given me.

Q: Judging from the wedding pictures, everything looked very professionally done. How did you put together such a beautiful wedding?

Well thank you, but in actual fact, nothing about it was professional! I tried to stay within a really tight budget. My fiancée was really all about budgeting. I didn’t even have a wedding planner or a coordinator on the day.

Q: Why did you decide to get married on Labor Day?

You know, I honestly didn’t even think about it. I got engaged the year before on September 4th, so I said let’s just do it exactly a year from this day and it happened to be September 3rd. My friends said Robin, that’s Labor Day, and I completely forgot, but it didn’t really interrupt anything and nobody had plans.

Q: Tell us more about the planning process. How did you do everything without a wedding planner?

From the day I got engaged, I literally made the day up, and from there up until the day of the wedding I starting doing a little every day. I thought I wouldn’t need a wedding planner when I could just start early and do everything. Now in hindsight, I probably would have had a wedding planner just because we were doing a lot at the time, I was selling a house and renovating. But we made it work.

Q: How long did the planning take?

It probably took me about four months in total because I started early, but then I took a break and then started again. I had a lot of support from my family and friends, including my now-mother-in-law. My godmother helped out with the rehearsal and made sure everything went smoothly.

Q: Was there a specific theme you had in mind for the big day?

Not so much a theme but I know I wanted a lot of gold and white. When I saw the venue it already had a lot of white, so I just had to add splashes of gold. I wanted it to be somewhat royal looking but modern at the same time.

Q: How did you find your perfect dress?

There’s a funny story about that. I went to the first store, saw a dress on display and it was the first dress I tried on. I didn’t try on any other dress. As soon as I tried it on, it fit perfectly and my friends were like, Rob don’t try on anything else. I looked in the mirror and I thought, that was it. And it didn’t hurt, because the dress came with a free honeymoon to Paris. It was beautiful.

Q: How many guests did you have & what was the menu like?

There were about 170 guests. The food was amazing; it was all people could talk about! We had a flame steak with sweet and spicy sauce, the other dish was grilled chicken but everything was seasoned and marinated so well. There was also a Fall salad with fruits and nuts inside. It was a very sweet but savory salad. I didn’t go with a traditional cake. I went with mini cupcakes on a display. So, it was red velvet, vanilla, chocolate, and a whole lot of variety so people could just pick up and eat.

Q: Were there any other special items on the wedding itinerary?

We had a few speeches from the best man and my sister. It wasn’t all that traditional, but off course, there was our dance, plus we had a father-daughter and mother-son dance. But our dance was very special, it was to one of my favorite songs ever, Beyonce’s ‘One Plus One’.

Q: Who did your make-up?

My make-up artist was really good. She travelled really far just to come and do our make-up. And it was one make-up artist for eight of us, so the morning of the wedding it was really hectic. We had to wake up at the crack of dawn just to finish on time. I went for a more natural look, so the bridesmaids mostly had matt make-up with the long eye-lashes, I really wanted them to pop. For me, I went a little more dramatic, with a little more smoky shades and some color just to stand out a bit. I never wear lashes, but that day they were very long! For the nails there was something new that day, it was kind of a reverse French manicure.

Q: What would you have done differently?

There are so many things I would have done differently. You think that because you done so much planning nothing could go wrong. But everything you could imagine kind of goes wrong. For example, I had this idea to write the seating plan on an old window pane. The day of the rehearsal, I found it broke, so no one knew where to sit, people just sat wherever, and I was going crazy. It’s small things like that you don’t think about. I forgot that it’s a custom for all your guests to write their signatures and well wishes in a book. It’s just small details like that a wedding planner would remember.

Q: How does it feel now, several months down the line?

It feels great. The only thing that takes getting used to is living with another person, that’s really it. For example, he likes putting the toothpaste on the left side, but I like it on the right side. But once you get past those little hurdles it’s great. We still work together and see each other every day, so it still feels like a honeymoon stage.

Q: Do you have any mementos from the big day that you keep around the house?

We got a lot of personalized wedding gifts, like one of our friends made coasters with our pictures and names on it, so that was a really nice gift that’s laying around. There’s a really nice picture of us at the rehearsal and our engagement pictures as well.

Q: Do you have any advice for newlyweds or words of encouragement?

Do not stop dating. A lot of the time people get married and then they think we can just be normal now. But no, you still have to court your wife and you still have to cater to your husband. The love never dies down. For our New Year’s resolution, we made vision boards together, and I made a section on my vision board which was about relationships. I want to make sure every few weeks to do something out of the ordinary. For example, my husband loves sports, and I never watch the game with him, so that’s one thing I could do with him every once in a while.

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