Elegant Cathedral Wedding in Oakland California

Chantale and Darrin’s love story began as high school sweethearts in Berkely, California.

After going to the winter ball together and dating for a few months they decided to remain friends. It wasn’t until after graduating from college when their friendship once again blossomed into romance, and they’ve remained inseparable ever since. Chantale and Darrin celebrated their union with an elegant cathedral wedding in Oakland, California. Read all about their romantic destination proposal, and wedding experiences – featuring planning by MunaLuchi Coterie member A Monique Affair.

Bride & Groom: Chantale & Darrin
Occupations: Research Attorney & Account Sales Executive
Wedding Date: August 18, 2018
Wedding Location: Ceremony – Oakland, California. Reception – Berkeley, California.

Tell us how you met. We met in 2000 during our Freshman year at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, CA. We went to winter ball together during 2002 and dated a few months afterward. Although the relationship did not last in high school, we remained friends throughout the years. After we graduated from college, the relationship blossomed.

Tell us all about the proposal. Darrin knew that New Orleans was Chantale’s favorite U.S. destination. Darrin hired a company that organizes amazing proposals at their gorgeous New Orleans mansion. When the company’s owner picked up Darrin and Chantale from their hotel, the driver acted like he was taking them to a plantation tour. When Chantale and Darrin entered the backyard of the mansion, Bruno Mars’ song “Marry You” was blasting. There were rose petals that led them to a gazebo that had a small table and white box on it. When Chantale opened the white box, dozens of butterflies flew out of the box and there was a heart-shaped message at the bottom of the box that stated, “Will you marry me?” Darrin got down on one knee and asked the beloved question. Chantale exclaimed “Yes!” as Darrin put the two-carat halo diamond ring on her finger.

How did you know they were “the one”? When we had a deep conversation during our hike at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley, California. We reminisced about our 13-year friendship at the time; sharing our joys and tribulations in life. During the hike, we realized our days were better together than apart and noticed that we bring out the best in each other.

What was wedding shopping like for you? Chantale wore a Justin Alexander form-fitting wedding gown with beaded lace appliques that had a dramatic detachable train to provide a grand cathedral look for the wedding ceremony. After going to four bridal shops and not finding any dresses that had that “wow” factor, Chantale began to become discouraged. However, at the fifth bridal shop excursion, Chantale found her dream dress that she fell in love with.
Darrin wore a custom-made Malcolm Alexander navy blue tuxedo. He went to Los Angeles for a custom fitting and collaborated with the designer on creating the perfect look!

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Chantale is half-Haitian and wanted to incorporate a Caribbean vibe into the wedding. They hired a steel drum band called “Shabang!” to play during the cocktail hour and dinner portion of the reception.

Wedding Party Gifts: Earrings and necklace set for the bridesmaids, and engraved leather-wrapped flasks for the groomsmen.
Favorite Item on the Menu: Skirt Steak with chimichurri sauce
First Dance Song: “Rock with You” by Michael Jackson

What is your best memory from your wedding? Being on the party bus with our entire wedding party after the reception. It was the first time that we could truly exhale from the Big Day, embrace the love from our family and close friends, and enjoy the fact that we were officially married.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? When planning the wedding, don’t follow trends or try to “keep up with the Joneses.” Remember that it is your day and don’t make any decisions to please others!

Planning: A Monique Affair
Hair Styling: Stephanie Hair Salon
Makeup Artistry: Keli Jenee
Cake: Cakes Made By M.E.
Venue: Cathedral of Christ the Light
Sound: Black Rose Sound
Transportation: Nationwide Limousine
Cupcakes: Cupcakin Bake Shop
Florals: Sweetness & Light Floral Design
Steel Drum: Caribbean Steel Drum
DJ: DJ Mujie
Photography: Eric James Photography
Videography: Joe Squared Productions
Rentals: Hensley Event Resource
Parking: Corinthian Ground Transportation
Venue: California Memorial Stadium
Stationery: Creative DNA


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About Samuel

Bookworm with degrees in English, Psychology, and Fine Art. Interests include cycling, rock climbing, hiking, Tabla, Violin, hoarding books, and poorly identifying birds.

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