Although J’mir Cousar is from Pittsburgh and Charlene Cousar (née Wright) is from Tuskegee, Alabama, the couple met online (in Cincinnati) in November 2012. Charlene, a commercial program manager, says she’s fairly traditional when it comes to dating, but some friends and coworkers talked her into giving Match.com a try. For their first date, J and Charlene met for coffee at Bow Tie Café and spent six hours together getting to know one another. They’ve been inseparable ever since.
When the wedding planning began, the two sat down to iron out their priorities. J, an emergency medicine physician, grew up attending a Catholic church and it was important to him to be married in one. Charlene’s childhood pastor came from Alabama to perform the ceremony in beautiful St. Aloysius Chapel. They both wanted an intimate (just fewer than 100 guests) and family-focused celebration that everyone could enjoy.
At first, when Charlene was considering the look and feel of the day, she drew from her southern roots—think burlap and lace. After careful consideration, she did a 180: “I thought about where I am now and where I used to be,” she says. “I used to be a debutant, but now both J and I like clean lines and modern decor.” The modern 21c Museum Hotel was perfect for the reception, with delicious Metropole catering and plenty of whimsical yellow penguins. Although J was a bit worried about how his grandmother might respond to some of the edgier art at the hotel, the couple liked that their guests could be active and walk around with cocktails, exploring the exhibits rather than sitting at banquet tables.
It was also important to Charlene to include videography in the budget. Her father, who had been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, was supposed to begin chemotherapy the week of the wedding. He told each of his doctors, “No. I have somewhere very important to be.” Though he was weak, Charlene’s father made the trip from Alabama to walk her down the aisle. Charlene and J can relive these memories whenever they want thanks to Lifetime Films.
It rained most of the day, but Charlene didn’t care. Wedding planner Le’Nervia Williams from Celebrate With Us! Event Planning surprised the bride with a massage the morning of her big day and it only got better from there. The couple rode around town in a 1960 Jaguar from Cincinnati Wedding Car, and fraternity brothers and sorority sisters kept the party going late into the night. Everyone changed clothes and headed to the Righteous Room for drinks after the reception. No one wanted the night to end.
Wedding Date: April 3, 2015 Ceremony: St. Aloysius Chapel Reception: 21c Museum Hotel Wedding Planner: Le’Nervia Williams, Celebrate With Us! Event Planning Flowers: Blossoms Florist Cake: Maribelle Cakery Gown: Essence of Australia, Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Bridal Invitations/Favors: Erin Schilling Bride’s Makeup: Daryl Churchman Bride’s Hair: Sharlee Adams, Tre’s Belle Studios Videography: Lifetime Films