Miles and Toni Norton got married on May 13, 2023.
Their luxury wedding had an all-white theme, and they catered the event to their personalities.
From a sneaker display to the bride's custom dress, the wedding was one of a kind.
Miles and Toni Norton didn't expect to find true love on Twitter.
But in March 2020, after the world shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Miles stumbled across a photo of Toni while scrolling through the app, his eye catching on a Jamaican bracelet she was wearing, as he told Insider.
"I went to her page and looked around, and thought, 'Hey, this could be interesting,'" he said.
Miles soon got the courage to DM Toni, which led the two to a phone call.
"We talked for like two to three hours," Miles told Insider. They had their first in-person date on Toni's birthday at the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden on April 24, 2020, and they've been together ever since.
By Christmas 2021, the Nortons were engaged.
The Nortons set their wedding for May 13, 2023, and they knew early on they didn't want to plan the event themselves.
As the wedding became real, Toni said she and Miles were overwhelmed by the idea of financing a wedding and planning the details.
"So after a few months of thinking about it, we were like, 'OK, we should get a planner and the planner should do everything and we should just really just focus on paying the planner,'" she told Insider.
The Nortons tapped Demetris Faison and Vanity Jones of De'Veilope Planning, which specializes in luxury weddings, to make their dream day a reality.
Toni told Insider she sees Faison as the most important investment they could have made in their wedding day, particularly because she spoke to several planners she didn't connect with before she met him.
"The first time I talked to Demetris, it was like, 'I got you. Let's make this something that you can remember forever and that you can really enjoy,'" she said. "And he covers all the bases. We didn't have to find a florist or hunt for a venue. They do it all."
Toni and Miles kicked off their wedding day with a first touch and prayer.
Praying together is one of the Nortons' most important rituals as a couple, as they told Insider.
"We pray every night. We get in the car to go somewhere, we pray. If Toni is having a bad day, we pray," Miles said, with Toni adding that it always relieves their anxiety.
They had briefly discussed the idea of doing a first touch before their wedding because they knew they didn't want to have a first look, and as the ceremony approached, Miles decided he and Toni needed to "bust a prayer" as they call it.
The pair held hands and prayed together without looking at each other as their photographer, Stanlo Photography, snapped pictures of the moment. The Digital Age, Morgan Scott Films, and Aaron D Photos captured video footage of the wedding.
"It made for great photos and videos, but it was something organically I wanted to do because it's something we always do in our lives," Miles said of the moment.
Miles wore an asymmetrical tuxedo to the wedding.
Faison, the couple's planner, actually designed Miles' tuxedo through his fashion label Dapper Couture.
The outfit consisted of a white jacket with an asymmetrical hemline, a white bow tie, and pale-purple pants that coordinated with a sash that sat on Miles' waist.
Faison told Insider he designed the look in just a day, and his role as planner made him ideal to style Miles in a way that would fit with Toni's wedding ensemble.
"A lot of times where the bride and groom do not see each other's outfits, I'm the common denominator to come and marry the two together," Faison told Insider. "So when they do finally come and stand side by side and around flowers or a backdrop, nothing's competing with each other or somebody's too white or too ivory or too cream."
Toni had a completely custom gown made for the wedding.
Unlike many brides, Toni told Insider she never imagined what type of wedding dress she wanted to wear before she got engaged.
"I never knew that I would meet Miles, that I would be married, that I would have a wedding at all," she said. "That was never on the trajectory."
Gbemi Okunlola, the brand's designer, specializes in creating sheer wedding gowns for Black women, and Toni was immediately drawn to her creations.
"I really love the illusion of looking almost naked," she told Insider.
Okunlola designed Toni's dress over a phone call.
Alonuko Bridal is based out of London, so Toni and Okunlola had their first meeting about the dress over the phone.
"I didn't know she was drawing while we were talking," Toni told Insider. "We were just having a girl talk for about an hour where she said, 'How did you guys meet?' So I told her our love story."
Okunlola listened to Toni talk about her and Miles' date at the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden, drawing inspiration from the floral setting and keeping in mind Toni's only request: to "look naked."
The long-sleeve dress was covered in floral detailing.
The base of Toni's dress was Alonuko's signature sheer tulle, making it look like the dress was built into the bride's skin.
Floral lace sat on Toni's shoulders and neck and covered the gown's bodice, which hugged her figure.
A ruffled train flowed out from behind the dress, completing the glamorous look.
Toni didn't see her wedding gown until the night before her wedding.
Toni only had one in-person meeting with Okunlola before her wedding in the summer of 2022, where she tried on the tulle that makes up the dress.
But she didn't try on her actual gown until the night before her wedding, as Okunlola flew to North Carolina with the dress.
Luckily, the dress was perfect.
"I felt incredible," Toni said. "I cried like a baby. Just lots of emotions putting on the dress, especially because of the detail from our first date."
Miles was emotional when he saw Toni walking down the aisle in her wedding gown.
Miles told Insider he appreciated Toni's bridal look both because of how she looked in it and because of the artistry that went into making it.
"When you think of a wedding dress, you don't think of something that beautiful and unique and different," he said.
Toni's custom veil made their wedding ceremony more significant for her.
Okunlola also designed a modern veil for Toni that covered her face and had a crystal-lined hem, which she wore throughout the wedding ceremony. She told Insider it was a surprising but welcome addition to her bridal look.
"It was just really beautiful to be in a veil," Toni said. "That's not something I would have done because not a lot of brides are doing veils anymore."
She said the moment Miles unveiled her at the end of their wedding ceremony, which was officiated by Al Morgan, solidified their new bond for her.
"That was a very beautiful moment I didn't know I needed," she told Insider. "I loved being a bride and then becoming a wife in that flip-over."
Violinist B. Cooper played during the ceremony.
The luxury wedding had an all-white theme and featured everything from a nine-tier cake to a flower chandelier.
White flowers — including hydrangeas, roses, orchids, and cherry blossoms — were used throughout the reception. A 16-foot chandelier suspended over the middle of the room was also covered in white flowers, as well as hanging crystals and glass bubbles with candles. Faison said they incorporated strips of mirrors in the chandelier that sparkled and bounced light on the walls, as a TikTok from the event shows.
The nine-tier cake featured dripping flowers, and 14-foot canopies were hung over tables that fit 20 guests. Long boxes of floating candles and flowers added to the "massive lushness of white," Florian added.
At night, the reception was lit up with LED lights that looked beautiful against the white backdrop and the guests' all-white attire. There was also an LED booth from Cool Cliq Photo Booth Rentals.
"Everything became super colorful and more of a fun, festive environment," Florian said.
Toni and Miles wanted to make sure the wedding felt like them, so they incorporated their love of sneakers and travel.
Miles has been buying and collecting sneakers since 2005, and he and Toni own the sock brand Miles52eighty together. To honor their sneakerhead status, the couple asked every guest to bring their coolest shoes to the wedding.
Faison came up with the idea to have cubbies where people could put their sneakers during the ceremony and dinner. The cubbies acted as an art installation throughout the night, and guests later grabbed their sneakers so they could swap shoes for the dance floor.
As guests arrived at the ceremony, Faison created an experience that was meant to mimic checking in before a flight.
Guests received large custom folders with Toni and Miles' monogram that included their wedding ceremony program, an itinerary for the day, their seating assignments for the reception, sunglasses, cards to play Spades, fake money to throw on the dance floor, and more. The M Design Shoppe provided stationery for the event.
@newlynorton Wedding weekend is here! As guests checked in, they each got a welcome gift — what’s your favorite item? #newlynorton #nortonweddingweekend ♬ original sound - Miles and Toni
"Our team was really big on making sure our guests had a concierge experience," Faison said.
The reception kicked off with an epic first dance that Toni and Miles had practiced for hours.
Toni said she had "so much anxiety" doing a first dance in front of their guests because she had never danced before — and didn't think she could.
"Miles, he taught me how to dance," Toni said. "He taught me how to feel comfortable using my body to move around."
The couple decided to incorporate dances that they love to do together around the house. They hired a choreographer to help them put everything together and practiced with her over 40 sessions.
They also hired four backup dancers for the big performance, which the couple will never forget.
"It was so fun," Toni said. "I danced the entire night. I sweated my hair out. I never danced at a party before, but at my party, I danced all night — it was crazy."
The couple also gave guests special fake money to throw on the dance floor. The bills featured their faces on one side, and their parents' faces on the other.
Toni and Miles wanted every single guest to "feel like royalty" on their wedding day.
Since this was one of the first weddings in both of their families, the couple decided against doing something small.
"I kept saying, 'This isn't my wedding,'" Toni recalled. "This is my mom's wedding that she didn't have 30 years ago, even though she's still married to my dad. Or Miles' parents' wedding, who weren't able to have a wedding like us. So many people in our family have sacrificed for a really long time."
"So it felt really important to us not just to do something for ourselves, but to make every single person who comes to this wedding feel like celebrities," she added. "We really wanted them to put on their best duds and just be loved and catered to. It was important to us that everyone felt like the main character."
The couple even surprised all the guests at their 18-person rehearsal dinner with a special gift.
"These are the people who sacrificed the most to push us through school, push us through our careers," Toni said. "So it just felt like a good opportunity to say, 'Hey, here's a nice thing for you.'"
The personalized gifts ranged from custom whiskey glasses to a Coach backpack. Toni also gifted Gucci sunglasses to all of her bridesmaids to wear when they see Beyoncé in concert together later this year.
The couple hired content creators to help capture their special day.
Toni hired Laur Ladouceur of @planwithlaur to create content for her special day, including videos that involved her guests.
"She walked around and she asked everyone, 'What do you think Toni's gonna wear? What sneakers are you wearing at the wedding?'" Toni said. "Those are things we wouldn't have known and stories that folks who came to our wedding got to tell, and they felt so included and so a part of it and it was just invaluable."
@newlynorton What do you think the bride’s dress is going to look like? #newlynorton #weddingweekend #bridalstyle ♬ original sound - Miles and Toni
Toni still did her own social media posts throughout the weekend, but she said having Ladouceur there made her feel less stressed.
"I didn't feel the pressure of having to share the wedding in real time because we had someone there," she added. "I would suggest it for any bride."
Toni and Miles said it felt so special to marry their best friend.
Toni credits Miles with helping her grow as a person and teaching her the power of self-confidence.
"Miles knows who he is, he doesn't waiver," she said. "And that's allowed me to really stand in who I am and grow, and feel confident that I know what I know I am. He just encourages me to be my best version of myself. And that's really what I love about this relationship, that we get to have so much fun and be around each other 24/7 and not get tired of each other."
"The best part of this is that it's so easy," Miles added. "Toni's my best friend. I wake up and I'm blessed to have her in my life."
Read the original article on Insider