Joy in the midst of a storm
We have been told to look for the rainbow after a storm. Diamond and Brandon share how they found joy in the middle of a hurricane.
Bride: Diamond Bigelow, 29, bank teller Wells Fargo, native of Burlington, North Carolina
Groom: Brandon Enoch, 31, Pickens County Parks and Recreation Director, native of Burlington, North Carolina
Current Residence: Pickens, South Carolina
Wedding Date: May 21, 2022
Venue/Location: Vailtree Event Center – Haw River, North Carolina
How They Met
(Diamond) Brandon and I met when we were in high school. He was two years ahead of me and was refereeing one of my volleyball games. We became friends and hung out together. I always knew I liked him, but he was doing his thing and I was doing mine, so we just left it there. When he graduated in 2009, he went away to college at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. I liked the Greenville area and knew I wanted to go to college there. Whenever I visited Greenville, Brandon and I would get together. By the time I graduated from high school in 2011 and started college at Pitt Community College in Greenville, our friendship had developed into a relationship.
Their First Date
(Diamond) Brandon picked me up and we went to a movie and out to dinner. We saw ‘The Tall Man.” Dinner was at Longhorn Steakhouse. It was great. Our energy matched and I felt very comfortable with him.
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This is “The One”
(Diamond) We started in high school together and have grown into adulthood. We hit different milestones together. Good and bad, we figured it out as adults, and together we overcame them. I felt like he is the other part of me. He knows what I’m feeling, and I don’t have to say it. He is a very genuine, caring man. I felt that with him, we could be successful together. We have a lot of the same values and views about life, and our energies match very well. I was confident in him as my partner and sure he was my person.
(Brandon) I’m going to go all the way back to high school. The thing that made me realize Diamond was the ones was that it was just so organic. There was just a natural chemistry between us. We had a lot of the same interests and an undaunted love for one another. Before we were even a thing, it was the most organic start to a relationship ever.
(Diamond) We went on a cruise with a group of friends. The cruise line had advised us that there was a hurricane in the Atlantic, but the boat was still leaving if we wanted to go. We went. All my friends knew that Brandon was planning to propose to me, but I didn’t know.
The weather was crazy. We had rain at every port. Brandon had planned to propose at one of the ports of call, but very single day we had to get back on the boat earlier than normal because of the storm. The weather wasn’t cooperating, and I guess you could say that after a while neither was I.
On our last day at sea, we learned that the port where we were supposed to dock and get off the boat had been damaged, so we were being diverted to Jamaica for two additional days. When we arrived in Jamaica, our group was getting off the boat to go to the ocean. Everyone was dressed to go swimming except Brandon, who had on khaki shorts and a buttoned-up white polo. I didn’t know what was happening. I was like, “What are you doing? Everybody’s got on their swim trucks. You look ridiculous.” Needless to say, there was a little friction for the rest of the day.
On our last night on the boat, I could tell he was frustrated, more than just a little silly argument we’d had. We were in our cabin getting dressed for dinner. When I came out of the bathroom, Brandon had tears in his eyes and said, “I wanted it to be on the beach in Jamaica, but we’re in the middle of the ocean in Jamaica, so that counts.” Then he proposed to me.
It was definitely a surprise. My heart was racing, and I ran crying across the hallway to where our friends were. We had discussed marriage, but never made concrete plans. It was more like, when this happens then this is going to happen. It never crossed my mind that he would ask me on that cruise. My friends kept trying to get me to cooperate, but I just was oblivious to it all.
There was one more twist to the cruise. I got sick on the boat a lot and it didn’t stop after we got home. A week later, I found out that I was pregnant. Maybe that’s why I wasn’t cooperating. I guess my story is not exactly how I expected it to go — marriage, house, then baby. In fact, it was the opposite. The next year I had a son, Kota, and we got a house. We now have a 4-year-old and moved into our second house five months before our wedding.
(Diamond) Oh, my God, it was hell. It was a lot more than I thought it would be. The worst part was preparing the guest list. Shavonda with Kristen Pinkney Events, definitely helped a lot. I had a vision and I just want to be involved. It was a big project and very stressful. I cried a lot and often thought, “Forget this. Let’s just go to the courthouse.” At the end of the day, it worked out well and I was super happy and proud. Seeing my vision come to life was the best part.
(Diamond) Our wedding ceremony couldn’t have gone any smoother. We had about 150 guests. It was the first time that both of our families had been together at the same time. That was one of the best parts of the ceremony. Brandon’s mother had passed away in January, so it was nice to share some time and smiles with family. The ceremony was traditional. We did write our own vows. My most memorable moment of the wedding was incorporating our son into our first dance.
(Brandon) My most memorable moment was seeing Diamond for the first time and watching her walking down the aisle. Not to sound too cliché, time definitely slowed down. It was so poetic when that song came on as soon as she walked through the doorway, and just seeing her face, the dress, and her smile.
Advice to Others
Brandon) Our biggest resource has definitely been communication. Just be completely transparent.
Wedding Planner: Kristen Pinkney Events – Shavonda Martin
Photographer: Spotlight Photography – Corey Jordan
Venue: Vailtree Event Center – Coordinator, Robin Willis
Florist: Custom Floral Creations of Burlington
Caterer: Danny’s Cafe & Catering
Hair: Lauren Summer Salon – Summer Huffines
Makeup: Bella Beauty Bar – Bianca Willis
Bartender:Tip C’s Mobile Bartending – Cierra Harris
DJ: DJ Lil Vegas