Written by Lashawnda K. Becoats
Valeisha Butterfield & Dahntay Jones
Date: July 23, 2011
Town: Durham, N.C.
Dahntay Jones wasn’t planning on proposing to Valeisha Butterfield for another two months. The Indiana Pacers forward intended to pop the question on Christmas Day, but on October 10, 2010, the world was abuzz about the day’s numerological significance: 10/10/10. As it only rolls around every thousand years, many couples chose to marry on this rare, auspicious date.
Unfortunately, it was almost midnight when Jones realized this; he also realized that he couldn’t wait any longer to ask for Butterfield’s hand. Jones already had the custom engagement ring, so the next day he reserved the second floor of their favorite restaurant in Indianapolis and invited his love to dinner.
Butterfield– cofounder of WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network)– remembers Jones talking at dinner about the significance of the day before; he was visibly nervous. “He walked to my side of the table, pulled out his camera phone, took my picture, then sat back down,” Butterfield says.
“The first time I messed up,” Jones says, laughing.
The second time he came around to her side of the table, Jones got down on one knee, and she said yes.
Nine months later, the couple tied the knot at the historic Duke University Chapel in Durham, N.C. Jones, 30, is a Duke graduate; Butterfield, 33, grew up in Wilson, N.C. (her parents are Congressman G.K. Butterfield and N.C. State Rep. Jean Farmer Butterfield.) A self-confessed “control freak,” Butterfield wisely enlisted wedding planner and childhood friend Kimberly Davis of Culture Capital Management Group in Kernersville, N.C., and Areaka McFadden of Glamour & Glo Event Planning and Design in Washington, D.C., to help coordinate the long-distance nuptials.
The brief afternoon ceremony was officiated by Dr. Benjamin Chavis. Afterward, guests made their way to the “Heaven on Earth”-themed reception, where centerpieces made of white and ivory roses, hydrangeas, lilies, and calla lilies (meant to mimic cumulus clouds) decorated the tables. Guests sipped signature cocktails named “Me and Mr. Jones” and danced to old-school R&B jams played by the famed DJ D-Nice.
“It was perfect,” Butterfield says of the simple, elegant affair. “We have fabulous careers and all that, but at the end of the day, our wedding reflected Dahntay and V. I wouldn’t change a thing.” – Lashawnda K. Becoats
Photos courtesy of Walters & Walters Photography
Ceremony | Duke Chapel
Reception | Umstead Hotel and Spa
Event Planner | Kimberly Davis, Culture Capital Management Group and Areaka McFadden, Glamour & Glo Event Planning and Design
Photographer | Walters & Walters
Videographer | Heart Stone Films
Florist | Watered Garden
Cake | Sweet Memories Bakery
DJ | Celebrity DJ D-Nice
Audio Rental | Eclipse Sound