Marianna (Meg) Mengwei Brown and Joseph (Joe) Henry Nienstedt began their friendship at The Café on the UNC Greensboro campus. Little did they know this beautiful friendship would lead them to “I do.”
The day they met, Joe asked Meg for a ride to church. He started attending this church regularly, and the two became fast friends.
Meg reflects fondly on the nights they spent in the library with mutual friends. While Meg and Joe didn’t see it yet, their friends noticed their chemistry.
In October 2018, Joe asked Meg to be his girlfriend at the Greensboro Arboretum gazebo. Three years later, the couple got engaged in this same spot.
Joe made their proposal an adventure for Meg – a scavenger hunt that led to this final spot where he asked her to be his wife.
Meg’s best friend was in on the surprise and accompanied her on the hunt that showcased significant places the couple had shared.
It wasn’t long after this fun proposal that Joe and Meg became husband and wife with a perfect fall wedding at Meg’s parents’ house.
As the couple reflects on the momentous day, they remember most all the fun they had together and with their loved ones.
“I remember having so much fun with my family and friends,” Meg says. “I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. I loved sitting at the table, looking around at all the people who loved and supported us throughout our dating relationship and now our marriage. They were there to celebrate with us. If everything went wrong, it didn't matter at the time because everyone was there to spend the day with us.”
Joe remembers getting ready – “Seeing all my groomsmen and thinking how they had helped me on my journey and how proud I was to have them walk up there with me. The ceremony seemed to fly by as soon as I saw her walking down the aisle. My heart was beating super-fast, and then suddenly we were married and walking back up the aisle!”
Meg embraced a new, unique method for creating her wedding bouquet.
“I had all the significant women in my life (sister, mom, mother in-law, mother figures, female mentors, etc.) build my bouquet,” she says. “Each woman would walk down with a piece of her bouquet and drop it in a vase. Then the mother of the groom and mother of the bride tied the bouquet together. Once the bouquet was tied, my brothers took the bouquet and waited at the end of the aisle. When I was ready to walk down the aisle, my brothers handed me this unique bouquet with a hug. This was a way to say, ‘thank you’ to all the women that helped shape me into the woman I am today.”
Her advice to future brides?
“Don’t sweat the small details. Focus on having fun, especially the day of the wedding. If you and your significant other are having fun, then that's all that matters. At the end of the day everything will come together. It will still be a perfect day if you remember you get to marry the love of your life.
“If you lose sight of that then you’ll get sidetracked and focus on all the small things that are going wrong. Let others serve you for the day and make it the special day you deserve.”