When Diana Davis and Jeff Cordle started their wedded life together last summer, they knew one thing for certain: It would be an adventure. The pair wanted their wedding to be a collection of the things that were unique to their lives and their love. The planning culminated in a special day of golf greens, Disney references, sporty drinks and a spectacular sunset.
Jeff and Diana met not long after entering the work world, when they found each other among the gray cubicle walls of their first jobs out of college. Neither had any idea that taking a stepping-stone job at a staffing firm would lead them to a love story. Diana was only at the job for two weeks when she spotted Jeff.
“We like to say we met at the water cooler,” Diana says. “I sat in the cubicle in front of him and noticed him at our company’s sales conference. I was the one who actually made the first move — and for people who know us, that surprises them.” Jeff’s the animated talker of the pair and can charm anyone who meets him. In this case, Diana charmed him, and the two went for their first date in August of 2013. The happy couple continued dating for nearly two years.
In 2015, Jeff and Diana planned a vacation with her family to Disney World. A native Floridian, Diana was looking forward to spending time with her parents and boyfriend on the beaches of her hometown. Little did she know that Jeff had a surprise up his sleeve. The family arranged to meet for dinner at the Pelican Grand Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Jeff asked Diana to walk down the beach with him while they were waiting for their reservation time.
“While we were walking, talking and admiring the scenery, he stopped, got down on one knee and proposed!” Diana says. She had no idea it was coming, but of course she said yes! “He had a photographer and videographer hiding that captured the whole thing,” Diana continues. “After, we walked into the dining room and my entire family was there to surprise me! It was amazing!”
The pair chose a North Carolina location for their nuptials. The River Run Country Club in Davidson provided a gracious reception hall and rolling green lawns for the July wedding.
“Diana grew up playing golf, and she played golf in college at Elon University,” Jeff says. “We also love playing golf together, and we thought it would be nice to get married somewhere that meant a lot to both of us. We got married behind the 18th green.”
The 18th green was the perfect backdrop; a lake with a waterfall and a scenic bridge allowed guests plenty of space for photos after the outdoor ceremony.
The couple decided on their wedding colors based on a common feature of their Southern hometowns: the beach. Jeff grew up in Wilmington, NC, and Diana in Fort Lauderdale. “We got engaged on the water and we both grew up near the water,” Diana says of their respective hometowns. “Having soft, calming colors was important to us and where we came from.”
Ocean-inspired shades of white sand, light blue water and mint hues harmonized with the lush green golf course. Diana’s favorite flowers are white hydrangeas, and the couple included white and blue hydrangeas in their décor. “To us, hydrangeas remind us of North Carolina, of where we met and where we were getting married,” Diana says. “It added a touch of Southern charm.”
The bride-to-be chose a dress from the Oleg Cassini bridal line, a form-fitting piece that hung delicately by slim straps on her tan shoulders. For her bridesmaids’ dresses, Diana continued the water color scheme, playing with soft, muted mint tones in lace that would allow the pale hydrangeas in their bouquets to shine against the fabric.
But for her something borrowed, Diana had a very special tradition to continue. “I had a sixpence in my shoe,” Diana says. The sixpence was attached to the bottom of her open-toed heels. “My grandmother had it in her shoe when she got married, and it has been worn by every woman in my family on their wedding day since.”
Diana’s 97-year-old grandmother, Virginia Castagne, was there in person to see her granddaughter carry on the tradition. Sadly, Mrs. Castagne passed away a few months later, but Diana finds comfort knowing her grandmother was there to witness her wedding. “She was so happy she could be there for the big day!” Diana says.
To make a new tradition, the couple looked to an unlikely source: Disney. Both are Disney fans. While still dating, the couple watched the Disney movie Up on a date night. The story features an older couple, Carl and Ellie, who meet as children and grow old together. Diana says it pulled on their heartstrings watching the movie — and she hoped that she and Jeff would also be able to grow old together. Before they were engaged, Diana made Jeff a scrapbook titled, “Our Adventure Book,” modeled after the one Carl and Ellie share in the movie. It details all their past adventures with space for those yet to come. On their wedding day, Diana had a special surprise for her groom that no one else could see — a grape soda pin, just like Ellie gave to Carl. Jeff wore it inside his suit jacket, close to his heart. They also wanted to include their corgi Dash in the wedding, so the pup’s photo was featured prominently with a witty “Dashing to the Altar” sign that matched the décor.
The pair wrote their own vows for the occasion, and wanted the vows to be personal. Jeff notes that lots of vows include an ideal view of marriage, but he wanted to stress that they will be together through both the good times and the bad. “I see happy things, but I also see the late nights, the early mornings, the grinding through our careers, and both of us work very, very hard,” Jeff says. His vow to Diana included a promise to face those things together. “This road in front of us is not going to be super easy, but we are going to overcome these obstacles together.”
River Run Country Club catered the event, providing guests with a sumptuous menu selection of chicken Florentine, lemon dill salmon or beef tenderloin filet. Guests were treated to a fitting, themed John Daly cocktail — also known as a spiked Arnold Palmer, perfect for a golf course wedding.
The pastry chefs of River Run outdid themselves with the cake, a flowing four-tiered feast cascading with blue and white hydrangeas. The layers of the cake were alternating flavors of chocolate with chocolate mousse and strawberry pound cake. “A little something for both of us,” Diana notes.
A grand fireplace and gold chandeliers hung like crowns twinkling with an array of soft lights gave the reception a fairy tale atmosphere. The couple shared their first dance to John Legend’s “All of Me,” and guests gathered for cheering toasts with champagne.
Guests danced and dined into the evening, until the “Couple of Cordles” had to head out for their next adventure: their honeymoon. Surrounded by their family and friends waving a sea of lit sparklers, the happy duo was off to Half Moon Bay, CA, for a week of biking, hiking and exploring.
Congrats, Diana and Jeff! We wish you a life full of adventures!
Venue: River Run County Club
Photography: Piper Warlick
Bridal gown: Oleg Cassini from David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ dresses: J.Crew
Bridesmaids’ hair: Sarah Daniel, Beauty by Sarah Daniel
Bride’s hair: Solace Salon and Spa
Groom’s suit: Custom-made, Myers Park Tailors (Walid Nasser)
Groomsmen’s suits: Express
Flowers: Flowers by Lingky
Invitations: David’s Bridal
Programs: JPWDesignStudio on Etsy
Catering/cake: River Run County Club
Videographer: Michael Strauss
Music and lighting: DJ Marty
Rehearsal Dinner: North
Take a look at even more amazing Southern weddings in our Lifestyle section — click here!