Some relationships may begin with a dramatic first encounter, but for Monique Mongalo and Corey Brewer, things transpired in a much more casual and natural way. As a professional basketball player in the NBA, Corey was in Los Angeles for the playoffs when a mutual friend set him up on a date with Monique. “We don’t have a cool love story,” Monique laughs. “It was very informal, and he’s been stuck with me ever since.”
“I thought she was really beautiful,” Corey adds. “We just started talking. And like she said, I’ve been stuck with her ever since.”
“WE HAD STARTED A FAMILY FIRST. I THINK WE DID THINGS BACKWARDS, BUT IT WAS A PERFECT BACKWARDS.”
It was about four years into their relationship when Corey decided to pop the question. The couple had gone to dinner at one of their favorite LA restaurants, and Corey waited until after the meal to propose in front of a fountain. Once Monique saw the ring, the only words she could repeat were, “Is this real? Is this real?”
Although the proposal may have come as a surprise, there was no question that the couple had already decided to spend their lives together. “We were basically already married,” Monique shares. “We had started a family first. I think we did things backwards, but it was a perfect backwards.”
When the wedding day arrived, the bride assumed she’d be spending the morning relaxing, getting pampered, and sipping champagne. Like any doting mother, however, she spent most of her prep time in mom mode, tending to her son and getting him ready. There were no pre-wedding jitters, although she did have a fleeting moment of nervousness as the ceremony began.
“Right when I got to the gate at the entrance of the aisle, I freaked out,” she recalls. “And it wasn’t because I was nervous about marrying Corey—it was because the spotlight was on me.” Despite the unease of having all eyes on her, the bride continued with her solo walk down the aisle to the music of a live orchestra, wearing a custom wedding gown by Leah Da Gloria with a 23-foot train.
“The ceremony was really quick,” she continues. “I kept stressing that I wanted something fast, fun and to the point. I feel like a lot of people dread going to weddings, and I wanted it to be fun as soon as the guests walked in. It went by really fast, but it was beautiful.”
Guests were served food and drinks upon arrival—not to mention, elegantly passed trays of shots during the ceremony—and the festivities continued with a cocktail hour. The wedding reception was an all-out party that was completely focused on Monique and Corey’s guests. “We skipped all the formal stuff,” explains
Monique, referring to traditions like the bouquet toss and garter toss. “I just wanted everyone to eat, drink and dance.”
Choosing not to spend time away from their son, the newlyweds have traveled together since the wedding but have yet to go on an official honeymoon. Monique says they may plan a romantic getaway within the next year, but there’s no rush. “Our life is pretty great,” she says. “I feel like we’re on our honeymoon right now.”
Location: The Beverly Hills Hotel Beverly Hills, CA; Planner, Floral and Event Design, Rentals: White Lilac Inc. Costa Mesa, CA; Wedding Dress and Veil: Leah Da Gloria; Groom’s Attire: Alba; Bride’s Headpiece: Maria Elena Headpieces