How did you all meet?
Victor and I met at a wedding in 2011. My sister’s friend was getting married and asked me to be a bridesmaid at the last minute (two weeks before her wedding) since one of her bridesmaids fell through. Victor was a groomsman, the groom was his coworker. Victor was also asked last minute to join the wedding. I did not know the bride at all and because I felt somewhat uncomfortable, I decided to bring a date to the wedding. The wedding day arrived and the moment I saw Victor I hoped the coordinator would pair us to walk down the aisle. Soon enough, it was time to arrange the bridal parties. The coordinator told me to pair with Victor; needless to say, I was a happy bridesmaid. We walked down the aisle, danced at the reception, and talked throughout the night as if we’d know each other for years. With all this occurring, I literally forgot about my date. Victor simply stole my heart. Before the party began, Victor planned to go home without returning. Yet, he told me he felt something was missing and he didn’t want to miss his chance with me. From that moment on, Victor and I grew to become best friends and began dating a month later after weeks of long night phone calls.
Fast forward 6 years later Victor, surprised me with a getaway to, Puerto Rico, as a couples trip with his best friend and his girlfriend. At this time, I didn’t think he would plan to propose, I had a thought but knowing that God was in control, my mind-frame was only to enjoy the vacation. Our last night which was July 4th spent in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was no less than special. After dinner, Victor took my hand, we walked away from our friends and went down to the beach together. Victor began to confess his love, I started shaking as I realized what was happening, he got down on one knee, I began to cry so much, I can’t remember a word he said, but I certainly yelled, YES! We were engaged for a year before our wedding day.
Anything super unique about the big day?
Our day was filled with a lot of emotion and joy. My mother passed away 2 years ago, being that she was my best friend, my constant thoughts were surrounded by the joy she would feel if she was there which made our big day extra emotional and joyful. My mother supported Victor and me as a couple from day one and thankfully gave her blessings before her passing. All our vendors described it as magical and it truly was filled with love. The love and excitement were tangible and the day was filled with many high moments from the tear-filled first look to the beautiful reception.
Any tips you would share with other couples getting married? Have faith that everything will come together; take advice from professionals that know the business of wedding planning. We cannot imagine not having a wedding planner and lastly enjoy the journey to the altar.
What was your planning experience like?
From the beginning of planning, I was not the kind of bride that had the slightest thought I could pull a wedding off on my own. When we finally decided on a date I searched high and low for a planner until we chose our venue…that’s when everything started coming together. Our sales representative at our venue asked me if I had a planner, she recommended I speak to one of their known planners at the location. The second time I went to visit The Bellevue, that’s when I met Shile Bello of RAE Affairs. The moment I met Shile, I knew she would be our perfect planner; we clicked as if we were friends. I had the opportunity to see her at work and you couldn’t miss her PASSION for what she does, she is AMAZING! RAE Affairs and her team were everything and beyond what we could ask for. We can honestly say, we gained a professional family. RAE connected us to individuals (vendors) that hold special places in our hearts because they made our day come alive blissfully.
Where did you wed and why did you pick the venue/site?
We chose to get married at Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean, VA that our amazing planner recommended because she knew we wanted to become one within a sacred sanctuary. We picked this venue because of the pastor, he made sure we felt at home since we were not able to have our ceremony at our home church. For the reception, we chose The Bellevue Conference and Center in Fairfax, the venue was everything and more which is why we chose it before even having a planner. The ballroom was magnificent, classy, and clean. We had endless options such as going over the top or going simple but of course a little over the top enhances the ballroom.
Tell us about the wedding dress!
Selecting a wedding dress was much harder than I expected. I am overall a simple bride, but I definitely wanted to feel like a princess on my special day. I went to over 5 bridal stores and did not find the dress of my dreams. I eventually decided to settle and select a dress from the last bridal store I went to. After about two months I brought up to my wedding planner that I was having second thoughts about the dress. She assured me that it is okay and I described to her the vision of what I wanted to feel like in the dress I had in mind. She told me she had the perfect designer for me in New York because she knew from everything I was describing it was going to be a custom piece. I wanted dramatic, ballgown, princess vibes with sleeves. Dominque Galbraith, whom owns DAuxilly, provided an amazing bridal experience for me. She communicated with me consistently; I simply expressed my vision -she sketched and sewed a stunning all-white princess ball gown with satin fabric for the bottom and beaded lace for the top with lace sleeves and open back.
Describe the Groom’s and Groomsmen look
We were going for a cohesive look with the Groom and the Groomsmen. The Groom wore an all-white patten Sebastian Couture suit; white designer Praisely jacket with satin shawl color, with a white shirt, white vest, a white tie, and a single button closure. The Groomsmen wore black tuxedos with white shirts, gold vests, and gold bow ties. The best man was distinguished with a white vest and white bow tie.
Your Wedding Style
What inspired your theme/style? What was your color palette? Why was it important to you?
My wedding style was classy and romantic glam. I’ve always dreamed of a princess wedding with sparkles, candles, and warm pink which exudes romance. It was a difficult choice with colors because I also wanted a pop of blue. In the end, I decided to leave it clean but classy and my color palette was white, variations of blush pink and gold. Those colors were important to me because I felt they presented the essence of my character. Sweet, classy, and one of kind.
During the ceremony did you use and religious or cultural elements or traditions?
We decided to do the unity candle with my step-mother and mother-in-law; they both lit each candle on the sides and we took each candle from our side of the family and lit the center candle for the unity of our family, and as symbols of our commitment to each other.
What inspired your reception style?
I truly trusted all my vendors for their expertise, based on research we knew we were n the best hands! When it came to selecting a wedding reception style we met with our decorator Lily V Events and told her everything we wanted such as candles, flowers, our colors theme blush pink, white and gold and table cloths. Lily V designed every detail to the T and exceeded our expectations.
In addition to decor, I booked a bridal room with The Floral Guru whom designed an amazing romantic garden for our bridal party to enjoy. It was so delightful and glamorous, I wish I would have taken the entire room with me!
What menu items did you serve?
We wanted our menu to have soul but simple as well. Victor and I both enjoy Jamaican dishes and rice.
During cocktail hour, Chops By Rera served: mini burgers, crab cakes, grilled chicken kabobs, puff puffs, and spring rolls.
Describe your cake.
We decided to have a 4 layer wedding cake with vanilla and coconut flavors exquisitely made by Mon Delice. The top three layers were decorated with flowers in different shades of blush pink, white, and gold lining that surrounded the cake. Our initials were designed in blush pink and placed on the second layer. Mon Delice had various delicious flavors to choose from so, we couldn’t help but have a unique cupcake wall as well.
My parents wanted to have party favors, but we weren’t as much into it because we wanted the experience to always be remembered more so than the favors. Rest assured my parents surprised us and created gift bags full of fans, scarves, and candles with our photos printed on for guests to take home.