Images: Trené Forbes Photography

A lot of my energy in the ongoing fight against racism has shifted this week: from personal outrage and taking on the wedding industry, to being pulled into a LOT more of this pace at my day job. I am not mad. I have long since had issues with the lack of inclusion and diversity actually, fully filtering through the company I work for, and not just being a hashtag or branding line. Like everyone else, it seems my company has also “woken up” (finally…) that we have to do MORE than the bare minimum. That NOT talking in the open about racism and the affects on our Black coworkers, is bad, entirely ineffective, and just flat out WRONG. Sure my company says it supports the Black Lives Matter movement and stands against racism (hey we have marketing options to add to our email signatures to say as much!), but what is it actually DOING and are those things ACTUALLY trickling down to the Senior Managers, Managers, and Consultants that lead teams?

Honestly? I am not sure. Or maybe it’s unfair for me to judge that just yet. But at least I know what I am doing (pushing MY leadership to take firm stances and communicate that appropriately to their teams), communicating and reaching out to my own teams, and working to better provide avenues, events, panels, and more, to continue this critical conversation.

The work is far from over. In fact for many of us, it’s just begun.

So in the spirit of remembering & recognizing that this battle will be a marathon, not a sprint. I think it’s OK to get back to some of our regularly scheduled blogging. To remember that love and joy and happiness are hopefully still to be found.

We decided to have a winter wedding in January as January is the month of new and new beginnings. My wedding venue the Hotel Monaco, gave me my inspired theme of royalty, luxury, and romance which helped me with my color palette selection. We chose navy blue which symbolizes confidence, power and unity and purple which is associated with royalty, extravagance, and wealth. From the marble steps to the candelabra on each table every single detail was chosen based on theme of our wedding. We wanted our family, friends and guest to feel as royalty and to experience the love that Gerald and I felt that day.

I wanted the majority of my decorations at my reception as guest would be there for most of the evening. For the table setting, I had gorgeous tall purple and pink floral center pieces with hanging crystals attached. I added candelabras and floating candles, sparkle vases and tea lights. I added gold sequins table cloth to add more sparkle and a pop of color, along with bronze glass plates, with gold chivari chairs. For the lighting I selected purpled icicle lights with purple up lighting to make the room look stunning along with a LED dance floor. It was absolutely beautiful.

The most anticipated special moment was finally seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony and the look on my husband face and everyone’s reaction as I entered, full of love and joy.

One of my favorite parts of my wedding was having a special guest singer, Davon Fleming from the hot TV show, The Voice, sing my processional and during the lighting of the Unity candle. His voice is absolutely amazing! During my ceremony my cousin Morgan wrote a very special poem dedicated to us which defined our every detail of our life journey together. The amazing, talented, Connell Thompson, our saxophonist played during our first dance, and it was amazing. We felt like we were dancing on a cloud with the fog and his tunes. Connell partnered with the DJ and played some of our favorite songs and included the sax with them, adding a unique sound to every song played throughout the reception.We also added the photo booth mirror, which made taking pictures and photo bombing extremely fun.

Wedding planning advice, if possible, please be sure to purchase wedding liability insurance. Marriage advise, surround yourself with great friends who will strengthen your marriage, be patient with each other and make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage.

Vendors:

Photographer: TrenĂ© Forbes Photography | Venue & Caterer: Hotel Monaco Baltimore | Florist: Bella Fiori Flowers | Cake: Cake by Jason | DJ: James the Great | Saxophonist: Connell Thompson | Singer: Davon Fleming | Lighting: Electric Events DC | Videographer: CSpotMedia | Groom’s Attire: DifferentRegard | Bride’s Dress Designer: Pantora Bridal | Makeup Artist: Bamby Becky

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