Bride: Shawn Martha Renee Roberson, 33
Groom: Eric Roberson, 35
Occupations: Eric, R&B artist and songwriter; Shawn, strategic planning executive
Homebase: New Jersey
Wedding Date: August 10, 2008
Wedding Location: Pennsylvania
Sweet Melody: Eric Roberson met his wife, Shawn Martha Renee Roberson, through a mutual friend after one of his shows. The two shared very similar paths but had never met. Each of their families hails from North Carolina and they are both Howard University alums. "She told me she bought my first album, "Esoteric," and told me it was amazing," recalls Eric with a laugh. "All I kept thinking was, Oh yeah, tell me more."
Let's Make It Official: After ending relationships with other partners, neither Eric nor Shawn was ready to assume titles, so, to take the pressure off, they just kicked it and spent a lot of quality time with one another. They only made it official when Eric's mom made them face the music. "My mom asked us, 'If she does this would you get mad? And if he does this would you be mad?' " explains Eric. "We both answered yes, and she said simply, 'Then y'all are boyfriend and girlfriend!' " They dated for eight years before walking down the aisle.
Her Pre-Proposal: The couple dated for eight years before getting engaged. Ironically, Eric wasn't the one with the jitters; it was Shawn. "Everyone kept asking what was taking me so long, but Shawn was the one dragging her feet," says Eric. "But then she started leaving bridal mags around as if to give me a hint when she changed her mind, but I was like, Oh no, if you want to get married you're gonna have to let me know." And she did, by surprising and whisking him away to Ziwataneo, Mexico, for a weeklong getaway in October 2006, where she proposed to him with a ring during a candlelit dinner on a mountaintop. "I asked him if he would be my partner for life," says Shawn. "I wanted him to know how much I loved him and that I did want to marry him one day."
His Proposal: A year later, Eric escorted Shawn to their favorite restaurant, Budda Khan, in Philadelphia, for an impromptu dinner, where he surprised her with a jack-in-the-box proposal. "I ordered everything for us and fed her the entire evening," says the singer. "When it was time for dessert I ordered these donuts that we love and had the waiter put the ring in the donut box carton to bring out to her before she was too full to eat. She had no clue, and when she finally figured out what the ring box was for she started crying as I proposed to her, she started crying until I yelled "Answer me!" (Laughs.)
The Ceremony: Family and friends gathered at the Lake House Inn in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, to witness Eric and Shawn become the Robersons. Three boys preceded the bridal party down the aisle toting mini red and black guitars for Eric, which was a perfect accent to their cranberry and chocolate color scheme. As Shawn's brother, grandfather and father walked her down the aisle, Eric didn't leave a dry eye in the room when he serenaded his wife with the heartfelt "You Are So Beautiful." "I lost it when I realized he was singing to me because he never really sings like that outside of his performances," says Shawn. "In the midst of my tears I was also laughing because Eric got choked up and to avoid getting so emotional in the middle of the song he yelled ‘Lord, help me!'"
Bridal Budget Bite: The loving couple had their wedding and reception in the same location. Not only did this cut costs in the long run, but it also helped reduce the stress of getting from one venue to the other in a short span of time. "My wife wanted an outdoor wedding and I warned her that every single time I've had a concert outdoors it rains," says Eric, laughing. "And sure enough it rained, but it was still a beautiful," quips Shawn.