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EXCLUSIVE Bridal Bliss: Amar'e Stoudemire and Alexis Welch's Wedding Photos

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Amar’e Stoudemire and Alexis Welch

‘Twas a royal affair in a castle in Miami. The stylish, young couple came to celebrate, its family crest bearing the name STAT. Alexis and Amar’e Stoudemire, whose love affair began more than a decade ago -- the two barely out of high school (he had just been drafted by the NBA) – and sparked a friendship that led to four beautiful children, a fairytale proposal with a twinkling Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. An intimate wedding on the once-in-a-lifetime date of 12.12.12 followed, and, finally, an elegant, formal ceremony where the couple proudly declared their love for one another in front of 175 guests donned in their finest black and white.

The marching orders were clear: Grand. Royal. Outside of the box. Because they had already had one wedding, this time out, the Stoudemires left convention aside: A rabbi and a reverend. Eleven groomsmen and six bridesmaids. A gold wedding cake. A black reception dress. Retro Jordans for the bride and groomsmen to boogie in. And so just six weeks after she dropped her fourth, yes fourth, baby, Alexis emerged resplendent in a stunning, form fitting, gold encrusted gown designed by J. Anton and one of a kind shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood. Amar’e rocked a tuxedo from the Calvin Klein collection with custom embroidery on the back.

 “I wanted my family and all my friends to experience royalty,” explains Amar’e, a forward for the New York Knicks, who insisted on trumpets, harps, a rich color scheme, and the family crest throughout. “I feel like we’ve been so disconnected from our true heritage, so we’re kind of reinventing the wheel when it comes to that.”

 “This wedding is not just for us but for our family and our close friends,” says Alexis. “We have the blessing of being part of these events weekly that are sit down, formal, so we’re really doing this for them.”

THE FIRST TIME THEY MET:

Alexis' Side: “We met in Phoenix, AZ, and we were both 19 years old. I was at the Nelly concert and my sister and I went to an after party. Long story short, we were in the back, because we were underage. I remember seeing him in a Joe Montana jersey, and that stood out to me being from Kansas City, MO. I had on this jean outfit. Jean top, jean pants. The Alicia Keys cornrows going back (laughs).”

Amar'e's Side: “I was terrorizing the club really. I had just been drafted by the Suns and hadn’t played my first game yet. The night before, I had said a prayer about the type of woman I wanted, as far as my wife. Alexis and I started talking, about her, her family, what she was in school for, what her future plans were – a real conversation. Normally these types of conversations [in clubs] don’t go too far. Nineteen year olds are kind of short minded but she had a good spirit and she came from a solid family background. So as we started hanging out more and more, we started falling for each other.”

THE PROPOSAL:

Alexis' Side: Everybody knew but me! We were on a trip to Cognac and Paris, and did the Watch The Throne Tour on that trip. We moved hotels to the Le Meurice, and when we got into the suite, I was a little taken aback, Like shoot, since we only have one night here, let’s just stay back and order room service. And Amar’e was like, no we have to go …So long story short, we go to dinner, come back to see the Eiffel Tower on the hour, the lights go on. And there he has the bed of rose petals leading to the balcony. It was a beautiful night, and we go outside, and we just started talking about our future. I didn’t notice he was nervous either. Basically, he was talking, and then he got up and got down on one knee. He just told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and our family. I cried.”

Amar'e's Side: “I had it all figured out. I knew when we got to Paris, I was going to lay it all out. I’m gonna pull the big boy card out, book the best hotel. And the funny thing is, I think Hov and Beyonce were staying at the same hotel and that’s the room they usually have, and we had it. I’m pretty sure Hov was like, Who in the world got my room? So I was able to findangle the night and say let’s go to dinner. In the meantime, I’m in contact with my assistant telling her I need the room laid out, I need the acoustic guitar player, saxophonist, made dessert; we had rose petals laid out on white carpet. We had chocolate covered strawberries with whipped cream, we had Dom Perignon Rose. So I timed it to where I could get back to the spot, to the apartment in just enough time for the Eiffel Tower to start going off with the lights. She’s already mesmerized and breath taken. Meanwhile, my heart is beating 1000 miles an hour. And so we sat down, started having an intimate conversation about past, present, future…and I was able to find a break in the conversation to get up, walk around. Hit the knee, wop, wop, pulled the ring out. And there was no denying that one, when the ring came out. No denying that!”

Alexis' Side: “Then I got excited. I was like, Mare, how did you get me??? Usually I’m up on it.”

WHY SHE LOVES HIM:

“I would describe Amar’e as strong, supportive, caring. Puts everybody ahead of him. Puts himself last. Very selfless. Very encouraging. I just feel like he’s my rock. I lean on him. I actually feel like with us growing up, he helped me to really come into my own as a woman. He brought that out of me, that confidence. As the leader of our family, I look up to him to be a great example for our sons. And then our daughters for what a man should be. I always say I’m looking in the mirror, because I feel like I’m a female version of him. One day we can throw on our Nikes and…the next it’s couture.”

WHY HE LOVES HER:
“Alexis is very charismatic. She’s a passionate mother, and she’s very supportive and encouraging, but I probably love Alexis’ heart the most. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She always has something positive to say about everyone that she meets and that rubs off from a spiritual standpoint. You want that type of atmosphere around you, you want that same type of character around your children. And so that’s what makes her very special to me.”

Check out their wedding photos now!

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