The moment Dayna locked eyes with Ryan at a friend’s party, she couldn't resist walking over to say hello. Little did she know, she was actually introducing herself to her future husband. He proposed at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens two years later, and their unique museum wedding is a must see!
Home For the Holidays
“When I took Ryan home with me for Thanksgiving for the first time, I knew he was the one,” spills Dayna. “The way he interacted with my family, but most importantly with my Dad, was just an amazing sight.”
For her ceremony gown, lovely bride Dayna chose this pretty A-line Wtoo style with a ruffled skirt. She admits to traveling to at least four or five different bridal gown shops and trying on quite a few gowns before uncovering this fantastic find. "It was by far the most difficult decision to make regarding the wedding," she tells us. "I just wanted to be sure that Ryan would fall in love with the dress as much as I did."
“I always knew I wanted to get married in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia,” says Dayna. “The moment Ryan and I started talking about what our wedding day would be like, we knew we didn’t want traditional venues.” The modern couple settled on the Edgar Allen Poe Museum for their ceremony and the Main Street Train Station for their reception.
Dayna carried a large bouquet of lush white peonies with a sprig of lilac in remembrance of her grandmother. "We worked with an awesome florist. They're called Black Iris, based out of Virginia Beach," she adds. Ryan wore a honey bee lapel pin in remembrance of his close cosuin "Honey."
Dayna’s bridesmaids found their gowns at Amsale. “I knew I wanted an earth tone that would complement all shades,” she explains. “I let my girls choose which design they wanted.” (And, they look all the merrier for it!)
Ryan and his groomsmen wore tuxedo styles by Vera Wang for Men’s Warehouse. “Ryan just wanted a classic look, and he only wears bow ties, so he had to make sure his was special,” says Dayna. “We bought his from Barneys.”
On her wedding day, Dayna had her entire support system by her side which included her sister Shajuana, who was her matron of honor, her niece Hailey, cousin China, sister-in-law Akilah, and besties Tonika, Megan and Ebony.
Dayna and Ryan's three nieces, Sydney, Kaylin and Kamrin were happy to serve as the flower girls for their ceremony. (Just look at those adorable little dresses and matching smiles!) We adore everything about this picture.
“Because our ceremony was in a garden, we let the outdoors speak for itself,” says Dayna. “The only additional décor elements we added were rose petals along the aisle.” They placed charming, traditional southern fans on each chair in case the summer heat got to any of their guests.
“I cried looking at my dad before we even started walking down the aisle,” says Dayna. She came down the aisle to India.Arie’s “Beautiful Surprise” sung by her best friend with a little help from an acoustic guitarist.
Dayna and Ryan wrote their own wedding vows to share with each other. "Looking into his eyes at the altar was heart-stopping," says the bride. "I saw our present and our future in that moment. I have never felt so much in love before in my life." The happy groom felt the same way. "It was the most amazing feeling in the world," he adds. "My heart skipped a beat."
Dayna's aunt had the pleasure of officiating the couple's ceremony. "I remember when I was around 17, and she was first ordained, I said to her, 'Aunt Gayle, when that day comes for me, you're going to marry me,'" she shares.
"Dayna was the first woman that I ever dated who treated me like a king," says Ryan. "She helps me to be a better man and pushes me to grow into a better human being. Her actions make me want to give her the world."
"I knew I'd find true love, but I didn't know when or where," says Ryan. "Before Dayna came into my life, I was focusing on my acting career. During that point in my life, I thought a woman would only slow me down, but Dayna has been the best part of my life. Within my growth, I have been able to upgrade my acting career, my personal life and my spiritual life."
The Main Street Station, where the couple hosted their reception, was just a few short blocks away from the museum. "We really wanted to make sure it felt like a party atmosphere and not a boring seated dinner," says Dayna. The reception tables were decorated with silver linens, roses and ostrich feather centerpieces. "We drew inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance era."
Instead of going with a traditional guestbook, Dayna and Ryan setup a typewriter guestbook station to allow their guests to type their well wishes. This is, by far, the most unique alternative guestbook idea Bridal Bliss has ever seen.
African drummers played during the couple's cocktail hour. Dayna's sister found the drummers on a college campus. Hiring local college students to entertain guests helped the couple save money without sacrificing any of the details they'd always dreamed of.
When it was time to party with their guests, Dayna swapped out her ceremony gown and slipped into this elegant Nicole Miller dress. "I felt like a true bride in my first dress and a sexy bride ready to party in my second one," admits Dayna.
The couple made a grand exit to be remembered as guests cheered for the newlyweds and waved their sparklers. Ryan and Dayna share the same wedding anniversary as her parents, who celebrated 39 years of blissful marriage on the couple's wedding day.
If you enjoyed sharing in Ryan and Dayna's wedding joy as much as we did, please leave the newlyweds a little comment love below. (And tell us all about your favorite details from the wedding!) Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now!