You can find true love when you least expect it. One Sunday afternoon on her way to work, India bumped into her future husband, Jerej, at the local corner store. The rest is history. Share their love!
Working on a Sunday is never fun, but for India, 31, who’s in marketing, it was just another part of her job. That day, on her way to work, something amazing happened. She locked eyes with construction worker Jerej, 32, who had pulled over to run into his favorite corner store in Spanish Harlem, New York. They locked eyes and sparks flew. After a brief conversation, she gave him her business card. Undeterred by the fact that she hadn’t given him her personal number, Jerej called her up and invited her out for sushi. Six years later, they became husband and wife on November 11, 2012 in the Dominican Republic. Share their love!
For a romantic look for her island wedding, India wore this gorgeous Lusan Mandongus wedding gown that she discovered at the Gabriella New York Bridal Salon on 14th Street in Manhattan. “Before finding the dress, I visited six other bridal shops,” she admits. “Dress shopping was fun. The only stressful part was managing other people’s expectations.”
“I knew he was the one when I ran my first half marathon,” says India. “He was so supportive, following me through NYC with signs and encouraging me to push through when I was ready to give up. At the end of the race, he was there with my family and friends, and it just felt perfect. There’s nothing like feeling completely comfortable with someone. It’s hard to describe. He just became a part of my life story, and that was it.”
“I figured the stylists in DR would have limited experience styling locs,” India tells us. “Before leaving for Punta Cana, I had two hair trails at Turning Heads Salon in Harlem. The stylist showed me how to do the side ponytail-style I wanted. For our final appointment, I did the style myself while she watched and corrected me.
India opted to go with open white roses, white spider mums and coral orchids for her romantic bridal bouquet. “I wanted something that was romantic and whimsical,” says India. “The combination was perfect. It was full and light.”
“I never thought I would find my husband on a street corner in Harlem,” says India. “I wasn’t looking for love, but I was open to the idea of meeting someone. I typically don’t speak to people on the street but something that day made me let down my guard and look what happened. You just never know.”
“The first look was by far the highlight of the wedding day,” says India. “I was worried about breaking tradition and seeing him before the ceremony but that one moment was so incredibly special and personal because it was just the two of us seeing each other for the first time. We were both so happy in that moment. I remember the silence and walking up to meet him and feeling so nervous, but the second he turned around, it all went away. I was looking into the eyes of my husband.
“After deciding to have a destination wedding, I knew I wanted the ceremony on the beach,” says India. “I practice Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, which teaches you to be in rhythm with the universe and your surroundings. It was only fitting to be next to the ocean with our feet in the sand. Why have a destination wedding if you’re not going to be on the beach?”
“Jerej is the most driven person I know, and not just with his career,” says the bride. “He is driven to be the best husband, father, son, brother and friend. It’s so inspiring and makes me want to be a better wife and friend to him. He is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful, and I love that.”
“Since I’m a practicing Buddhist and Jerej is a Christian, I created the ceremony script and included some non-traditional elements,” says India. “His grandmother read a scripture from the Book of Solomon. My mother conducted a hand blessing ceremony, where she symbolically bound our souls together by tying our hands with a ribbon, and his mother led our friends and family in taking a personal vow to support us as a couple.”
“It felt absolutely perfect looking into Jerej’s eyes,” says India. “I never felt so sure about my love for him and our relationship than I did at that moment. The joy in his eyes was surreal. He had never looked at me in that way. It really felt like just him and I while we were up there.”
“Our recessional song was ‘Ignition Remix’ by R Kelly,” India tells us. “He’s Jerej’s favorite artist. It really got the party started right away.” We love that this couple kept the focus glued to having fun and cherishing their love.
“He’s never afraid to tell me how much he loves me, and he does all he can to make sure I’m happy,” says India. “He has always been there for me, and I know he always has my back, no matter what. It’s the best feeling knowing that your heart is safe in someone else’s hands.”
India and Jerej’s reception was supposed to be outdoors as well, right off of the beach next to the pool area, but there was a threat of rain so they were forced to move it inside to the Apollo Foyer. “It felt outdoors because it was open on three sides but was covered to shield us from the rain,” she says. “I was sad that we had to move the reception at first, but the new location gave us more privacy, and as soon as we were done with our first dance, it started to pour.”
For their first dance, India and Jerej hit the dance floor to the sounds of “One In A Million” by Ne-Yo. “Our first dance was amazing,” the bride recalls. “We were so in sync everyone thought we rehearsed. I’ve never had so much fun.”
From the minute India and Jerej laid eyes on each other on a corner in Spanish Harlem, they knew they felt something truly special. And, we can feel the love! Did you enjoy their fun, destination wedding style? Tell us your favorite detail below. Want to see your wedding featured on Bridal Bliss? Email us now!