We're celebrating Black love with a tribute to the most spectacular wedding moments of the year. We rounded up the sweetest kisses, most romantic gowns and stunning details ever. See which weddings made our list and tell us which votes you second!
Baltimore bride Dawn found true love at 40 when she met Reginald on Match.com. She chose a fierce backless gown for her big day and we're still drooling over all of its unique details. Um, and would you look at that birdcage veil? This bride had true aisle style!
“I felt a deep connection to Kurtis the first time we met,” ESSENCE Storybook Wedding finalist Jennifer reflects. “My heart told me that Kurtis was the one and I could totally be myself.” See their wedding here.
After years of secretly crushing on Rita, Ephraim finally convinced her to return his calls. She might have played hard to get, but when she got to know him, falling in love was easier than ever before. Their Texas estate wedding at Chateau Cocomar was as elegant as they come!
Candace and Thomas were married this summer in San Diego, California. Her lush bouquet was filled with lovely orange roses, circus roses, mango calla lilies, pin protea and green cymbidium orchids wrapped in orange ribbon. Isn't it a beauty?
For their first official dance as husband and wife, Memi and Dapo glided across the dance floor to the sweet sounds of Corrine Bailey Rae’s rendition of “Is This Love,” and from the looks of it, it sure is!
Stylish bride Remy asked her cake baker to use inspiration from her favorite bloom, the anemone, to create an elegant wedding cake, and the result was a dessert masterpiece. See more of her fab wedding details here!
Although Jonathan jokingly told Denise beforehand not to "ugly cry" for the pictures, when it came time for them to exchange their vows, he was the one overcome by the magic of the moment. "Our vows really came from the heart,” she said. Swoon!
“Carl makes me strong in areas where I am weak,” says his new wife, natural hair blogger Nikisha. The couple tied the knot before an intimate group of close friends and family members on the beautiful beaches of Big Sur, California. “We can talk every day for hours and never run out of things to talk about it,” she told us. Click the "like" button if this picture also took your breath away!
When New Jersey bride Vanessa married Hakim in a lavish fairytale ceremony in the spring, she had custom robes made for her bridal party. It was a sweet gesture that allowed for classic photo opps like this one, that we just adore.
When Chareta and her husband Wade renewed their vows in a lavish Dallas ceremony, she chose to walk down the aisle with her dad to "Never Felt This Way" by Brian McKnight. Wade surprised his bride by having Brian McKnight there to serenade her on the grand piano as she entered the room and walked down the aisle. "It was amazing!" she told us, and we couldn't agree more. Excuse us, we need tissues!
Beautiful bride Kelli met her husband Anthony when her friends set her up on an unexpected blind date. The modern bride still wanted an elegant, timeless look for her wedding day, so she chose this gorgeous cover up and we swooned the minute we saw her in it.
“My son, who was eleven at the time, walked me down the aisle,” bride Cori told us. She was a young widow until she met her new husband Anthony. “It was the right thing to do. Ultimately, my kids had to give me permission to marry again and this was a great symbol of that agreement.”
On Jasmine and Jonathan's wedding day, she gifted her bridesmaids with pretty floral bridal party robes. We just loved this dainty and feminine style and it sure made for a fun memory they're all sure to cherish for many years to come.
College sweethearts Anaya and Darren got married young and in a hurry. Convinced that his wife deserved the wedding of her dreams, Darren proposed again on their fifth anniversary, and this time around, they tied the knot in a romantic ceremony at a private resort in Antigua so her dream wedding could be realized. (Now, that's how you do it fellas!)
Sadiqa's stunning custom gown and wedding bouquet made with native island flowers complemented her personal style perfectly and we enjoyed every second of it. See Sadiqa and Ibram's island wedding here.
When Bisi and Wale tied the knot at the King Plow Art Gallery in Atlanta and their romantic ceremony style took our breath away. From the candle-lined aisle to the mood lighting, it was an evening to be remembered.
On Jasmine and Jonathan's wedding day they found unique ways to blend their families for the day's festivities. How cute is this ceremony seating sign? You couldn't stop talking about when we originally posted it, and the truth is, we couldn't either. Share their love!
When Denise looks at her new husband Jonathan, we can really see the love between them burning strong. A photo this touching deserves a category all its own. The happy couple were married in Rochester, Michigan.
Kristen, a project manager, married federal lobbyist Erik in Atlanta and the photographer captured this intimate and sweet moment on camera. "Erik is protective, comforting and gentle at the right times,” said Kristen. “I love his strong sense of self and consciousness, and I love our dynamic together. We can go from talking about serious issues to joking about something silly to reminiscing about an old school hip hop song—all in the same conversation.” We're melting!
"We knew we wanted to have our vow renewal in Dallas because that is where Wade is originally from," Chareta explains of her vow renewal ceremony with her husband, NFL player Wade. "Our first wedding was small and simple, in a small church in Lauderhill, Florida, on a Tuesday afternoon (NFL off-day). This time around, we wanted a venue and event that represented our love for each other and our growth over the last 10 years." Success!
Koby lends his new bride Mary Jane his shoulder as they bask in the beauty and joy of their wedding day on the shores of Los Angeles.
Most Emotional Moment
When Gavin saw his bride Tai for the very first time he was overcome with emotion, and so were we. "I love having my best friend around me all the time," he says. "I love that I finally know what love really is." See their "I dos" here.
“Our florist did an amazing job,” Atlanta bride Shannon recalls when speaking about the floral creations from Le Jardin Francais. The lovely apricot, ivory and grey color palette made each arrangement just that much more romantic, and those Peacock blue Dessy gowns really made the bridesmaids' bouquets pop. See Ian and Shannon's romantic wedding here.
Although Xenia’s florist gave her different flowers than she paid for, the happy bride made the best of a bad situation and posed with the pretty blooms just the same, and her wedding day glow instantly won us over. See her shared wedding bliss with new hubby Sheldon here.
Three hundred and fifty guests attended Nicole and Matt's lavish wedding celebration and when they walked into this glitz and glam infused reception space, we're certain their jaws dropped. We're still gasping over the beauty. See Nicole and Matt's wedding day here.
A mutual running buddy set up long-distance runners Keshawn and J.R. on a blind date. They hit it off tremendously and the race to the altar was on! At her reception, Keshawn couldn't help but cry tears of joy when her Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority sisters paid tribute to her with a sweet serenade. The truth is, we got a little misty eyed too!
When New Orleans bride Xenia wanted to surprise groom Sheldon with a fun groom’s cake she styled it to look like an iPhone with Beats by Dre headphones attached. “On the screen was a Jay Z song from his Reasonable Doubt album,” Xenia explains “The bakery (Haydel’s Bakery) scanned the image to make it look like he was actually listening to the song and had the actual artwork from the album on it. They did an amazing job!” We agree!
When Atlanta bride Dafina walked down the aisle to the sounds of a piano instrumental of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love,” both her father and her stepfather escorted her and we thought that was twice as nice. See Dagine and Ryan's wedding day here.
After their ceremony, Cassandra and Marlon, who met on BlackPeopleMeet.com, got a little more comfortable as they posed for romantic rooftop portraits before the reception party began. We loved their laid back style and her super unqiue "something blue."
At ESSENCE Storybook Wedding winners Kyla and Aaron's wedding the dance floor was packed as guests enjoyed sweet treats and cocktails courtesy of Voli Vodka. Doesn't this picture make you wish you were there? Yeah, us too! See the rest of their fairytale wedding here.