Fate helped Rondel and Yanique cross paths during their freshman year at Temple University, but true love brought them together forever. You won't be able to get enough of their modern meets rustic dream wedding day.
Bride: Yanique Ashwood, 32, Directory of Pricing and Inventory at Comedy Central Groom: Rondel Holder, 32, Senior Marketing Manager at ESSENCE & Founder of Soul Society 101 The Big Day: 10/23/16 Location: Greenpoint Loft, Brooklyn, New York Style/Theme: New York Love Story
"Yanique is the best of everything," said the groom of his bride. "She is beautiful, intelligent, knows how to step out in style, loves God, has great morals and is a loyal to her friends and family. She is loving and compassionate and has an amazing sense of humor. There wasn’t really anything she lacked to be perfect for me."
Rondel popped the question during a trip to the Turks & Caicos.
"He tricked me! I thought that we were going on a simple vacation and that he had to do a write up and lifestyle photo shoot for the resort for his travel blog," the bride said. "We get to the resort and we stayed in an amazing ocean view villa with a wrap-around garden and pathway to the beach. Little did I know that the photo shoot would end with a surprise proposal on the beach at sunset."
For their wedding rings, both Rondel and Yanique designed the bands they gave to one another. "One of our favorite parts of the process was designing our wedding rings. We worked with our jeweler at Difference Inc." The bride has two wedding bands to create a stacked effect with her engagment ring and the groom's ring is a two-toned white and yellow gold band. Both are perfectly classic and timeless!
Finding a dress was a little difficult for the bride but she eventually settled on one that made her look and feel flawless. "When Ron saw me, I wanted it to represent the love that we share. Sweet, delicate, classic," she said.
"It felt amazing to be a groom," said Rondel. "Leading up to the big day I was really nervous. I was very comfortable in the idea of marrying Yanique but it was just a nervous energy about the magnitude of what we were about to embark on plus all the time and work put into our wedding and it was finally here. But I woke up that morning feeling amazing and I took the time to enjoy every part of getting ready with my Best Man at Hotel Indigo LES. The room was perfect with an amazing view of Manhattan which got me in the zone of our wedding theme. The hotel was so awesome because of the aesthetic, location and amazing service."
“I felt beyond blessed,” said Yanique of how it felt to be with Rondel at the altar. “Words can’t even truly describe the feeling that came over me. I just felt wrapped up in his and God’s love.”
The groom couldn’t help but feel the same.
“When I laid eyes on her I knew this was the most beautiful that I had ever seen her. It’s like there was a glowed-up, extra magical filter there as well. I just felt so many emotions and felt so blessed at the same time.”
"We both cried, but I cried more than she did though," said Rondel. "I think mainly because she is used to sharing her feelings more often in front of people and I’m way more of a closed person so it was a really moving moment to share exactly how I felt in front of so many people we love."
The bride and groom didn't stick with the traditional wedding cake. Instead, they gave out wedding favors from Lick Your Lips Cakes. "We had mini cheesecake jars by with assorted flavors assorted flavors like red velvet, rum raisin, Kahlua cream, cookie dough," the bride said. "And she got our proposal photo printed on the jars. They came out great and tasted delicious!"
"I told him in college [he was the one] but he didn’t believe me," said Yanique. "But seriously, it was after our first date when I got butterflies. I hadn’t gotten butterflies since I was a teenager so I knew he was special."
"After dating for about a year, I was confident that Yanique was the one," said Rondel. "I just felt a new feeling, the most confident feeling I’ve ever felt in love. It was a clear sign that we were going to be together forever."
"No, I never thought I would actually [find true love] and I never thought I’d be married," said Yanique. "But like they say, 'when you make plans, God laughs.'" Rondel, the expert planner made sure this moment was as magical as could be: "We did our first looks at Mr. Purple in NYC. We’re so glad we had a chance to have some time to ourselves and enjoy the moment before the whirlwind of the rest of the day. We were blessed with amazing weather so taking photos on the outdoor deck was perfect."
"We provided flip flops for ladies because we didn’t want their heels to prevent them from hitting the dance floor," shared the bride. "We picked this tip up from a wedding we went to a few years ago. It’s pretty cheap and genius if you want to ensure a turned up reception."
"We only had a Matron of Honor and Best Man," said the bride. "We wanted to keep it simple and cut out the drama that we’ve heard stories of and witnessed. Simple is better! We have no regrets. We love Brian and Ebony and know that they’re going to be our family forever. "
"Since we were getting married in the Fall, we wanted to bring in notes of the season by having warm donuts and hot apple cider," said the bride. "The smell of the donuts being prepared, filled the air with such a sweetness that it was palpable."
Making Magical Memories
"Instead of a photo booth, we got a backdrop that really complimented the space and got two Polaroid cameras and some props," the couple shared. "People took their photos and pinned them up on our custom board. It was cute and economical."
"Even though we didn’t have a full bridal party, we both were surrounded by the love of our friends," said Yanique. "One of my favorite photos is where I’m on the roof with my girls and they’re waving sparklers in the air. It was such a magical moment with friends from childhood all the way to college. They all mean so much to me and I was happy to carve out a special moment with them."