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Bridal Bliss: See Why We Adore Howard University Alums Brent And Christian's Modern Glam Wedding 

The Beautiful Birckheads

Ashleigh Bing Photography

By Lauren Porter · February 21, 2018

Christian first saw Brent her freshman year and was instantly smitten by how handsome he is. With the help of a mutual friend’s Facebook profile, she “poked” him and when he poked back, it was the very beginning of their beautiful love story. Their Washington, D.C. wedding was like Pinterest Board come to life. 

Bride: Christian Nicole Richardson, 31, Visual Artist/Product Developer
Groom: Brent Ivory Birckhead, 32, Saxophonist/Composer
The Big Day: 12/16/17
Location: Longview Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Style/Theme: Modern Holiday Glam


Wedding Planner: Favored by Yodit Events    
Officiant: Chris Richardson (Father of the Bride)
Venue: Long View Gallery    
Photographer: Ashleigh Bing Photography 
Videographer: Mae B Films    
Florist: Makini Regal Designs 
Caterer: Heirloom Catering    
Bartender/Liquor Supplier: Ace Beverage Fine Wines and Spirits    
Rental Company: DC Rentals    
Production: Social Supply    
Hairstylist: Yene Dametew    
Bride's Makeup Artist: Lola Beauty Mark 
Bridesmaid Makeup Artist: Asha Kafele    
Bridesmaid Makeup Artist: Blush By Makki    
Bridesmaid / Mother of the Bride Makeup Artist: Lola Beauty Mark    
Groom's Tailor: Neiman Marcus (Jacket: Armani; Pants: Suit Supply; Shoes: Ferragamo, Tie: Brackish)
Groommen Suits: Black Tux
Bridal Boutique/ Dressmaker: Leah Da Gloria    
Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin and Sophia Webster
Reception Dress: AloNuko  
Bridesmaid DressesRent the Runway; Lulus    
Wedding Cake: Fluffy Thoughts    
Transportation: Atlas Limosine  
Lighting: The Light Source Company    
Photo Booth: Tickled Photo Booth Company
Stationery Designer: Ijorere    
Welcome Boxes: Audry Lane Creative    
Groomsman Gifts: Audry Lane Creative 
Stationary Designer: Audry Lane CreativeIjorere
Photobooth prop design: Audry Lane Creative
DJ & AV: DJ Anonymous 
Band (Ceremony): The Corey Wallace Dubtet (5 piece band for ceremony)    
Band (Reception): Rare Essence
Favors: SpiceSuite Honey
Wedding Night Hotel & Hotels:  Marriot Marquis; Donovan Hotel    

Ashleigh Bing Photography

To pop the question, the groom didn't make the moment extravagant for his bride. In fact, he did just the opposite and Christian was so happy he did. 

"Brent had just got back from a gig in Japan with Lauryn Hill," recalled Christian. "He had been gone for almost a month. It was one of the longest tours he’d been on in awhile. When he got back, he surprised me with the ring. He didn’t make a big show of it. It was very simple. Just us, in our apartment, over a lazy October weekend. Very us."

It definitely looks like the bride was surrounded by joy and happiness on her big day.

We can't get enough of the bride's gorgeous Christian Louboutin shoes!

"Being a bride felt like any other day, but I think that’s a good thing," Christian admitted. "It alleviated so much pressure and allowed me to just be in the moment and enjoy it. I felt so relaxed. Our wedding was more than I could’ve imagined. I felt like I was living out the wedding scene from every Black sitcom ever made. All feel good vibes."

We love Brent's bowtie.

"Brent is the most driven and focused person I know," said the bride of her groom. "These days people use the term 'grind' or 'hustle; because it’s stylish. Brent actually grinds though. When he dedicates himself to something, he really gives it his all."

To greet their 160 guests, Brent and Christian created welcome gift boxes for everyone. The best part? Each box was customized with their wedding tag, #BirckheadGetsRich.

"I never really imagined what it would be like to be a groom," admitted Brent. "It wasn’t something I ever really thought about. I can say that aside from marrying Christian, it made me feel really good to have my childhood friends support me and come from far away to be there for me on that day."

"I walked myself down the aisle," explained Christian. "I didn’t like the idea of my dad giving me away. I wanted to walk into my marriage on my own accord. I wanted to give myself to him just as he was giving himself to me."

"I felt like we were writing the next chapter of our lives together," said Brent of standing at the altar with Christian. "I wanted to take that moment in. I felt grateful to have her as a partner, friend, lover, and confidant. We’d been through and seen so much over the years and stepped into marriage with such intent. In that moment I was so happy that she chose me and I her."

"I felt calm like I was right where I was supposed to be," said Christian of standing beside Brent at the altar. "I don’t know how else to describe it, but in that moment everything was so calm, but that good kind of calm. The kind where you know everything is going to turn out wonderful."

Introducing the Mr. and Mrs!

To keep in line with tradition, the bride and groom jumped the broom soon after they were pronounced as husband and wife. Their mothers placed the broom at their feet. 

"I love how responsible Brent is," said Christian when asked what she loves most about her husband. "It’s actually the thing I love and hate about him. He always wants to do the responsible thing, the thing that will yield the best result. He’s always early to appointments, gigs, events you name it. He always does what he says he’s going to do, he always comes prepared and he always gives it his all. I think that is the very definition of responsible: Doing what you’ve committed yourself to even when it’s hard. It’s such an admirable quality."

"I would say she chose me, but I knew I was going to marry her when we first started dating," said Brent. "She always had a way of making me see myself. Good, bad and otherwise. This made me want to be better and change in ways that I hadn’t [yet]. She pushed me to think outside myself and to consider others and I knew that with her as my partner I couldn’t lose."

"I knew when she made me a can of beefaroni," Brent shared. "It was her last one and I’d come home from a Go-Go gig in DC. In college, cans of beefaroni and packs of noodles may as well be a brick of gold when the carryout is closed and you don’t have anything to eat. Without question, she heated it up and gave me her last."

"She is really creative," said the groom when asked to describe his bride. "She has such a good eye too. She comes up with concepts so far ahead of the curve and isn’t afraid to step away from what’s trendy if it means creative something she loves. I think that’s a fearless quality."

"I said, yes to Brent because I trust him to lead us toward a better life," said Christian. "Not just financially, but in every way. "

How dapper do the groom and his groomsmen look?

Christian and her bridesmaids are absolutely stunning.

"I love how selfless she is. She is one of the most giving people I’ve ever met. I remember when we were still in college and in the early stages of dating and broke," Brent said. "We were walking from the dorm to McDonald's and having an argument on the way there. She was pissed at me. When we got to McDonald's, she ordered three meals: one for her, one for me, and a third one. I remember thinking, why did she order all this food? What I didn’t see was there was a pregnant homeless woman sitting around the corner. We walked right passed her and I hadn’t noticed her, but Christian did. As we were making our way back to the dorm, food in hand, NOT talking to each other, she stops and hands the extra back of food and drink to the woman. Unprompted. She didn’t even mention it when we [were] walking back. I was like dang, that was really nice of her. She still does stuff like that. She hates to see people suffering and does what she can to help. I love that about her."

Brent and Christian's reception space looked like a Pinterest board manifested IRL and we can't get enough.

"Similar to the ceremony space, the decor was modern and romantic," the bride shared. "Social Supply Events created a stage and marble-print backdrop to match the aisle runner from the ceremony. DC Rentals supplied cream velvet linens, black dinner napkins, glass chargers, marbles plates and brushed gold flatware. We also had crystal candelabras with black taper candles, mixed with a sea of floating candles. Audry Lane Creative designed the table names, menus and escort cards."

"I did think I would find true love one day when I met Brent. I was young, but what 18-year old doesn’t? We would be cuddled up in a twin bed listening to Dru Hill talking until 4 a.m. at the time, it was romantic, but over the years, I’ve realized that love is more than a feeling, it’s an action and a choice. I choose to love him and act on that every day. I choose to put this feeling into practice so that it’s lasting."

"I told her up front that I was going to marry her. She didn’t believe me. But I also realize that love is more than an R&B track. It’s an action," Brent said.

Ashleigh Bing Photography

For their first dance as husband and wife, the couple shared a moment to "Blessed" by Daniel Caesar.

Ashleigh Bing Photography

Beignets at your wedding reception is always a good idea. Amazing choice, Brent and Christian.

Ashleigh Bing Photography

"I designed the wedding cake with the head cake designer to match our 'save the dates.' Each tier was had a different design. We had two flavors of cake: red velvet with chocolate ganache filling and a buttercream cheese frosting. [The second flavor was] almond flour cake with passion fruit curd and toasted coconut with an Italian meringue buttercream frosting."

Ashleigh Bing Photography

"I let Brent choose our flavors since he didn’t get to participate in a lot of the planning because of his tour schedule. On top of that, he loves dessert. Red velvet is his favorite, so I wasn’t surprised when he chose that, but I was surprised when he picked the almond cake with the passionfruit. He is such a picky eater."

Ashleigh Bing Photography

We can't get enough of the way Christian is looking at Brent in this photo. That's love!

"I knew he was the one when came to visit me for New Year's Eve while we were still in college," the bride recalled. "His parents lived in Baltimore and mine in Northern Virginia. I asked my mother if Brent could spend the night after we came back from this New Years party and she was apprehensive because my dad was so “old school. He has a really old way of thinking when it comes to courting, like late 1800s old. Anyway, I remember telling Brent that it was pointless for him to come out with me because my dad was tripping and he would have to drive back to Baltimore so late. Brent came anyway and dropped me off after the party and tried to sleep in his car in the parking lot of our complex. It was so damn cold outside. I told my mother how cold it was and she felt sorry for him. She let me sneak him in the basement and he slept on the floor with a thin blanket and a pillow. He had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get out before my crazy-ass dad woke up. I was so embarrassed and thought for sure Brent would never come back because of how extra that whole situation was.  Later that day, he called me to see when I was coming back to Howard so he could come back the same day and time. That's when I knew."