Bridal Bliss: Amber and Paul

In case you were wondering, ladies, you can find your soul mate at the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. Amber and Paul are living proof. They met at a party during the 2009 festival, and they've been celebrating their love ever since. See their modern “I dos” and share their love.

Charli Penn Jun, 26, 2013

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“I knew Paul was the one for me when I realized how much he cared for me,” says Amber. “We are completely different people, but we are so connected.”

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Amber found her beautiful trumpet style gown after a mega search — which included being filmed for a segment of Say Yes to the Dress that never aired.

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Amber’s super-glam pink pumps were the perfect pop of color for her modern wedding day and they served as her "something new."

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For her "something old" Amber wore a brooch from her grandmother and for her "something blue," blue undies did the trick.

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To pay tribute to her deceased father, Amber chose to carry a portrait of him on her bouquet.

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“After our first conversation, I just knew it,” says Paul. “I knew that she was someone I could spend the rest of my life with and someone who would make me better.”

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"I wanted a hairstyle that looked nice with the dress and was easy to manage on the honeymoon," says Amber. "I went with a huge side bun, which was great because I snatched that thing off after the wedding and didn't have to stress about my hair during the honeymoon." And, we're loving that birdcage veil.

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“I know there is no other man out there who will work as hard to provide for me and love me the way Paul does,” says Amber.

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Amber had a large support system on her wedding day — she selected 12 lovely bridesmaids to be by her side.

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Carla Foster, of Absolutely Fabulous Events, signed on to help Amber and Paul plan their wedding day from afar. “She truly meant it when she said that planning weddings was her ministry.”

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“I realized Paul was perfect for me when I started thinking about his feelings before I would make decisions,” admits Amber. “I accepted Paul’s proposal because I just knew I couldn’t say no. I used to find ways to involuntarily sabotage relationships. With Paul, everything that happened made since.”

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We just can't seem to get enough of Amber's pretty pink shoes. (We love it when brides show-off their best shoe style on their wedding day.)

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“I really didn’t expect to find the love of my life the way I did,” admits Paul. “Especially not during the ESSENCE Festival with all of those people there. But, you never know what God has in store for you.”

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Happy bride alert! Amber chose to be surrounded by breathtaking views of Birmingham on her wedding day. (We love this shot!)

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"Paul chose the looks for the groomsmen," says Amber. "He knew what colors I wanted and it was great."

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Group photo fun always ends well. Check out this frame-worthy portrait. Each and every bridal party member looked amazing from head-to-toe.

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One of Amber’s students sang an Eric Benet song as her mother and stepmother walked her down the aisle, in honor of her father, who passed away shortly after she and Paul met.

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“I felt totally complete at the altar,” says Amber. “I felt like I was making the right decision and I knew that everything would work out from that moment on.”

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Amber’s pastor from Birmingham and her childhood pastor were both on hand to officiate their ceremony. “As I was at the altar, all I could remember thinking was, this is my wife, and I am ready to spend the rest of my life with her,” says Paul.

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Amber and Paul had a traditional indoor ceremony with an amazing view of Birmingham.

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Instead of lighting a unity candle, Amber and Paul mixed sand to represent the joining of their families as one.

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"Paul is family-oriented, loving and extremely hard working,” says Amber.

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“Since I was getting married in Birmingham and neither of us lived there, we wanted to have the ceremony and reception in the same place,” explains Amber. “We really wanted a big party and somewhere with a view.”

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Amber and her bridesmaids jump for joy.

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Amber chose to have their wedding cake designed to look like a Disney castle because she knew she'd found her Prince Charming in real life.

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“For our wedding, I wanted something fun and exclusive,” says Amber. “I wanted people to remember all of the fun they had at our wedding from start to finish. I wanted bright colors and lots of natural lights. I also had the grand idea to make all the decorations and special touches myself.”

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Amber and Paul felt Alicia Keys' smash hit "Unthinkable" was the perfect choice for their first dance song to represent the unthinkable odds they overcame to find each other and stay together through all they've been through.

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Amber treated her new hubby to a custom groom’s cake decorated in honor of his favorite NFL team.

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"After our first dance, we had a dance-off, " says Amber. "Everyone huddled around us and watched as we battled each other." What a fun idea!

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"We knew that a number of people would be sad because our fathers were no longer with us, so we really did focus on being happy and enjoying the moment," says Amber. "We wanted our wedding to cater to everyone. I'm pretty sure three of my friends are still dating someone they met at our wedding." Now that's what we call a love connection.

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Even though newlyweds Amber and Paul only sent out 250 invitations, by the end of the night, the venue told them they counted a whopping 450 guests in attendance. What a party!

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Mr. and Mrs. Prince honeymooned in St. Lucia. "We loved every minute of it," says the bride.

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This is Amber's favorite portrait and ours, too. Did you enjoy their modern, southern wedding as much as we did? Tell them all about it below! Want to see your wedding day featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now!


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