1 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
2 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.
3 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Amber’s super-glam pink pumps were the perfect pop of color for her modern wedding day and they served as her "something new."
4 of 33 Handy Photo Media
For her "something old" Amber wore a brooch from her grandmother and for her "something blue," blue undies did the trick.
5 of 33 Handy Photo Media
To pay tribute to her deceased father, Amber chose to carry a portrait of him on her bouquet.
6 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
7 of 33 Handy Photo Media
"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.
8 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.
9 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Amber had a large support system on her wedding day — she selected 12 lovely bridesmaids to be by her side.
10 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.”
11 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
12 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.)
13 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
14 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Happy bride alert! Amber chose to be surrounded by breathtaking views of Birmingham on her wedding day. (We love this shot!)
15 of 33 Handy Photo Media
"Paul chose the looks for the groomsmen," says Amber. "He knew what colors I wanted and it was great."
16 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Group photo fun always ends well. Check out this frame-worthy portrait. Each and every bridal party member looked amazing from head-to-toe.
17 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.
18 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
19 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.
20 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Amber and Paul had a traditional indoor ceremony with an amazing view of Birmingham.
21 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Instead of lighting a unity candle, Amber and Paul mixed sand to represent the joining of their families as one.
22 of 33 Handy Photo Media
"Paul is family-oriented, loving and extremely hard working,” says Amber.
23 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
25 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.
26 of 33 Handy Photo Media
“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.”
27 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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.
28 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Amber treated her new hubby to a custom groom’s cake decorated in honor of his favorite NFL team.
29 of 33 Handy Photo Media
"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!
30 of 33 Handy Photo Media
"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.
31 of 33 Handy Photo Media
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!
32 of 33 Handy Photo Media
Mr. and Mrs. Prince honeymooned in St. Lucia. "We loved every minute of it," says the bride.
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!