Bridal Bliss: Harriette and Ricardo

Harriette knew Ricardo forever—her older sister married his best friend. When Ricardo watched Harriette walk down the aisle as the maid of honor at her sister's wedding, he realized she was The One.

Charli Penn Jan, 08, 2014

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“I said yes because I knew that with God’s help, Rick and I could bring the best out of each other,” says Harriette. “Rick, not only made me a better person, but he made me a better follower of my faith in Jesus too. He challenged me, freed me and accepted me beyond what I thought I could be.” Aww!

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"I knew Rick could lead me as my husband soon after we started dating," admits Harriette. "I already knew him as a friend but I needed confirmation from God on a few particulars that I did not look for in him before because I was not considering him in that way. He already had the basics: He believed in God, he was a family man, supportive, fun, confident, strong, a provider and he loved me."

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Harriette's wedding dress was designed by Demetrios (Atlanta). "I spent one day, went to five stores and probably tried on 15 dresses," she recalls. "The last dress at the last store was the one I bought. I knew it was mine when I put it on and my legs were saying a sexy 'hello.' (Laughs) I loved the split in the front. It was so unique that I knew it would be a showstopper."

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"The man I married is very strong, sensitive and smart," says Harriette. "He is very full of life and energy and loves very hard."

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Rick was on hand all day to cater to Harriette and treat her like the queen he knew he was about to marry.

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Rick and his best man Curtis have known each other since high school. If it weren't for Curtis, he never would have met Harriette and her family. Now the best friends are married to sisters. How sweet is that?

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"I thought it was going to be much longer before I found true love," Harriette explains. "I was happy and in a good place when Rick and I connected so I was comfortable living the single life. I had just arrived at a place of confidence and acceptance and then God changed my life."

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"I love Harriette's heart capacity," says Rick. "She seems to always see past my tough exterior and see right through me with an accepting heart."

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"I used purple calla lillies," says Harriette. "My bouquet was made of a summer mix of followers. Plus, the centerpieces featured calla lillies, stones and sand."

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All rise for the bride! The little ladies (Harriette and Rick's nieces) helped to build the excitement before the beaming bride's big walk down the aisle.

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"H is brilliant, beautiful, genuine and intelligent," says Rick. "She’s also silly. We can have fun together and she loves sports!" (We love that he calls her 'H'.)

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"My wife is committed to her relationship with God and she always pushes me to be my best self," says Rick. "Her heart is so deep for those around her and especially for me."

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Daddy's girl Harriette was all smiles as her father happily escorted her to the altar.

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Harriette's father escorted her down the aisle to the sweet sounds of Adele's "Make You Feel My Love."

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Harriette's pastor of 12 years, Dr. Bryan E. Crute of Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church, was the couple's wedding officiate. "He is like a second father to me," the bride tells us.

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"We had an outdoor ceremony at Boothe Memorial Park," Harriette explains. "They have an intimate rose garden with a fountain that fit about 100 people. It was very informal. We had the guests stand for the ceremony while we faced them versus the traditional way where the guests stand behind you. They surrounded us, sort of like a semi-circle."

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"Looking into his eyes at the altar, I felt broken (in a good way) and complete at the same time," says Harriette. "I knew I made the right choice. He was so perfect in that moment...flaws and all. I saw him perfectly."

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"I love Rick's strength and confidence because he can be humbled and sensitive," says Harriette. "He knows who he is, who he is not and what he wants. He helps me to be strong and be the best woman that I can be."

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"I cried coming down the aisle when I saw that Rick was already crying," Harriette admits. "When I saw my pastor and my family, I just lost it."

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"I love the ceremony photos," says Harriette. "It was so emotional and one of the most sacred moments of my life."

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"It felt surreal," says Harriette. "Everything happened so fast."

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"I love the photo of us leaning on the long trough by the barn," says Harriette. "Anything that shoes off my dress! (Laughs.)"

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Harriette is one tech savvy bride. She designed an app just for her wedding guests to help keep them posted on all of their pre-wedding and wedding events. We love it!

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"We planned the vision together at first but I handled all of the little details once the big day got closer," says Harriette. "Rick was helpful and supportive. It was a pretty easy process. He picked the colors. We both agreed on location and style. He took care of all the music and I handled décor."

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"Before I met Harriette, I thought I was happy," says Rick. "Then God hit me with a new plan. I was all in this time to do it His way and not mine."

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"The moment was more than I could have imagined," says Rick. "I was so overwhelmed and all I could think of is, ‘I have a wife!'"

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"I was actually inspired to have a backyard wedding reception by the movie Jumping the Broom," says Harriette. "My husband had already purchased a home next door to my sister and her husband, Rick’s best friend. It is because of them that we met, so it was only fitting that we get married by our home and have the celebration next door to the home of my sister and his best friend. It all came full circle."

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Not all weddings go off without a hitch. "The DJ played the wrong first dance song," Harriette admits. "I was upset but we danced a little to it and then we came back after he got it together." Way to have a winning attitude!

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Budget savvy couple Harriette and Rick managed to pull off their dream backyard wedding and not go over budget. #winning

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The theme of the couple's wedding day was 'A Love Story.' "We wanted to tell our story through bits and pieces of the theme," the bride explains. "The program was written like a story. The seating chart was designed as the 'table of contents' and each table represented a chapter with each guest's placecard designed as a bookmark. Every table had a sign with its corresponding table number on it, the chapter and a story about that chapter in our relationship. Rick and I took the time to tell our story in 10 chapters to read across the 10 tables." How unique!

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"Our family decorated and set up the backyard," says Harriette. "We had so much help and everything was hand made or customized by a friend or family member. It made it special, and most of all, affordable."

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"I felt like a queen that night," Harriette tells us. "I was so full of joy and completeness. It wasn’t what I dreamed of, it was even better. It was real."

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"Our wedding cake was baked by my godmother’s mom, Karen Wiley," says Harriette. "It was a simple 3-tier red velvet cake with butter cream icing." That aounds like it was delicious. (And, it looks like the duo had a blast feeding it to each other.)

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All of the single ladies on the dance floor lined up for a little luck-in-love from the bride.

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Harriette and Rick honeymooned in Mexico. If you enjoyed their romantic story and backyard wedding style as much as we did, don't forget to leave the happy couple a little comment love below. Tell us which detail was your favorite. Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now.

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# Weddings

Tags

# Weddings