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“I felt a deep connection to Kurtis the first time we met,” Jennifer reflects. “My heart told me that he was the one and I could totally be myself.”
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One afternoon, Jennifer assigned her art class to create collages. One student held a picture of Kurtis, a professional artist and featured bachelor in ESSENCE. “He was handsome and talented,” she shares. “I thought it was a long shot but I emailed him anyway. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
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Two years later, Kurtis thought it was destiny when ESSENCE announced the Storybook Wedding contest shortly after he had purchased an engagement ring. The duo was flown to Walt Disney World where Kurtis surprised Jennifer with a proposal at Animal Kingdom.
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The artistic couple kept the spirit of their engagement alive and created their own Disney-themed wedding invitations. “Kurtis and I planned out every detail of our wedding,” Jennifer says.
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“I knew it was true love when I shared and showcased my shortcomings as a young man, and she allowed me to grow through them,” Kurtis remembers.
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“Her friends’ love for her is phenomenal,” Kurtis shares of his bride. “I knew she was great but seeing her friends and family share their love for her is a wonderful experience.”
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Guests were wowed by the groomsmen’s art palette boutonnière created by the bride and groom. How cute!
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“She walked into my life as Jennifer, needing no changes, adjustments or shifts,” Kurtis shares. “She only needed someone to grow with and I became that person.”
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“My shoes were fiery red satin Adrianna Papell heels. I added a shoe clip for extra glam.”
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Jennifer rocked this mermaid gown by Parisian designer Oleg Cassini. She accessorized with custom jewelry by her mother, Betty Mack. “Finding the dress was a breeze,” she says. “This was the third dress I tried and I purchased it that day.”
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Jennifer’s father escorted her down the aisle to meet her husband, while “Yours” by Mariah Carey played.
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“I was stunned watching her walk towards me,” Kurtis remembers. “All I could think was ‘the most beautiful woman on Earth is looking at me. I hope I look half as amazing as she does.’”
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The Hoboken, New Jersey couple exchanged vows in front of 100 friends and family at Maritime Parc in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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“We included a faith reading from the Bible and the unity sand—symbolizing our lives becoming inseparable like grains of sand,” says the new wife.
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“Jennifer and I met through the pages of ESSENCE and have been inseparable ever since!” Kurtis says.
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“Bridesmaids wore short satin dresses in orange, red and fuchsia—hot shades that ignite the sense of love and passion,” Jennifer says.
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“Being artists, we love to create. We planned our entire wedding and made the most of the items,” Jennifer says. “We recommend couples plan their own wedding, which is a fun bonding experience.”
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The newlyweds enjoyed their first dance to “I Found My Everything” by Mary J. Blige.
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Prepare to swoon. Kurtis surprised his bride with a fun art presentation, while performing "Adorn” by Miguel.
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“Everytime I hear “Adorn,” I will think of my wedding day,” Jennifer says.
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“Every time I hear 'Adorn,' I will think of my wedding day,” Jennifer says.
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“He is definitely the brush that paints me as if I were a canvas,” Jennifer says of her husband. “Every brush stroke is just purely effortless.”
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The couple wanted a venue that showcased the New York City skyline. The groom selected the picturesque location and coordinated all the details.
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Say cheese! Guests created and received flipbooks at the reception.
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The happy couple cut their red velvet wedding cake, decorated with flowers from the wedding to complete their Southern Comfort brunch menu.
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"’Everyone loves Jennifer’ was the theme of our early dating days. It was fascinating then and still happens today.”
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The bride and groom jam with their young guests. The morning after their magical day, they jetted to St. Lucia for their honeymoon.
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Kurtis’ groomsman put his Vera Wang suit to good use on the dance floor. Work, brother!
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“I learn from her daily,” Kurtis says of his bride. “She loved me beyond my immaturities and saw something in me I didn’t see. I’ve grown with her and so excited to have Jennifer as my wife for life.”
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