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“I married a man that I love, a man that I like, a man that I admire, and most importantly, my friend,” happy bride Kelli tells us.
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Kelli chose a stunning Lazaro gown for her destination wedding day. Her mom actually spotted it first in a magazine, and initially Kelli wasn’t a fan. Then she tried it on and looked in the mirror and everything changed. She knew at that very moment that she’d found the perfect wedding gown.
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Kelli’s Badgley Mischka satin peep toe pumps were a gorgeous choice to complement her lace embroidered gown.
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Jerrod’s line brother owns a hair salon in South Florida and was happy to help when Kelli asked him to create her wedding day hairstyle. Qza Morales completed the look with classic makeup touches.
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"A lot of the day was a blur, but it felt surreal," Kelli explains. "I was extremely happy and I wasn't nervous at all.
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"I did most of the wedding planning," Kelli recalls. "Jerrod gave me a lot of ideas and said 'yes' or 'no' to certain things. The one thing he wouldn't budge on was the incorporation of his fraternity colors. I told him I wasn't having a purple and gold wedding, so we compromised on purple and olive." Way to work together guys!
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”Jerrod is patient, loving and a giving man,” says Kelli. “I love his giving heart the most.”
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"Kelli is an amazing woman," says Jerrod. "She has a caring heart that reaches far beyond those she loves and cares about. It's not every day that you meet a woman like her. She is the true meaning of unselfish living and that's what drew me to her."
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Fashionista bride Kelli chose pretty peplum dresses for her bridesmaids. The maid of honor wore purple while the other three ladies wore olive versions of the Jim Hjelm style. "The jeweled tones complemented each other beautifully," she adds.
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The groom wore a Vera Wang tuxedo and his groomsmen wore Calvin Klein suits. "We chose the guys' attire together," Kelli recalls.
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"I didn't want my bridal party to look like a church choir walking in, so I narrowed the number down to family and one woman to represent each group of friendships in my ife," Kelli explains. "My sister Michelle Pleasant was my maid of honor. My friends Aziza Bowser and Kamaria Harper-Williams are my longtime girlfriends since preschool. They represented my hometown crew from Gainesville, Florida. Anjelica Jones represented my friends from Florida State. And, my cousin Stephanie McQuay is my best friend, and I've known my entire life that she was going to be in my wedding."
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"When I prayed about Jerrod, I felt at ease," Kelli explains. "Everything just seemed to come so natural with our relationship. Plus, he's allergic to dogs yet he loves my dog like it's his own. He even kept my dog healthy while I lived out of town for a year and a half."
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"I knew Kelli was the woman for me when I prayed to God about her," Jerrod admits. "I asked Him to reveal her heart to me, and He said, 'My son, your search is over.'"
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"I chose Kelli to be my wife because with her I've always felt at peace," says Jerrod. "No matter what's going on around me, I know that with her I can conquer all things. The prayer and confirmation from God sealed the deal."
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Kelli asked her stepdad to escort her down the aisle. "My biological father and I don't have an extremely close relationship," she admits. "My stepdad has been in my life for over 20 years and he has watched me grow into the woman that I am today."
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Jerrod and Kelli held a traditional wedding ceremony inside Puerto Rico's oldest Methodist church, La Santisima Trinidad in Old San Juan. "Jerrod's uncle, our pastor, married us," she tells us.
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"I made it halfway down the aisle and the dam broke," Kelli recalls. "I cried all the way to the altar." The couple exchanged custom vows once she got there. "I felt ecstatic looking into his eyes. I was so happy. The tears dried up and I felt at ease."
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The couple lit a unity candle together to unite their families and Jerrod's mother lit a candle in rememberance of her deceased mother. Kelli's aunt lit another to remember her mother while Jerrod's sisters read passages from Corinthians and Ephesians.
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Here come the happy newlyweds!
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"I wasn't nervous on my wedding day at all," says Kelli. "It felt right. It was exactly how it was supposed to be and actually more than I ever dreamed of."
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Matching, yet comfy, kicks were on the couple's wedding day must-list. What a fun way to add a twist to your wedding portraits.
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"When we got engaged, we decided together on a destination wedding." says Kelli, who looked absolutely stunning posing for photos on the streets of San Juan in her trumpet-style gown.
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The couple hosted an elegant dinner reception at Hotel El Convento. It's the old covent to the town cathedral that was converted into a boutique hotel after it was closed. "The building had its original archeticture and that's what really sold me," Kelli recalls.
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Kelli told her planner that she had a vision to carry tulips and roses throughout the flower themes on her wedding day. "She really made my vision come to life," says the satisfied bride.
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When Kelli traveled to Puerto Rico with her girlfriends to celebrate her 30th birthday she fell in love with the colors and buildings in Old San Juan. She knew then that it would be the perfect backdrop for a wedding.
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Over 130 guests traveled to Puerto Rico to witness the happy couple become husband and wife. For their first dance as the Addisons, Kelli and Jerrod danced to "A Couple of Forevers" by Chrisette Michelle.
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Jerrod and his Omega Psi Phi brothers shared a moment on the dance floor.
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Jerrod's fraternity brothers serenaded his new bride. How sweet!
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The couple's deejay kept the bride, the groom and their guests on the dance floor all night long.
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The newlyweds even stopped for sweet treats on the streets. What an awesome photo opp!
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"It was so special seeing how much all of our guests really enjoyed themselves," says the bride. "And, it was incredible to see all of those different generations come together on the dance floor."
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