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Finance manager Kenna, 32, first met Marcus, 32, an engineering supervisor, during their freshman year at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Both part of the same circles, they hung out quite often. By their junior year, Marcus could no longer resist the urge to ask Kenna to be more than just friends. They dated, but split after graduation when she moved to Washington, D.C. and he relocated to Memphis. The lovebirds lost touch, but years later, reconnected in California when they once again shared the same zip code. On August 4, 2012, they tied the knot in an elegant southern ceremony in Georgia. Share their love!
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"Marcus is such an amazing man," says Kenna. "He's God-fearing, values family, handsome and hardworking. He makes me laugh and he honestly loves me for exactly who I am."
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Kenna wore a lace mermaid gown named Dakota and designed by Enzoani. “I always knew that I wanted a lace dress because my mom wore a lace dress,” she tells us. “I added an Enzoani sash and wore a long veil trimmed in lace.”
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Marcus proposed to Kenna in her hometown of Atlanta during a romantic surprise candlelit dinner in a hotel suite, complete with a slideshow and video of their love story and a handwritten note professing his true love. “I absolutely loved it,” she says. “I cried so much, the pictures aren’t even cute. He was so on point.” Right after the proposal, Marcus escorted Kenna upstairs to the hotel rooftop for another big surprise — an impromptu engagement party with all of their family and friends.
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Dapper groom-to-be Marcus gets ready to meet his bride.
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“I’m so glad that my mom was able to make it to my fitting because without her there, I think it would have been really hard to make that final decision,” Kenna says.
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The father of the bride was moved beyond words when he saw his daughter all dressed up and ready to walk down the aisle.
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Although she and her family were DIY warriors with many of the floral designs for the reception, when it came time to design her bridal bouquet and the groom's boutonnieres, Kenna tapped Jane Rogers Florist to help out. Rogers used roses in shades of cream, lavender and peach (their wedding colors!) for all the arrangements.
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Kenna had two maids of honor (her sorority sisters) and one man of honor, her cousin. The girls both wore chiffon dresses by designer Liz Fields in styles that best fit their bodies. Her man of honor wore a grey suit to match the groomsmen. Marcus’ three groomsmen were his oldest friends.
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Kenna and Marcus’ evening ceremony was held in the parlor. The bride’s father had the pleasure of walking her down the aisle. “I’m such a daddy’s girl” says Kenna. “I’m so blessed to have him by my side.” She walked down the aisle to a remix of Robert Glasper’s “Ah Yeah” that was made just for her by DJ Battle of One Sound Entertainment.
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When Marcus and Kenna first looked for rooftop venues, they couldn’t’ find one that met their needs. The Del’Avant, though an hour outside of Atlanta, wound up being just right. “It wasn’t too flashy or glitzy, which isn’t me,” says Kenna. “It was a really beautiful venue, and I felt it was very inviting.”
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The beautiful bride makes her grand entrance wearing a big, beautiful smile. “I cried when my dad saw me the first time before the wedding,” she admits.
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“I got a little teary eyed when I was reading my vows,” says Kenna. “Especially when I saw all the people who had come to celebrate our union.”
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Anthony Flynn, Marcus’ brother-in-law, officiated the couple’s ceremony. “He did an awesome job,” says Kenna. “It was perfect!”
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For the happy couple, the wedding ceremony was all about sharing love. They had a dear friend read a poem about love at the start of their ceremony, and later incorporated heartfelt vows to share not only with each other, but their family and friends.
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“Marcus and I wrote our own vows and had no idea what the other would say before we got up there,” says Kenna. “I’m so glad that we did that. It’s a beautiful expression of our commitment outwardly before God and our loved ones.”
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While Kenna and Marcus posed for gorgeous portraits like this one, their guests were enjoying the cocktail hour. In lieu of a guestbook, guests signed pieces of fabric that will soon be used to make a quilt the couple will have to cherish forever.
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Immediately following the ceremony, family members and the bridal party stayed for pictures while guests were ushered to the rooftop for cocktails, food and music.
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"It seemed like every day we'd both come to the other one with a new dope idea for our first dance song," says Kenna, who worked side by side with Marcus to plan their big day. 'We ended up going with Mint Condition's "This Day, This Minute, Right Now.'"
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“We went with a music and love theme,” says Kenna. “Which was incorporated into a logo that we branded everything with: our Web site, invites, gobo light, favors and more.”
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“I’m not a big flower person, so it was really hard for me to accept how much it costs for things like centerpieces and bouquets,” Kenna admits. “My amazing mother and maid of honor offered to create a lot of the floral décor, including the centerpieces. They bought the vases locally and picked up flowers from a nearby market.”
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"Marcus and I aren't really big on cakes, so we didn't have one," says Kenna. "Instead, we had our favorites: pecan pie — made by my grandmother, key lime pie and apple pie. We also brought in the local ice cream shop from town to set up an ice cream bar."
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“We were able to pull together the majority of the planning on our own,” says Kenna, who hired ellyB Events to help with the day-of coordinating. “Eliana worked magic to get us our fabulous caterer, Endive Atlanta Fine Catering, and they were also amazing to work with.”
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"We had an amazing group of friends and family who served as hosts and hostesses," says Kenna. "They made sure things went well for the big day."
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“Décor wise, we really kept things simple,” says Kenna. “The space had great exposed brick, beautifully trimmed white ceilings with detail and modern light fixtures.”
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Proud Delta Sigma Theta member Kenna shared a special moment with her sorority sisters at the reception. Doesn’t she look fabulous? Her old friend, who did her hair for 12-years before retiring, offered to give her this lovely wedding-day style as a wedding gift. Now that’s sweet!
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