Bridal Bliss: Marcia and Jaharton

Bridal Bliss: Marcia and Jaharton
ESSENCE.COM Apr, 30, 2012

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Marcia Vasell and her new husband Jaharaton “JJ” Johnson met at a soccer game and scored true love. Together they watched their relationship evolve from admiration to friendship, and ultimately marriage. After 14 years together, JJ proposed to the mother of his daughter on bended knee before their entire church congregation. They were married on September 30, 2011 in Canada. Share their love!

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Lovely bride to be Marcia gets ready to pucker up for JJ at the altar.

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Back during the hunt for her wedding dress, Marcia tried on four different gowns in David’s Bridal and wasn’t the least bit satisfied with her options. As she headed out the door, this Grecian style chiffon halter gown caught her eye. When she slipped it on, she “just knew” she’d found The Dress.

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“I like things to look neat but with a pop of something special,” says Marcia. “AKA bling!” The bride’s fabulous drop earrings are the perfect complement to her side swept updo and stunning necklace.

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All the men in the bridal party wore Calvin Klein suits that were carefully selected by the bride from a store called Moore’s. “The men were happy that I took the guess work out of their suit experience,” says Marcia. “It was one less thing for them to worry about.”

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Marcia’s birdcage veil = perfection. Wouldn’t you agree?

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“Purple is my favorite color, and I really wanted it to be in our wedding,” says Marcia, who chose these gorgeous cocktail gowns for her girls from David’s Bridal’s selection.

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“I love calla lillies,” Marcia admits. “I wanted my bridesmaids to hold one big calla and I wanted my bouquet to feature callas but in a different way.” We’d say that was a success. Could this bridal bouquet be any lovelier? It’s perfection. (Credit for all florals goes to Creations Special Events and Custom Decor.)

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“Things were a bit rocky for us when I was pregnant,” says Marcia. “But when our daughter was born, I knew our relationship had changed for the better. I will never forget that feeling we both shared.” Their daughter was right by their sides at the wedding when they made it official before God and their closest friends and family.

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“I was a bit picky when it came to the groom and groomsmen,” Marcia admits. “I always hated to see pictures of groomsmen with droopy or twisted flowers in their boutonnieres, so I decided they had to have an alternative…actually I insisted. I decided on the peacock feather.” Great touch Marcia.

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After collectively trying on five different gowns, Marcia’s bridesmaids decided on this strapless chiffon cocktail gown. The bride’s sister, who also served as the maid of honor, wore the longer version in yellow. Side note: Check out the fierce and gorgeous variety of updos among the girls. #hairdivas

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“He is the only person who knows my deepest fears, my hurts and my ups and downs,” admits Marcia, when asked when she knew JJ was the guy for her. “I knew it had to mean something when I could confide in him about any and everything.”

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Marcia never knew her biological father and her grandfather, who practically raised her, passed away years before she tied the knot. During the planning stages, she was saddened by the thought of not having either of them to walk her down the aisle until one of her bridesmaid’s dad, whom she considers like a second father to her, promised he’d do the honors on her big day; and he did. What a heartwarming sentiment.

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Marcia and JJ were married by their church pastors beneath a gorgeous tent on these picturesque grounds. “It was great to have someone that knew us so well perform the ceremony, and it really lent itself to the sincerity of the ceremony.”

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“We chose to recite our own vows for the ceremony,” says Marcia. “When I heard him reciting his vows to me, it seriously moved me to tears.”

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The couple chose to sprinkle pretty rose purple and yellow rose petals along the aisle to add a pop of color to their all-white ceremony decor motif. “We didn’t use a lot of decor because we wanted to keep the ceremony pure,” says Marcia. “All we needed were each other and God to complete this union.”

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“We did the sand ceremony,” says Marcia. “I feel that, unlike the unity candle whose flame is not a continuous burn, the sand ceremony was more consistent.”

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With a little help from her fabulous wedding planner Camille from June Plumm Events, Marcia managed to put their personal touches on everything including their sand ceremony glass.

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Marcia and JJ seal the deal beneath lovely white tulle draping and hanging crystals — a heavenly decor scheme so fitting of the moment.

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Marcia a JJ’s tell us they have their amazing team of vendors to thank for helping them pull of the wedding of their dreams without hitch.

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JJ and Marcia make their way to part two of their wedding day party plans. They say it’s good luck if it rains on your wedding day, so this optimistic duo wasn’t about to let a little drizzle spoil their fun.

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“The reception was formal, but fun,” says Marcia. “I wanted my guests to feel like they were amongst friends, stress free and ready to have a great time.”

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“I really wanted my wedding to be an experience for everyone,” says Marcia. “I hired a planner because I didn’t want my family and friends to worry about the details of putting together a wedding. I knew it could be stressful for me and for them.”

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Their entire bridal party sparkled on their wedding day. Kudos to Marcia for selecting styles and cuts that looked amazing on everyone.

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Marcia, who is a big fan of color and classic styles, made sure to spread both around throughout her wedding reception decor details. She used purple linens, tall centerpieces, and vibrant menus to pull of this breathtaking and elegant dinner atmosphere.

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“When it came to the decor, I relied heavily on my planner Camille from June Plumm Events,” Marcia admits. “I knew the look and feel I wanted for my wedding: purple table covers, nice lighting, and an overall look that was polished and chic but not overly stuffy or over done. I’m a simple girl.”

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Marcia and JJ share a sweet nuzzle as they hold each other close on the dance floor for a romantic first dance in the spotlight.

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The Johnsons treated their guests to a contemporary dance performance while they enjoyed a sit down dinner. The moves were choreographed by Hollywood Jade.

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“Both JJ and I are Jamaican, so it’s tradition that we have Jamaican black cake (rum cake) at our wedding,” says Marcia. “We gave our guests rum cake cupcakes as favors and we had another red velvet cake.” Family friends of the bride were responsible for this lovely four tiered sweet masterpiece. It’s one of the most unique cakes we’ve ever seen.

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“My bridesmaids and I did a flash mob dance to some reggae oldies, MC Hammer, and calypso,” says Marcia. Now that’s a fun ideas. We sure wish we’d been there to hear that medley.

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The new Mr. and Mrs. Johnson couldn’t wait to dance to the music and celebrate with guests. Don’t these two look like they’re having the time of their lives?

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“My husband is a consummate comedian,” says Marcia. "He loves to tell jokes and he usually saves his more serious side for private times.

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Their reception party ended in the wee hours of the morning. “I wanted to have a long reception because my friends like to mingle and dance and enjoy each others’ company,” says Marcia. “I didn’t want anyone to feel rushed into eating, only have time for a little bit of dancing and then be rushed out.”

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We wish Marcia and JJ ceaseless joy and endless blessings in their new life together. Don’t forget to leave some comment love for the newlyweds below. Want to see your wedding featured on Bridal Bliss? Email us now!

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