Bridal Bliss: Our 11 Favorite Weddings of 2011

Bridal Bliss: Our 11 Favorite Weddings of 2011
ESSENCE.COM Dec, 27, 2011

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Canadian Erykah met her love Ricky at church while she was visiting Washington D.C. for a summer internship. He offered to show her around the city, and before long, a romance bloomed. After three years of long distance love, the couple tied the knot in a Harlem Renaissance-themed wedding affair at The Palace Royale, a former Jazz supper club in Toronto.

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In keeping with their theme, Erykah wore a feathered hair piece and Ricky donned a vintage bow tie. Bridesmaids wore loose finger waves and smoky eyes to channel the glam era, and groomsman strutted their stuff in blue velvet jackets.

The jazz-themed reception tables were named after notable people from the era’s movement. See more of Erykah and Ricky’s vintage wedding style now.

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Rukiya and Qubi were from the same town, had friends in common, but had never met. When they finally did, it was love sweet love, but they no longer lived in the same state. After a year of sending their love to one another via email, the lovebirds grew tired of the distance between them. Rukiya moved to be with Qubi and the following Valentine’s Day she woke up to find an engagement ring on her finger.

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The couple jetted to the Dominican Republic for their intimate “I do’s” and sent only 20 cherished guests their wedding invites, designed to look like airplane tickets. The ceremony was beautiful, warm, and family-oriented, just as they dreamed it would be. See more of Rukiya and Qubi’s island getaway now.

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When anesthesiologist Elisha met IT engineer Justin at a party in her new Maryland neighborhood, the pair hit it off famously. During a surprise birthday trip to Las Vegas three years later, she got the best gift ever from Justin — he asked her to be his bride.

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Chicago native Elisha headed back home to plan a modern and luxe wedding at the downtown Ivy Room. The black, white, pink, and purple color palette set the stage for modern elegance, We couldn’t get enough of their one-of-kind photos and venue. See more of their breathtaking wedding now.

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Fashion model-turned editor Ivy and graphic designer Scott met at an office party. The fun-loving couple chose a vintage carnival theme for their special day and they totally went for it.

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Guests sat on giant hay bales during the ceremony, and were treated to cotton candy, a photo booth, bingo, and raffle games afterwards. We wish we’d been there to get in on the fun. See more of Ivy and Scott’s carnival wedding now.

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Texans Shalisha and Bencil met at a high school football game, became great friends, and even better lovers. After five blissful years together, the happy couple made it official this summer in style.

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The bride made an unforgettable entrance on a stunning staircase, and the couple put their special touch on every single detail. Their photos will leave you breathless, we promise. See more of their romantic wedding style now.

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After meeting at a concert n New York City, Piper and Carl went on to hear wedding bells. Their beautiful Brooklyn wedding was so unique and the couple told their love story through their amazing details. Tables were named after places that held special meaning for them and they had custom cake toppers made to look like them.

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To keep the party going they hired a DJ for the reception and after-party, so the guests they couldn’t invite to the wedding were still able to celebrate with them. When the night wrapped, as a special surprise, guests enjoyed yummy snacks from a Korean Taco Truck parked right outside. See more of Piper and Carl’s fun wedding now.

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Aretha and James met in high school math class and earned an A+ in romance. They had already enjoyed 10 blissful years together as boyfriend and girlfriend when James decided he couldn’t wait any longer to make Aretha his wife. Their fairytale story didn’t end there. The couple’s dream wedding took place at Long Island’s spectacular Oheka Castle where they exchanged vows outside and then shared a romantic sit-down dinner with their guests.

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Aretha and James shared the moment with their four-year-old son, who proudly served as mom and dad’s ring bearer. Girly-girl Aretha chose pretty pinks and lots of pearls to decorate the reception space and set the mood for romance. See more of Aretha and James’ fairytale wedding now.

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Southern belle Marquita met her dream guy Christopher at her Fourth of July party. When he proposed the couple set out to plan a one-of-a-kind rustic and elegant affair that paid tribute to Marquita’s southern roots.

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Their sweet ceremony was held in a beautiful little 18th century Gothic church and a Louisiana themed reception party followed – complete with a second line led by the bride and her mom. You could just feel the love coming through these photos. See more photos from Marquita and Chris’ wedding now.

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“I never thought that the guy I met at the club would be my husband,” Kameela said. But that’s exactly where she met Fred. They bonded over long nights of captivating conversation. Soon their talks turned into “I love you” and one night, after Fred planned a “Kameela Appreciation Dinner,” the conversation turned to “will you marry me.” The Atlanta couple traveled back to the groom’s New Jersey hometown for an intimate garden wedding at his aunt’s private residence.

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Kameela and Fred stayed true to their garden theme. Guests dropped words of wisdom and encouragement in a lovely birdcage for the newlyweds to take home as keepsakes. The bride and groom read their own vows and solidified their bond by blending two tones of sand together in a vase. See more of Kameela and Fred’s garden wedding now.

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Attorneys Darian and Moneyede met on their first day of law school and got engaged four years later in the exact same spot where they first laid eyes on each other. The lovebirds chose an intimate destination wedding to match their laid-back style.

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How do we love this dreamy Jamaican wedding? Let us count the ways: 1. The bride and groom posed by the spectacular sea for unbelievable photos. 2. The entire bridal party “took the plunge” together during a group cliff diving adventure. 3. The bride’s couture gown was the definition of fierce. See more of the couple’s laid back “I do”s now.

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When Denise’s kidney failed, Derek gave her a new life — one that they vowed to spend together. She knew he was “The One” since she was 15 years old. The couple, who met their freshman year of high school — when she was the captain of the cheerleading squad, and he the captain of the soccer team — couldn’t wait to meet up at the altar.

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“We continued Derek’s family tradition of being married at St. Cecilia’s,” shares the bride, when asked about their memorable wedding location. In keeping with Catholic tradition, she chose this stunning Justin Alexander gown to be sure she wore sleeves at the altar. The picky bride-to-be tried on over 30 gowns until she knew she’d found the one. See more of Denise and Derek’s lovely wedding day now.


# Weddings


# Weddings