“I knew Ibram was the one from the first date,” says Sadiqa. “He had such a gentle spirit and was such a beautiful person inside and out. He had a humble swagger that I was wildly attracted to and he was also incredibly intelligent. He seemed to compliment my strengths and makeup for my weaknesses.”
“I knew that I didn’t want a white dress, and I thought gold would be beautiful and more meaningful than the traditional white,” says the bride.
Therez Fleetwood designed Sadiqa’s wedding dress. “I went to Therez with some ideas and was able to alter one of her designs to fit my vision,” she adds. Could she look any more stunning?
“I chose the bridesmaids dresses at David’s Bridal,” says Sadiqa. “I wanted a rich red color and a few different styles that would complement each bridesmaid’s body type. I also wanted a place that would be easy for all of my bridesmaids, who came from California all the way to Philly, to obtain.”
Sadiqa and Ibram chose to be surrounded by close friends from and family on their special day and the bridal party was all smiles as they shared in their joy.
“Being a bride was great,” says Sadiqa. “I had so much fun. It was truly all I had ever dreamed of!”
“My jewelry included a headpiece made of the same beads used on my dress, gold Fulani earrings, gold bangles and waist beads made by my maid of honor and best friend,” says Sadiqa.
"I went barefoot with foot jewelry for the ceremony, and switched into some red shoes with a gold heel for the reception," says Sadiqa.
"Ibram is a strong, loving man who is very passionate in all aspects of his life," says Sadiqa.
"I had no idea I’d find true love the way that I did," says Sadiqa. "I had actually gotten off of the dating site and a good friend talked me into getting back on to try it one more time. I met Ibram a few days after getting back on. Needless to say, I am so glad I decided to try online."
“We initially planned to get married in Savannah,” says Sadiqa. “That ended up not working out so we decided then to get married in Jamaica where we took our first vacation. We considered several venues and decided on the Half Moon Resort. It was the perfect place for our union.”
“My dad, B.T. Edmonds, walked me down the aisle,” says Sadiqa. “There was no question about that.”
The beautiful bride and her proud father walked down the aisle to lamban, a celebratory rhythm from Guinea, played by African drummers.
"We used flowers local to Jamaica, very colorful and beautiful," Sadiqa explains.
The Half Moon Resort has a beautiful peninsula beach which is surrounded on three sides by beautiful ocean water. It was the ideal spot for a Sadiqa and Ibram's beachfront ceremony.
Sadiqa's bridesmaids went barefoot just like the bride.
The happy couple held a heartfelt ceremony at sunset infused with African and Christian traditions infused. “We honored our ancestors and asked their blessings,” says Sadiqa.
“My first cousin, Kenyatta Tucker, played The Lord’s Prayer with his saxophone,” the bride reveals. “We wrote and exchanged our own vows too.”
"Surprisingly, neither one of us cried," says Sadiqa. "I think I was scared to mess up my makeup. I just felt incredibly happy the entire time, as did he."
"Instead of traditional vows, we shared our 'first conversation as husband as wife' in which we wrote and shared our goals and plans in our marriage," says Sadiqa. We love that idea. It's so romantic and so real at the same time.
"Looking into Ibram's eyes felt perfect, like all was right in the world," says Sadiqa. "I was overwhelmed with the moment."
The couple held a ssand ceremony during which both sets of parents scooped sand from the earth into separate jars and Ibram and Sadiqa took the jars from their parents and poured them into one jar to symbolizie the blending of families.
"I love the beautiful goodness that radiates from Sadiqa's being the most," says the happy groom.
"We also had a naming ceremony in which we unveiled our new name, Kendi," says Sadiqa.
The bride and groom jumped the broom before walking back down the aisle for the very first time as Mr. and Mrs. Kendi.
Folks, this is what happily ever after looks like. We love those smiles, you two!
Sadiqa's stunning wedding bouquet made with native flowers complemented her non-traditional gown style perfectly.
"My friend and hair stylist from Philly, Amber Muhammad, worked magic on my hair," says Sadiqa. "And, my friend and makeup artist from Miami, Sparkle Veasy, did an amazing job on my makeup too."
The dapper groomsmen wore matching linen tops and pants to complement the couple's island theme.
When it was time for their reception party, Sadiqa slipped on these sexy red heels so that she and her new hubby could get the party started on the dance floor.
The couple's first dance song was “Make Me Whole” by Amel Larrieux.
"Our reception was on a terrace looking out over the ocean," says Sadiqa. "It felt like we were getting married directly under the eyes of God there. Just perfect!"
"We wanted something simple yet elegant for the wedding cake," says the bride. "I chose an ivory colored cake with the same flowers that we used in our bouquet as decoration and a delicious vanilla flavor."
"We chose the name Kendi for our new last name, which is from the Meru people of Kenya, and means 'the loved one,'" says the happy bride. "We wanted the name to represent us as a couple as well as our African heritage. We did not share it with our guests until the end of the wedding ceremony."
Did you enjoy Sadiqa and Ibram's island wedding style as much as we did? If so, leave the happy couple a little comment love below. Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss on ESSENCE.com? Email us now.
"We had a live steel band for the cocktail hour, and a DJ (Devon Reid) for the reception," says Sadiqa. "After the DJ played his final set and we partied hard, we relaxed for the last hour with a huge bonfire by the ocean."