Bridal Bliss: Shalon and Darwin

Bridal Bliss: Shalon and Darwin
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 15, 2011

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Shalon and Darwin took their love down to the Riviera Maya, Mexico to say “I do.” Share their love.

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The resort where they tied the knot — Azul Santorini — provided hair and makeup for Shalon. “I was really impressed,” the bride said. “I wasn’t sure how that would work out.”

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Shalon was originally looking to spend around $4,000 for her wedding gown until Darwin showed her a few options from David’s Bridal. She got two gowns for $1,200 at the bridal retailer and she felt like a princess walking down the aisle.

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Shalon’s Badgley Mischka bridal shoes add a little sparkle to her wedding day look.

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Bright pink was Shalon and Darwin’s primary wedding color. Shalon displayed the hue with the roses in her bridal bouquet.

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“I really wanted to feel like a princess and this dress did it. I loved it,” Shalon says of the gown she wore down the aisle.

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“He literally is my better half,” Shalon says of her hubby Darwin.

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Darwin and his guys get prepped to walk down the aisle.

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Bright fuchsia runners made a canopy over where the bride and groom would say their vows.

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“My dad was actually telling jokes the whole time we were walking down the aisle,” Shalon laughs. “I think he was more nervous than I was so he was making jokes.”

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“I’m standing at the altar and the most beautiful woman on the planet is about to be my wife.” Darwin muses. “I’m thinking, ’I’m a pretty big deal, I am the man, I am the luckiest man alive.”

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Shalon and Darwin actually tied the knot in a small ceremony in Brooklyn a few months before their destination wedding. They had the officiant who married them before come down to perform the symbolic ceremony.

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Before they are pronounced husband and wife, Shalon and Darwin pour sand into a container from large sea shells.

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“Darwin warned me before we kissed. He said, ’Don’t get shy on me,’” Shalon laughs. “That’s why I was backing up, like, ‘Relax. My parents are sitting over there.’”

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“I feel like I know Shalon so well and I feel like she knows me better than anyone else,” Darwin says of his new wife.

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“I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe this is really happening!’” Shalon says.

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Shalon and Darwin’s families are now one.

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“Every time I look at our pictures or watch our DVD I want to do it all over again,” Shalon gushes.

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Shalon and Darwin expected between 10 and 15 wedding guests. They felt blessed when nearly 70 of their closest friends and family were able to join them in Riviera Maya.

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‘We love to travel, we love the beach and ever since we started dating we’ve traveled so much,"

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“She has a really pure and genuine heart,” Darwin says of his bride.

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“We’re so much alike in the things that we want out of life,” Shalon says.

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Now that they’ve bought a home together, Darwin is excited to carry his darling wife over their threshold whenever the mood strikes him.

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The reception area was set up so that all the tables surrounded the dance floor.

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Guests were able to bring the party home with them with bright pink maracas.

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Shalon and her dad danced to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole.

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Shalon and Darwin held each other and danced to Gerald Levert’s “Made To Love You.”

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Darwin teased his new wife as he took off her garter.

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“[I fell in love with] her honesty,” Darwin says of Shalon. “She’s honest — brutally honest sometimes. Sadly, that’s not something you can say about everyone.”

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“Darwin was very different from any guy that I’ve ever been with,” Shalon says of what attracted her to him.

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“He takes care of me and he brings out the best in me,” she shares.

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“Healthy relationships take work and compromise,” Darwin says. “I appreciate that she is so willing to put in work.”

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“She is the most beautiful woman in the world,” Darwin says of Shalon.

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“Every morning when I wake up, I literally thank God for my wife,” he gushes.

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“We’re both irreplaceable to each other — it can’t get tighter than this,” Darwin adds. “I just wonder what the next years are going to bring.”

For more on Shalon and Darwin’s wedding visit The Bride’s Cafe

All photos by Vida Carson Photography

Tags

# Weddings

Tags

# Weddings