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Sheree and Duriel had only been together for six months when they shared an intimate moment that solidified their future in her mind: “We were having a conversation about our hopes and dreams. When I rattled off one of my lofty life goals, he looked at me and said, ‘If ever there is something you want to attempt in life promise me that you’ll go for it with no fear and no reservation, because I want you to know that I’ll be there to support you every step of the way. I’ll always be the shine behind you.’ Then he kissed my forehead. After I swooned, I realized that I had not one ounce of doubt in his words and I trusted that he meant what he said. “
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Sheree was a total stunner in these silver Prada shoes on her big day.
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"Horace and I decided to do two looks for my wedding hair – one style for the ceremony and one for the reception," Sheree tells us. "Both looks were based around my headpiece because it was so opulent. My ceremony look was a more traditional updo with loose pin curls in a side-swept bun. I wore my hair down for my reception look in cascading curls swept to the right side."
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"My headpiece was a handmade Swarovski crystal bridal sash that I purchased from The Wedding Shoppe in Birmingham, MI, which my seamstress, Valentina James turned into a headband," says Sheree. Beautifully done!
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"My 'something new' was a necklace that Duriel gave to me as my gift the morning of the wedding," Sheree shares. "He found the last birthday card that my dad gave me before he passed away and had my dad’s signature from the card engraved into the charm on the necklace. I pinned the charm on the inside of my dress close to my heart so that I would have a part of my dad with me on our wedding day."
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Sheree chose her sister Ashley to be her only bridesmaid and her maid of honor. "Her dress was designed by Vera Wang," says the bride. "We fell in love with the style because it was fun and flirty, and it looked great on her. It was also a perfect mix of modern and Great Gatsby-style because the skirt of the dress was very busy and had a lot of movement. We chose the grey color because the material was a silver organza that sparkled in the light and looked beautiful with her bouquet."
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Duriel chose just one person to stand beside him at the altar. His best man and best friend, Barry Smith.
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Sheree chose this gorgeous custom-made Pronovias gown that was designed at their design studio in Spain. She carried a romantic bouquet made of ivory Patience roses, magenta Mamie Blue garden roses, soft pink Rosaline garden roses, and magenta phalaenopsis orchids.
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"I certainly didn’t think that I’d find true love at all. Prior to meeting Sheree, I had just moved to Atlanta and I was pretty jaded about finding a woman that I had something in common with," Duriel admits. "Of course, when my wife came along, all of that changed. I knew pretty quickly that she was special, and was thankful that I got to know her."
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"Every couple has a love story, and we like to believe that ours is one that speaks to the kind of love that is transcendent over space, time, and circumstances," Sheree insists.
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"I did not think that I’d find true love how and when I did because I was coming out of the tail end of a bad relationship and I wasn’t sure if I would even meet someone that would hold my interest," says Sheree. "It wasn’t until after I met Duriel that I started to connect the dots on how he was everything that I had hoped and prayed for."
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Sheree and Duriel chose a presbyterian church to house their ceremony. "I decided on the venues because I wanted the ceremony and reception to be in the city limits of Detroit, not the suburbs," says the bride. "Detroit gets such a bad rap for a host of reasons, and non-Detroiters don’t know that there are countless beautiful places there. I am SO proud to have been born and raised in Detroit, and I wanted our wedding to showcase my city and the things that people don’t get to see because of all the bad press."
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Look at all of that ring bearer cuteness. Adorable!
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Double the fun for the flower girls!
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Okay, we're in love with these kids!
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"My uncle, Bruce Knight, my mom’s older brother, walked me down the aisle because my father passed away last summer," Sheree tells us. It was beautiful of him to step in at such a special moment in her life.
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"I walked down the aisle to the 'Bridal Chorus' by the German classical composer Richard Wagner," Sheree shares. "The church has a huge pipe organ, and I wanted a traditional classic composition to be performed to complement the ambiance of the church. It was absolutely magical."
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"I felt like I was connected to him in a way that I had never been connected before," says Sheree of the moment she looked into Duriel's eyes at the altar. "It was like no one else was in the church but us, and looking in his eyes never felt more intimate. I’ll never forget that feeling. Ever."
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We just love Sheree and Duriel's matching his and hers smiles at the altar.
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"We opted not to write our own vows because we knew that we’d be too emotional to get through them," says Sheree.
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"I was so overcome with emotion because she was so beautiful standing in front of me," says Duriel. "As I looked into her eyes, I felt a love for her that is indescribable. It was like I was becoming one with her soul."
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Give it up for Mr. and Mrs. Garner, ya'll!
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"He’s always said to me that he’d asked God to send someone into his life that was worthy of his love and that he would be granted the gift of discernment to know her when he saw her," says the happy bride. Both their prayers were answered the day they found each other.
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"Sheree is simply amazing," boasts the groom. Clearly he adores his new wife and the feeling is mutual.
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"There wasn’t a dry-eye in the church once Duriel's tears started flowing," says Sheree. Aww, we love it when the groom gives into the moment.
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"Sometimes, I just sit and watch her because she is everything that I have ever dreamed of in woman," Duriel admits. Okay, now we're blushing too!
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Sheree and Duriel chose to host their reception party at Detriot's MGM Grand Hotel & Casino.
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"What I love most about Sheree is her smile, although admittedly I’m attracted to every single thing about her," says Duriel. "I love her sense of humor (the girl could have been a comedian), and her intellect. I love to watch her engage in conversation (and even debates) because she’s so smart, and it makes me proud to have a wife that truly has beauty and brains."
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"About three months after getting to know Sheree on a personal level, I couldn’t envision my life without her," Duriel admits. "I was beyond convinced that she was the woman that I wanted to (and would) spend the rest of my life with."
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"Our first dance song was 'Forever More' by Anthony David,"says the beaming bride. "We felt that the words to one of the chorus lines fit the day and our relationship perfectly."
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It looks like the bride and groom really know how to cut a rug!
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"We decided on that particular cake design because it was very sleek and the flowers gave a sharp multi-dimensional effect," says Sheree. "Our cake topper was hand-made from mirrored glass with our names in cursive script. The cake flavor was also a custom creation by the MGM Grand’s pastry chef. It was vanilla-berry cake with strawberry Bavarian cream filling.'
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"I didn’t want huge floral topiaries," says Sheree. "Instead, I wanted the overall look of the centerpieces to be chic, modern and interesting with the flowers being more of an accent to the table decor."
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Sheree and Duriel chose a Great Gatsby-themed reception affair and they had lots of experienced help pulling it off so beautifully. "We had the amazing husband and wife team of Alison Laesser-Keck and Bryan Keck from Viva la Diva Events as our wedding planners and designers," Sheree shares.
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"One of our favorite moments was the toast that my sister gave to us at the reception," says Sheree. "She spoke about how much she appreciated Duriel for coming into our family and for being the awesome man that he is, and that she was so proud and blessed to be my sister."
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One of Duriel’s favorite moments was during the reception, when he and his best man danced to “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground. "The crowd literally cleared the area because the two of them danced to that song like they were back in the 6th grade," says the bride. "It was hilarious."
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It's safe to say that the newlyweds and their guests had a blast at the reception. (And they have the pics to prove it!)
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"During the time leading up to my dad's death, Duriel was more than just a part of my family support system, he was the glue that kept me together," says Sheree. Three weeks before he passed away from complications of a stroke. the last conversation he ever had was with Sheree's mother and he asked if she felt Duriel was the right husband for their daughter. They both agreed. "I can't help but to think that the timing of my father's passing wasn't serendipitous, it was divinely ordered, because he was called to heaven only after being sure that Duriel would assume his place as the protector and provider for my life," she adds.
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"We believe that our love is driven by God's repeated confirmation that the two of us were uniquely and divinely made for each other, and destined to go the distance," says Sheree.
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"What I love most about him physically is his deep voice and his eyes with those long lashes…they’re absolutely dreamy," Sheree admits. "The intangible that I love most is his kind heart. The things that he does for me because he loves me from the bottom of his heart are indescribable."
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