1 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"When you search for love in all the wrong places, there is a point when you just feel what is right," says the bride. "Gavin and I had always been friends. We never had to impress each other. I always felt comfortable around him, and it just felt right."
2 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"I knew Gavin was the one I was supposed to marry because at no point did I ever feel like I wanted to walk away or give up on him," says Tai.
3 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Tai chose a pop of color for her feet with these dazzling heels from Boutique9. She borrowed earrings from her sorority sister and found her chapel length veil from Etsy.
4 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"I love Gavin to the deepest part of his soul," says Tai.
5 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"Being a bride felt amazing," says Tai, who carried a lovely bouquet of calla lillies to complement her modern mermaid gown.
6 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"Gavin has helped me grow into myself and into our relationship," says Tai. "He makes me laugh constantly and he's compassionate and really cares for others. He really supports me and challenges me to be better."
7 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Ten of Tai and Gavin's combined 12 nieces and nephews were involved in their wedding. The three flowers girls looked absolutely adorable in their all white gowns to match the bride.
8 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Gavin just couldn't wipe the grin off his face as he waited patiently to get his "first look" at his beaming bride Tai.
9 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
The couple's first look was very emotional for them. "I love having my best friend around me all the time," says Gavin. "I love that I finally know what love really is."
10 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"I thought I would never fall in love," Gavin confesses. "I thought I was broken from previous so-called relationships. I was trying to be a bachelor and live a lifestyle I wasn't capable of maintaining."
11 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Gavin picked out the groosmen's style for the day. He found these dapper digs as part of the Black by Vera Wang Collection at Men's Warehouse."
12 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"We wanted something clean-cut and modern for the groomsmen attire," Tai explains. "This style was so sleek that we knew all of the men would look great."
13 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
All the bridesmaids glowed in their floor-length Bari-Jay evening gowns. "The eggplant color was just the right look for the wedding," Tai adds. It was very elegant. I wanted to choose a dress that flattered all of their shapes and sizes.
14 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
The happy couple strikes a pose with the smallest members of the bridal party. This is instant picture magic.
15 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"i planned my wedding myself," says Tai, who says she doesn't regret skipping hiring a wedding planner.
16 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"Our personalities are fun, unexpected and over-the-top," explains Tai. "We wanted venues that spoke to the both of us. The Abbey in Orlando, Florida is a chic boutique theater with a bar in the back and The Mezz, where we held our reception, was a modern event space directly around the corner from the ceremony location."
17 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"The decor at the Abbey was great," says Tai. "There was no need to add much. The ceremony took place on a stage and we loved that element."
18 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
The ring bearers followed Gavin down the aisle. Could these two guys have been any cuter?
19 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Tai's father escorted her down the aisle to the sound of the acoustic version of "Marry Me" by Train. Her cathedral veil adds just the right amount of drama to match their unique theater venue.
20 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
When we saw the proud and joyous look on Gavin's face as he watched Tai come down the aisle, our hearts just melted. You can really see the love between them in every single photo taken on that day.
21 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"I wanted all elements of our wedding to have a special meaning," explains Tai. "Our ceremony was performed by Reverend Michael Wortham. He went to school with us at Hampton and he was one of my little brothers. Being married by a family friend was very special for us. Everyone knew him."
22 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Tai and Gavin's nieces read scriptures before the couple exchanged traditional vows. "We wanted to say the traditional vows and add our own words to them to make it more intimate."
23 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"I felt an overwhelming sense of emotion at the altar with Tai," Gavin shares. "It was an almost out of body experience that came over me. I am not an emotional guy whatsoever, but it made me realize how lucky and blessed I am to have found my life partner in a world so big."
24 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Tai's king wore a fitting crown on his way down the aisle with his queen, and the new Mr. and Mrs. McEachin were all smiles as they reflected on how far they'd come together.
25 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Immediately following the ceremony, Tai an Gavin's guests enjoyed a fancy cocktail hour on site after which they were then escorted around the corner to the reception location, The Mezz.
26 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Assorted vases filled with floating cymbidiums were placed atop luxe linens to create a purple and green fairytale venue for the couple and their guests to celebrate in.
27 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"Our wedding cake was delicious," says Tai of their stunning, four-tier confection made with strawberry swirl, apple cinnamon and amaretto with buttercream frosting.
28 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
"Anyone can tell you that I'm not crazy about flowers," says Tai. “I kept our flowers to a minimum for the décor and bouquets.” Florist Flowers By Lesley created the florals for the big day and the bride admits she fell in love with them.” Wait, is that sweet tea we see? Yum!
29 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
The newlyweds made a surprise entrance into their reception, complete with video props, to Drake's smash hit "Started From the Bottom."
30 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
The new Mr. and Mrs. took to the dance floor to share their first dance as husband and wife to a fun mix of "You Are So Beautiful" by Nicholas David and "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock. Fun times!
31 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Florida DJ, Mobile DJS spun hits all night to keep the couple's guests on their feet.
32 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
Tai's Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sorority sisters surrounded her with lots of sisterly love with a special tribute.
33 of 34 ArtPhotoSoul Photography
The happy couple stops for a photo opp as they cut their gorgeous wedding cake.
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!