Bridal Bliss: Tracey and Bradley

High school besties-turned-lovers Tracey and Brad gave romance a try after her sisters insisted there was something special there. It only took one official date for them to realize what everyone else knew all along: they were always meant to be together. See their modern wedding in our nation's capitol.

Charli Penn Apr, 17, 2013

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Tracey, 28, and Brad, 28, realize now that they were always meant to be together. “Even in high school when we were just good friends, I always wanted the best for Brad,” she says. “Throughout my time knowing Brad, I believed something told me that he would be my husband. But, I never pushed.” With a little help from her sisters, eventually they went on the first date that started it all.

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“My search for the dress lasted just one day in one shop,” says Tracey. “I tried on seven dresses! I’m very much a person who knows my style and knows what I want. The dress fit my personal style perfectly — modern, yet classic, and simple with a bit of flare.” She settled on this gorgeous gown designed by Essence of Australia.

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Pretty shoes for a pretty, pretty bride on her wedding day.

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Tracey sat down to let makeup artist Kiate "Tay" Jones perfect her wedding day beauty look.

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"My planned hairstyle didn't work out, so my hairstylist, Latrice Strader of Destiny De've, had to go with plan B," Tracey recalls. "She's an amazing stylist and plan B actually turned out to be a great hairdo that stayed intact throughout the entire day."

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“In June 2011, I lost my maternal grandmother who was very close to me,” says Tracey. “To honor her, I had three bouquet charms made with old photos of her. My sisters, who were both my maids of honor, wore them on their bouquets too.”

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“I love that Brad is my best friend,” says Tracey. “We can just kick it. I love that I can genuinely feel his love for me and that he’s not afraid to show it in public or private.”

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Tracey's favorite flower is the hydrangea. Her lovely bridal bouquet was filled with them. Her florist, Edge: Floral Event Deisgners, also mixed in white roses with feathers and crystals. The bridal party carried a similar bouquet style with black cyrstals.

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“We both decided early on that we wanted our dating relationship to end in marriage,” says Tracey. “We were always on the same page.”

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The bride's little cousin, Margo, was chosen to be the flower girl, and judging from that smile, she loved every single minute of it.

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“Bradley is a fun-loving type of guy,” says Tracey. “He’s very personable and always ready for a great laugh. He is God-fearing and very cautious about making decisions. He has a great work ethic and has worked hard to get to where he is today.”

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“We complement each other,” says the bride. “He strengthens me when I am weak, and vice versa."

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Brad's groomsman were up for having fun for the cameras. We love this portrait of them working those suits. What a great shot!

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“I sent out a survey to my bridesmaids beforehand asking what they were looking for in their dresses,” says Tracey. “Taking that info, my sister and I did some web searching.” They wound up falling in love with these stunning color blocked evening gowns from Bari Jay. “I loved the style of the dress!”

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Brad's groomsman rented chic Vera Wang suits from Men's Warehouse. "He had the ultimate decision, but I offered my thoughts and they were to have a modern and fitted look — nothing baggy," says Tracey.

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“Over the years, I asked God to reveal my husband to me,” says Tracey. “It wasn’t soon after that I realized God answered my prayers and revealed Brad as the man that would be my husband.”

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“Brad has worked hard to take advantage of opportunities and make the best of them,” says Tracey. “He has used his relationship with his mother and God to disprove the typical statistics for Black men in America — very much like my own father. And, I admire him for that.”

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“I’ve always wanted to get married in a church,” says Tracey. “Zion Baptist is my home church, so that was an easy decision. I especially loved that it has a long, center aisle.”

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The flower girl and groomsman walked down the aisle together as the couple's 160 guests prepared to stand to greet the happy bride.

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"My daddy walked me down the aisle," says Tracey, who chose to have a soloist sing "Never Felt This Way" by Brian McKnight as she made her way toward Brad. "I wouldn't have had it any other way!"

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"When I looked into his eyes, I felt relieved that the day was finally here," says Tracey. "As we pledged our love to each other before God, it felt amazing."

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Brad and Tracey chose to hold a traditional Baptist ceremony, but it was still important to the bride that their personalities shined through. "So, being fans of live music, all the music that was played during the ceremony was live," she says. "We hired three soloists, an acoustic guitar player and a pianist."

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How sweet are they? We love to see couples who aren't afraid to go for the big kiss at the altar. It is finally official, after all. Can you feel the love?

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Say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Williams, everyone! Tracey and Brad also jumped the broom to pay tribute to their ancestors.

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Before they even made it out of the church doors, the newlyweds just couldn't resist stealing another tender kiss.

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Tracey and Brad’s bridal party was filled with close friends from their childhood and college years and dear family members. What a chic bunch!

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The newlyweds are all smiles as they make a fast getaway to their reception party at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland.

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“My friends can tell you that I am not a romantic, love-story type of person,” says Tracey. “I believed that God would show up in my life in the romance arena just as He has in all other areas of my life. I knew that what God has for me, is for me. I waited on Him, and yes, He sent me my true love.”

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“Back when I dated, I always compared those that I was dating with the level of friendship that I had with Brad,” says Tracey. “I knew what we had would be a great foundation for a relationship and eventually a marriage.”

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To kick things off at their reception party, Brad escorted his new wife Tracey to the dance floor and they rocked to the sweet sounds of Anthony Hamilton's "The Truth."

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Tracey wanted a modern-yet-elegant theme for their reception decor. Check out their chic, custom cake style.

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Day-of coordinators from The Social LLC were on hand to help Tracey and Brad ensure that every single carefully planned detail went off without a hitch. As you can see, everything went beautifully and as planned.

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Tracey's Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. sorority sisters were on hand for fun photo opps at the couple's reception. Click that "like" button if you're loving this photo as much as we are.

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Tracey's sorors treat her to a sweet and sentimental serenade.

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The Williams' honeymooned in Los Cabos, Mexico. Did you enjoy their modern wedding style? Tell us which details were your favorites below and leave Tracey and Brad some comment love. Want to see your wedding featured in Bridal Bliss? Email us now.

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# Weddings

Tags

# Weddings