1 of 40 Leo
Bride: Melissa Duchene, 34, Professor Groom: Garfield Kelly, 42, Police Officer The Big Day: 8/6/16 Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Style/Theme: Romantic Elegance
2 of 40 Leo
By her side, Melissa had a great group of love on her wedding day!
3 of 40 Leo
Melissa scored an amazing deal on her wedding dress and she just couldn't pass it up! As soon as she put it on, she knew it was the one for her.
4 of 40 Leo
"Melissa is affectionate, intelligent, and kind hearted," said Garfield of his bride.
5 of 40 Leo
"I love his giving nature, patience, and ability to get along with others from various cultures, education levels, and social status," shared Melissa as she described Garfield.
6 of 40 Leo
"I absolutely loved being a bride! I thought that I would be nervous with all eyes on me, but to the contrary. It was a great feeling that so many came to celebrate our love," Melissa shared!
7 of 40
"Garfield or (Kelz) as I like to call him is an extremely giving individual who often will put others before himself," said the bride. "He’s patient, kind, respectful, and has an old school mentality which I adore."
8 of 40 Leo
"Melissa has a big heart and loves taking care of others," said Garfield. "I know that she will undoubtedly be an amazing wife and mother."
9 of 40 Leo
Melissa styled her knee-length dreadlocks in a regal way and with her veil, she looked absolutely radiant!
10 of 40 Leo
Everybody say "cheese!"
11 of 40 Leo
"I loved knowing that I was going to marry this woman that I loved endlessly,"said Garfield of how he felt on he and Melissa's big day!
12 of 40 Leo
Melissa's niece and cousin were just the cutest little additions to her bridal party!
13 of 40 Leo
"One of my favorite memories was having my mother cry when I presented her with a gift while getting dressed," said the bride. "My mother doesn’t show much emotions and this was a very sweet shared moment."
14 of 40 Leo
Melissa and her bridesmaids are gorgeous!
15 of 40 Leo
Melissa and her father--who she reunited with 7 years before she tied the knot--shared a sweet moment before she walked down the aisle.
16 of 40 Leo
"My mother raised me and I reunited with my father about seven years prior to my wedding date," said Melissa. "I knew it was important to both parents to be able to share that special moment with me."
17 of 40 Leo
Melissa didn't cry during her wedding day but Garfield did shed a few tears as she walked down the aisle. Aww!
18 of 40 Leo
Garfield's smile definitely indicates that he is one happy man!
19 of 40 Leo
"I was hoping to find my true love but I didn’t know when or where," said Garfield of finding love. "I was open to falling in love."
20 of 40 Leo
"I felt a sense of peace looking and my soon-to-be husband," said the bride of how she felt looking at the groom while at the altar. "I knew that he would protect and provide."
21 of 40 Leo
"I felt like the Father (God) had it right!" said the groom of how he felt standing at the altar with his bride!
22 of 40 Leo
With the pastor of her brother marrying she and Garfield, Melissa and her groom were in the right hands!
23 of 40 Leo
"We had unity candles," shared the groom. "Our parents lit the end candles at the beginning of the ceremony and my husband and I used the lit candles to light the big unity candle in the middle."
24 of 40 Leo
Both the bride and the groom look so happy!
25 of 40 Leo
They did it!
26 of 40 Leo
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Kelly!
27 of 40 Leo
"I don’t believe that God intended for us to be alone so I knew that my husband was somewhere out there," shared the bride. "Unfortunately, I had to kiss a lot of toads before finding my Prince Charming."
28 of 40 Leo
"She captured my heart and I love her," said Garfield of why he chose to make Melissa his wife. "I felt like we could build a great life together."
29 of 40 Leo
This is what love and happiness looks like!
30 of 40 Leo
"I said yes because he balances me out, he’s a very laid back man, he’s God-fearing and selfless," said Melissa of marrying Garfield.
31 of 40 Leo
"I was extremely grateful that God sent this amazing man to me and that honored that Garfield wanted to spend the rest of his life loving me," said Melissa of how she felt when Garfield proposed. A year and a half later, on the day they became man and wife, she felt the same!
32 of 40 Leo
On Christmas Day, Garfield asked Melissa for her hand in marriage. She thought he would propose on a different day and was so disappointed when he didn't. When he got down on one knee in front of their family and friends when she least expected it, her answer was of course, yes!
33 of 40 Leo
When these two love birds entered their wedding reception, "Let's Get Married" by Jagged Edge played. Now that's how you make an entrance!
34 of 40 Leo
"Sticking with my romantic elegance theme, I choose wine bottles as favors," shared Melissa of the gift she and Garfield gave to their 130 guests. "I attached a gold and white paper straw and a sign that had the Philadelphia 'Love' block on each bottle."
35 of 40 Leo
"I knew he was “The One” when we had our first argument or “discussion” as we like to call it," said the bride. "At times, I can get frustrated easily and he has the ability to calm me down in a loving manner even when that anger is directed towards him."
36 of 40 Leo
The sweet dance that the bride shared with her parents is one she will never forget!
37 of 40 Leo
"I knew that she was 'The One' a couple of weeks after meeting her," shared Garfield. "Small things like writing notes on post it cards had me hooked."
38 of 40 Leo
"We had a three layer cake," shared the couple. "The bottom two layers were red velvet and the top layer was rum cake." Yum!
39 of 40 Leo
Way to have some fun!
40 of 40 Leo
Congratulations to the happy bride and groom!
You may like
Get The Essence Newsletter and Special Offers delivered to your inbox!