Bridal Bliss: Aww! Stephanie and Javoni's Feel-Good Wedding Vibes Are Contagious

Lauren Porter Jun, 27, 2018

One night, Stephanie told the universe exactly what she wanted in a partner, then two weeks later, Javoni contacted her on Instagram, and the rest was history. See their sweet Texas wedding photos.

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

Bride: Stephanie McNeil, 30, Database Analyst; Adult Literacy Instructor
Bride: Javoni K. Henderson, 31, Certified Labor Doula
The Big Day: June 2, 2018
Location: Cathedral of Hope - Interfaith Peace Chapel and LGBT Community Center of Dallas
Style/Theme: Fresh, clean, minimalist 

Vendors

Music/Cellist: Jordan Jones 
DJ: Ursa Minor 
Cake: The Butterfly Cake Factory
Photographers: Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions & Jazzela McKeel 
Lighting: Dallas Light & Sound
Catering: Wendy Krispin, Inc. 
Officiant: Winner Laws
Makeup: Daniel Perez and Janaye Faces
Florist: Antebellum Design

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"Javoni planned a family outing for our son, Phoenix and I on November 11, 2017, at the lantern festival. We took a short road trip to Ennis, Texas, where we stopped on the side of the road to admire large cot-ton fields, longhorns, cattle and serious rural aspects of Texas that the kiddo was not too familiar with. After snapping a few photos and marveling at the wonders of the country life, we proceeded to the festival grounds where we sat around a fire pit, roasted smores, enjoyed live performances and prepared to launch our lanterns with about 10,000 other festival goers. At this point, the sun had gone down so the sky was pitch black and we were all ready to light and release our lanterns into the night's sky. After my second failed attempt to release my lantern, Javoni walked up to me, tapped me on my shoulder and said, “You know, I’ve loved you for 1,000 days.” This was done in the most serious manner and caused me to abandon my lit lantern (that hadn’t even taken flight, yet. It could have seriously caused someone to catch on fire and lose their hair). When I turned around to face her and find out what she was so adamant to tell me, she had begun to kneel on one knee and hold out a small, wooden box and asked me to be her wife. I immediately responded by pulling her up, holding her tight, and said, 'A thousand times, yes.'"

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"I knew Stephanie was the one well before we had even met. I was a quiet follower on Instagram for a few months before I contacted her. I remember being so drawn to her by the way she presented herself on the platform. With each photo I saw or caption I read, my desire to know more about this woman grew stronger and stronger. Now I know this may sound a little strange, but one evening during a private meditation, I had a visuali-zation of Stephanie, and her presence surrounded me, and we interacted in that space in a very intimate way. During this time the two of us had never spoken, and we had not been very active with each other on the site.  I later shared the details of this experience with Stephanie, and of course, she looked at me as if I had 88 heads on my shoulder, but I just needed to let her know about the passion that lived inside of me for her. I knew she was my One before we had any interactions together because I had an outer world-ly experience with her presence during my private meditation.  Like who invited you into my sacred space, stranger?!  I accepted the mystery of it all, and she has become so much more special to me. By the time we got to know one another, our experiences had affirmed my feelings for her, and while dating, we had gone through several challenges within our personal lives and as a couple. Our choice to live in love was how we got through such tough times. Knowing that there is someone in this world that is willing to choose me every moment, fight for our love and continue to work on growing as an indi-vidual to be a better unit is a constant reminder that Stephanie is the One for me, and that happens daily.”

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Jazzela McKeel

Stephanie’s father, Charles Burrell, walked her down the aisle. 

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Jazzela McKeel

"Looking into Stephanie’s eyes at the altar made me feel like I was getting aquatinted with someone I hadn’t quite known yet," said Javoni. "Like yea, yea I know this is Stevi, but the Stevi in front of me isn’t the same woman that I’ve been experiencing since 2014. She looked like a living angel standing in front of me wearing all that white. The energy around her was so warm & bright; she was radiating confidence and happiness. I felt so proud to be the person standing in front her at that alter. There were moments I felt it was just her and I in that chapel. I hadn't expected our day to feel as magical as it did, it felt like something scripted and fresh out of a queer Disney fairytale story written by Tina Fey. AND I LOVED IT!”

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After sealing their bliss with a kiss, these two were officially married!

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"Javoni’s constant desire to love, learn and understand people," said Stephanie of her bride. "She has this unique ability to take on the world without allowing it to change or defeat her. She is the most forgiving person that I have ever met."

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"I would describe Stephanie as this beautiful brown fiery woman who never lets circumstances get in the way of achieving goals of self-enhancement," said Javoni of Stephanie. "Her entire life has been dedicated to bettering herself and the people that she loves.  She also the sweetest thing you have loved you. She’s such an attentive and soft woman. Aside from that, she’s the most resourceful, driven, loyal, sexy and adventurous person that I have had the privilege of having in my life. I’m seriously so lucky to have her."

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"Looking into Stephanie’s eyes at the altar made me feel like I was getting aquatinted with someone I hadn’t quite known yet," said Javoni. "Like yea, yea I know this is Stevi, but the Stevi in front of me isn’t the same woman that I’ve been experiencing since 2014. She looked like a living angel standing in front of me wearing all that white. The energy around her was so warm & bright; she was radiating confidence and happiness. I felt so proud to be the person standing in front her at that alter. There were moments I felt it was just her and I in that chapel. I hadn't expected our day to feel as magical as it did, it felt like something scripted and fresh out of a queer Disney fairytale story written by Tina Fey. AND I LOVED IT!”

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"As true millennials, our first meeting was virtual in 2014. It wasn’t through a dating app because neither of us was looking for love. It was through Instagram and it was clear when we started following each other that there was palpable energy and affinity existed between us. It started off innocent. The constant ‘double tapping’ and flooding of emojis that gradually turned into comments underneath all of our pictures. As time progressed, Javoni’s insatiable desire and courage grew, and it went down in the DMs on February 15th. Not in a salacious way. Javoni asked a simple question that led us on a path of discussing spirituality, politics, motherhood, astrology – the list continues. We became obsessed with unpacking one another. Learning about the way we uniquely viewed the universe around us and the world within us went on without voices, facial expressions or body language. We connected asynchronously through words. Eventually, Javoni decided to courageously and randomly share her number, she suggested that I return the favor and we developed a schedule of hearing and seeing through facetime every second of every day. In our defense, we lived 1,200 miles away from each other at that time. The visual conversations were just as colorful as our words full of yearning. Our spatial worlds collided in March of 2015 and for three months, Javoni and I regularly scheduled visits with one another between Dallas, TX and Los Angeles, CA. Eventually, Javoni decided long distance was a thing of the past and decided to start a new life by moving to Dallas in August 2015."

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"For me, true love was something that I had experienced several times. So as a lover by nature, I knew that I would have true love over and over again. What I didn’t think I would have was a romantic love that was sustainable. That's what I have with Stephanie.  We have a love affair that is anchored in choice. Choosing to work, choosing to commit and choosing to find creative ways to journey through this life together, forever. Being in love with someone can be so easy. The excitement of getting to know some-one new, or seeing the world through the eyes of someone who was a stranger only a few years ago can allow you to forget about what you’re doing. But in this relationship with Stephanie, she’ll always help me keep my feet on the ground when my heart and mind have me floating away into some romantic, heavenly bliss. I’m constantly impressed that after three years she can give me butterflies in the pit of my stomach. We allow ourselves to be reintroduced to each other as we shed old parts and put on new identities and fall in love with that. Her love enables me to enjoy this fairy tale type love that I have for her but also keeps me grounded in the realities. We’re not only sharing love with one another, but we are creating a family. Blending our lives and growing as individuals. I never really saw myself as someone who would be with one person for a lifetime, until I had my son. After becoming a mother, I was opened to a side of commitment that I had never been aware of and I have reserved that commitment for those two. So aside from myself, loving Stephanie and loving my little one has shown to be the most valuable lessons for me as I trek through the rest of my life. I would have never thought I would know either of these types of love."

 

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"Interesting enough, Stephanie and Phoenix provide extra motivation for me in similar ways. Stephanie is extraordinarily nurturing and protective of her loved ones. When Stephanie and I began dating, my little one was 1.5 yrs old, and I was phasing into an-other realm of mothering. Stephanie was there as a supportive partner and loving adult figure to my child. As time progressed, I began to see the importance of their bond and the way they nurtured and understood each other. She brings an additional richness to his life that I marvel at each moment. So I feel like I couldn’t have chosen a better [Other] mother for the little man.”

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"I would describe Javoni as a sincere, honest, creative, respectful and passionate individual. She’s loyal to herself, loved ones, friends and her community. Her eyes are always full of wonder and excitement," said Stephanie of her bride. "Her spirit is sweet and full of fairness. She has the unique ability to completely alter the course of energy in any room, especially when her alter ego - Javonce (a derivative of Beyonce) is in full effect. If you’re down, she’s the most potent and safest drug to pick you up. She’s a phenomenal mother. I think she is the most beautiful person inside (and especially) outside, yet, her level of humility is unmatched."

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

For their very small and intimate wedding day, the brides at about 45 guests attend the ceremony and 55 to 65 guests at their reception. "We decided to go with a fresh, clean, minimalist theme for the wedding. To have a low-cost celebration and to keep the focus primarily on the energy that would be filling the spaces, we chose white as our primary color, with gold accents and fresh greenery. Every aspect had a clean and sleek look."

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"There are competing aspects of Stephanie that I love most about her, how caring and nurturing she is, her mindfulness in achieving goals, her inherently loyal nature," said Javoni of her bride. 

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

We love the touches of gold and greenery at Javoni and Stephanie's wedding!

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"We had our first dance to Marlena Shaw’s ‘Taught Me How to Speak in Love.’ That song has special meaning! As a family, we listen to Marlena Shaw’s, Who’s Bitch is This Anyway record every Sunday morning when we do brunch at home. The particular track became a song that we slow danced to in the living room with the kiddo.”

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Jazzela McKeel

“Our wedding cake was by far one of our favorite features of the wedding. I was so ex-cited about how it came out,” said Javoni. “In continuing with the minimal theme, we felt that the cake should be a statement piece. We chose a three lier semi-naked champagne based white cake with buttercream frosting. The cake topper read, “FOREVA EVA,” which is a popular phrase coined by Atlanta rap duo Outkast, who Javoni LIVES for because she is an honorary ATLien! We decorated the cake with slight accents of green ruckus around to tie in all our wedding colors.”

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The couple's child Phoenix was the sweetest ring bearer ever!

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Eliana Pires of Angel Headed Productions

"For a long, as I could remember, I had this image of an ideal life which consisted of a beautiful woman, a son, and a small dog - all living in a beautiful bungalow in an open, inclusive neighborhood in Perfectville, Texas. I would work at a non-profit and teach at the local community college, and my wife would be an artist and my son would spend most of his time annoying us both. I had it all visually mapped out in my head," Stephanie recalled. "On a whim one night, in a drunken stupor, and under a glorious full moon, I foolishly challenged the Universe to entrust me with my original ideal for my life - the wife, the son, the house, and the specific careers. I wrote down every single detail that my soulmate would possess. I typed my heart out on in the Notes app under the title, “Manifesting Ability.” I wasn’t expecting anything in return. I just wanted release. Exactly, two weeks later, Javoni arrived. She came in the most unorthodox fashion. Javoni forced me to face my pessimism head-on, flipping my world - no, my Universe, upside down. She made me question why I ever wondered if there was ‘The One,’ because it was clear she was just that. She was the literal woman I asked for - word for word. And if that wasn’t enough, every other paragraph began to manifest, in the exact order that it was written. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I wake up every morning in praise! I get to experience this love. This magnitude. And before I know it, I am sending her mother a long-winded text message thanking her for creating such a beautiful spirit."

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Jazzela McKeel

"We made hand-made white sandalwood candles with palo santo shavings on top for our guests as wedding favors. Stephanie created the scent and hand-poured each candle. Javoni created/chose the labels. It was a fun, collaborative effort, where we could tie in our love for natural scents and soy candles. The palo santo is a sacred wood that’s used in rituals or in a ceremonial form to cleanse, uplift or facilitate healing. We named our candles Queer Affections to represent the love surrounding every part of this day that focused on bringing all these energies in our lives together. The scent is subtle, with calming and healing, and we thought that would be the perfect gift for our guests to take home.”

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Jazzela McKeel

Here's to a lifetime of wedded bliss for the brides!