Everything aspect of Edna and Eric Ryles’s ceremony was approached with prayer and compromise. Though they both had different preferences for the season of their wedding, they went with the groom’s desire for a September date while the bride picked the venue. Georgia’s Greystone Estate provided the perfect backdrop for their big day. The rolling hills, serene lack and stone patios made an unforgettable scene. But can we talk about the reception, though? Bursts of pink, blue, orange and yellow gave our eyes a vibrant treat – a welcome departure from tradition.
While the bride was able to add her own DIY touches, the couple credits wedding planner Laurel Robinson of Vision Expressions and with bringing their colorful dream wedding to life…and helping them find Black-owned vendors to pull it off.
Scroll through for the most gorgeous moments from Eric and Edna’s outdoor ceremony.
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"I started to feel like a bride after the venue contract was signed and the wedding date was set," Edna said. "I had eleven months to plan my wedding. During the planning process, I had fun and with some bouts of stress, especially when our parents wanted us to increase our guest count and change our menu. I learned to say 'no' and not feel bad about it, though it was difficult at first. On my wedding day, it felt absolutely wonderful to be a bride. I felt beautiful. I felt loved. I felt like a QUEEN!"
"After having my heart broken, I looked at life and people very differently. So, I took the time to heal and prayed to the Most High for a wife suitable just for me."
This Dress Has History
"I knew from age 15 that when I got married, I would be in a dress designed by Demetrios. After browsing his website, I selected three dresses that I liked. At his bridal boutique, after trying on my first dress, I knew it was 'the one.'"
The Bride's DIY Touch
Although Edna and Eric chose to go with a wedding planner, the bride still had a hand in the creative process. "The wedding programs, seating cards, and individual menu cards all were hand-made by me because I wanted them to match the rest of the wedding stationery."
Wife, Friend, Confidant
"What I love most about my wife is that she is a great active listener and easy to talk to. I can tell her anything and don’t have to worry about being judged."
First Look (And Cry!)
"Guests arrived very early, so we were unable to do our first look outside near the lake as planned. Instead, we ended up doing the first look in the bridal suite. I had to hide in the bathroom until my husband came into the suite and faced the wall. I walked out of the bathroom and stood behind him. He turned around and began to cry. My eyes welled up in tears and I tried hard to fight them back. I was trying not to ruin my make-up!"
Thank You Weather Gods
The couple was initially worried about the weather cooperating for their outdoor ceremony, but thankfully, the sun came out to play.
"We had a 30-minute, non-traditional, non-religious, spiritual, outdoor ceremony. Before, our vows, we performed a handwashing ceremony. After our vows, we performed the unity cord ceremony. The officiant recited a marriage blessing, we kissed, and walked down the aisle.'
"This ceremony was very special to us because it symbolizes cleansing, forgiveness, and a fresh start before entering the marriage covenant."
Keep The Surprises Coming
"Early on in the wedding planning process, my husband told me he wanted to be surprised," Edna says. "So, he only knew about the guest count, invitees, venue, photographer, DJ, stationary, etc. On our wedding day, he had no idea what to expect and I did not know how my wedding vision would turn out. The decor, colorful florals, and all the unique details from ceremony to send-off left us in awe, speechless, and ecstatic. We were very pleased!"
Cutest Bridal Party Ever
"We had no bridesmaids or groomsmen - only three flower girls, because we wanted the ceremony to be about us and our Creator, the Most High.
Bursting With Color
"Colors have a way of cheering up and bringing life to a particular space," says Edna. "We wanted the ceremony décor to be simple yet bursting with color. The florals on the arbor, on the golden lanterns along the aisle, and in the large transparent ocean blue jars that sat on golden stands placed next to the arbor, incorporated all six of our wedding colors. The florals included orchids, roses, hydrangeas, lilies, dahlias, and sunflowers."
Sign, Sealed, Delivered
"I was looking for a place card that could also serve as a wedding favor and kept with my wedding vision/theme," Edna told us. "After many hours online, I found it! Custom- made personalized wooden names!"
Moment For Life
Their smiles say it all.
A Toast To The Vision
"Everything turned out beautifully and reflected both of us very well. All the late nights planning was worth it! The reality of our wedding day vision was MAGNIFICENT!!"
Slice Of Life
Everything served at the Ryles's wedding was vegan, right down to the wedding cake.
Shoe's On The Other Foot
"We played the wedding shoe game, which was a real crowd pleaser. Afterwards, we danced our first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Ryles to 'Yes' by Musiq Soul Child and later invited our guest to join us on the dance floor. Our DJ played Haitian and American music."
Edna's Advice To Brides
"Do not allow any negative thoughts to enter your mind on your wedding day and do not accept anyone - whether family, guests, or vendors - to bring any negative vibes into your day."