Jane and Jeanelle have a sort of made-for-TV love story. The two activists met at a Black Lives Matter rally. As Jane was running late, she scoured the crowd to find the event’s organizer. That’s when she met Jeanelle, and the two immediately locked eyes. After a frozen yogurt date and their first dance at a house party, both of them felt deeply connected and head over heels. “Our love felt familiar and inevitable,” Jane told ESSENCE.
Because of their loyalty to Black creatives and business owners, Jane and Jeanelle knew they wanted their wedding venue to be at the Black-owned Brickhouse Complex & Art Gallery in Sacramento. The gallery is located in Oak Park, a historically Black neighborhood in the city that has been ground zero for gentrification in the city. Though Jane and Jeanelle revealed they went just slightly overbudget, they’re happy about every penny spent—especially since their wedding planner, Gwen Khumalo, nailed every single detail of Afro-diasporic theme.
When it came to their reception, the couple was inspired by the movie Crooklyn, given their respective hometowns of Brooklyn and Oakland. As self-proclaimed “foodies,” they made sure the menu was just as culturally vibrant as their attire—jollof rice, goat skewers and vegan chin chin were just a few of the tasty options offered. And did we mention there was actually a marijuana bar? God Bless California!
Scroll through the gallery to see more photos from Jeanelle and Jane’s Black and proud wedding.
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How Jane Proposed
The storybook proposal happened on the last night of the couple's trip to Italy. "The moment felt right, even with the howling winds and rain," Jane and Jeanelle tell ESSENCE. "We went to our respective suitcases and proposed to one another unveiling our custom-made rings designed by Skalet Family Jewelers."
The Green Light To Love
"I knew Jeanelle was the one within the first 2-3 months of our relationship," says Jane. "She showed me so many 'green flags' that she would stand beside me, lovingly, fighting and advocating for whatever family and life we could dream of."
A Different Kind Of Love
"A few months into our relationship, we took a trip somewhere that did not have vegan options," Jeanelle recalls. "Well, Jane went out of her way and cooked this amazing breakfast for me. There were these recurring moments of thoughtfulness that took me aback. This was the type of love that I yearned for."
Jeanelle and Jane's wedding was inspired by three themes: the primary was "Power to the African/Black Diaspora," with elements of the Spike Lee Film "Crooklyn" and the song "Play Date" from Bob's Burgers weaved throughout. They also have “play date” engraved on their wedding rings—a nod to the jovial nature of the relationship.
Made With Love
Jeanelle's wedding dress, cape, headwrap and reception outfit were all made by Teresa Nart, a local Ghanaian seamstress who is currently pursuing her degree in fashion design.
Pride In Every Way
"As a masculine of center (MoC) Black queer woman, there were and are not many Black MoC women I could look to in my life to model what it means to be a queer, masculine bride," Jane told ESSENCE. "I just went with the flow, drawing from all the nonbinary folks, women and men who impacted my life."
Jane and both bridal parties were accompanied by a live West African drummer as they walked down the aisle.
Say It Loud
We weren't kidding when we said Blackness was weaved into every part of this ceremony. Yaassss, Queen!
When I See You Smile
"Walking down the aisle and seeing Jane, my family and our community was the moment where everything felt magical and came together," Jeanelle remembers from their big day.
You Bring Me Joy
Jane flashes a "straight from the heart" smile as she sees her bride walk down the aisle.
A Toast To The Future
Jane and Jeanelle's nondenominational ceremony included a “taste of love” ceremony (a Yoruba tradition) and a toast to the ancestors.
Tears Of Joy
Jeanelle was overcome with happy tears while reciting her vows.
True Love Never Has To Hide
"Jane was truly a blessing that came during a moment where I did not imagine myself ever finding 'true love'.
Jumping The Broom
Jane and Jeanelle jumped a custom broom—adorned with ankara, cowrie shells, white roses and other adornments—to signify our new beginnings as wife and wife.
Styles For All
"As a queer couple, we knew that our bridal parties would include friends and family that ranged from more femme to masculine presenting. Therefore, we opted to have three attire options that anyone from either party could wear.
French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe
, plantains, vegan stew, stewed chicken, grilled fish, and spinach stew. After dinner, guests were free to eat from our dessert bar, which included: macaroons, candy apples, dipped strawberries, fruit salad, chocolate dipped pretzels, brownie bites, cake pops, and a half sheet cake (coconut flavored) that was carved in the shape of Africa.
Back To Basics
Jane and Jeanelle went for an “on-the-block," "Crooklyn"-inspired feel for their reception, reminiscent of their own childhoods. They also incorporated an elegant Afrocentric aesthetic with the colors and decor.
Drop the mic! Jeanelle and Jane
No Wallflowers Here!
Thanks to DJ Lady Char, the dance floor remained packed all night.
My Greatest Inspiration
"The way Jay Z and Blue watch in awe at Beyoncé perform is how I look at Jeanelle 95 percent of the time," says Jane. "She inspires me."
Jane and Jeanelle's Advice For Brides
"Recognize that something will go wrong, as nothing is ever perfect. We lost two key vendors at the last minute - one who backed out just a month before and the other simply did not show up. Have contingency plans in place and do not allow hiccups to ruin your day."
Black and Proud
It was a Black ass night for the ages," the couple tells ESSENCE. "We need more of those rejuvenating communal types of Black gatherings given the current political climate."