What started as a friendship in high school for Brooklyn natives Nia and Shakeel was solidified as a union between husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Luke, on May 8, 2021. It had been a journey of more than 15 years for the couple to make it down the aisle. They met in high school and were good friends, choosing to attend Howard University together. It wasn’t until their senior year of college that their friendship organically developed into a romantic relationship and the pair moved permanently together to DC. Shakeel decided to take their relationship to the next level when he asked for Nia’s hand on New Year’s Eve 2019 in a romantic rooftop proposal (more on that in a bit!).

All that being said, it was also a journey for the couple to finally get to say “I do.” The Covid-19 pandemic turned wedding plans for most couples around the country upside down. For the Lukes, their wedding date changed, as did the number of people who could attend their nuptials.

“The pandemic was very tough planning a wedding,” Nia tells ESSENCE, lauding their planner for saving the day. “When we said ‘Yes!’ to our venue, we just knew we would be hosting 250 of our family members. The pandemic hit and everything was different.”

When the couple was finally able to jump the broom last month, doing so in a peaceful vineyard in Virginia after a year of chaos in front of 100 family and friends, it was everything they wanted and more.

“This vineyard made our dreams come true,” she says. “I relive our wedding every day.”

Check out the event images from a love more than 15 years in the making and learn more about how everything came together perfectly for Nia and Shakeel.

Article continues after video.

Photographers: Jarret Hendrix, Leta Harrison; Videographer: Claude Robinson

Wedding Planner: The Superior Collective
Custom Wedding Dress: Albina Dyla  
Bridesmaids Dresses: Lexi Clothing
Grooms Tux: Indochino
Groomsmen Tuxes: The Black Tux
Florals: MM Wedding Solutions
Live Band: A.D. Music Entertainment
Steel Pan Player: Leonard Jack
Photobooth: KreAdiv Collective Rentals
Venue: Morais Vineyard & Winery
Catering: Purple Onion Catering
Rentals: Select Event Group
Hair: Dominique Nicole
Makeup: Shyenne Burton
DJ: DJ Chubb E. Swagg
Cake: Le Cake Boutique
Doves: A Dove’s Love

Would you like your wedding considered for feature in ESSENCE’s Bridal Bliss column? Email us at bridalbliss@essence.com.