Viviana and Benson’s wedding day struck a perfect balance between the old and new.
The beautiful couple first met in 2015 through a mutual friend. At the time, they both lived in different states (Benson in Birmingham, AL and Viviana in Fairfax, VA.) After six months of getting to know each other over the phone, with Benson driving to VA from AL every two weeks for a visit, they made it official and started dating.
Benson’s no-frills proposal happened on a casual Saturday morning at home over breakfast. When deciding on their wedding venue and theme, they both wanted to keep it on the sweet and simple path with a roughly 200-guest ceremony and reception at Lake Windsor Country Club in Wisconsin. A standout from this rural affair was their ode to their home country. “We wanted our wedding to be deeply rooted in African traditions, as a nod to our upbringings,” Viviana told ESSENCE. “We are both from livestock keeping communities of Kenya. Benson, from the Kalenjin tribe and myself from the Rendille tribe. We could not have been happier including our own traditions in the ceremony. “
Scroll through for the most beautiful moments from Viviana and Benson’s Wisconsin wedding.
The couple told ESSENCE their proposal was simple and sweet. "Benson proposed on my birthday," said Viviana. "It was a Saturday morning at home, while we were making breakfast. He excused himself briefly and when he returned, he popped the question. I don’t think I let him finish asking the question before I said 'Yes'”.
Viviana and Benson chose a white color palette for their decor, accented by pastels.
One Lucky Guy
Benson told ESSENCE that he and Viviana's relationship started as a long-distance one. After finally meeting in person, he was blown away by her beauty and kindness. "I thought 'if she agrees to go out with me, then I’m the luckiest guy in the world.' I still feel like the luckiest guy!"
Wedding Day Glam
Viviana stunned us on her wedding day with a rosy red lip and bronze shadow - perfectly suited to her skin tone.
Our Brothers Keeper
Benson and his groomsmen share a moment before the ceremony starts. Looking good, fellas!
Stop and Smell The Roses
How adorable was their flower girl?!
"My bride looked beautiful," Benson said of seeing his wife on their wedding day. "I could not believe my eyes seeing her walk down the aisle to me. It felt great marrying my sweetheart."
"My Father had traveled from Kenya to walk me down the aisle," Viviana says. "He is my role model! My brother was able to come from Kenya too. Ben’s family traveled from Atlanta, GA to be a part of the wedding. We were surrounded by love."
Surrounded By Love
The couple soaks in this special moment as they say their vows.
You Hold My Heart
"I know it sounds cliché," says Viviana, "but I certainly found the one for whom my heart skips a beat for."
A Man That Finds A Wife
"I found myself a strong woman who takes care of her present and future plans," Benson told ESSENCE.
A Dress To Remember
Viviana found her dream dress thanks to Vera’s House of Bridal in Madison, WI. "I had an idea of what I wanted to wear," she tells ESSENCE. "My Maid Of Honor and my amazing sisters in Madison were involved and helped in the selection."
The Bridal Party
"The bridesmaids and groomsmen were very involved in the selection of the attire," Viviana said. "We made sure to go with the dresses and tuxes that complemented our bridal party."
A Shoulder To Lean On
Viviana credits her maid of honor with helping her pull together the final details. "She had just planned her wedding a year before ours, so she was very helpful, especially as I sought advice on local vendors."
Forever Type Of Love
"Viviana loves me wholly," Benson told ESSENCE. "She is independent and very driven with life goals."
The Bride's Dream Come True
"Our wedding day was all I dreamed the day to be! I was very relaxed and happy to see everything was coming together exactly as we’d planned."
Be Our Guest
The couple's reception space looked clean and pristine with white linens and mini chandeliers as centerpieces.
A Taste Of Culture
Viviana and Benson's cake was designed with a tribal Samburu/Maasai beaded necklace.
Dance The Night Away
Based on these reception photos, the DJ had the place jumpin' all night!
From Mother To Daughter
Viviana wore a traditional Kenyan head and neck piece made by my mother. "It’s the 'something new' that mothers make in my community for their daughters on their wedding day," Viviana told ESSENCE.
A Slice Of Life
The couple's Kenyan-inspired cake was designed by Carl’s Cake in Sun Prairie WI.
A Nod To Tradition
Benson and Vivian incorporated a traditional Rendille tradition at their reception where they both served each other milk from a calabash. This symbolizes nourishment for the rest of their lives.
The Love Of Our Tribe
"The love and support we received from family and friends to see our day become a success and fun are the most wonderful thoughts that will forever be engrained in our hearts."
Viviana's Advice To Brides
Don't sweat the little stuff. Your day is going to be as perfect as you make it. Accept the help for any last-minute errands. It takes a village!"