When the bride locked eyes with the groom in a classroom during her freshman year, she just knew there was something special about him. Ten years later they sealed the deal in a gorgeous New Jersey wedding to remember. Take a look at the photos from their big day.
Bride: Crystal Cranmore, 30, Television Journalist
Groom: Akil Matthews, 30, Architect
The Big Day: 11/11/17
Location: St. Teresa of Avila in Summit, NJ and Maritime Parc in Jersey City, NJ
Style/Theme: Modern and chic wedding
Florist: Diva Blooms
Wedding Coordinator: Victorious Events NYC
Wedding Dress Designer: Jean-Ralph Thurin
Grooms Suit: J.Crew
Brides Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bridesmaid Dress: Watters
Groomsmens Suits: Zara
Brides Makeup: Juicy Looks by Abby
Bridesmaids Makeup: Robin Lynette
Photographer: 1314 Studio
Videographer: 5801 Wedding Cinema
Church: St. Teresa of Avila
Reception: Maritime Parc
DJ: Mike Music
Rentals 1: Evolution Rentals
Rentals 2: Lily V Events
Transportation: Santos VIP
Hairstylist: Andrea Johnson
Photo Booth: Ollie Studio
"Oh my goodness, I loved my dress," said the bride Crystal. "I had a design and fit in mind and after several unsuccessful visits to stores in New Jersey and in New York, I decided to go the custom route. Jean-Ralph Thurin helped bring that dream to life. I knew a dress with a “wow” factor. I worked with Ralph to build a design that was right for me. I wanted a mermaid dress with off the shoulder sleeves. I still get goosebumps when I look at my dress. I cried when I tried it on for the first time. Ralph was so patient with me and I’m thankful for that."
"He cares a lot about whatever he sets his mind too," said Crystal to describe Akil. "He puts 100 percent into everything. He is detailed oriented. He is especially good at planning our dates, which has helped make our first 7 months of marriage amazing!"
"A lot of people don’t know how goofy my wife is and I love that about her," said the groom of his bride. "But more importantly, she is ambitious. She keeps me on my toes and makes sure that I am staying on top of my goals."
"My father walked me down the aisle," said the bride. "That was an easy, obvious decision! I would not have had it any other way. My dad was a tough cookie growing up and he still gives tough love. But he was my first love."
"Instead of giving our guests ceremony programs, we gave them ceremony magazines," said the bride. "It featured eight pages of our love story, photos from our engagement shoot and bridal party introductions."
"I love that he cares so much! Some guys can be nonchalant or indifferent about most things," the bride began on what she loves most about her groom. "Not Akil, when I cannot make a decision on what to wear, what to eat, what career move to make…he always offers a great piece of advice."
"True love hit me by surprise," said Akil. "I did expect to find it in college, at some point! Who doesn’t want a Howard girl? I found mine!"
By her side on her wedding day, Crystal had her two sisters, her sister-in-law, her best friend, and a great friend! That's love.
"She completes me," said the groom. "I knew when I asked her to be my girlfriend that she would be my wife one day. She is goal oriented, cares about me, supports me and she’s a great cook. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!"
"She is caring, ambitious, and passionate," said the groom to describe his bride.
Don't Akil and his groomsmen look amazing?!
This bridal party is beautiful!
"My husband and I met at Howard University. I was a freshman journalism student and he was a sophomore architecture student. I first laid eyes on him in an Afro-Caribbean studies class we took. I’d like to think our Caribbean heritage brought us together! Somehow, we became friends on FaceBook and I put out a request that I was looking for a good place to find some Caribbean food to eat. I was four hours away from home and missed my family’s home cooking, (the aroma of curry chicken and roti, beef patties and the like). Akil saw my FaceBook post and offered to take me to a D.C. restaurant known for its good West Indian food. We’ve been eating curry chicken together ever since."
For their reception, Crystal and Akil wanted their 200 guests to feel like they were on the cloud nine of love.
"My favorite part of the room was our sweetheart area. It featured a mirrored arch with hydrangea and orchids flowing down the top. Candles were placed in front of the table which also had an arrangement of flowers."
"This day was about making sure my bride was happy!," said Akil of being a groom. "As long as she was happy, I was happy."
"Our wedding cake had three tiers. I wanted to look like it was sitting on a cloud of flowers. The flavor was vanilla with a strawberry sauce."
"Our first dance as husband and wife was to “Beautiful Lady” by Gyptian Very which was untraditional, but it was the song Akil and I first slow danced to 10 years ago at a club in D.C. It became our song."
Now, this looks like a party!
“I never knew when or how I would find true love and I certainly did not expect to find it in college, but I knew Akil was ‘the one’ when I met his family for the first time in college. I love the love he has for his family and it made me think what a wonderful husband and father he would be in the future.”