Anika and Daryl met while working at the same school. Their chemistry was instant but they let their love grow slow and steady over time. They tied the knot on November 8, 2014 in a romantic beach ceremony in Mexico.
“My stylist Angela at Hair Beyond in Silver Spring, Maryland, did my hair the day before I flew to Mexico,” says Anika. “My mother is also a hair stylist and she was able to do some touch ups on the day of the wedding. My husband’s cousin Lashawnia Sheppard did my makeup.”
“On my wedding day, I wore my hair the way I always wear it,” says Anika. “I have a short haircut and I felt like it was fitting for my style on my big day.”
The bride wore these romantic heels by Antonio Melani, a veil and a statement necklace she purchased on Etsy and big studs.
“I wanted my dress to be simple and I accessorized it with a bold jewelry,” says the bride. “This was the second dress I tried on. The consultant at the bridal boutique paired it with an amazing statement necklace. It was the perfect combination and I knew I didn’t need to search any further.”
“My bridesmaid dresses were from David’s Bridal,” says Anika. “I decide on a sleeveless long mesh dress with cascading sides in eggplant for the bridesmaids. I went with the same style for the junior bridesmaids but with the short version in pewter. Both styles were very fitting for a destination wedding outdoors.”
Dapper groomsman were on hand to escort Anika’s lovely bridesmaids down the aisle.
Anika and her bridesmaids went all out for their oceanfront portrait session. Go, ladies, go!
Photographer Cendino Temé captured amazing candids of the wedding party in paradise.
“She is very thoughtful, kind, sweet, intelligent, compromising, strong-willed, down to earth and beautiful inside and out,” says Anika. “I just love so many aspects of her. She is also a Taurus just like me so if you poke the bull you will get the horns.”
“One day after a few unofficial dates I thought to myself I really like this woman,” says Daryl. “Then I called my brother and one of my best friends and shared my thoughts. They both ended up being my only two groomsmen. Shortly thereafter, I told her, ‘You know one day you are going to be mine right?’ She just laughed. When she got ready to move, she told me she didn’t want to do a long distance relationship. I responded by smirking and saying ok in a sarcastic voice. I knew she would come back!”
“I really knew he was the one when I moved away,” says Anika. “It’s funny how you don’t realize what is right in front of you until it is no longer there. I knew that was my future husband and I wasn’t going to let him get away.”
“I said yes because I knew he was my best friend and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him,” says Anika.
“We laugh together, pray together, and love together,” says Anika. “I couldn’t imagine my life without him. He truly completes me!”
“I kept praying and asking God to send me the wife that he wanted for me,” says Daryl. “Because obviously the choices that I was making were not the correct ones. Many times I focused on the exterior first but this time we became friends first. She had me mentally. I chose to do things differently with my wife then what I had done in previous relationships. This time I let God lead me instead of other things.”
“I figured that premarital sex got me in trouble in many of my previous relationships so I decided to put my focus in other areas,” says Daryl. “I felt like sex was keeping me from some of my blessings. I vowed not to have sex until I took my vows in the presence of God. I’m glad I decided to wait.”
“I would describe my husband as a God-fearing man, a strong man, who is loving, family-oriented, hard-working and genuine,” Anika shares. “These qualities are truly rare to find in a man and to have it all in one is a blessing.”
“I really and truly enjoy her company,” says Daryl. “She is like one of the guy guys. I think this is how she hooked me too. It may have even been a part of her plan! (Smile)”
A gorgeous gown for a gorgeous bride. We like your style, Anika!
We love a tender moment like this one caught on camera.
Adorable flower girl alert!
“My mother took the honor of walking me down the aisle,” says Anika. “My mother raised me as a single parent and it’s because of her that I am the woman I am today. It was an honor to have her share this experience with me.”
“We walked down the aisle to ‘I Found Love’ by Bebe Winans,” says Anika.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Smiles all around as the couple finally make it official at the altar.
“At the altar, I was happy,” Daryl tells us. “I really felt in my heart that I made the right decision. She was absolutely beautiful.”
“It was an absolutely amazing feeling,” says Anika. “I was filled with complete excitement and joy. It was at that moment that I realized I was having the wedding of my dreams and that this was everything I had prayed for; I was marrying my best friend.”
Co-workers Anika and Daryl were on their 10th “unofficial date” when they realized what was happening between them was special. From super sweet beginnings to a dreamy beach wedding, you’ll love their story!
“We said our own vows during the ceremony,” Anika shares. “Neither of us wrote them down because we felt it was more meaningful to just say what was on our hearts at that very moment.”
Now that looks like a very happy couple. Cheers to love!
Meet the new Mr. and Mrs!
Couple portrait perfection! Wouldn’t you agree?
A tender moment of reflection. Do these fellas look dapper, or what?
We love a bridal party who knows how to party!
Anika and Daryl’s beachfront reception party was uber romantic.
“Our first dance song was ‘Stay Together’ by Ledisi and Jahiem,” the bride tells us.
The kiss makes it count!
A decadent cake for a delightful occaison. We loved the couple’s “Live, Laugh, Love” wedding theme.