Bridal Bliss: After Meeting Online During Quarantine, Cheri And Tracey Said ‘I Do’ In A Museum A Year Later
Collins Oluka

Thinking back to how Cheri met Tracey, she looks at is as “luck” — beginner’s luck, specifically. She was dipping her toe in the online dating pool for the first time. The pandemic had just taken a hold of everyday life and she knew that quarantining in her new home of Philadelphia (where she’d relocated for work) without any handsome prospects to interact with for an unidentified period of time would be unpleasant. Soon after creating a profile on, she connected with New Jersey-based Tracey and life changed — not just because of the virus.

“No more than a week or so of being online, I get this handsome guy named Tracey reaching out ‘welcoming’ me to Philadelphia,” she tells ESSENCE. “I thought to myself, look at this charmer with the bright smile, welcoming me to Philadelphia and he doesn’t even live in Philadelphia!

It didn’t take long for them to hit it off but it did take a couple of months for them to finally get to meet in person. With it being the very beginning of the pandemic, restrictions were strong and fears were high due to uncertainty. After a boatload of FaceTime and Zoom dates only, going into Memorial Day weekend last year, Cheri got creative to make their first in-person date a memorable one.

“Tracey wanted to dress up and go to a restaurant but the pandemic was not having it,” she recalls. “I thought to myself, what can I do to plan an epic pandemic dinner experience? I called a friend of mine who is a chef to put together a menu, reached out to musicians I knew and we worked together to convert my home into a restaurant with live music. Tracey came in and was blown away. We have been inseparable ever since.”

As the months passed, Cheri and Tracey got closer, pandemic be damned. They had their first date at the end of the spring and by fall, they were in love and he was trying to figure out when and how to propose.

“It became crystal clear to me in September that Cheri was going to be my wife,” he says. He chose to pop the question on New Year’s Eve 2020. On May 22, 2021, a year after their first face-to-face date, they said “I do.” It wasn’t an easy process planning the event with the ever-changing COVID restrictions, and the couple went through five versions of their big day. In the end though, the result, a unique, very Black celebration highlighting a number of Black vendors and culture at Philly’s National Constitution Center, was everything they wanted and more.

“It was truly a reflection of Black excellence,” Tracey says with Cheri adding, “Our wedding was elegant, regal, intimate and beautiful.”

No lies told, here. But if you’d like further proof of the greatness of Cheri and Tracey’s nuptials, with dancers, a horse and carriage, menus shaped like the African continent and more, see the photos from their special day below.


Planner: Enchanted Allure Events

Floral Designer: Eilena  

Photographer: Collins Oluka

Stylist: Ryan Christopher

DJ: Fatha Ramzee

Hair: Aggie Hair

Makeup: Sheena Marie

Invitations: Stationery + Gifts by Dami

Loading the player...

Stationary: Oda Creative

Caterer: Brulee Catering