“He loves and understands me, exactly as I am – quirks and air-headed tendencies included,” says beaming bride Deneisha. “He is so loving, kind, resilient and funny. We laugh daily, through the good and bad.”
“When she accepted my teenage son and blind and mentally challenged cousin who I was caring for at the time,” I knew she was the one,” says Wayne.
“I felt a little conflicted about purchasing a dress without my mother there, especially since she was paying for it,” Deneisha shares. “So, I had to call her and plead my case. She was very understanding. We sent pictures of me in the dress and she approved!”
“My hair was done by my longtime hair stylist and friend, Sheri Simms of Distinktiv Imajz Salon in Somerset, New Jersey,” says the beaming bride. “ She drove all the way to Virginia the night prior to the wedding to be by my side that morning. I felt so loved and blessed that she would do that for me.” Wil Strayhorn of Let’s Face It Makeup and Hair Studio in Virginia Beach was on deck for makeup duty. Kudos to the glam squad!
Deneisha chose Jimmy Choo open-toe sparklers to step out in style on her wedding day.
“I did not expect to even consider dating anyone for quite some time considering the complexities of my previous relationship, says Deneisha. But, that all changed the moment she truly got to know Wayne.
“When Wayne proposed, I was shocked and speechless because I wasn’t expecting an ‘official’ proposal,” says Deneisha. “I was also very nervous because we never discussed my ideal style of ring. I stared at the box and was afraid to open it. Much to my surprise, it was exactly the ring I wanted (thanks to Laura, my friend). More importantly, he asked me to be his wife and life partner.”
“She is family first with no exceptions,” says Wayne. “She is a beautiful woman inside and out, who has a hard time disliking anyone. She is a motivator and a pillar of loyalty.”
“Being a groom was all that I dreamed of and more,” says Wayne. “Our ceremony was so wonderful it even surprised me. I could not believe I was actually involved in something so beautiful. At times it felt like an out of body experience.”
“I carried charms attached to my bouquet engraved with the initials of my brother, Cory, and Wayne’s father; both of whom died of cancer,” says the bride.
“The first dress I tried on, I fell in love with,” Deneisha admits. “It had everything I wanted and they had it in my size, which was very important considering we were getting married in three months. I tried on other dresses, but none compared. I knew that was my dress!”
“I did not have bridesmaids,” says Deneisha. “I have so many wonderful friends and family members that I did not want to choose. Instead, I involved each one in the process or ceremony in some way. I also wanted the ceremony to be about the two of us and Jackson.”
“I knew she was wife material from the first day I met her,” says Wayne. “The only thing I needed to do was fall in love with her. That happened very fast.”
“I wanted a very scenic venue,” says Deneisha. “It was absolutely beautiful! Very few decorations were needed because the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the water.”
“Our ceremony was on a Sunday morning followed by a brunch,” says Deneisha. “By choosing that day and time, we saved money on the venue.”
Daddy’s girl and only daughter Deneisha just had to have her father walk her down the aisle. She chose the song “I Found Love” by BeBe and CeCe Winans for their big march.
“I felt like the luckiest girl in the world,” says Deneisha. “I was very relaxed and could not stop smiling. It was one of the happiest days of my life.”
Deneisha and Wayne wrote their own vows in addition to reciting traditional ones too. The bride’s cousin Deirdre, an ordained misters, officiated their ceremony.
“Unlike some women, I did not grow up with specific thoughts or plans for my dream wedding,” says Deneisha. “This all came together one step at a time. I felt absolutely amazing that day. I was surrounded by my loved ones and close friends which was very important to me. I could not stop smiling. At times, it felt like a dream.”
“To avoid any delays or lost guests, we chose to have the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception all at the same venue,” Deneisha explains. “The ceremony was followed immediately by a cocktail hour in an adjacent room. Our reception was a brunch, which was held in the same room as the ceremony.”
Can you guess which kind and queen of the evening sat here? Too sweet!
“My husband is Jamaican, so we honored his heritage by having steel drummer, Chris Koroshetz, play as our guests arrived for the ceremony,” says Deneisha.
“Our cake had four layers and each was wrapped with a wide fuchsia ribbon at the base,” says Deneisha. “Small white pearls studded each layer in a diamond pattern. A few brightly colored fresh flowers were placed on each layer. The cake was topped with a monogram letter ‘E’ with orange and fuchsia Swarovski crystals. The flavors were very hard to choose, especially since I love cake. My mom and I enjoyed every sample presented to us by the bakery. We finally chose alternating layers of fresh strawberry and almond pound cake with raspberry preservatives.”
A family friend who also deejays professionally was on hand to spin tunes for the couple and their guests during the reception.
“My first job was at the Great Big Greenhouse Nursery in Virginia Beach which cultivated my love for fresh flowers,” says Deneisha. “My ultimate dream wedding would have included large bouquets of flowers everywhere, but that did not seem practical for our budget. Our reception centerpieces were made of large bunches of all white baby’s breath in tall vases. We also used these to line the aisle during the ceremony. I wanted full bouquets on a budget. They were simple arrangements, but very classy and elegant.”
For their first dance song, the newlyweds chose “Love Ballad” by LTD—a fitting choice for a couple so clearly in love.
“If something went wrong, I have no idea,” says Deneisha. “My circle of awesome women made sure I was not stressed about anything. They handled any mishaps without involving me or Wayne.”
“Our honeymoon was delayed until November,” Deneisha shares. “We went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when the time came.”
“We gave something practical for our wedding favors – brass, elephant bookmarks,” says Deneisha. “I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, so it was fitting.”