Derek saved Denise’s life, and together they’ve started a new one filled with love and good health. The pair was married on October 9, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Denise gets glammed up for her big day.
We’re loving Denise’s fierce shoe style.
The women gather round to help Denise slip into her stunning Justin Alexander gown. She says she tried on 30 other gowns before she found The One.
Next up, it’s time for Denise to put on her pretty wedding jewelry.
Denise’s gorgeous clam bag hangs all decked out with bling.
Denise’s lovely bouquet boasts a beautiful fall palette.
Denise’s expression is priceless here. She’s clearly a happy bride who’s so proud to have landed the love of her dream guy.
“Derek and I decided to take “first look” photos which was a very special part of the day. I won’t ever forget how I felt when I saw Derek standing with his back to me in the beautiful Baltimore Conservatory and whenever I see the photos those feelings come rushing back.”
What a lovely group of ladies
“I so wanted the wedding day to be a reflection of me and Derek and spent lots of time on a few little details.”
Derek and his groomsman pose for the camera.
“From the moment I met Derek in 9th grade I knew I wanted him to be in my life and a few months later I knew I never wanted to be without him…so I knew he was the one when I was 15.”
Derek and his groomsman sure look sharp. We love this portrait.
We love that Derek chose a white jacket for himself and black on black for his groomsman — he really stands out, as he should.
“We continued Derek’s family tradition of being married at St. Cecilia’s,” shares the bride, when asked about their memorably wedding location.
“This church is so significant to the Simms family,” says Denise. “Derek’s parents as well as aunts and uncles were married there and it’s also the place where we’ve said our last goodbyes to family members.”
“The choir sang Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon In The Sky as the bridal party walked down the aisle and I Believe In You and Me as I walked down the aisle.”
Denise and Derek make it official with a tender kiss at the altar.
One of Denise’s favorite memories with Derek was the time they took a high school field trip to New York to see Rent on Broadway.
Introducing the new Mr. and Mrs. Look at those smiles!
Denise and Derek share a romantic moment for two on the dance floor. Aww!
Such a sweet moment of joy and happiness. Let’s hear it for black love!
Throughout our relationship, people constantly told us that it was just puppy love, or a high school thing," says Denise. “So many folks suggested that we wouldn’t last through college because we were going to different schools and would inevitably grow apart. It always felt like they all might be wrong and they were.”
Drummers help to get the party started.
The gold and ivory reception tables are so classy and elegant.
“I won’t forget the trip to Home Depot with my dad to buy the materials to make the beautiful cupcake stand. Home Depot is such a significant part of my relationship with my dad. We spent so many Saturday afternoons walking around that warehouse buying materials for his latest home improvement project.”
Guests found a little something something for their cravings on this delectable dessert table.
Guests boogie on the dance floor as the DJ spins the bride and groom’s favorite tunes.
The bride and groom made quite the reception entrance. “As we walked in, we were accompanied by The International Players Anthem (I Choose You) by Outkast, we were happy and overwhelmed. All of our friends and family who had been with us on our worst days were there to celebrate one of our best days and we felt so blessed.”
What a picturesque place for a wedding.
The bride and groom take a load off on their big day.
Denise and Derek pose for a lovely portrait at their wedding site.
Mr. and Mrs. Simms ride out in style.