Sheldon, 35, met Erica, 32 through a mutual friend when he first moved to Dallas. Their love story begin with friendship and was sealed on November 4, 2011, when they said “I do” in a beautiful cliff side ceremony in Barbados. Share their love!
Erica says she was a busy, but organized bride-to-be because she had little time to waste. “Once I got the green light, I started planning because getting married to Sheldon meant I had to sell my house in Dallas, move to Chicago and find a new job. With all of those things on my plate, we got married just nine months after our engagement.”
Erica and her beautiful sister-friends get the full spa treatment pre-ceremony.
“My grandmother told me, ‘You ladies say put a ring on it, but you need to expect an offer letter’,” says Erica. “Think about it. You only accept a job when you have it in writing. God and Sheldon sent for me.”
“The day before we left for Barbados, I fell down the stairs and sprang my ankle,” admits Erica, when we asked if there were any wedding bloopers. “I was not able to wear my heels going down the aisle on my wedding day, but with the help of pain meds, I did wear heels during the reception.”
The groom penned this sweet love letter for his bride to read on the morning of their wedding. Erica, this one’s a keeper for sure.
Erica, in her stunning one-shouldered Sottero and Midgley gown, and her lovely bridesmaids say a prayer before the ceremony begins.
The bridal party makes its way to the ceremony.
“I fell in love with the view from the cliff at The Crane,” admits Erica. “Plus, Barbados was very close to Sheldon’s Trinidadian family.”
Trying to coordinate dress decisions and sizing issues for nine women proved to be quite a nightmare for Erica. “I had one who was pregnant with twins and three bridesmaids that lived in different states,” she says. “We weren’t able to coordinate fitting schedules so we saved $300 per dress by ordering online and not through a boutique.” These lovely one-shouldered Grecian gowns were made by Halston Heritage.
“I tried to avoid using floral bouquets,” says Erica. “I opted to use peacock feather fans for bridesmaid bouquets and I carried a white ostrich feather fan with my mom’s vintage brooch — my something old.”
There was one lovely bridesmaid to escort each one of these nine dapper groomsman, bringing Eric and Sheldon’s bridal party to a whooping total of 18 people. To be sure things went smoothly during the ceremony, Erica had them walk down in groups of three.
“My stepfather walked me down the aisle,” says Erica. “This man raised me as his own daughter, therefore, it meant everything to me to have him walk me down the aisle.”
Eric and Sheldon exchanged views on a beautiful cliff side on the picturesque grounds of the Crane Residential Resort in St. Philips, Barbados. An acoustic guitarist and steel pan band provided the music for the occasion.
The ceremony’s floral arrangements included Dendrobium orchids submerged in vases with Chrysanthemums Pomander balls — a stunning combination to match this breathtaking backdrop.
Erica and Sheldon shared one super passionate pucker after making it official.
Before jumping the broom, Erica and Sheldon swept away the negativity from the past to give their union a fresh and positive start.
“I knew Sheldon was the one because he presented me with a plan,” says Erica. “He was a man with a plan and was consistent and committed to carrying out the plan with guidance from God.”
“We were friends for seven months before we decided to be exclusive,” Erica tells us. It was a great call. Fifteen months after making it official, the happy couple were signing their marriage license in paradise.
“Even with the casual Carnival theme, I managed to convince the groomsman and bridesmaids to wear tuxedos and formal dresses,” says Erica. “Everyone assumed we’d go with linen suits and barefoot bridesmaids. Negative!”
Sheldon’s groomsman wore grey, Calvin Klein tuxedos on the big day. “I was going for a formal, yet chic, look for the guys,” says Erica. “Even though I chose a cool grey color, several of the groomsman were super hot after being outside in the Barbados sun.”
Erica didn’t miss her chance to personalize a single detail. The vivid purple napkin treatments really made their menus pop.
All the pretty purple in Erica and Sheldon’s wedding had deeper meaning beneath its beauty. They chose “Purple Rain” as one of their smaller reoccurring themes. During the cocktail hour they served two types of cocktails. One called Under the Purple Moon, the groom’s choice, and one called Purple Rain, the bride’s choice.
Although Erica was a hands-on bride from day one, she says she couldn’t have done it all from long distance without the help of her vendor dream team: Three of her bridesmaids served as planners and Celia Callender of Marquee Events did their flowers.
The couple chose to display their wedding photos throughout the reception in these lovely frames. A sweet touch we bet guests loved.
Doesn’t the couple’s 3-tier vanilla and chocolate cake with buttercream icing look delicious? And, check out that touch of bling.
“I wanted to create a formal, chic carnival themed wedding,” explains Erica. “Sheldon’s dad is from Trinidad and the majority of his family came to Barbados for the wedding. To honor his heritage, I incorporated lots of lights, feathers, dancers, fire-eaters and stilt workers.”
Bravo for Erica! The fire eaters was a great touch in the entertainment department — this photo is fantastic.
A variety of carnival dancers entertained guest during the sit-down dinner.
“We wanted to bring Trinidad and our southern roots together since this was the first time that our families would meet,” says Erica, who also planned a Carnival themed rehearsal boat dinner and roti food station.
“We thought by having a destination wedding that we would narrow down the guest list,” says Erica. “Having a local wedding would have meant having a 400-person guest list. Instead, we had 80 guests, which was still pretty large for a destination wedding.”
“We had two cigar rollers available in the ’Boyea’s Carnival Lounge’ to roll each guest fresh cigars to take back to the states,” says Erica. “Also, upon arrival, guests received bags full of treats from both Texas, my home state, and Chicago, Sheldon’s home state.”
“I surprised Sheldon with a rum cake shaped like his favorite pair of Prada shoes,” says Erica. What a “sweet” idea.
Erica and her stepfather enjoy a choreographed dance routine for their father-daughter dance.
As Sheldon and Eric embark on their new journey together, join us in wishing them eternal happiness and joy. Want to see your wedding featured on Bridal Bliss? Email us now!