Essie and Maurice Sullivan’s romance started over a decade ago during their senior year of high school. New Jersey seniors that had prom on the same day all went down to Wildwood for a beach weekend. That’s where these lovebirds were first introduced by Essie’s cousin. “I knew of him since sophomore year of high school, and would always joke that he was my boyfriend even though he didn’t know who I was,” Essie told ESSENCE.

The Sullivans dated seven years with some of that time being spent long-distance. Throughout that time, Essie and Maurice discussed the prospect of marriage and building a life together. In July 2018, those plans came to fruition. “Maurice took us on an ‘anniversary’ date to The Manor in West Orange, NJ,” says Essie. “He had advised me to get my nails done earlier that week. He never really tells me to do that so I kind of knew something was up.” Though the proposal wasn’t exactly a surprise, Essie says she cried tears of joy when Maurice dropped down on one knee and asked her to be his wife.

The original plan was to enjoy their engagement for a minimum of two years so that Essie (who describes herself as a quintessential indecisive Libra) could take her time with planning. As fate would have it, the coronavirus pandemic caused them to push their dream wedding back even further than anticipated. In the meantime, they decided on a smaller rooftop ceremony at a New Jersey penthouse. “We planned the micro-wedding in 14 days,” the couple told ESSENCE. “We knew we still wanted to have a larger wedding next year but randomly decided to have an intimate wedding and we had to move quickly.”

With the help of Ilé Events, Essie and Maurice planned a chic garden-themed rooftop ceremony in their home state of New Jersey. Scroll through the gallery to see the gorgeous photos from this stylish micro-wedding.

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