Who does a professional wedding photographer trust when it’s time to shoot his own big day? Well, the best in the business of course!
South Florida-based bridal photographer Kareem Virgo captures other folks’ vows for a living and knew he wanted a magical photo album for him and his wife Sandy to look back on. So he turned to none other than Stanlo Photography, and the results were amazing.
Kareem and Sandy chose a heavenly theme (perfect for this God-fearing couple) for their big day, and Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Florida was the perfect backdrop. “We had already put a deposit down on a venue that we honestly did not like but chose for convenience,” said Sandy Virgo. “I stumbled upon Broken Sound Club and was in disbelief. The large ballroom, beautiful outdoor scenery and chic décor were everything we wanted.”
Sandy and Kareem said “I Do” in front of roughly 300 guests and partied the night away with both an indoor and outdoor reception. Scroll through the gallery for the best shots from their wedding.
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How cute are Sandy and her bridesmaids in their matching wedding day jammies?
The Groom in Full Bloom
"It was such a refreshing experience to be a groom," says Kareem. "The fact that I was able to let go and simply enjoy the wedding day made it so amazing."
More Than A Feeling
"Being a bride was a surreal feeling. It was everything I dreamed of and more. That day, I was surrounded with nothing but love, friendship and laughter."
How He Proposed
Kareem proposed to Sandy at her 30th birthday party. The theme was Coming to America. Kareem had his friend who is a spoken word poet recite a piece on life and love. When the poet got to speaking about love he stated, "I know someone who knows a little bit more about love than I do" and then pops out Kareem to finish off the poem. Kareem had a very heartfelt speech about their journey. "I did not wait for him to go on one knee to propose," Sandy says. "My hand was already out for the ring!"
Who We Chose
A year prior to their wedding, Sandy and Kareem had a bridal party reveal dinner in which they asked their bridesmaids/groomsmen to be in their wedding.
A Dress Fit For A Queen
"I couldn’t have designed a more beautiful dress in my head. I knew it was the one because I had the “bride moment” where I cried hysterically when it was on."
Walking To My Destiny
Sandy walked down the aisle to "After All Is Said And Done" by Beyoncé & Marc Nelson.
"There was a moment during the ceremony where I took my camera and captured some moments of my wife at the altar," says Kareem. "As a photographer, I wanted to capture at least one moment :) I also have photo/video footage of this if you'd like to see it."
Meet Me At The Altar
"Our altar was a fireplace transformed into a platform. This allowed us to view everyone in the crowd with ease. Our backdrop was a beautiful lake with a fountain. The altar and aisle were filled with white flowers. We also had fans on each chair to keep the guests cool."
United In Love
As part of their ceremony, Kareem and Sandy participated in their first communion together.
"There was indescribable energy that took over the entire space," said the Virgos. "After our engagement, we decided to be celibate until marriage. In addition to that, our first kiss since the engagement was at the altar."
Here's To The Virgos
Their first walk as husband and wife!
Kareem says picking out bridal attire went a lot smoother for the guys. "A good friend of mine from college owns a mens' suit store and he handled all of the guys tuxedos."
Like A Glove
Sandy initially didn't have luck with finding bridesmaids dresses, but In the end it worked out perfectly. "I found my bridesmaid dresses from an Australian boutique called Miss Holly and each dress was made to my girls' measurements."
Sandy and Kareem made sure their sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., were heavily incorporated throughout their wedding day.
He's Got The Moves
Kareem puts on a show for his bride!
The Wedding Singer
"We also had a special performance by international singer Phyllisia Ross" says Kareem. "Weis very popular in the Caribbean, so guests were shocked to see her."
Catch The Bouquet
What an action shot!
Take A Bite
Kareem and Sandy chose an all-white cake with cascading flowers.
Surrounded By Love
Sandy says picking the right circle of women was one of her best wedding decisions. "My girls made sure I was stress-free and most importantly loved on my wedding day."
Dance The Night Away
The groomsmen clearly had a ball!
Generations Of Black Excellence
Sandy and her grandmother share a tender moment at the ceremony.
Who Says You Can Have Just One Honeymoon?
Kareem and Sandy told ESSENCE that they are taking small trips until their one-year anniversary. "So far, we have traveled to The Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico. We have St. Maarten this summer and planning a two-week official honey moon before October to Europe or The Netherlands."