For years, beautiful bride Melissa kept a journal and inside of it she wrote down detailed accounts of her challenges with love and exactly what she was looking for in the right man. “I prayed for the qualities that I wanted in my husband and the prayers were very detailed and specific,” she says. “So when I met my husband, I knew him immediately because he was made up of all of the characteristics I had prayed for and more.”
“I wore my hair in a very simple half up and half down style,” says the bride. “It took all morning to do it but when the time came to put on the veil, it was beautiful.”
“Our colors were burnt orange, fuschsia and kiwi—the colors of a tropical horizon,” says the bride. “It was beautiful. We used roses, hydrangeas, calla lilies and more. My bouquet was a beautiful arrangement of roses in the color palette of the wedding with kiwi inserts and some jewels.”
“My dress was a couture design from Inez DeSanto,” the bride tells us. “It was an ivory, fit and flair dress that was elegant, sexy and sophisticated.” Agreed!
“William is tall and handsome, warm but strong and an alpha-man protector,” Melissa describes. “He loves God and has his own relationship with our Lord, but he is a hard worker, he’s committed, family-focused, giving and supportive. He is easygoing, funny and my best friend and coach.”
Melissa was a vision of love in her custom veil and sparkling jewelry.
Melissa’s bridesmaids wore dazzling pink Jim Heljm dresses in a beautiful chiffon fabric. “It was effortless and beautiful,” the bride recalls.
“My hubby is 6-foot-7, so he has to have custom clothes,” Melissa tells us. “We went with Jones Custom Clothier to design his tuxedo. It was elegant, sophisticated and showed effortless style. That is the look we were going for, and if you asked me, he looked amazing. His custom shirt was embroidered with a ‘W’ and ‘M’ for ‘William’ and ‘Melissa.'” Aww!
We still can’t believe Melissa and William pulled together a wedding this fabulous in just under four months. Way to work together, you two!
Melissa strikes a fierce pose in her gorgeous gown and the camera just loves her.
“I deliberately started changing my thinking about 12 months before I met him,” Melissa shares. “In fact, I told my friends I branded the summer of 2012 my ‘last single summer’ and I did everything as if it were the last time I would be able to live my life for me as a single woman. I didn’t know when he was coming but I felt it was soon and I refused to let my hopes die.”
“Her ability to make me laugh is what I love most about her,” says William. “It is the simple things that she says, does or even her expressions that keep us laughing. I fell in love with her laugh and I always tell her that the two things that I loved most about her were her smile and her eyes. Everything else over time will change but those are two things that will always reveal the true beauty of a woman.”
“Every strong woman needs a strong man who she knows she can exhale around and feel protected in his presence,” Melissa insists. “I feel at one with him.”
“She first believes in Jesus Christ as her Savior which was a priority for me but then there is so much more to her,” says William. “She is also smart, beautiful, athletic, sexy and goal-oriented. She has a sense of style and a sense of humor. I couldn’t see living my life without her.”
“I wasn’t searching for true love, but God had other plans,” admits William. “When I met my wife I actually was not in the commitment mindset. But as I wrote in my vows, ‘From the moment I met you, I was instantly committed to you. Only God can do that.”
“The Mayflower is one of Washington D.C.’s most historic and elegant hotels,” Melissa says. “We say God smiled on us for our special day. The truth is we had 16 weeks to plan the wedding of my dreams and our wedding planner helped us to pull together all the details with a collapsed timeline.”
“My husband’s vows were so amazing that they blew everyone away,” Melissa recalls. “My mom said to me, ‘Baby, your vows were good, but I’ve never heard vows like that. Your husband blew you away!’ My husband’s vows were beyond words. Truly!”
Melissa admits that she cried on her way down the aisle and William shed a tear as they exchanged their vows. Let’s hear it for Mr. and Mrs. Simkins!
Instead of a cocktail hour, Melissa and William hosted a “groom’s reception” after the ceremony. (Cute!) They decorated the space with a basketball theme and guests mingled, took photographs and enjoyed some of the groom’s favorite snacks. We love this idea. What a great way to truly share the love.
The Mayflower’s elegant ballroom was the perfect place for Melissa and William’s romantic dinner reception. This aerial shot shows the true beauty of the space.
For their big entrance into the reception, Melissa and William chose to come in to the sounds of “Let’s Get Married Remix” by Jagged Edge, Jermaine Dupri and Run DMC. “I choreographed a full dance routine, and we did it,” she happily shares. “It was fun, but we definitely should not take that show on the road!” If there’s an award for most adorable entrance, these two are a sure bet to win!
William’s nickname for Melissa is “sunshine” so they chose to sway to Babyface’s “Sunshine” for their romantic first dance together as husband and wife.
Candles and elegant linens created a romantic and unforgettable vibe for their guests throughout dinner.
“My husband says he began falling in love the moment he laid eyes on me,” says Melissa. “He is a man who cuts to the chase and knows what he wants. We met in October and he came to Thanksgiving with me. It was there that he met my parents for the first time. Being a man of class and order, I didn’t know at that time but he spoke to my father and told him his intention for our future and asked for his blessing.”
“I finally met someone who I knew it was safe to trust with my heart,” says Melissa. “His genuine love for God and his clear intentions made it unquestionably refreshing. As I got to know him, he was transparent, full of love, a great listener and encourager and someone who wanted the best for me. He was everything I had prayed for and more.”
The newlyweds celebrated their union with an authentic Caribbean menu and a delicious wedding cake for dessert.
Cheers to asking for exactly what you want in a spouse, then finding it when you least expect it!
Melissa and her sorority sisters were all smiles at the reception.
“Love’s Journey To The Promise Fulfilled was the overall theme of our wedding,” says the happy bride. “We incorporated a great deal of light through the use of floating candles. Our goal was to bring the light of the promise into each room of the festivities.”
“We had a deejay and an amazing emcee, Chris Levermore, who is a family friend,” says Melissa. “Our crowd was fun and ready to celebrate so we all had a wonderful time.”
“We choose peanut M&Ms because I love them and I have shared that love for them with my hubby,” says Melissa. “We had them wrapped in cute little packages branded with our wedding logo, of course.”
This is our favorite group shot by far!
There were lots of single ladies at the wedding hoping to get their hands on the bride’s bouquet.
“I was very happy to be a groom,” says Melissa. “I was marrying the woman of my dreams. It was wonderful and a lot cooler than I imagined.”
“Being a bride felt like nothing I had felt before,” says Melissa. “I was experiencing what I had been waiting for and it was real. It was more than I dreamed because in my dreams it was perfect. My wedding day wasn’t perfect because it was everything I dreamed, it was perfect because the man of my dreams was there and whatever else happened really didn’t matter.”
“We worked as a team,” says Melissa. “Of course, being the bride, I worked more closely with the wedding planner but my husband was extremely helpful. We created a to-do list and divided and conquered. We had four months so it was on fast forward from the beginning.”