Edward popped the big question to Nicolette at a restaurant on his birthday. “He knew my mother would be in town. I said yes, of course, and we started planning the wedding shortly after,” tells Nicolette.
By: Bridgette Bartlett
The couple listen intently during the wedding ceremony to instructions from the native Hawaiian spiritual leader who officiated the ceremony.
“I didn’t want to do a traditional wedding in a church.” says Nicolette. “To avoid that extra drama, I just said let’s go away. An extra bonus was that we stayed in Hawaii for our honeymoon.”
“My friend Daria (pictured here) did my makeup and my beautician Janice did my hair. They both came from Texas to help me on the big day,” says Nicolette.
Najiyyah, Nicolette’s good friend, ensures that her girl’s dress is just right on her wedding day. Nicolette and Najiyyah have been friends since they were teenagers back in Oklahoma City.
The camera-ready couple had the lush backdrop of Maui to ensure every picture taken on their wedding day was postcard-worthy.
“My brother, Zharmer (ESSENCE.com copy chief), and my mother, Barbara, walked me down the aisle,” says Nicolette. “My mom gave me life and my brother helped raise me. He has been my father figure,” she proudly explains of her unconventional escort choices.
The newlywed explains her decision not to wed in her hometown and opt for a destination wedding: “I wanted to avoid extra drama. Plus, we felt Hawaii was different. We wanted to give our family the chance to go somewhere they had never been before,” she adds.
The beautiful bride shares camera time on her big day with her mom, Barbara.
“He is very patient with me,” says Nicolette of new hubby Edward. “He’s just a good person—very loving and caring,” she adds.
“The best part of our big day was
the scenery. It was beautiful. We were overlooking the ocean,” gushes Nicolette.
The groom shares a loving embrace with his dear mother, Vera, during the beachside nuptials. Edward is Vera’s only son.
The bride and groom opted for a small bridal party, with only a best man, Troy (second from the right), and a maid of honor, Charisse (far right).
Nicolette shares a quiet “me” moment to reflect away from guests on her big day.
“The best part of our wedding day was the scenery. It was beautiful. We were overlooking the ocean. It was amazing," gushes Nicolette.
The picture-perfect couple share a fun quiet moment after the ceremony.
Edward gives his new bride, Nicolette, a lift during a fun walk on the beach after tying the knot.
Maid of honor Charisse and bride Nicolette have been best friends since the seventh grade.
According to Nicolette, destination weddings are less stressful than conventional ones. “I couldn’t worry about what wasn’t ‘right.’ I was like, what’s not here is not here—oh well, we have to move on with the show,” shares the newlywed.
The groom’s mother, Vera, shares a warm embrace with new daughter-in-law Nicolette.
Nicolette is clear about her choice to wed Edward.
“I mean, we have bumps like every couple, but he’s just a good person. Edward is very loving and caring. He has been very patient with me,” reveals the Oklahoma City native.
The newlywed shares some practical advice for those planning to walk down the aisle soon. “I spent $800 on a cake and we threw half of it away. If you can get your cake at a Costco or a Sam’s Club and have it decorated really pretty, that would be a way to save money,” says Nicolette.
Nicolette is gorgeous in her mermaid-style gown with bold green sash.
“I didn’t really have a color scheme. I just knew I wanted green incorporated somehow and it ended up matching the scenery,” admits Nicolette.
Edward is dapper in his white linen suit.
“Hawaii has a tradition where the bride puts a lay on her groom, so I placed one on Edward after we said our vows,” explains Nicolette.
The two University of Central Oklahoma grads have been dating since December 2004 and haven’t looked back since. They wed in an intimate ceremony last September at the Maui Prince Resort in Maui, Hawaii.