Bridal Bliss: Rheonna Was A Queen With A Crown And Scepter And Keith Was Her King For Their Fairytale Wedding
Nafa Adadevoh/Judah Avenue Photography

When Rheonna first encountered Keith, a network architect, on her first day of work as a senior business advisor, she knew that he would be her husband. She was so sure that she told her new co-workers he was “mine” so that they would back off. Everyone knew — but Keith. She was crushing so hard on her co-worker that for more than a year, she couldn’t muster up words when he would come around.

“I did not speak to him for 18 months but I told everyone he was mine so they wouldn’t date him,” she tells ESSENCE. “I knew from the moment I saw him that he was mine. I had a crush on him so when he would speak to me, for 18 months, I would blush and walk away. He thought I was weird.”

When she finally got up the nerve to say something in April 2018, choosing to compliment Keith’s sweater one day, she thought she blew her chance to shoot her shot based on his reaction.

“Instead of saying thank you or even responding to me face to face, he walked away,” she says. “I felt so confused and thought that I had offended him in some way.”

Soon after though, to her surprise, Keith sent her an IM. It read “quit playing,” which let her know he was just as interested in her as she was in him.

“From there we have been inseparable,” she says.

After 18 months of playing coy with one another, Rheonna and Keith became an item and their relationship progressed quickly. By July 2019, he proposed. The couple officially said “I do” on July 2, 2021 in a celebration in Virginia meant to mimic a royal, fairytale wedding, with the bride wearing a crown and carrying a scepter. And despite all of the things the pair came up against as they fell in love, got engaged and planned their big day (like COVID-19 and Rheonna dealing with disabilities caused by injuries incurred during her service in Iraq in 2010), the end result was the perfect fête for this queen and her king.

“We made it through the death of a close family friend. We made it through a pandemic planning a wedding. We make it through daily with my disabilities. It is my hope that it is in God’s plan that we continue to prosper despite any adversity we may face in our marriage,” she says.

See their gorgeous photos, and learn more about their love, as well as what it took to have their fairytale wedding, below.

Vendors

Wedding Planning & Design: SG3 Events

Floral Designer: The Floral Guru

Venue: The Bellevue Conference and Event Center

Photographer: Nafa Adadevoh of Judah Avenue Photography

Cake: Couture Cakes by Sabrina

Dance Floor, Stage, Draping: Phemstar Event Productions

AV/Lighting: Bright Consultation LLC AV

Saxophonist: Connell Thompson

Makeup Artist: Blend Blot Blush Artistry

Hair Stylist: Fifi Vegan Beauty

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Bride’s Gown: Maggie Sottero Designs

Groom’s Tux: Joseph &Feiss

Want your wedding to be considered for feature in Bridal Bliss? Email us a few wedding photos and the story of your big day, with a few quotes, at bridalbliss@essence.com.

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