When they first met, Sharisse and Thurman would always take the same route to the train station in the mornings. They’d lock eyes, exchange pleasant hellos and admire each other from afar.
“One day (Finally lol), Thurman asked me out to dinner,” Sharisse tells ESSENCE. “I declined at first because I wasn’t looking to get into a relationship at the time. A few days later, he asked me again but this time I said, oh what the heck…amd here we are!”
The couple had a beautiful wedding planned at a sprawling Long Island estate called Jericho Terrace in July 2020. Like many other couples, COVID-19 interfered with their grand wedding plans, and their date was postponed to 2021. In the meantime, they decided on a smaller ceremony on the rooftop at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in New York City’s Columbus Circle.
“The venue, though closed, gave us an opportunity for an intimate ceremony under these circumstances,” says the bride. “They were phenomenal and we are so grateful to them.” With the help of their planner, Camille with JunePlumm Events, the couple enjoyed a modern garden-like ceremony with gorgeous city views to match.
Scroll through the gallery to check out the most gorgeous photos from Sharisse and Thurman’s New York City wedding.
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"It was Christmas 2018 and as usual Thurman and I were curled up on the couch watching our fave show at the time, Storage Wars," says Sharisse. "I noticed he kept staring at me. I asked him why. He said 'I love you so much.' I told him I loved him too. He then stuck his hand into the side of the couch and took out this little black velvet box and said 'I want to spend the rest of my life with you.' When I opened the box there was a diamond engagement ring. He asked me to marry him and I screamed out YES!"
Distance, But Make It Fashion
The ceremony chairs we set six feet apart in order to honor social distancing guidelines. To stylize the space in between, the couple's wedding planner added green and white floral arrangements.
Ready For Forever
"I liked the fact that our wedding day was low key and intimate," said Thurman. "I had time to joke with my family while the bride got ready for the ceremony. I had no worries. I knew I wanted to marry her and I couldn’t wait."
Easy Breezy Bride
"From the moment I sat in my Makeup artists chair I felt at ease and just went with the flow," said the bride of her non-existent wedding day jitters. "Because I didn’t have to do anything besides show up, I had little worries. The only thing I even thought of was possible rain. But I thought to myself, 'one way or the other, I'm getting married.'"
The couple had a moment to themselves before the ceremony began.
The look of love is something you just can't deny.
We Are Gathered Here Today...
The small ceremony was attended by just eight of Sharisse and Thurman's closest family and friends. Parasols were provided for each guest in case of extreme sunshine or light rain.
All Eyes On You
Sharisse decided not to play any music as she walked down the aisle. "We wanted our walk next year for the big wedding to be THE walk," she says.
From My Heart To Yours
The couples kept their wedding ceremony simple and sweet with a traditional exchanging of vows. "Our officiant Reverend Roxy made it very special and added personal touches, so we didn’t deviate from that," said the bride.
Love For A Lifetime
"What I love the most about Thurman is his protective and loving nature," says Sharisse. "He is a provider, protector, and nurturer."
Up, Up and Away
The couple's photographer Amy Anaiz captured some epic drone shots from the ceremony.
Made For Me
Sharisse's gorgeous mermaid style gown was purchased from Pantora Bridal in Brooklyn, NY. In what seemed to be a sign from the universe, the gown style is called "Sharisse" and it was the only one of its kind at the sample sale.
Though rain was predicted on the day of their wedding, it nothing but sunshine from the ceremony forward.
A Mother's Love
Sharisse And Thurman thank their moms for supporting them before and during their wedding ceremony. "They encouraged us when we just weren’t sure which way to go," says Sharisse. "They kept us calm."
Love Over Everything
"It was very special having this intimate ceremony in front of our closest friends and family," said Sharon. "We were disappointed to not have the wedding we wanted this year, but our parents and family were so excited about this mini ceremony and that made it all the more special for us."
"At first, we were just going to show up say 'I do' and go home," says Sharon. "But we decided to make it a special occasion. Since the venue is in the heart of the city and overlooks Central Park, we wanted to keep the decor organic with lots of greenery and whites."
All in The Family
Though there was no official reception for this couple's micro-wedding, the bride and groom did mingle with their guests over cake and champagne.
The Perfect Pop Of Color
The couple's cake was made by Kelah’s Konfections. The unique design was a three-tiered vanilla bean cake with vanilla frosting. "It was sooo good," said the bride. "We kept the entire wedding organic with white and green hues but the cake color is a nod to our wedding next year."
Sharisse's Advice To Brides
"Listen to your planner! I made none of these plans and decision myself. I left it to Camille of JunePlumm Events. Not to mention, this entire ceremony was planned in two weeks! She designed and planned everything. I got to enjoy just being a bride.