Beaming bride Terri knew her groom Pete was the one for her the moment she met his parents and saw just how grounded he truly is. “I loved that he was a true family man with strong roots,” she adds.
Beaming bride Terri shared a sentimental toast with her bridal party on the morning of her wedding day. We absolutely adore this photo!
“Pete is a very kind, intelligent and compassionate man,” Terri boasts. “He works hard, lives life to the fullest and loves the people closest to him.”
Terri’s stunning wedding gown was designed by Galia Lahav Haute Couture which is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. “I knew exactly what I wanted but it was difficult to find,” she admits. “I purchased a dress at Kleinfeld Bridal but I knew it wasn’t the one so I continued to scour the Internet spending hours looking at wedding gowns. I wanted a fitted gown with a dramatic back and when I came across the designer, I knew her gowns were exactly what I was looking for.”
“My stylist and friend Codie Lagotte did my hair on the wedding day and throughout the weekend,” says Terri. “Codie also did hair for the mothers, sisters and bridesmaids. I had fresh white orchids in my hair and I wore a custom veil.”
You can always tell when a bride has found the perfect wedding gown because she knows exactly how to work it from every angle for all of her photos. Case in point: Terri in this super fierce photo.
“Once I tried on the dress I knew it was ‘The One,’” Terri tells us. “The gown had a dramatic lace back and an ornate long layered train. The fabrics were very high quality and it just felt good on. The gown I chose was made with French lace and Italian satin. “
“The gown was made custom for me and took over six months to complete,” Terri shares. “I had to fly back to New York City for three fittings to have the gown fit perfectly.” It was worth every single trip, lady!
“My tuxedo was inspired by the tuxedo Terri’s father wore at her parents wedding,” says Pete, who enlisted the help of Angel Ramos, the founder of ANGEL | BESPOKE. “Working with Angel we were able to integrate old school styling with modern day form and fit.”
“Terri is beautiful inside and out,” shares proud groom Pete. “She is ambitious, loving and selfless. People are drawn to Terri because of this and it’s very attractive to me. Terri also has a lot of range. She is comfortable with any group of people in any kind of setting; I love that about her.”
“I love that he loves and accepts me for me,” Terri insists. “He doesn’t complain or try to change me. Pete puts me first and makes me feel like I’m the most important thing in his life. I also love that he is just a downright great person with high character. He’s magnanimous!”
“He’s the most committed and loving man I know,” says Terri.
“Since St. Lucia is a tropical rainforest it’s humid all year round, so I decided to wear my hair up, but in a soft, artistic and elegant updo with orchids,” Terri explains. “My stylist and I practiced a couple of times before the wedding.”
“It felt like a fairytale come true,” says Terri. “I was calm and happy all day. My friends commented on how ‘zen’ I was on our wedding day.”
“It rained early on the morning of our wedding day, but the sun came out shining and bright as if God was smiling down on us,” says Terri. “The sky was as blue as the clear blue sea below.”
Terri and Pete’s romantic wedding venue in St. Lucia was actually featured on a finale episode of hit reality show The Bachelor.
Flower petals lined the aisle during the ceremony as guests waited for the bride to begin her big march.
We’re head-over-heels in love with the picturesque backdrop that surrounded Terri and Pete’s romantic “I dos.”
“It was a warm day but as soon as the ceremony started a wonderful cool breeze came over the cliff,” says Terri. “It was everything I dreamed of and more.”
“My older brother, Kenneth A. Harris Jr. walked me down the aisle. My parents divorced when I was younger and my big brother stepped in and helped to take care of my sister and I,” says Terri. “My brother has been like a father to me and has always been there for me. I admire and respect him so much. He is one of my heroes.”
“We had readings from the Old Testament and New Testament,” shares the bride. “I Corinthians is my favorite scripture on love.”
“I felt so blessed to be standing before my handsome Prince and best friend,” Terri shares. “I was so happy and smiled throughout the entire ceremony.”
Terri sure knows her bridesmaids well. She picked the perfect gowns for them to truly shine in on the couple’s special day.
“It was surreal,” Pete tells us about watching his wife walk down the aisle to a live rendition of Jill Scott’s “He Loves Me.” “It was the best I’d ever seen her look… She was glowing and we were surrounded by all of our best friends and family. It was easily the best day of my life.”
The newlyweds sealed the deal with a romantic first kiss as man and wife.
Say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Rivera!
“My older sister, Nichole Harris Glover, who was ordained as a minister a few years ago, officiated our wedding,” says Terri. “My sister is two years older than me and she has always been my mentor and protector, so Pete and I thought she was the perfect choice to confirm our union and pass the torch of responsibility on to Pete.”
“It felt wonderful to be the groom,” Pete shares. “We had an afternoon wedding, so I was able to get a nice one-hour outdoor massage in and then relax privately with my groomsmen in a private villa before the ceremony. It was a perfect day that felt like a dream.”
“When he read his personal vows to me I cried,” says Terri. “The words he expressed were the most loving words I had ever heard. Pete cried when my sister who was officiating got choked up at the end of the ceremony right as she was announcing, ‘I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Rivera, Jr.’”
“We always wanted a smaller intimate wedding,” shares Terri. “Since we were in the Caribbean we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding to enjoy the natural majesty of the island. I also wanted a romantic and elegant reception too.”
The newlyweds were all smiles as they entered the reception space to cheers and applauds from their guests.
Terri and Pete’s seaside reception venue was absolutely breathtaking. Don’t you wish you’d been there? (We do!)
For their first big dance as husband and wife, Pete and Terri chose “(There Is) No Greater Love” by Amy Winehouse. The song was a remake of an original Billie Holliday song.
Seventy cherished guests attended Pete and Terri’s wedding weekend.
The couple’s wedding cake was decorated with white dendrobium orchids elegantly cascading down one side.
Romantic blooms and lavish décor set the stage for an evening of elegance.
“I believe in God and I believe that He wants the best for all of his children,” Pete says. “Therefore, I knew one day my true love would come and find me when I was ready to receive the blessing.”
Terri and Pete’s romantic engagement photos were also on display throughout the reception.
“The common elements throughout the wedding were water, orchids, candles and lace,” says Terri. “I wanted to set the tone early with our wedding invitations which were an elegant ivory pocket fold invitation with lace across the top and a bling buckle closure on the outside.”
Terri’s Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sorority sisters showered her with love while they sang their sorority sweetheart song together.
“After our first dance, Delta sweetheart song, toasts, dinner, champagne toasts and cake cutting we surprised guests with poolside fire throwers and island limbo,” Terri shares. Sounds like it was an amazing time! “The reception concluded with Atlanta’s very own DJ Tay Rock spinning the night away as the reception transformed into a fully-clothed pool party extravaganza.”