Bride: Vanessa Londa Charles, 25, Social Media Content Producer
Groom: Amir Ashaude Celestin, 26, Professional International Basketball Player
The Big Day: July 1, 2016
Location: Davie, Florida
Style: Summer Garden Wedding
The Celestin Union
"It felt amazing to be a bride. It was everything that I dreamed of," said Vanessa as she prepared for the big day.
The bride opted for simple yet beautiful accessories to compliment her dress. What beautiful choices she made!
Simple and Subtle
"I have a background in fashion styling and always dreamt of starting a couture gown fashion label, so here was my chance," said Vanessa of her dress.
Designed with Love
"My something borrowed was my chandelier earrings," said the bride. "My mother leant them to me."
Vanessa and Amir planned five different weddings before they finally decided on the perfect way to tie the knot. The couple eloped in Paris after deciding their was about God's grace and their love.
Just You and I
"I chose to make her my wife because it's what I felt in my heart," said Amir of Vanessa. "What helped me decide was the realization of how much she really cared for me as a person and how much she truly loves me. Throughout the years of knowing each other, she has always been there for me. Why wouldn't I make her my wife?"
My Heart Belongs to You
"I always say you may not know how long you’re going to be with someone and you may not have all of life’s nuances figured out, but you’ll know when you’ve found the one you wouldn’t mind spending the rest of your life with," said the bride. "That was Amir. I knew life would have it’s ups and downs, but I only wanted to experience them with him. And it doesn’t hurt that he was fine, too!"
Spend My Life With You
When high school sweethearts elope in Paris, you swoon! See more here.
"I had honestly given up [on love] shortly before my husband came back into my life," said the bride. "But, just because we give up that doesn’t mean God has too. He still heard my prayers and had every intention of answering them. Little did I know, my answer was around the corner."
“I always thought I'd find true love. With who was always the question,” said Amir. “I believe that God saw fit to separate us after high school for growth and when the time was right he'd pair us back together. I guess you can say that's how I knew. You only have one true love and with the route we took to get here she is definitely mine.”
"She has so many qualities that I love," said Amir of Vanessa. "But, what I love the most is her heart. She's a very genuine, loving and selfless person. If she could, she would take care of the entire world."
After eloping in Paris, Amir and Vanessa planned a summer garden wedding ceremony and reception for their family and friends. The bride's father walked her down the aisle--she wouldn't have it any other way.
"My husband is a God-fearing man who would go to any depth to make me happy or spoil me. He’s genuinely a good guy. On the days we’re not husband and wife we’re best friends. And he’s always up for a good time—-he’s my dancing partner!"
A God Send
"I was so happy that we finally made it to the altar," said Amir of he and Vanessa's wedding day. We'd been through so much building up to that moment and it was wonderful to see the woman I love dearly in front of me."
Here I Stand
Of the things Vanessa loves about Amir, she loves his integrity the most. "He values his the strength of his character," she said.
Strength of Your Love
Vanessa decided to throw Amir a party after he signed his first professional contract to play basketball overseas in Israel. Little did she know, she was planning her own engagement party because Amir decided the time was right to ask for her hand in marriage. "I decided to throw an impromptu going away party with close family and friends," said the bride of she and Amir's proposal story. "I guess he thought this was an opportune time and he popped the question right in my parent's living room. He got down on one knee, hands shaking and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes as I cried like a baby."
With this Ring
"It felt wonderful to be a groom," said Amir of his wedding day. "To have a day devoted to my wife and I and celebrate with family and close friends is all I ever wanted. Being the groom to my dream girl was perfect."
Groomed with Love
The summer Amir signed his first deal to play professionally let him know Vanessa was the only one he wanted to spend his life with. "She gave me the motivation and confidence I didn't see in myself. She basically propelled me and I knew she was the one for me," he said.
One for Me
"I dreamt of my dress being more of an avant garde wedding gown, opposed to a traditional one," added Vanessa on creating her one of a kind bridal gown. "With the help of a local seamstress my dream dress became a reality."
The Dream Dress
"She's a God fearing woman who’s extremely intelligent, caring, family-oriented, talented, creative, and most of all goofy!," said the groom of his bride.
Heart of Gold
Vanessa looks like she had the best day celebrating her love with some of the people she loves the most!
Glow of Love
Vanessa and Amir opted for wonderful DIY decor to help execute their summer garden themed ceremony and reception.
Here's to Us
For their reception centerpieces, the bride and groom continued to incorporate their summer garden theme. "Each centerpiece had a letter from our last name (Celestin), a wooden fence, greenery and a tall vase full of flowers. The cutlery and chinaware were ivory and gold."
Centered in Love
The bride and groom were absolutely radiant on their big day!
The Two Of Us
To celebrate their wedding, 60 of the couple's family and friends were in attendance as they said "I Do!"
Gathered Here Today
On their wedding day, the bride and groom gifted their guests with something small and special to help them beat the heat. "We personalized water bottles and fans because the south Florida humidity is unbearable," said Vanessa.
Guests were certainly encouraged to enjoy the wedding day celebration. How cute is this photo space!
"Our wedding cake was beautiful," said Vanessa. "It was an ivory cake with blush roses as embellishments."
Piece of Cake
To contnue to incorporate their faith into their big day, the bride and groom's wedding cake was devoted to their love of God. "On the second and fourth tier, we had the scriptures 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. It’s the famous verses about love."
For the Love of Cake and Christ
Amir and Vanessa's wedding cake was both red velvet and vanilla. She said it was a happy medium for the both of them.
The Perfect Compromise
The couple shared their first dance to Miguel's "Adorn."
Dance the Night Away
Everyone just looks so happy to be enjoying the love that Amir and Vanessa share!
"During the father-daughter dance, my cousins joined us to pay tribute to my late paternal grandmother by dancing to her favorite song, “Zouk," said Vanessa of a wedding day memory.
We wonder which one of these lucky ladies were fortunate to catch Vanessa's bouquet?!
Toss the Bouquet
Mr. and Mrs. Celestin are so precious, it's melting our hearts!
Wrapped Up in Love
Vanessa didn't have a bridal party but they didn't stop her from celebrating her nuptials with some of her closest friends!
Good times with great people all to toast the Celestin Union!