View photos from Malonda Richard’s wedding »

The sounds of drums met the steady rhythm of Malonda Richard’s pace as she walked down an aisle strewn with rose petals. Among 150 family and friends and beautiful African art, Richard, author, model and former BET veejay, married Omowale Kamau Sia, at the Capitol Skyline Hotel in Washington, D.C.

After 13 months of dating, Richard and Sia wed in 2008. Although some might think the couple moved too swiftly, that’s not how the 36-year-old single mom sees it. In fact, she says their marriage was part of a divine order. She hosted his fiftieth birthday party and he proposed two weeks later. “I knew that Omowale was the one because he was the first man that I ever threw a party for,” says Richard. “I just loved his positive energy and giving spirit. He taught me that love is something we should cherish.”

And Sia echos those sentiments. “There are so many reasons that I knew she was the woman for me,” says the now 51-year-old entrepreneur. “I could always discuss things with her and she didn’t take it personally. Instead, she listened to me and offered good advice. And I love her complexion and outlook on life.”

The bridal party included Richard’s sisters and cousin and the groom’s nephews. Richard’s 5-year-old daughter, Ameerah Richard-Hurly, served as the flower girl and her nephew, Rojay Ball, was the ring bearer.

After the couple exchanged vows, their guests blew bubbles rather than throw the traditional rice. Guests at the reception were treated to an African dancer and they later grooved to the beats of a local deejay.

“I hope that [our marriage] lasts through today so that we can renew it each and every day,” says Omowale.

For the groom, a strong foundation is key to a lasting relationship.

“I hope that we remain the best of friends who put the sanctity of our union above all else. That we will be faithful and respectful even during the tough times and we will continue to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially.”

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