Russell and Denise Hornsby represent for the lovers in their engagement photos taken on June 29, in a Los Angeles studio.
“I knew Russell was The One in fall 2004, almost a year after we began dating,” said Denise, who’s a forensic accountant. “He was the first man who allowed me to be myself and accepted me with love and open arms.”
When a man loves a woman, he snuggles with her the way Russell does Denise.
“I knew Denise was The One after we broke up,” said Russell. “They say you never know what you have until it’s gone and I was miserable for ten months without her, constantly telling my boys, ‘Man, Denise was the bomb!’ and they looked at me and said, ‘So what are you doing here with us? Go and get your woman!’ And I did.”
Lovebirds Russell and Denise bare it all.
“I wanted to capture where our love is right now—today,” said Russell. “Just as we capture children getting older I think couples need to capture their growth and marriage in their relationship. Take new photos of yourselves just so you can watch how you grow together in your love.”
“This photo shows us that we are not hiding ourselves,” said Denise. “I think there’s always a negative stigma attached to nudity, especially on Black women. As long as it’s done tastefully and you’re doing it with someone you love, it’s okay to show yourself and love for one another.”
According to Russell and Denise, laughing makes the heart grow fonder.
“It’s brightness, it’s hopefulness, it’s joy, it’s laughter and love and good times,” said Denise of this photo.
“We have a lot of fun together because we were friends first,” said Denise. “You have to be friends first so that you can anticipate each others’ needs even before your husband or wife knows what he or she needs. That’s what friends do for one another.”
Denise’s loving smile speaks volumes as she joins hands with hubby Russell.
“I think, also, it represents coming together for us,” says Russell about their union. “It shows our love, respect and reverence for one another.”
Mr. and Mrs. Hornsby share a tender kiss as man and wife.
“We wrote our own vows and my promise to Denise was that I would let my actions speak,” said Russell. “I wrote an original poem to my wife that said something like, “I could tell you that I’ll be considerate and love you forever, but I’ll show you by letting my actions speak. I’m not reciting it verbatim, but that was the idea of it. At the end of the day, I told her I hope I love you the way a husband is supposed to.”
“His vows were beautiful,” said Denise. “Trust me, it was a boo-hoo fest once we were done with our vows and our family and friends gave their speeches.”
Russell gets playful with Denise as he holds the train of her dress.
“I’m an actor, so I’m always looking at old photos of Humphrey Bogart,” said Russell. “I’m the Dark Gable and a gentleman, so I’m always trying to create this wonderful image for the ages. So when people look at it, they think it’s classic and tasteful.”
The three-tier cake consisted of lemon, red velvet and vanilla.
“I’m Jamaican and we cooked the traditional black cake and wrapped it in purple boxes the morning of the wedding,” said Denise. “It was nice to bond with all the ladies in the family as they were cutting and preparing the cake.”
The couple serves their 83 guests an assortment of appetizers, which included Caribbean cuisine.
“The food was amazing,” said Denise. “Everyone really enjoyed it!”
Russell Hornsby and Denise Walker Hornsby, an accounting consultant, married at the Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua on August 1, 2008.
Russell and his two best men show off their smooth style.
Russell and Denise strike a pose in the middle of the dance floor.
“We danced all night,” said Denise, who let Russell choose the deejays, who spun R&B, reggae and hip-hop music. “I mean, all night it didn’t feel like a wedding but just one big party with our family and friends.”
The newlyweds, who met in 2001 at the Metronome nightclub in New York, bask in the glow of their love shoreside.
“There was a full moon on August 27, 2007, and I asked her to take a evening walk with me. After 45 minutes, I just got on bended knee in the middle of the street,” says Russell, “and I told her, ‘I love you, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, I want you to spend the rest of your life with me, and I want us to spend the rest of our lives together. And she responded, ‘I love you, too, now get out of the street!’”
Denise Walker Hornsby looks lovingly at her hubby.
“I don’t believe in traditional rings,” said Russell. “I prefer gifts, so when I proposed, I gave her a white, gold bracelet with a simple locket inscribed with Russell and Denise on the front, and in the back it said Hornsby. When I finally got up from being on bended knee and gave it to her she said, `Yes I’ll marry you.’ Then we went home to celebrate and opened up a wonderful bottle of wine that we got in Italy earlier [that] year while on vacation. It was a perfect evening.”
The lovebirds at their beautiful island wedding.
“We choreographed our first dance to Eric Benét’s “Spend My Life With You,” featuring Tamia,” says Russell, who plans to honeymoon with his new bride in Australia this December. “It was beautiful and our family and friends enjoyed it.”
The Hornsbys, who wed before 85 family and friends, kept it very simple. The wedding party consisted of Russell’s brother and best friend and Denise’s sister and best friend.
“It was one of the most memorable times of my life,” says Russell. “I’ll always remember it.”
Russell and Denise wrote their own vows.
“Hell yeah, we wrote our own vows,” says Russell. “I ain’t letting nobody else tell my wife how I feel about her.”
Russell whispers sweet nothings in his bride’s ear.
“Honestly, the beautiful thing about my wife is she puts others before herself,” says Russell. “She’s always thinking about other people and she taught me a lot about myself through her willingness to give so much of herself so often. She helped me get out of my own head and allowed me to see all her wonderful attributes.”
Mr. and Mrs. Hornsby walk off into the sunset.
“We’re both very practical people,” says Russell. “I didn’t get married because everybody else is doing it. I married the woman I love who will help me grow and we both can help each other run this long distance race called life.”
Denise’s wedding ring was a simple, gold band with yellow sapphire stones.
“No, I don’t play that. I’m here for love. As the pastor said, those rings are symbols and that’s all they are.