Camille and Tafsir met at a grad school house party. “I went to Howard University for Business School, and the 2nd year grad students were throwing a graduation party. He didn’t go to Howard but tagged along with one of our mutual friends who was in the program at the time” shares Camille.
As Camille danced the night away while stopping for breaks to chat with friends in between, she spied a new group of guys entering the party. Amidst the group, she zeroed in on Tafsir. As Camille sized him up, thinking “hmm he’s cute”, she next did what any girl would do when a cute guy catches their eye. “In typical 8th grade fashion, I lingered around him until I caught his eye and then said let’s hit the dance floor. We chatted for a bit, and I asked him if he was going to take my number” says Camille. And, her middle school moves worked because of course, Tafsir took that number. Wasting no time, he called Camille the next day and the calls continued everyday thereafter.
Fast forwarding through a few years of relationship bliss, Camille (like all women) began staring at her watch, wondering when her “time” would come. “We had been dating for about 5 years at this point, and I like any other girlfriend would do, began to wonder - like REALLY wonder, when he was going to pop the question” says Camille. But little did she know, by that holiday, she would no longer have to hear the haunting echo of the ticking proposal clock anymore.
“It was near the end of the year, and I was heading to Jamaica with my family like I do almost every year for the holidays. I was trying to get Tafsir to come with us the whole year, but he just couldn’t make it happen. I was so bummed because Christmas time in Jamaica is so much fun and I wanted him to experience it with me and my family” says Camille. And after a few failed attempts to convince her beau to tag along, Camille gave up.
Once on vacation, Camille and her family headed to the hills of Kingston for bunch at the fabulous Strawberry Hill restaurant, and much to Camille's surprise, brunch wouldn't be the only thing served that day. “Tafsir surprised me in Jamaica at the brunch with a proposal! He pulled off the best surprise ever; my family and friends were in on it as well. It truly was magical. We ended up celebrating the rest of the trip with family and friends” shares Camille. And for a guy who is not one for planning surprises - he pulled off one that was pretty epic.
Bride & Groom: Camille & Tafsir Thiam
Occupations: Bride: Global Marketing Manager | Groom: Senior Network Engineer
Wedding date: 11/07/15
Wedding location: Hotel Allegro in Chicago, Illinois
Describe your wedding dress! What was wedding shopping like for you?
Camille: I would say my wedding dress was a bit vintage, classic, and feminine all mixed in one. I wanted to make sure it matched my venue, the Hotel Allegro since it has a very vintage art deco vibe. I purchased it from Wedding Atelier in Manhattan and it is a Pronovias, Ombera dress.
Wedding dress shopping was overwhelming but fun at the same time. I spent way too much time online trying to decide on which style is for me. I thought I had the perfect dress in mind but it wasn’t until I went to try on dresses that I realized ok this is when the search starts. I must have tried on at least 15 dresses! It was a day when I wasn’t super excited to look for a dress and dragged along one of my best friends one Saturday morning and I found my dress. I just knew that this was the one!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
Absolutely! My family is from Jamaica and my husband and his family is from Guinea, West Africa. I made sure that I captured both cultures all throughout the wedding. At the wedding rehearsal we had Jamaican and West African food and the food at the wedding had a bit of a West Indian flair to it as well. I also made sure that the DJ had a GREAT mix of music that catered to our friends in family – dancehall, soca, African, salsa, merengue, 80s throwbacks, hip hop, r&b, edm. We covered just about everything! A lot of Tafsir’s family came in beautiful African clothing. Everyone looked great!
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids: Tote bags with personalized mugs, makeup wipes, earrings or necklaces (to wear on the day of the wedding) and makeup from my company (L’Oreal).
Groomsmen: Bow-ties, socks and a weekender bag from Everlane.
Favorite item on the menu: I didn’t have a chance to eat the appetizers the day of but I did during the tasting (another piece of advice – make sure you eat!) the Lamb Pops and Beef Patties
First dance song: “Ribbon in The Sky” Stevie Wonder
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Tafsir’s vows. It made me cry! He wrote them himself, and every word was straight from his heart. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
I know everyone says this, but enjoy every single moment. Leading up to the wedding can get stressful, but try to minimize stress as much as possible. It’s a celebration! During the wedding try to enjoy it as much as you can. Time flies by and it would be a shame if you spent so much time worrying about your wedding and guests vs. having a fabulous time with your new husband, friends, and family.
Day of Coordinator: Julie B. Events
Photographer: Ed & Aileen Photography
Bouquets/Boutonnieres: The Faux Bouquet
Flowers: Steve’s Flower Market
DJ: Dj Ringo (Akeem Wright)
Makeup: Paintgal Studio
Hair: Stephanie J. McLemore
Venue: Hotel Allegro
Lighting: Chicago Speaker Rental
Bridal Salon: Wedding Atelier
Officiant: Hitched by MV
Videographer: With Love Productions