This beautiful couple's love story will pump you up with the music. Valerie and Tadj incorporated their love for each other and their caribbean heritage in every aspect of their wedding. Their most memorable moment was "standing back as we looked upon our guests as they waved both our national flags in the air and dancing to the soca music. This was true unity and it couldn't get better than that. A representation of who we are."
How They Met
"Tadj and I were introduced by a mutual friend. We both lived in different states (him Miami, I, New York), so we took to the famous Facebook to get acquainted. Much communication via inbox messages took place, but there was so much to talk about, it wasn't enough. We decided to take it up a notch and use the telephone. Conversations went from early morning wake up calls from him to me - to good night. We seemed like best friends holding on to a lifetime of friendship.
With a downturn in employment in his state, he decided to move to New York. This move changed both of our lives forever.
We continued dating - secretly to most of our friends but known to only our families. On one of our many dates in the city of New York we took the train ride home. Since it was one of many normal date nights, the end was the last thing I was expecting, armed with NO ring and just love, he ask me if he could ride this train with me FOREVER. I knew what he meant and without hesitation I said YES."
"We truly wanted our wedding day to reflect our happiness as well as our culture. It meant a lot of fun that would include our music and the cultural language of Kweyol.
The music was a combination of Reggae of which we dance our first dance to, as well as soca and Zuk music to keep the dance floor full or energy. Reflecting, it truly was sight to see the guest on the dance floor.
After booking several appointments to try on wedding gowns, we finally found the PERFECT dress at Lestan Bridal, in Brooklyn, New York. Speaking with my planner on the way to Lestan’s, I began to describe what my ideal gown would be since I didn’t find it at the other locations. I remember saying, my dress had to fit me beautifully, hugging my hips and accentuating my icon style of one shoulder maybe with a little floral embellishment but not too much – something like that. We arrived at Lestan’s spoke to the bridal consultant and she pulled out Adoarae Rose, from designer Maggie Sottero. As I tried on the dress I cried futuristically reflecting on how Tadj would give me thumbs up for choosing this dress. He did!
My perfect dress needed the perfect accessories to embellish its beauty. A beautiful and simple veil – that I never thought I would wear but so glad that I did, and a small tiara to bring out the princess in me, matching hand jewelry and top off with the PERFECT shoes handcrafted with diamonanite stones from Nicole of Creative Creations Unlimited. (Did you see the shoes?)
To enhance my green vision and also my two favorite colors, I had my bridesmaids wear green dresses with purple shoes, that matches the men’s inner waist coat. I also wanted my maid of honor to be different as her standing by my side and our longevity of friendship. She wore purple dress with purple shoes, a perfect match up to the Best man. Because my MOH lives in Trinidad, she didn’t try on the dress until 3 days before the wedding. Fortunately for us our seamstress was well aware of the travel plans and turned around a dress alteration in a matter of hours.
From the moment I told my bridal party about our engagement their pure happiness for us was over the moon. As they continue to be there for us, I too wanted to make them happy. In doing so, the only say I wanted to have of their dresses was the color. They got to choose their style that best fit their personality and most of all their comfort."
"We incorporated a lot of our culture in our wedding. This was one of the most important aspects for us. Tadj is from St. Lucia and whilst I carry both St.Lucian and Trinidad heritage, there were a lot of our culture that we wanted to incorporate. In St. Lucia, there are two languages spoken, English and Kweyol (patoi- which is called broken French). It is a language that represents the French part of the country's heritage. The use of the Kweyol language is very important to us as it can be distinctively heard and spoken even today.
Our table numbers, our menu, our welcome and signing board- were all written in both the Kweyol Language and a translation in English.
The island of Trinidad and Tobago has long been known for our SOCA music and delicious Caribbean cooking.
We showered our guest at their hotel on arrival with warm authentic traditional sweets, brought from Trinidad. Some of them were Tamarind balls, sugar cake, and Kurma (and Indian delicacy).
As a token of our love and appreciation, another touch of our culture was again share. At the Wedding, place on their dinner table were boxed Traditional HOMEMADE black cake, which was made in Trinidad by my auntie and complimented by Spice rum, made personally by Tadj (another St.Lucian tradition).
The best was yet to come! During the festivity, the songs of SOCA and reggae were played, sending milestones of memories as our guest dance in rythum. The music was intoxicating but it was the distribution of our St.Lucian and Trinidad flag to our guest, waving and swaying in air, dancing in harmony to the music.
These were our expression of our culture and we were proud of it!"
You Make Loving You So Easy
From him... Tadj loves me because I’m a caring, loving, total extrovert, a warm and down to earth person. He admires my love of god with unwavering faith .but, he says the most beautiful thing he finds in me, is that I am always going above and beyond to help everyone. It’s a rare gem and a quality he cherishes.
From her... His will to live, his love of god, his patience, his warmth, his adorable kisses, his listening ear. But most of all, his reliability. He is my strength when I am weak and days when I am down, I know I can rely on him to be there for me in a NO judgmental zone.
VendorsWedding Dress Designer: Adoarae Rose, from designer Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress Salon: Lestan’s Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Assorted designers Hair: Nicole Newland of NikkiEssence Makeup: Robin Parrish of Robin Lynn Artistry Ceremony & Reception Location: CrestHollow Country Club
Photography: Justin Ifill-Forbes Photography
Wedding Planner/Designer: Camille Plummer of JunePlumm Events
Florist: Kelly @ Distinctive Floral Design
Cake: wedding cake provided by the venue (CrestHollow) Stationery: Ginger with StudioG Designs @ Etsy
Linens: Claudia of Expressions Linens & Events
MC: Jeff Samerson DJ: Funky Fat Boy Officiant: Father Robert Allman
Details: Floor Decals: Lauren with Ten23 Designs Shoe Bling Design: Nicole with Creative Creations Unltd