Love Jones. What comes to mind when you read that? Romance, passion, poetry, creativity? The wedding we're featuring today was inspired by that movie. Lashay say Instead of a first dance, the couple opted for a 'first poetry piece.' So unique! In addition, the couple made a strong effort to support minority owned businesses - their wedding vendors were primarily minority owned or LGBTQ friendly. We love that LaShay and Bakari kept things simple and unique while celebrating their love for one another in the presence of close family and friends. We wish them the very best of marriage! Thanks to Renee Hollinshead Photography for the lovely images. Be sure to check out the full gallery at the end of the post.
From the photographer:
This is hands-down one of my favorite weddings I've ever photographed. The couple decided a few weeks before they picked their date that they would have an intimate ceremony at a local park and a reception at their home. They live in the coolest building in Baltimore complete with a freight elevator, picture perfect backdrops, colorful furniture, unique decorative items, and even a poetry suite. I love how LaShay and Bakari brought so much culture and love to their wedding day. They had a beautiful ceremony that opened with African dancers, an ancestral ceremony, a Yoruba tasting ceremony, personal hand-written vows, an amazing acapella performance by one of their guests, and a rock star exit. From there we drove to the historical Penn Station in Baltimore for a quick bridal session. The day ending with a heartwarming celebration at their home complete with flatbread pizza, a love poem read to each other in front of their guests, and a lot of partying. I could not be happier for these two!
"Love Jones is one of our favorite movies (as well as our last name is Jones!), so we took much of our inspiration from Darrius and Nina's love story. And since Bakari doesn't dance and Love Jones involved a great deal of poetry, we decided not to have a first dance rather a "first poetry piece" that was a surprise to our guests! To continue our love affair with Black Cinema we took cues for our outfits from Coming to America! HA! We didn't want traditional looks so, we decided on a regal and royal feel. It was also very important for us to support minority owned businesses, so virtually all of our vendors were either a person of color, owned by a woman, or extremely LGBTQ friendly. We wanted a very intimate ceremony with only those people who love and supported us, not merely tolerated. We also wanted our ceremony to be full of both African and Black traditions, so we had a Yoruba tasting ceremony, a community vow, and we jumped the broom! The ceremony was in a park very close to our home that was also where we got engaged, so it was very special to us."
Wedding Highlights (from LaShay)
"Our budget was $5,000. We selected that number by each answering the questions: “What is the highest amount we would want to spend no matter if we had a million dollars in the bank?"
Location: "St. Mary’s Park in Baltimore, MD; a park that is within walking distance from our house and we had our reception in our home. We wanted our wedding and marriage to stay connected, so having a ceremony and reception “at home” just made sense to us."
"When/How Did you meet? As for Bakari and I, we met 3 years before we got married. She pretended not to see me when we first met; and I took her breathe away. I liked her immediately!"
Wedding theme: “Our Very Black, Queer Wedding” haha!
Photographer: Renee Hollingshead Photography//Cinema and Video:EJ Morton-Green//Makeup Artist:Friend//Tuxedo and Mens Attire:Iya Osunremi Aduke//Other:Local African Dancers//Officiant:Officiant//Floral Designer:Pearson's Florist//Officiant:Shantology//Ceremony Location:St. Mary's Park//Dress Designer:Zac Posen//