From the very beginning of their courtship, Tanika and Maurice committed to a pure relationship modeled to honor God. Their first date was a double date to a Christian concert and the two have been walking strong in Christ ever since. The lovely couple have a cousin's friend's wedding to thank for their pairing. Fate is amusing in that way.
Tanika, an Associate Director in Consumer Insights & Strategy and Maurice, who works in Investment Banking had a gorgeous fall wedding at First Congregational Church and afterwards, celebrated with family and friends at Laurel Manor. The trees were in full bloom, leaves ready to fall but not quite yet, making the backdrop of this autumn wedding quite a sight of beauty.
Wedding Date: October 25, 2014
Wedding Location: Detroit, MI
First Dance Song: “The Best of Me” by Anthony Hamilton + a 90s Mix of our favorite songs!
Favorite Item on the Wedding Menu: The Wedding Cake (Strawberry + Lemon) & Garrett's Popcorn!
Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!
My cousin, Yolanda, met Maurice at her friend's wedding. They sat at the same table and instantly began a conversation. As the evening went on and she learned more about him, she knew that we would make a perfect match. I was in the car heading back to Chicago and received a text that said "I am at a wedding and I have THE man for you." She informed me of all of his great qualities and then sent me a picture. I looked at the picture, thought he was very handsome but I never responded.
The next morning Yolanda called me and said "Are you going to meet him or what?" I finally gave in and told her to give Maurice my phone number. We talked the next day and instantly hit it off. Later that week he asked me out. We went to a Marvin Sapp concert (a double date with his uncle) on our first date. We began worshipping Christ together and have always kept Christ at the center of our relationship.
I knew that I wanted to marry Tanika after our very first week of dating. As our courtship evolved, I knew the time had come. I didn't know exactly when I wanted to propose, but I knew that it would be soon. In February, I went to talk to Tanika's father about marrying his daughter. In March, I officially asked for her hand in marriage. Then the sweat began! I had to put together a surprise proposal for someone who is nosey by nature and has a career in research. Tanika always has a way of figuring things out so I had to be very strategic. With a little help from her family, close sorority sisters and friends, I was able to give her the shock of her life.
I knew that I wanted to propose in church because it signifies what our marriage will be built upon. Pastor Reggie and I decided that he would call me up after service to pray. But the real plan was for me to sing and then propose to my now fiance. Once I got to the microphone, I was nervous! The congregation was looking at me & wondering why I had not started praying. As I opened my mouth words began to fall out and I knew that everything was falling in place just as God intended. I started to sing and she immediately hit the floor. Little did she know that her immediate family and closest friends were sitting in the balcony waiting for this moment! They popped out of nowhere and led her to me. As she made her way to me, I was thinking about how excited I was to spend the rest of my life with the most beautiful woman in my world. I got down on one knee and asked the most important question of my life. I am so blessed that she said, “Yes!”
I loved everything about my dress! It was a strapless slim fit and flare gown with a sweetheart neckline. It was fully adorned with Swarovski crystals. It had a dramatic trumpet skirt at the bottom which led to a beautiful organza and English net sweep train. It was elegance in motion and so fitting for my personality.
Shopping for my wedding dress was such a fun experience and totally stress free. I only took my mom and maid-of-honor. We went to about five stores and I fell in love with this dress in the very last store that we went to. My mom looked at it and said "I think this is what you are going for." As soon as I put on the dress, the tears began to flow. When I came out of the dressing room, I finally saw that "This is the one" look on my mom and maid-of-honor's face! I shopped around for the best price on my dress and ended up getting it about 15-20% less than the retail price. Brides, shop around and negotiate!
The bridesmaids received personalized tote bags and robes, personalized hangers for their dresses, wedding day jewelry, and personalized bottles of wine as a special thank you! The groomsmen received handmade silk ties & cufflinks to wear on the wedding day.
Maurice and I wanted God to be at the center of the entire wedding ceremony to set the precedence for what Christ is in our marriage. It was a traditional Christian ceremony officiated by our Pastor out of Chicago, IL.
My best memory from my wedding day was my father walking me down the aisle to my groom. As we met Maurice at the altar, he and my father hugged and Maurice shed the most genuine tear as he grabbed my hand to become one with him!
The first look with my father prior to the ceremony brought about the first real tears of the day! All I could think about was how I was once his little girl and now it was time for me to leave my father and mother to cleave to my husband. It was so symbolic and special. That was the last kiss that he gave me as an unmarried woman!
Another favorite memory was our first dance! We started slow and then danced the next few minutes to a 90s medley of our favorite songs. You should have seen Maurice dancing like Bobby Brown to "Every Little Step I Take!"
Help a bride-to-be out!
Wedding planning is fun but it can quickly become stressful. Maurice and I set aside one day per week that was dedicated for wedding discussion and planning. Of course there were times as we got closer to the day where we had to add a day. The engagement season flies by quickly and the wedding day goes even faster. Cherish every moment! Enjoy one another, keep dating, don't rush the days and soak it all in. This time will only come once in your life so do your best to enjoy it as much as possible. Remember that it is all about the two of you. Be sure that every detail is how YOU want it rather than how others would like to see it. Don't go out of your way to please others if it is not what you truly want. The last thing I would say is that something probably will go wrong on your wedding day. Don't stress! Everything will work out exactly how it is supposed to!
Photographer: Studio 41 Photography
Florist & Decor: The Velvet Touch Events
Videography: Capturing Arts
Stationery: LePenn Designs
Wedding Coordinator: Luella's Creations Event Planning
Disc Jockey: DJ Chuck of Detroit DJ Entertainment
Wedding Cake: Giuseppes Bakery
Candy Table: Michigan Wedding & Candy Buffet Company
Bridal Gown: Allure Bridal Couture Collection
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: Mary's Modern Maids Collection
Wedding Dress Salon: Moni's Bridal
Bridal Party Makeup Artist: Beauty Box by Talya Ashford
Bridal Hair: Michael David (Royal Oak, MI)
Groom Custom Suit: Adrian Park
Groom's Shoes: Magnanni