High School Sweethearts Say “I Do” in Traditional New Jersey Wedding: Patricia + Jean

Patricia and Jean had the time of their lives on the day of their beautiful spring New Jersey wedding. Surrounded by their loved ones, the happy couple said, "I do" in a traditional Christian ceremony after meeting in high school and dating for over 12 years! Guests enjoyed Caribbean tunes that both Patricia and Jean grew up hearing at home, as they celebrated Patricia and Jean coming together to create their own. Take a look.

Wedding Date: May 29, 2015
Wedding Location: The ceremony took place at Bethel Baptist Church in Westfield, NJ. The reception took place at Maritime Parc in Jersey City, NJ.
First Dance Song: “If This World Were Mine” by Luther Vandross
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Gifts: Bridesmaids received personalized, monogrammed handmade cosmetic bags with an Alex and Ani bangle that represented them and or our relationship. Groomsmen received crystal Cognac decanters engraved with their initials, their title in the wedding party and our wedding date.

Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!

We met while we were both in high school through a mutual friend. Interestingly enough, there was no instant spark or butterflies but mere curiosity. We became friendly and then one day over the summer of 2002, a quick conversation on AOL turned into a nightly phone session. Our friendliness quickly evolved and we fell hard for one another by the fall.

We were together 12 ½ years before we got married and never felt like we had to validate our relationship in any particular way so there was no proposal. That said, when it came to marriage, we knew it was an irreversible pledge to God and ourselves to devote our lives to one another. So with serious conversation between us, we knew in our hearts that marriage was a mutual opportunity to ultimately dedicate ourselves to one another in the eyes of the church, God and our loved ones.

Wedding Style

I wore a Victor Harper wedding gown that was ivory satin, and had a mermaid style with a sweetheart neckline. The dress had beautifully intricate crystal embellishments along with blush accents just below the hips and sophisticated crystal embellishments below the ruched designed breasts. Additionally, the dress had a gorgeous blush ribbon styled train finished off with crystal accents nearing the end of the train.

Wedding dress shopping was a breeze, surprisingly! I initially made up my mind prior to shopping that I wanted a non-traditional dress, as we are a non-traditional couple, which was to be unexpectedly bold in color. I thought of reds, sea foam green and gold, definitely not the tradition white or ivory. But what I thought I wanted quickly changed when I was encouraged to be open minded and consider dresses I wouldn’t otherwise think of wearing. I went to Exquisite Bride boutique in Westfield, NJ where Sophia was my bridal attendant. I am so grateful to her for opening my eyes! I unexpectedly became a traditional bride in my fabulous dress and I felt absolutely stunning!

Culture

During our wedding reception, we incorporated our Caribbean cultures through plenty of music and dance, but when it came to our wedding ceremony, we chose to participate in the Unity Candle tradition. To us, the lighting of the unity candle symbolizes the union of two people, two hearts, two friends and two families joined as one through God’s unique, unconditional love and guidance. From that point on, we pledged truth and purity of heart, the continuance of genuine friendship, the passion of our spirits and the deepest of love. As husband and wife, we submitted ourselves, past and present towards the growth of our future in anticipation of all that is yet come.

Memories

The exchanging of our rings and our vows to one another was the best memory from our wedding ceremony. To us, the placement of the rings and the exchanging of vows represented a never-ending union, the life long commitment that reflects God’s institution of marriage, a reminder of an act of love and devotion, law and a reminder to fulfill the commitment that is God’s blessing, everyday.

Help a bride-to-be out!

Frankly speaking, your wedding day is exactly as it sounds. One day. Although it is an unforgettable day, a monumental day filled with endless love amongst one another, family and friends; remember that your wedding day is the start to the rest of your lives together. Do not allow your ideals of the wedding day to overshadow your ideals of a marriage. Never forget why you chose to marry one another. What has encouraged you both to walk to the alter? Importantly, remember that a marriage is an everyday effort. Like our bodies, it requires the right nourishments; faith, trust and loyalty, respect, communication, teamwork and compromise and, of course friendship! If you are willing to make these ingredients a daily priority, look forward to a beautifully healthy marriage!

Vendors:

Photographer: Christopher Villano, Villano Photo
Wedding Planner + Designer: Prestige Affairs Event Production
Venue: Maritime Parc Jersey City, NJ
Stationery: Royale Amethyst Invitations
Florals: Decor Galore
Cake: Natale's Bakery
Table Numbers and Personalized Pillows: Ten23 Designs
DJ: Pulse Sounds Entertainment
Makeup: Shataya's Beauty
Bridal Designer: Victor Harper Couture
Seating Board: Cam Turner Designs

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