Jamaican and Tanzanian Multicultural Wedding in New York from Petronella Photography: Jerryanne + Nathan

From a steelband playing "Here Comes the Bride," to an engagement ring made out of a rare gem from Tanzania, to a wedding cake decorated with African fabric, this is one of the most gorgeous multicultural weddings we have seen.  Jerryanne, from Jamaica, and Nathan, from Tanzania, focused on the most beautiful aspects of their culture to make sure every intricate detail of their Afro-Caribbean wedding theme would be a memorable experience for them and all of their guests.  Their summer wedding celebrated the union of two families through a mixture of elegant and Afro-centric traditions.  Jerryanne recalls, "I especially remember us both getting emotional when I said how much I admire my Dad (who officiated the ceremony) and that I never thought I'd find anyone with the same good qualities he has...until I met Nathan." Read on to see where Jerryanne and Nathan found inspiration to incorporate their culture in their wedding. You can also find more coverage of this fabulous wedding on our partner site, BellaNaija Weddings + more gorgeous images in the full gallery here.

Their gorgeous wedding was photographed by Petronella Photography.

Bride: Jerryanne Heath - Founder and CEO of ConceptLink
Groom: Nathan Chiume - Officer at Deutsche Bank
Wedding date: June 21, 2013

 

The Wedding

I am a very decisive person so I didn't want to spend too much time shopping for a dress. Plus, I was on a limited budget, so that helped narrow my options. I started by cutting out lots of magazine photos to get a sense of the silhouettes I liked best. I wasn't sure about my fabric preferences until I went on my first dress shopping trip with my Matron of Honor. I knew after that trip that I was head over heels in love with lace. It made me feel regal and I liked the way the fabric looked in a mermaid style. About eight months after getting engaged, I found an ad in the back of one of my many wedding magazines for The Sample Room New York, which sells sample designer dresses at a fraction of the retail price. I invited my sister and my MOH along and there I found my ivory/blush colored lace and tulle mermaid gown by La Sposa. I didn't have one of those teary "Say Yes to the Dress" moments, but I did dance around in the mirror and giggle!

Since it was a sample, the dress was huge on me when I purchased it. It didn't help that over the next few months I shed several pounds, so the size issue was even more pronounced. After visiting a few seamstresses who told me the alterations would be prohibitively expensive, I took my dress to Pinpoint Bridal where Remzye, a very experienced seamstress, put me at ease. She made the dress fit me like a glove within 4 fittings and at a reasonable price. PLUS Pinpoint Bridal hand-sewed some of the detail from the hem of my dress onto my veil to make it a perfect match.

I have 3 pieces of advice on dress shopping for other brides:

1. Give yourself plenty of time to choose a dress, have it altered, and choose the right accessories
2. Don't get hung up on having the same emotional dress shopping experience as brides on TV. You may react differently to YOUR perfect dress. The main thing to focus on is connecting with the dress and allowing the experience to feel natural for you.
3. Don't invite too many opinions - they can crowd out your own. Take no more than 3 people to your shopping appointments and make sure they are people who will tactfully give you honest feedback while putting your opinion first.

 

 

Our wedding day had a lot of personal touches and many friends have asked us how we came up with the ideas. We focused on the most beautiful aspects of our cultures and tried to weave those into our Afro-Caribbean wedding theme. We also took inspiration from small things that many people would otherwise overlook. For example, we chose aqua blue and a bold yellow as our wedding colors because they reminded us of the ocean and sun.

While visiting Tanzania a year prior to the wedding, we got inspired by the fabrics and handmade crafts we found at the local markets. We brought several yards of yellow and blue fabric home and enlisted 3 incredible tailors at AZVKA, Afrikart, and Yara to create our table runners and wedding attendant accessories. During a business trip in Nigeria shortly thereafter, I stumbled upon some vintage African gin bottles that we used as vases during the ceremony. Franz James Floral weaved these gin bottles into our decor alongside the dramatic centerpieces and bouquets they created with some of our favorite exotic flowers. Nathan and I both love music and this was a crucial part of creating the ambience. We brought in a steel pan band for the ceremony that played “Here Comes the Bride” right before I walked down the aisle and during the cocktail hour, and our friends Mao and Dave DJ'd the reception.

To highlight my Caribbean culture, I took inspiration from Junkanoo, a traditional carnival held in the Bahamas each year. I recalled the brightly colored headpieces covered in sequins, rhinestones, and feathers. I enlisted the help of a friend (Sipiwe Sikwila of Something Me) to create custom stationery for the ceremony programs, reception tables, guest favors, and signage. She designed a feather-patterned border for each piece and decorated the ceremony and reception programs with blue and yellow rhinestones. We used another designer at Minted.com to create our festive blue and yellow invitation cards.

You Make Loving You So Easy

From him... Her smile. It lights up the room.
From her..His heart. I am in awe every day of how thoughtful, patient, generous, and kind he is.

View more images in the full gallery here.

Vendors

PhotographyPetronella Photography
Second shooter: Magdiel Sanchez Wedding Photography & Alan Tumusiime
Venue: The Grandview
Wedding WebsiteWix
Table Runners: Afrikart
Rehearsal Dinner: Shadows on the Hudson
Limo TransportationA Hudson Valley Limo
Trolley Transportation: The Grandview
Bride's Wedding Dress: La Sposa via The Sample Room
Bridal Alterations: Pinpoint Bridal
Bride's Accessories: Lucy Bridal Boutique
Bride's Dress #2: Ted Baker
Bride's Hanger: Hanging Moments
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride's perfume: J'Adore by Dior
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung (The Dessy Group)
Bride's CuffLapis Beach
Bride's Earrings: Dana Castle
Bride's Jewelry: Weddings With Flair 
Groom's fragrance: John Varvatos
Tanzanite Wedding Ring: Tacori
Reception music: DJ Mao Luangisa, maoluangisa@yahoo.com DJ Dave Nyakyi, Dave Nyakyi, djdaveny@gmail.com
Escort tags: Save on Crafts
Escort Card Tree: banana leaf baobab trees bought in Tanzania
Signature Drink: Goombay Smash & non-alcoholic Goombay Saint - traditional spiced rum Bahamian cocktail drink
The Perfect Brew Favors on each plate setting Tanzanian Tea inside burlap sack
Favors and Packages: PaperMart
End of the night favors: traditional Jamaican fruit cake
Flowers: Franz James Floral
Groomsmen's Suit, Groom's Shoes: Zara
Groom's Suit Tailoring including yellow button stitching: MySuit
Natural hair styling: Rachelle Hayes, rachellehayes6@yahoo.com
Hotel: Poughkeepsie Grand, Karen Taylor, ktaylor@pokgrand.com
Invitations: Mintedservice@minted.com
Makeup: Khuraira
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: Caribbean Breeze Steelband
Ceremony & Wedding cake African bottles, Nigerian market Ring Bearer SignBeautiful Maskquerade
StationerySomething Me
Stationery: Paper Presentation
Cake: The Grandview
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Petronella Photography is a member of The Coterie- Munaluchi's Exclusive wedding collective. Click here to view her portfolio. Want to learn more about The Coterie? Click here to learn how to apply.

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  1. Elizabeth's Cake Emporium

    Beautiful wedding wonderfully captured. I love the vibrant colours and the couple looks very happy.

    Reply
  2. Petronella

    Thanks so much for the feature and love. I loved photographing Jerryanne & Nathan and working with all the awesome wedding vendors!

    Reply
  3. Sasha-Shae

    This was awesome!! Colors were beautiful, and they looked like they had so much fun. Photographer did an excellent job as well.

    ~Shae
    http://afroniquelyu.com

    Reply
  4. Jerryanne

    Thank you so much for sharing our wedding with the world, Manaluchi, Bella Naija and By Petronella Photography. And thank you all for your comments. God blessed us with the wedding of our dreams and these pictures beautifully capture some of our fondest memories of the day!

    Reply
  5. laritaraine

    I LOVED the colors. The grooms attire was awesome. That mermaid dress fit you perfectly. The table settings were beautiful.

    Reply
  6. Flyycat

    This wedding is absolutely beautiful, fun and representative of two cultures. We are also an Afro-caribbean (Bermuda/Ghana) couple, who incorporated elements of both cultures in our small courthouse wedding and lunch. At some point, we plan to have a larger marriage celebration party .. Jerryanne and Nathan’s wedding has given me great ideas God bless your marriage.

    Reply
  7. Keepsake Memories Photography

    What a beautiful wedding! Love the bride’s hair, the colors of the wedding and the wedding cake. Everything is so nice!

    Reply
  8. Leanne

    I love everything about this because I am an island girl engaged to an African man and we are hoping to encorporate both our cultures in the wedding. I am so happy you added all the details where you got everything as I am particularly interested in the groom’s tie and pocket square. This was beautiful…great job

    Reply
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  10. Liz

    Hongera (Congratulations )to the bride and groom!! Being half Tanzanian myself I just love how you captured the prints , kangas….. I’ve been wondering how to pull that look off in a wedding, need not wonder anymore . Lovely !! Mbarikiwe!! Many Blessings

    Reply
  11. charlie

    I love the pictures, specially the last one in the dance floor

    Reply
  12. Kile Makule

    Beautiful colors , great combination , beautiful people. I love the pictures. Wow! I wish them the best….

    Reply
  13. Tonia

    Gorgeous wedding and great photography! Love the colors and vibrancy and can almost hear the steel drums….! Congrats to all involved!

    Reply
  14. Pinpoint Bridal

    Congratulations! :)

    Reply
  15. Stef

    Gorgeous wedding. I am from Tanzania and ending up purchasing my dress at the Sample Room too. These are such great ideas of how we can incorporate our Tanzanian aspects more into our wedding. Thank you! Hongera sana.

    Reply
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