"Jumping the broom." A western society custom that has taken numerous forms throughout history, including its United States practice originating in the mid-19th century during antebellum slavery. Not permitted to wed "legally," victims of slavery would perform this symbolic ceremony before witnesses, representing the couple's devotion to each other.
The ceremony regained popularity during the 20th century, as a way of honoring African American culture, as well as adopting numerous other symbolisms along the way. For Shandria, jumping the broom also represents the "symbolized sweeping away [of] all that is old, and all that is bad, and bringing in the new." The jumping of the broom not only carries its historical context but also is a way of blessing the future of the newlywed couple with a clean slate.
Shandria and Torry's luxurious and classy wedding was as much a celebration of the past as it was the future. With elegant diamond enriched decor glittering against brilliant cream & white color themes, a heavenly atmosphere was evoked. Perfectly enhancing the beauty, love, and emotion that will be the rest of their lives together as husband and wife.
Read all about Shandria & Torry's love story, romantic beach proposal, and wedding experience.
Bride & Groom: Shandria & Torry
Wedding Date: April 17, 2016
Wedding Location: The London West Hollywood, California
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. After a girls trip to San Diego for the 4th of July while listening to Beyoncé the entire trip and feeling empowered and happily single (lol), my girlfriend and I headed on the highway back towards home (Los Angeles). I received a text from a mutual friend of Torry and myself asking us to stop by the beach to support a "taco Tuesday" charity event. All things charity I support, so I decided to take him up on the offer and we attended. While there I spotted a strikingly handsome gentleman with a glistening bald head and inquired about him. Not wanting to be the pursuer, I left without giving much acknowledgment to Torry about my interest. Little did I know, our mutual friend Brandon, had already put a buzz in Torry's ear informing him of my inquiring mind. I attended every taco Tuesday event thereafter and decided to send Torry an email expressing my admiration for his clothing business. Of course this was a way for me to get in contact with him. Soon enough we spent our first "date" working out at the culver city stairs and later following up with a date to a movie theatre in Pasadena, then called Gold Class, which sparked almost three years of dating and making our relationship official.
Exactly one day before our third year anniversary, September 14th 2014, I was asked by a friend at the time to join her at the beach. I declined because I had so much studying to do. After she insisted, I decided to join her, Biology and Chemistry books in hand. When we arrived to the beach's parking lot, she blind-folded me and I was a little creeped out but I went with it while inquiring if Torry had anything to do with this. She told me to relax and follow her lead. She lead me to the sand and she let go of my hand to place it into another hand, Torry's. Still blind-folded, he pulled me closer to the shore and removed my blind-fold. To my surprise there were dozens and dozens of roses everywhere as we stood in a heart shaped by pink rose petals (my favorite flower) and encircled by our closest family and friends. He read me a Biblical scripture, and on one knee, asked me to be his wife. And my response? "ABSOLUTELY!!".
Wedding Style: I had to go for a modern, classy theme. I wanted something upscale for sure. I wanted flowers, candles, real crystals and pearls everywhere. Everything had to sparkle, be detailed, and intimate.
Describe your wedding dress: I wore an ivory strapless, mermaid style Vera Wang gown. It had a bit of a sheen to it. I paired the gown with an ivory, crystal sash by Vera Wang. And wore a cathedral length Vera Wang veil with a touch of lace around the bottom of the veil. Fun fact - the gown was originally made by Vera for Khloe Khardashian. To make the gown one of a kind, I had them create a small sweetheart neckline.
What was wedding shopping like for you? Wedding shopping was so fun and yet so nerve wrecking. I'm a perfectionist with a type A personality. So everything had to be perfect or nearly perfect.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Yes, jumping the broom was essential for our wedding. It symbolized sweeping away all that is old, and all that is bad, and bringing in the new. During slavery, slaves weren't allowed to marry. So instead, they jumped the broom as a marital ceremony.
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts: I presented my girls light pink satin robes, Crystal earrings and bracelets, and purchased their shoes as a thank you for partaking in this journey. I hand wrote cards with gold ink and placed their items in keepsake pink and gold boxes, each with a different design.
The groom gave his guys a whiskey glass with whiskey stones, a bottle of Hennessy/ Jack Daniels, a pocket booklet and a handwritten note.
Favorite item on the menu: That would have to be the sautéed halibut with truffle potatoes and asparagus. Although they aren't dishes, we had signature cocktails that were a hit for the evening; mine was called Trophy Wife - a raspberry martini, and his was called Opulence - a Makers Mark and Gingerale.
First dance song: Our first dance was played on the keyboard and sung by a live musician. It was "You" by Jesse Powell.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Besides the fact that we had an open bar so EVERYONE in the building felt exceptionally happy and partied ALL night, a moment that stands out most is the releasing of butterflies during our ceremony. My grandmother passed prior to being able to see me walk down the aisle. She was a lover of butterflies. So I honored her by releasing butterflies.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? To have fun and enjoy every single bit of it. Even the stressful moments. It's all so worth it. And to also remember that the most important thing about planning for this day is the fact that you will be getting married. Not just walking down the aisle. The marriage is the most important detail to pay attention to.
Wedding and Lifestyle PR Firm | Be Inspired PR
Event Rentals | CMC event rentals
DJ | DJ Escence
Videography | XO creatives
Planning and coordination: Bride & Mother of the Bride - Shandria and Renita
Makeup artist: Shonti
Venue and catering: The London West Hollywood
Photography: Sanaz Photography