Happy Friday! We are so pleased to announce a new partnership with Ebony Magazine online! Each and every Friday we will be sharing weddings with Ebony.com featuring the most stylish and fabulous brides. We are grateful for this opportunity and excited to keep you and Ebony readers inspired by the love stories.
First up is the super chic wedding of Natalie and Donnie. It was photographed by one of our all time favorite photographers, Ross Oscar Knight and our good friend Eliana of ellyB Events did the planning, florals and lighting. It's truly a beautiful wedding and Natalie and Donnie make a gorgeous couple. Enjoy these pics plus the more images in the FULL gallery. Also, check out the feature on Ebony.com.
From the bride:
The first encounter...
"We met at open mic performance (poetry, songs, etc…) at cute cafe in Harlem called Society. On my way to the event after work I ran into a guy friend of mine, that I convinced to come with me. The place is very communal (one table may sit 6-8 people), so I did not think bringing a guy friend would make me look unavailable because I was very single. But, low and behold we sat at a two seater and ended up looking like we were together. That didn't stop Donnie, who walked up to my table and mentioned that he thinks we have a mutual friend. Then he very confidently, stated, "my name is Donnie, and I just thought you should meet me," and then he proceeded to try to walk away. I was instantly intrigued because I thought it was rather bold of him to walk up to me given that it looked like I was on a date, but then the confidence (bordering arrogance ) with which he introduced himself hooked me. I tried to bait him by asking where he was from to keep the conversation going, but he answered and politely excused himself. I really thought, how dare he not even attempt to ask for my number after he saw that I had some interest??? Thankfully, he sent a facebook friend request and message to me that evening saying he wasn't sure if I remembered him, but of course I REMEMBERED him! I had planned on asking my girlfriend (our mutual friend) about him the next day! We sent messages back and forth on facebook for about 2 weeks before he FINALLY asked for my phone number. We scheduled a date the next Friday where he set up dinner for us at Rock Center, wore my favorite color on men (pink), took me to a comedy show at Caroline's and then we talked until 5am. Needless to say, we've been inseparable ever since. :)"
"I had just arrived back to NYC from a weeklong conference and while I was happy to go back home, I had just moved, so my apartment had no furniture and Donnie was going to be out of town. To my surprise, I would not go home without some cheer. When I walked into my apartment, I was taken aback to see that while I was gone, Donnie had all the furniture I wanted delivered and assembled. I immediately called to tell him he was the best boyfriend in the world. He was scheduled to return to NYC the next day and I was so excited…until I found out there was a huge thunderstorm in Chicago and his flight was delayed. I didn't know when/ if he would make it back, but I decided to try to stay awake by watching a movie. He finally landed, called to see if I was still up and informed me he wanted to come by since we hadn't seen each other in what felt like forever. Of course I obliged!
When he reached my apartment he did not look like he was coming from the airport. He had on a suit, but there was no suitcase and he had a black gym bag and a huge cardboard box under his arm. Confused, I asked where he was coming from and he began to ramble. I barely paid attention to his response, but I did hear him say that he needed to check his email and I was confused because all I wanted to do was cuddle and watch the movie since we hadn't seen each other. He kept rambling, so I put the movie on mute and listened. He then began reaching in this random cardboard box. He pulls out a picture that we had taken in Greece that had been blown up in black and white and put on canvas. I was in shock! I told him a few weeks before that I wanted to do this with several photos of different places we had traveled (Greece, Kenya, Egypt). One-by-one, he pulled each picture that I showed him out of the box. I was elated. This one of the most thoughtful things he had ever done for me. I jumped up after each picture and laid them on the back of the sofa, attempting to figure out the placement for my new artwork. Then he says, “I know you said you didn’t want any pictures with us in them, but I LOVE this picture,” as he hands me a picture of us on camels with the Pyramids of Giza behind us. I loved it! Then, he pulled out the final picture of him proposing on one knee in my apartment in the exact same location where he was currently kneeling. I flipped! Literally. I was so excited that I made him drop the ring. Once I got it together, he put the ring on my finger. He grabbed me and placed me back on the sofa where I had been when he came in and was "checking his email". I was suppose to be there because he had actually opened his computer to record the proposal, but I moved around so much in my excitement that I was not in any of the shots. Through all of the excitement, we realized he never asked, so he asked would I marry him, and I have been the happiest woman in world ever since."
On incorporating culture:
"Our event had several touches of various cultures we had visited while we were dating…and of course we jumped the broom. We wrote our vows on papyrus paper because according to ancient Egyptian history, papyrus can never be destroyed. Therefore, the commitment that we made to each other would last forever. Our signature drink was a drink we enjoyed while visiting Kenya called the Dawa. In Ki-swahili, Dawa means love potion. Finally, for our guest favors, we made candles with lotus flower oil which we purchased in Egypt where the lotus flower represents life, rebirth and creation."
Thanks again to Eliana and Ross, and the happy couple for sharing your story with us! Click here for the FULL gallery.
- ellyb Events (wedding planner, designer, floral, lighting) - ellybevents.com
- Ross Oscar Knight Photography - www.rossoscarknight.com/
- Ventanas (wedding venue) - www.ventanasatlanta.com
- Scoobie West (makeup) - www.scoobiewest.com
- Mario McDowell (hair)
- Rik Ducar (tuxedos)
- Couture cakes - www.couturecakesinc.com
- S.H. Zell and Sons (jewelry) - www.shzell.com
- DJ SixFive (music)
- Sweet Teniques (sweets table)
- Bride's Ring - S.H. Zell and sons
- Wedding Dress - Bridal Garden
- Groom's Band - Tiffany's