When Preston saw Jennifer's online dating profile he quickly reached out to her. They exchanged emails for about three weeks before taking the plunge and meeting up in person. "On our first date, the chemistry was electric and I knew right away that he was someone that I definitely wanted to spend more time with," Jennifer shares.
It was fall of 2014 when Preston proposed. They had planned a trip to San Diego to attend a friend's wedding. Jennifer had attended college there so she was familiar with all the city had to offer, making it appropriate for her to plan the activities they'd do together. She'd coordinated a trip to the zoo with her family but on the day of the outing there were a series of unexpected delays and for some reason Preston insisted on going in the wrong direction. "Since he'd never been to the zoo, I was adamant about taking "my way" to the zoo entrance, but he was pretty persistent with this change of plan," Jennifer says. Little did she know he was planning something even better. They walked over a bridge to a rose garden where her family was waiting. "Preston grabbed my hands & began talking to me about how much he loved me and wanted to spend forever with me & before I knew it, he was down on one knee asking for my hand in marriage!" she says. She found out later that he had contacted each of her family members months prior to tell them of his plan and ask for their blessing. "They all let me think that family day at the zoo was MY idea and never uttered a peep about Preston’s surprise proposal. In that moment, I felt so loved by all of them and felt honored that this thoughtful man planned our proposal to happen in front of some of my favorite people!" Jennifer exclaims.
Like their engagement, the couple had a fall wedding at the Star Spangled Banner Flag House Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Joyous and elegant is how we'd describe their big day, indulge in their photos captured by Photography by Tracie.
Favorite item on the wedding menu: Mini Crab Cakes
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Bridesmaids received wine glasses, silk robes, pashmina scarves, & personalized tote bags & t-shirts. Groomsmen received personalized whiskey decanter & bottle of JD Tennessee Honey, favorite sports team socks.
First dance song: "All of Me" by John Legend
Bride: Jennifer (Davis) Carter
Groom: Preston Carter
Wedding date: 10/11/2015
Wedding location: Baltimore, Maryland
Describe your wedding dress. How was your shopping experience?
I wore a Maggie Soterro Dress (Velma) & it was the perfect choice for me! It embodied the mash-up of sexy, classy, and uniqueness that I was looking for in a wedding dress. It was form-fitting but not too revealing, and the color was ivory over blush which gave it a slight pink hue.
Wedding dress shopping was a breeze for me. I found my dress after looking in only two stores & I even went to each wedding dress salon by myself! However, I did snap photos of myself in the dress and sent them to my MOH for her input before purchasing.
What is your favorite memory of your wedding day?
Our ceremony was extremely personal and one of kind. Our officiant helped us to create a customized ceremony with readings and traditions that were special to us. He was charismatic, incorporated our guests & people still rave about how much they loved the ceremony. Our meaningful ceremony really set the tone for a fantastic evening of celebration with our family and friends!
How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
We incorporated the African American "broom jumping" wedding tradition to symbolize the start of our lives together. Our photographer, Tracie, captured a fantastic action shot of us "jumping the broom" that we absolutely love!
My husband is Guyanese with a deep Caribbean background and I absolutely love Reggae, Soca, & Calypso music. For our cocktail hour, we surprised our guests with a Steel Drummer who played upbeat Caribbean music to set to tone for all of the dancing to take place in the reception. It was perfect!
What advice do you have for our engaged couples?
If you haven't done so already, seriously consider hiring a Wedding Planner or at the very least a Day of Coordinator (DOC). I was a very hands-on bride and did most of the planning myself, however, we used Nora Ellenes with NoLo Weddings and Events, as our DOC. She was invaluable and absolutely made our wedding day a breeze. She coordinated our rehearsal, oversaw the wedding day timeline, worked with our vendors & venue, and made sure that all of our details and personal touches that we'd worked so hard on were incorporated in our special day.
Also, the second advice I would give an engaged couple is to relax and enjoy this time period in your life. As hectic as wedding planning can get, it is easy to forget that this is an important transitional period in your life that should be relished and celebrated. Additionally, it is a myth that grooms don't want to be involved in the wedding planning. While he may not obsess over every detail as we would, he definitely should be apart of the planning process because it is his day, too!
Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Soterro/Style: Velma
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Groom & Groomsmen Tuxedos: M.Stein & Co Tuxedos.
Hair: Silver Immersions (Erica Cote)
Makeup: Faces by Fatima
Ceremony & Reception Location: The Star Spangled Banner Flag House Museum
Photography: Photography by Tracie
Videography: Abidoodle Productions
Wedding Coordinator: NoLo Weddings & Events
Florist: Violet's Florist
Caterer & Cake: Catering by Uptown
Photo Booth: Prop Star Photo Booth
Officiant: Pastor Ken Patterson
Steel Drummer: Lennard Jack
DJ & Lighting: MiTTA Sound