Real {Florida} Wedding: Sharonda + Markis

With 4 distinct celebration areas, 17 people in the bridal party, specialty drinks, a special interactive photo booth/guest book called PhotoMingle, and even a special congratulatory note from the President and First Lady, the wedding ceremony and celebration of the union between Sharonda and Markis was quite the affair.

Every detail of this wonderful affair was photographed by talented Spanish photographer, Arturo Macias.

The Bride: Sharonda L. Britton
The Groom: Markis Randall
Their Occupations: Bride - Director of African American Marketing; Groom - National Operations Manager
The Wedding Date: 07.30.2011
The Location: Howey-in-the-Hills, FL

The Meeting .... "We met in 2006 at a Kem concert at the House of Blues, Orlando. A mutual friend who was Markis' cousin invited me to come along as Markis had a VIP table for the concert. We became fast friends and started hanging out with one another. Nearly a year later our friendship developed into much more as we realized we had so much in common and we knew our future would be with each other."

The Proposal .... "Markis proposed before Christmas (12.19.2010). We had discussed marriage and where we saw our relationship heading. Secretly, Markis had purchased the ring. We were sitting that evening talking and he asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him? Not thinking he was proposing, I said of course and then got up to get somethng in the next room. When I returned I found Markis with the ring in hand on bended knee. My reaction? I was very surprised but happily said yes."

The Theme and Vendor Selection .... "Our wedding was themed "Let's Toast It Up!" It was a celebration giving a nod to my parents and other power couples that balanced the demands of family, life and their careers but make time for the love and commitment they have for one another. We were making a commitment to each other and wanted our guests to have...fun. We were living in Maryland but having our wedding in our hometown. We went home for Christmas to visit family and to select a wedding planner. Markis is in the special events industry and knew how effective planning made a major difference. He wanted to ensure we had someone who was knowledgeable of the industry. We hired Kerline and her team at, Joie de Vie Weddings & Events. During our week home we hit the ground running visiting venues and ironing out our plan for the next seven months. Our save the dates were designed to look like a cover of Jet Magazine, our invitations were silk boxes that opened up to reveal all the details of the weekend. With Persian Plum and Apple Slice as our color palette we began designing the day to be a 'royal affaire'. We chose florals in purple hues and bling was most certainly taken into account for the décor. Our floral designer incorporated bling bands on some of the vases and bouquets. The invitations, wedding day stationery all had Swarovski crystals on them. Because the Persian Plum color was relatively new, our linen vendor, Over the Top Linens, custom-made all of our chair ties, runners, napkins and linens for the reception. We had silver chiavari chairs for the dinner reception and white chiavari chairs and white leather lounge furniture for the after party. Our wedding professionals came at the recommendation of our planner. Our photographer, Arturo Macias, lives in Spain and his work was phenomenal. Our videographer at Elegante Films uses a cinematic style to shooting. These two gentleman would capture our day and give us the memory to take with us. That was a VERY important decision to us. We were happy to work with both of them. Our wedding cake was designed to mimic the design of my ceremony gown. After visiting Jennyfer at the Sugar Suite, we did not need to visit anyone else. We also had Jennyfer design a groom's cake which was a surprise for Markis at our rehearsal dinner. Markis is an avid rollerskater. His cake was a replica of his skates with his skating moniker, "II Smooth", on the wheels."

The Challenges .... "From the Save the Dates to the invites we set the tone and set the bar high for the guests to have an amazing time. With the challenge of having more than 400 guests we found that working within our budget and the venues in Orlando could be a challenge. Our planner contacted venues she had worked with and explained our budget and what we would like to have as amenities. She narrowed our list down to three places. We fell in love with the privacy of the Mission Inn and the amenities it offered for our guests. Mission Inn could become a weekend getaway for many of our guests. Our ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and dancing would take place in four distinct areas allowing for a buildup of that experience with each part of the evening. Another challenge was Markis and I lived in Maryland. Outside of the December trip where we hired a planner and found our venue, we only came down one other time together to plan the wedding. Our meetings were via Skype, conference call, mail (samples swatches) and phone. Our planner and her team made the process easy as we were able to make key decisions, but they did all the work. The final challenge was [that] I was offered a position that would have us move across the country eight weeks before the wedding. It was a great opportunity and life continued as we had taken care of the major plans and our team of professionals were just that - professionals. We were able to focus on moving, working and our families while they attended to the details."

Special Moments .... "Our ceremony was personal. We had special readings and a song presented by dear friends. Our officiates were the pastor from my childhood church and a dear friend who is a minister in Jacksonville, FL. We both have children from previous relationships. We knew that the marriage was not just us becoming one, but a new family unit was created. After our vows, we made a commitment to the children and had them take part in the ceremony with a sand ceremony. [During the ceremony,] with our videographers' help, we had created a video that played after our bridal party was introduced, but before we entered the room. It got the crowd amped for our introduction. Once we were introduced, we surprised them with CeCe Teneal singing Etta James' "At Last". Cece and one of her back up singers later sang my father-daughter dance and a special surprise to my parents for their anniversary. After dinner we cut our cake and Markis thanked our guests for joining us for the wedding."

The Most Unforgettable Moment .... For Markis, it was "the ceremony and exchange of vows. [It was] memorable because it was personal and our moment, not part of the 'event' we called the wedding." For Sharonda, it was "the moment I saw Markis at the end of the aisle. The expression on his face said it all."

{You Make Loving You So Easy}
"Markis always jokingly says I am the female version of him. But he says he loves my commitment to my loved ones and my giving spirit. He loves that I am dedicated, driven and very determined."

"I love his swagger! (Just kidding). Seriously, I love his commitment to family and his tenacity for life and living despite life's circumstances."

 

Wedding Video Trailer:  http://www.elegantefilms.com/videos/sharondamarkis/

Congratulations, Sharonda and Markis! May your marriage always be a wonderful, intimate affair worthy of celebration.

VENDORS

Wedding Planner: Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc
Stationery: Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. 
Dress 1 & 2: Maggie Sottero 
Shoes: Jimmy Choo's 
Jewelry: Adorn Brides
Hair: Rint & Dale - Dale Dee's the Salon
Makeup: Couture Adornments 
Groom & Mens Attire: Absolutely Fitting Tuxedo 
Ceremony & Reception Location: Mission Inn Resort 
Cake: The Sugar Suite 
Photographer: Arturo Macias 
Videographer: Elegante Films 
Pipe & Drape: Quest Drape 
Linens: Jennifer with Over the T op Linens 
Floral: Cindy's Creations
Lighting: Tagas Events 
Chiavari Chairs: A Chair Affair 
Lounge Furniture: AFR 
Entertainment/AV: Cece Teneal & Soul Kamotion 
Guestbook: PhotoMingle 
 

View the entire gallery below:

[nggallery id=329] [fancy_header3 variation="teal"]More Sunday Love Stories[/fancy_header3] [raw][blog_list thumb="small" showposts="4" category_in="1331" disable="content,meta"][/raw]
 
view blog