In our technologically advanced world, there is an App for everything. So when App Developer, Marcus, wanted to propose to Rakia, he used his tech savvy to pull off a new age proposal. First, Marcus rented out their favorite Sushi restaurant and got Rakia's grandmother to take her to the movies. After the movies, Marcus insisted that Rakia try out his newest app. She opened the app as she headed over to the restaurant, and it had a number of questions about their relationship together. The last question was “Do you love Marcus?” The app then gave her directions to the back of the restaurant where their family and friends were waiting, and Marcus was ready on one knee! (See their proposal video at the end of the article!)
Their wedding was just as remarkable. They decided to have an intimate affair on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Square Building, which was the perfect venue for their “Love in the City” theme. It was truly a historic moment, because they were the first African American couple to be allowed into this high security venue, and their wedding was held on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington! Rakia shares, “Marcus and I are very modern and simple so we choose silver and lavender to provide this soft, elegant feel.” After the early their wedding, the couple had an after party at private lounge in DC. All of the beautiful details of this lovely nuptials were captured by Deji Okeowo Photography.
- Bride: Rakia Finley (McDonald)
- Groom: Marcus Finley
- Wedding Date: 08/24/2013
- Wedding Location: Metropolitan Square Building Rooftop
How They Met
We met in Washington DC. Marcus and I both own small businesses. I was having a annual reception for non-profits in the area and Marcus attended with a friend that was invited. He attempted to talk to me but couldn't get pass the crowd. He emailed asking me to meet for coffee a couple of times and I never would. A year later my Facebook suggested him as a friend and he tried one last time to ask for a date and I said yes. I believe I fell in love on that first date.
After a year and a half of dating it was time for the next step. Marcus rented out Asian Spice in Chinatown where we had our 3rd date (it's our favorite place for sushi). He got my grandmother to ask me on a movie date. After the movies my grandmother insisted on going to Asian Spice. Marcus being an App Developer right after the movie he insisted I immediately try out his app. As we walked over to the restaurant I opened the app. It had a number of questions about our journey together. The last question was 'Do you love Marcus?" I clicked yes and the app told me to follow the arrows that led me to the back of the restaurant where my entire family, friends and future mother in law stood behind Marcus on 1 knee. After agreeing to be his wife we had a huge dinner with the people who loved us the most.
Description of Event
The wedding was held on the same day as the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in downtown DC. Marcus and I are both African Americans small business owners so it was very important for us to have our wedding in DC and on this special day. We wanted to feel like we were a part of history.
It was an intimate wedding of a little over 100 of our closest friends and family. The wedding was held on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Square Building overlooking the white house and the monument. We were the first African American wedding to be allowed in this high security venue and all our guests were required to receive White House clearance due to how close we were. We held the ceremony and the reception on the roof top and the weather was perfect.
When we started envisioning our wedding we needed to determine what was most important. We were both the first in our families to have a wedding and we wanted to honor that significance. I wanted it to feel modern and challenge the traditions of what a wedding or a bride is suppose to look like I wanted everything to feel like it resembled us.
We wanted our mothers and my grandmother to be the most important people in the room all day. Our wedding was a celebration of their support and guidance throughout our lives. We had both mothers play a vital role during the ceremony for the hand fasting. The theme was Love in the City. The rooftop gave you a view of all of Downtown DC so I wanted that to be our decor. Marcus and I are very modern and simple so we choose silver and lavender to provide this soft, elegant feel. All textiles with silver and white and all flowers was a brushed lavender color. All around stood little pictures of use in silver frames and bible scriptures laid on the table.
The wedding ended early in the evening allowing guest to get out of the heat rest and meet at the after party. The after party was at a private lounge in DC. This is where friends came and we danced the night away as husband and wife. The next morning close family was invited to a send off gospel bunch at the Hamilton before we headed to our honeymoon later that day.
I knew I wanted to wear something that felt like me. I love a good sheath dress, they are my favorite dresses to wear. I like to look simple and classic with pops of accents. This was the whole driving force to my wedding style. I went to Nordstroms with my Mother, future Mother in Law and Bridesmaids. I tried on what I thought I'd want as a bride the big puffy dress with the long train but those types of dresses just didn't feel like they belonged to me. Christa, the most amazing sales associate brought over a dress that was being pulled off the racks the following day. After convincing me to just try it on I fell in love. It was a Addiana Papell sheath dress with a head to toe lace overlay. It was classic and timeless and I felt beautiful in it. I bought it on the spot. KAS Flanagan was the stylist for our wedding and he provided some direction to enhance t hat dress along with styling the wedding party. I got the dress tailored to work with my curves and we added a belt to give it more shape. My dress felt like one of a kind because it was, I made it mine.
Incorporation of Culture
We are a very Christian family so even though we were having a modern wedding we didn't want that to get lost. We had scriptures in silver frames throughout the reception. During the ceremony we asked our favorite married couple to gift us our first bible that was prayed over by the pastor.
Most Memorable Moment
Instead of a train I had a 192 inch veil. At one point in the ceremony the wind picked up my veil and it lifted above all the guests. My bridesmaid didn't know what to do but I thought it was awesome.
Another memory was after the ceremony, we went to the W hotel to take some photos and when we walked in every one at the bar kept buying us drinks. It was our first toast as husband and wife.
You Make Loving You So Easy
From the Groom... Rakia has one of the biggest hearts. She will give you the shirt off her pack and make you an extra one just in case you lose it.
From the Bride... He is my best friend. There is no move in life I can make where he wont be holding my hand during. He is my favorite person on this earth.
You can watch Marcus and Rakia's engagement here:
- Wedding Dress Designer: Adrianna Papell
- Wedding dress Salon: Nordstrom Tyson's Corner
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Tevolio
- Hair: Stephanie Elaine
- Makeup: Melissa Michelle
- Shoes: BCBG
- Ceremony and Reception location: Metropolitan Square Building Rooftop
- Photography: Deji Okeowo
- Videography: Chad Finley
- Wedding Planner: RAE Affairs
- Florist: Let Art Bloom
- Cake: Sweet Sensations Catering
- Stationery: M+R Designs
- Event Designer: Shile Bello, RAE Affairs
- Favors: Justin & Keary Weddings