Darlene didn't have to be a fly on the wall when JaMarr went shopping for a ring because she saw the beginning of it on video, right before he got on one knee. Even though Darlene and JaMarr lived in the same apartment complex, the two never met until a friend of a co-worker brought them together. Dating led to a beautiful son, a sweet proposal the day before Valentine's Day, and an exciting summer wedding just months after the engagement.
Wedding Date: August 8, 2015
Wedding Location: The Westin in Annapolis, Maryland
First Dance Song: “The Point of it All” by Anthony Hamilton
Favorite Item on the Menu: The cake!
JaMarr was at work when one of his coworkers, Andrea got a phone call from her friend, Tami. Tami told Andrea that she had a friend she would like to introduce to JaMarr. JaMarr spoke to Tami who sent a picture of me to him. The next day, JaMarr sent a text message to me, introducing himself and asking for a good time to call. As it turned out, we lived in the same apartment complex for the past two years! We lived less than 50 yards away. Two nights later, on a Saturday night in the summer of 2006, we met and went on our first date. We both knew that summer night that there was something special.
On February 13, 2015, JaMarr and I went on a date to Ruth Chris Steak House. There was a bit of excitement in the air because going out alone is a rare event ever since the birth of our son two years ago. At the end of the night, JaMarr said he had a video to show me. It was a video of JaMarr sitting at a counter at the mall. He said that I thought he had come to the mall to buy some new shoes, but instead he was there to get that "special ring". Confused, I asked him to play it again. While watching it a second time, JaMarr got down on one knee, when I looked over there he was down with the ring box in his hand and he asked me to marry him.
I asked some of my closest girlfriends to join me on my trip to the bridal shop two weeks after the proposal. I chose a small boutique named Juliet's Bridal in Towson, MD. They closed the store so me and my four girlfriends could have a private shopping experience. I went in with a picture and completely sure of the look I wanted. We tried on a few dresses, but then one of the two women working with us said there was a dress that just came in and was still in the packaging. Even though it was against what I was asking for, she thought I might like it. I put on the Christina Wu dress, pinned up my hair and knew instantly this would be the dress I would get married in. I watched as my girlfriends teared up and we called my mom on Skype so she could be a part of the moment.
Both of my parents were born and raised in the Caribbean, my dad was born and raised in St. Vincent and my mother was born in Aruba and raised in St. Vincent. I grew up listening to the music, eating the food and experiencing the Caribbean culture. Prior to the wedding, I asked the DJ to include some soca and calypso music. To my great enjoyment, after the father/daughter dance to Charlie Wilson's “I Wish,” the DJ began playing some soca. My extended family joined us on the dance floor and me and my father began to dance to the music he had grown up to. The best part was after the dress change. JaMarr and I were reintroduced to our family and friends in our second outfits with the "Palance" (Soca music) playing and everyone waving a dinner napkin while jumping and dancing! I turned around and even JaMarr's family who are American born and raised were waving their dinner napkins. Priceless!
JaMarr sent me a long, wonderful, heartfelt text message the morning of our wedding. Simply put, he couldn't wait to be my husband and for me to be his wife.
In my wedding suite were my hair stylist, makeup artist, bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, Matrons of Honor, mother, my nana on Skype from the Caribbean, flower girls and my brother and his girlfriend who were helping with the music for the church. We were laughing and joking and I never felt nervous or uneasy. Everywhere I turned, I saw people who loved me and were there to celebrate the day I had been waiting for.
My dad walked me down the aisle to John Stoddart's song, "Angel." JaMarr was holding our son, Jace and I saw how emotional he was. I nodded to him and smiled. At the moment, even with over 100 people in the church, it was just him and I.
At one point, at the end of the night, I stood in the back of the reception hall and watched as family and friends from both sides became one and were dancing and laughing with one another. It truly was an awesome sight!
We planned this wedding in six months. I never thought of myself as a Type A personality but I knew I wanted things how I wanted it and when I wanted it. My stress was related to everything from the color scheme to transportation for the guests. At times, I know JaMarr thought I had gone crazy. He was so grateful when I got a planner. Remember this is one day. It goes by just as fast as everyone says it does. I made it a point to slow down and take everything in. Also remember, you are marrying the person whom you love. That is really what matters. Take a break every now and then, use the help friends and family are offering and just enjoy time with your fiance without talking about the wedding.
Photographer: Memories of Bliss Photography
Videographer: Understand the Vision
Ceremony Location: Asbury Broadneck United Methodist Church
Reception Location: The Westin Annapolis, MD
Wedding Designer: Kay Frasier, Prestigious Occasions
Wedding Gown: Christina Wu via Juliet's Bridal Salon
Reception Dress: Krikor Jabotian (Made & shipped from China)
Wedding Ceremony and Reception Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Make up: Jamaya Moore
Hair: Jackie Ware
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff. Betsy Robinson Bridal Collection
Flower Girl Dresses: David's Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Tuxedo: The Tuxedo House
Wedding Invitations: Precious Invitations
Florist: Bella Fiore Couture Floral & Events Design
Bride Party Transportation: Extraordinar Limousine Service
Bride & Groom Transportation: Bayside Limo
DJ: Dwayne B.
Credit: Munaluchi Bride