Monica and Bernard said their “I Do’s” in the middle of the ocean on April 12, 2018 aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise line’s ship Oasis of the Seas.  We featured their engagement shoot back in 2016 {Here} after reading about Monica’s diagnosis of stage III colon cancer in 2015.   There are so many regulations for cruise weddings and being an Army Engineer Officer, Monica wanted to go all out for her wedding.   Read on as Monica tells you all about #McGeeOasis.

We have such an incredible story so far from fighting cancer, serving in the military together, planning a cruise wedding with 75 of our best friends.  There was not a dry eye in our wedding venue.  Our 7-day wedding celebration was so amazing and perfect. Unique, loving, an outpouring of support, are just some of the descriptions I can give off the top of my head. We want to share our story for motivation, for strength, faith, belief. What we have endured together deserves to be shared to inspire your following, and I believe it would.

How We Met

We met in College at Virginia State University. We graduated with our Bachelor’s degree’s and Commissioned as 2LT into the Army in May 2012. We both attending ROTC together where we were friends for all 4 years of college. It wasn’t until VSU homecoming 2014, where I “slid in his DM” and it was over from there. We are both a part of Historically Black lifelong Fraternity and Sorority, where we were initiated in Spring 2010 in College. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, INC. and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity INC.

Wedding Planning

Wow, where do I start. I am a project officer in the Military. I am an engineer and I often have to plan and execute major events. We both have had our experience with detailed planning. So this opportunity to plan something “fun” was no brainer. I planned my entire wedding from ground up. I began planning around March 2016. We sent out about 350 invitations in July 2016 with a down payment date of November, 2016. They had a year and some change to make payments on their own and final payment was January 2018. Then 3 months later, April 2018 was the wedding! We coordinated with a travel agent and the Royal Wedding cruise wedding planners. I made my husband rent a whole Uhaul trailer so that we could get all the décor, gifts, shirts, and suit cases down to Port Canaveral Florida from Waynesville Missouri. It was a 16 hour drive and he drove the entire way. Through the rain mostly, snow, and finally sun in Florida.

Our wedding was super different, unique, and new. We had a cruise wedding that required our friends and family to commit to a 7-day cruise. They had to put their trust in us and we are ever so grateful. We wanted something that was different and nontraditional. My husband’s mother passed in 2010, and we knew that tradition was just not something we can handle emotionally (i.e. mother son dance) so we decided to invite all our friends and family to our favorite style vacation. Hoping they would fall in love with cruising, like we did. And they did! Everything was perfect! No drama, all love. All our friends from childhood, to Army, to College, to different places we’ve lived, they all came together. They were able to get to know each other very well, for the 4 days before our wedding while on the ship. And when it came to the ceremony on the 5th day, it was like everyone was family. It was so special and real and genuine. So many of our friends and family got on the mic and just spoke so emotionally about our relationship and journey. It was the best way we could’ve began our marriage.

Vendor Collaboration
Royal Caribbean’s, Royal Weddings: This is the department that answers questions and communicates expectations and such with the bride to be before boarding the ship.  Monica purchased a package that included photography, venue, cake, open bar etc.
Cruising Weddings, Brook Wilke: Brook was the Group Travel Agent that did the coordination of travel arrangements for my guests.  Sh including booking their cruise, buying their cabin, payment plans, etc.
Dress: Bridal Reflections NY, Galia Lahav
Groom’s Attire: Suite is a mix of Men’s Wear house and Sebastian Cruz Couture
Photographer for Bridal Shoot in Old San Juan: Jose Aguilo— was my photographer for my bridal shoot in Old San Juan 2 months prior to the wedding @joseaguilophotography
Hair & makeup:  Bride & Friend
Planning & Decor: Bride & Bridesmaids
Passport Invitations: Vanessa’s Destination Invitations: @passportinvites