Demonica’s New Year’s Eve wedding was one for the books.  If you recall, Demonica, was one of our 2016 Guest Bride Bloggers.  She married the love of her life, Jared, on December 31, 2016 and has graciously agreed to give us a recap of her wedding day and life since the wedding.

“A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences and refuse to give up on each other.”

Now I don’t believe in perfection but what I do believe in is hard work, dedication, and love everlasting, which is what we’ve had since day one.  I can’t believe it has been six months since Jared and I entered into another chapter in our life’s book. Honestly, it has just been a continuation of the journey we started nearly 8 years ago. I will say it was hard to transition from wedding planning and prepping back to my regular hectic life. However, since the wedding, one of my best friends got engaged and my cousin is getting married in August so my bridesmaids and matron (yes matron) of honor duties threw me right back into the wedding planning loop. Though it is nothing like planning your own. I find myself looking at our photos and video footage reliving easily one of the best days I’ve had thus far. All the planning, all my no’s, my vision; it all came to life on a chilly December 31st evening in Chicago.

It is surreal and somewhat funny because I never thought I would get married. Growing up I watched all the bridal movies and TV shows but I never saw myself walking down the aisle. But planning my wedding and marrying one of God’s greatest blessings to me was also surreal and so worth it. It was a seamless day and event and definitely the greatest New Year’s Eve Party! There were minor mishaps but nothing that could get in our way. Though we didn’t have a theme it was apparent that our long distance love story resonated throughout the night. From our cake, to our vows, to our map guest book, and our globe favors, our love for travel and the long distance relationship was there and showed our commitment to the night and one another. One important aspect was to use vendors who were either Black owned, people of color, or minorities. We wanted our money to be spent giving back to our own and we’re glad that a good 75% of our vendors were such. It just meant something to us with our present social and economic climate to work with these amazing and thriving black and brown businesses.

There were definitely aspects of our wedding that were uniquely ours. I absolutely hate flowers so my bouquet was made up of broaches that included a few of my mom’s broaches I saved which were my something old. Jared is a sneaker head and designed our custom wedding Jordans. I had glitter girls that threw heart shaped letters that Jared and I wrote to one another every day for a month adding to our long distance element. To honor my parents my sisters walked me down the aisle and I shared my family dance with the most important four women in my life, my sisters, my aunt, and my cousin. Jared’s gift were custom cufflinks highlighting where we’re from (Orangeburg, SC and Chicago, IL respectively), and in true wedding day happenings my earrings broke as I was putting them on and my hairstylist popped out her beautiful studs and completed my something borrowed.

I thought one of the hardest things to get through the day would be not having my parents there. While it was more emotional than I thought, it was evident that they were there. They were there to give me away as a poem was read in honor of them and when my mom’s favorite song was played towards the end of the night, I knew she was dancing with me too. With that, I have to mention our amazing support system in our families and friends. We decided to not only have a New Year’s Eve wedding but a New Year’s Eve wedding in Chicago. We had people travel from South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, New York, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Jersey, California and more to be with and celebrate us. That alone meant the world to us. We had an amazing wedding party who spent four great days with us, put in their time and finances, and we can’t thank them enough. Also, this would not have happened without my amazing planner who went above and beyond the call of duty. After 18 months of constant calls, texts, and meetings we were no longer bound by a contract but we are now family.

If I had to give any advice to future brides [or even current wives] I’d say:

  1. Have patience. This is one thing I struggle with but it will be tried in your relationship and other ships (i.e. kin-, friend-, etc.). Not everything will go your way or accordingly, but do your best to enjoy the journey and never lose sight of what and who is most important.
  2. Know your boundaries and budget. Know what you can and cannot do, live without, etc. Don’t go beyond your means and struggle afterwards. If you want a lavish over the top wedding AND you can afford it, then do it. Don’t let others deter you. If you want to be balling on a budget, do it and love it! Also know your boundaries with guests and the guest list. Not everyone can come and that’s ok. They can enjoy and support from home. THAT’S OK! Do NOT feel obligated to invite people. Lastly, if you can plan your own wedding then go for it. If you cannot, don’t! Get a planner. This is their field and they are heaven sent.
  3. TAKE A HONEYMOON! I love to travel so it was no question that we would take one. Yes weddings can be expensive and so can traveling. But it doesn’t have to be. You and your partner just planned an amazing wedding and deserve to enjoy being married. Go somewhere or maybe even have a staycation. Just make sure you do something for you two even if it’s later on.
  4. ENJOY THE RIDE! Planning may be stressful and you will probably be over it at some point but it is a great time to reflect on you and your partner and the love you share for one another. It will always be about you two in this moment. There will be other weddings and events to attend but this one is yours. Enjoy it. And remember, it’s just a ride. You have to get off for the next adventure so enjoy that too.

As far as life post wedding aka the married life, it’s just getting started. For the first five months of our marriage we were still long distance, as I had to finish out my graduate programs. After graduation I relocated to where my partner is and now we’re settling into our new home. So while we’re celebrating six months of marriage, it’s just the beginning.

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“…But most importantly I promise to choose you every day, to love you in word and deed, to do the hard work of making now into always. To laugh with you, cry with you, grow with you, and create with you. To honor the divinity in you, of you, and around you. To be your partner in all of life’s adventures. Loving what I know of you and trusting what things I will discover. I will respect you as a person, a partner, and an equal. I vow that I will walk with you hand in hand, wherever our journey leads us…” (An excerpt of my vows)

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Vendor Collaboration

Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai Kleinfeld Bridal New York || Bridesmaid Dress: Amsale – Bella Bridesmaids || Groom’s Attire: Studio Suits/Custom Jacket A&G Tailors – Houston, TX || Groomsmen Attire: Generation Tux || Venue: Venue Six10 || Photography: Lars Johnson Photography || Videographer: Mirar Productions || Music: DJ Firm || Hair: Latoyah Smith- MyToyArt || Makeup: Sonya Simone Makeup Artistry || Cake Designer: Amy Beck Cake || Glitter Girl’s Dress: Pantora Bridal (Mini) || Stationary Designer: IJORERE Inc. || Event Planner: Kia Marie Events