“Family Knows Best” – Shantae’ and William’s Beautiful Heart-Warming Wedding in New Jersey

Some may disagree with that timeless adage of "family knows best," but for Shantae' and William not only did it prove to be absolutely true - it gifted them the love of their lives. When Shantae's Aunt, convinced they "would be a great match for each other," arranged for Shantae' and William to meet, they both initially thought they were just fulfilling a favor by following through with the arrangement at all, but as Shantae' explains it, "to our surprise we would be meeting our life partner!"

The setting of their first date would hold even further significance in their life as it would be the very restaurant chosen by William to propose.  Enlisting the help of Shantae's mother and father, William supposedly "out of town for work" secretly waited for their arrival to what seemed to be an evening of dinner with her parents. The special of the night would not be found on Shantae's menu, but instead took the form of her future husband, a dozen roses in hand - each representing a reason why he loves her.

Their wedding was as beautiful in style as it was heart-warming with tradition Both the bride and groom were presented by a parent during the opening of the ceremony, which also featured a "Unity cross" representing the commitment to, and guidance by their faith...

Bride & Groom: Shantae' & William Young
Occupation: Elementary School Teacher
Wedding date: March 20, 2016
Wedding Location: The Venetian Catering & Special Events

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal: William and I met through my aunt and cousin which is also one of his closest friends. My aunt thought we would be a great match for each other and that we should officially meet each other. For about 2-3 years we seemed to have been at many of the same family functions together but our paths never crossed. Initially we both thought we were just doing them a favor by meeting up but to our surprise we would be meeting our life partner! Our first date was at a restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ. This is the same location he had my parents bring me to propose. The day William proposed he "claimed" he was out of town for work, so my dad convinced me to go to dinner with he and my mother. Once at the restaurant I began to tell both of my parents that this was the restaurant that William and I went to for our first date. As we began to look over the menu William walks through the door with a dozen red roses. He then begins to tell me the 12 reasons why he loves me which is represented by each rose. After he gives me the last rose he then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Wedding Style: I began looking for my dress about a year prior to our wedding day. I went to a total of 4 bridal salons and each experience was awesome. After the first 3 visits I decided that I wanted a trumpet style dress and I was introduced to an awesome dress seamstress at one of the wedding expos that we attended. So in my mind I was all set. I had the opportunity to try on many styles. I selected the style I wanted and now have the designer that was going to bring it all together! I decided to visit my aunt and soon to be mother-in-love. While there, I wanted to have the experience of trying on dresses with my aunt and mother-in-love. So I scheduled an appointment at a bridal salon and we had our girls day out. I walked into the dressing room to look at the dresses that were pulled for me and to my complete surprise, I walked in to see the dress of my dreams! My wedding dress was a fairy tale princess ball gown, with a sweetheart neckline, lined with rhinestones and crystals down throughout the front, and topped with a veil sprinkled with crystals. I named my dress, "Rose-Lynn" after my two aunts, Debra LaRose Morrison & LaDora Lynn Knight, and my covering/veil, "Shay-Merie" after my mother Mary L Knight .

Culture: Our wedding was very traditional and spiritually orchestrated. William was escorted in and presented by his mother. I was brought in and presented to my father by my godfather. My father then walked me down the aisle and gave me away. Instead of using Unity candles, we decided to use a Unity cross to represent our lives being brought together but being led by God. We also received our first communion together as husband and wife and concluded the ceremony with a prayer of blessings and prosperity over the both of us as one unit.

What is your best memory from your wedding: Some of the best memories from our wedding were to be able to have three of our grandmothers there to witness this special occasion, to have our first dance in "clouds", and to be married by our long-time family friend Bishop J Drew Sheard, but to have our Union pronounced to the congregation by my father Bishop Kevin E Knight, Sr.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples: The best advice that I can give to an Engaged couple is to....enjoy the moment! Take the necessary time to plan your wedding so that you may be able to have everything that you want. Make sure that your wedding represents both the soon-to-be bride and groom. Make sure you listen to your partner's heart's desires. Lastly, have fun because your wedding day is the first day of the rest of your lives together as a team and unit.

Bridesmaids & Groomsmen gifts: Since my bridesmaids were "my something blue", as their gifts I gave them their "Sparkle" for the wedding day! As their gift I gave them all of their jewelry for the wedding day, a small "care bag of Love" filled with little knick-knacks that can be used on the wedding day and night, and gave them their "final touch" for the day (providing them a makeup artist for the day). Since the groomsmen were the perfect team for the groom they all received customized footballs with their name and title in the wedding, and a personalized message from the groom.

Favorite item on the menu: Our favorite thing on the menu was one of the main course selections, salmon & shrimp. Which we were excited to enjoy the the day after our wedding because unfortunately we were unable to eat the day of the wedding! But our guests we're excited about each item on the menu from the cocktail hour to the Viennese desserts!

First dance song: "If I ain't got you" by Alicia Keys


Bridal Gown Designer: Essense of Australia
Bridal Gown Salon: Formally Yours
Reception Venue: The Venetian Catering
Wedding & Event Planner: Emma Pierre-Louis at Prestige Affairs Event Production
Florist: Amore Weddings
Bridal Party Dress Design: Tim Arrington arringtondesigns@gmail.com
Invitation & Stationary Design: Genius Printers & Special Services. Kierra Jones, 201-780-0862
Wedding Ceremony Designer: Gail Hicks, Event Designer 678-978-5136
Wedding Cake: Palermo's Custom Cakes & Bakery
Photographer & Videography: WeddingPix
MakeUp Artist: 
Juicy Looks, LLC | Abby Falore-Ayodeji
Venue: The Venetian Catering & Special Events, Garfield, NJ.

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  1. Gwen Drew

    Wow! Just beautiful !


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