“Journey to Forever” – Cerise and Walter’s Church Wedding in Maryland

For Cerise and Walter, fate and the guidance of God would be the forces most responsible in continuously bringing them together into their "journey to forever." Having first met through mutual friends in college their friendship would continue to develop by way of their faith, a faith not only in God but also in each other. Careers would temporarily separate them but a new job opportunity in Maryland would bring them back together, rekindling a friendship that would become love.

Read all about Cerise & Walter's loves story, romantic Santorini, Greece proposal, and their beautiful church wedding - expertly captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Edward Underwood Photography.

Bride & Groom: Cerise & Walter
Occupations: Cerise - Epidemiologist/FDA Consumer Safety Officer; Tony - Founder of Non-Profit Organization called KickDreams United.
Wedding date: November 20, 2016
Wedding location: Berea Temple Seventh-Day Adventist Church (Ceremony); The Grand (Baltimore, MD) (reception)

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. They always say you will meet your wife or husband at Oakwood College. In 2003, we met in college through mutual friends, and as mutual friends we all often hung out. We all attended church every week and participated in various campus activities. We all generally enjoyed each others company. As friends, Tony and I shared much in common; but the mysteriousness of something more intrigued us both. We experienced a preview of destiny in 2007 on our senior class trip, and decided to get to know each other outside of being just friends. From there, our careers propelled us in different directions; however, God was not done with our story.
Fate would have it that I would accept a job opportunity in Maryland in 2013, where Tony lived. Naturally, we ended up bumping into each other again through mutual friends during a log cabin trip. At this point we knew who we were as individuals and what we wanted out of life. Our common values drew us closer again. Not long after, we began dating. This was the start of our journey to forever. We became very close as a couple and I decided to invite Tony to travel to Greece with me, my Dad, and brother, to visit the Greek side of my family. Little did I know that this trip was about to change my life forever, as Tony had a surprise up his sleeve. My family, Tony, and I traveled to the beautiful Greek island of Santorini to spend a few days. Late one night, after a day of sightseeing, conveniently my Dad went off to the hotel pool where Tony asked him for my hand in marriage. Meanwhile, unaware, I was getting ready for bed.
When Tony came back he asked me if I wanted to have prayer with him on the beach. We usually had prayer and read biblical scripture together, so I wasn't thinking that anything other than that was going to happen. As we walked to the black sand beach near our hotel, there was a peace that overwhelmed me. When we found a spot on the beach, Tony pulled out his Bible and pointed out scriptures for me to read and for us to discuss. While reading these bible verses, I realized that they all pertained to marriage. Tony then took my hand and led me to the shore where he prayed for us. When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee. Of course I said "yes!" He then proceeded to give me a ring that was a family heirloom passed down from his Aunt who he was very close to. As you can imagine, the following days were nothing less than magical!

What was wedding shopping like for you? Our wedding had a Great Gatsby-like theme, so I wanted my wedding dress to reflect that, but in a more subtle way. My dress was a floor-length Mikaella mermaid style gown with lace embellishment and an open back. Shopping for the dress was so much fun! I love dressing up so I had a blast trying on dresses for my Mother, my Aunt, and my Grandma (via Skype as she is in England). After going to two other bridal shops and coming out empty-handed, we decided to go to Kleinfeld's in Toronto, Canada (which is where I am from); were I said "yes to the dress!"

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell us more.
We incorporated family culture through music, as my husband's family is musically inclined. During our reception, Tony incorporated my Greek heritage by surprising me with a Greek wreath crown. We also played some reggae music during our reception to pay homage to the Jamaican side of my family.

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts:
Bridsmaids gifts - handwritten note, make-up case, MAC lip gloss, key-chains/bag charms from Harrod's in England, and English rose soap from Harrod's. Groomsmen gifts - pocket watch to pay homage to Tony's Grandfather, and personalized letter to each groomsmen.
Favorite item on the menu: Wedding cake - almond cake with vanilla custard filling.
First dance song: "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons" by Sam Cooke

What is your best memory from your wedding?
Tony's best memory was singing to me during our ceremony and watching me walk down the aisle. My best memory was Tony surprising me by singing in a quartet with my Father-in-law during our ceremony and his beautiful vows.

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
1) Keep God first.
2) Make the wedding how you want it to be.
3) Focus on the marriage and not the wedding.

Wedding dress designer - Mikaella
Wedding dress salon - Kleinfeld Bridal in Toronto, Canada - Kleinfeld Bridal Boutique Canada | Hudson's Bay
Bridesmaids dresses - David's Bridal
Hair/makeup - Tracy Evans of House of Elite
Shoes - Badgley Mischka
Ceremony location - Berea Temple Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Reception location - The Grand - Luxury Event Venues Baltimore & Baltimore Weddings
Photography - Edward Underwood Photography
Videography - Gladstone Brown (family friend)
Wedding planner - Shanique Coleman
Florist - La Fleur du Jour
Cake - Chef Michael Markwitz of Artistic Desserts
Stationery - Wedding Paper Divas
Event designer - Shanique Coleman

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