Real {Maryland} Wedding: Nicole + Joseph

Ladies, next time you make your way to the restaurant to get something to eat, stay alert. You might get more than just a delicious meal; you may just catch the eyes of an eligible bachelor. Don't say we didn't tell you! Don't believe it? Just ask Nicole Linae Richardson and Joseph Ruben Harrison III whose July 17, 2010 wedding in Martin's Crosswinds, Greenbelt, Maryland was beautifully captured by the dynamic photography duo at Borrowed Blue Photography. Be sure to check out more of their great talent at their blog.

Also, be sure to look out for the extremely talented Tami Smallwood of Blush Weddings LLC who worked with the bride to design the event, prepare wedding stationery, provide the wedding cake and plan the wedding. Such a gem!

On their first encounter...

"Joe and I met at Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles Restaurant in Largo, Maryland on a warm April, Friday in 2008.  My coworkers and I normally dined out on Friday evenings when the weather was good just to unwind.  When I walked into the restaurant, the first thing that I noticed was Joseph’s nicely sculpted arms and he “claims” to have noticed my smile first.  I still don’t believe him!  Just as my friend and I arrived, the waiter was bringing on out Joe’s food.  So, I asked him what he had ordered since it was my first time at the restaurant.  He told me smothered chicken and then asked me if I saw anything else that I liked!  I said “No.”  But, that wasn’t the truth.  A girl’s gotta play a little hard to get right?  He then asked if he could come over and talk to me once I finished my food.  I thought that it was really sweet that he waited for me to finish eating even though he had been done almost 30 minutes prior.  After dinner, we talked for a while and he and his friend finally asked us where we were headed next.  We were going to a happy hour at a nearby establishment, and they tagged along.  That actually ended up being somewhat of our first date because we had such a great time and seemed to share so much about ourselves that evening.  Despite not knowing him, I was extremely comfortable with him.  At the end of the evening we exchanged numbers and e-mail addresses.  By the next morning when I checked my e-mail, there was a message from Joe asking me on an “official” first date.  I was so impressed that he didn’t waste any time asking me out again.  So, I immediately said yes, and we’ve been inseparable ever since!"

Gotta love a true gentleman! After about a year and a half of dating and courtship, Joseph would again waste no time. This time, he would ensure that he snatched up Nicole, the woman of his dreams, forever!

On the proposal...

"Joseph and I went on a Las Vegas vacation in August of 2009.  It was there in front of a beautiful waterfall in front of the Monte Carlo hotel, that he got down on one knee to ask me to be his “forever”.  His sisters were present and they were able to capture the moment on film.  So, we have made a promise that every time we go to Las Vegas, that no matter how busy we are, we will make time to take a photo in front of our proposal spot.  It will be interesting to watch us grow older with each picture in the same location." -Nicole

Nicole and Joseph's had a truly Shakespearean theme for their wedding: "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

On why she chose that theme...

"Our wedding took place in the middle of the summer on a hot night and I was marrying my dream guy.  I also teach literature and Shakespeare is one of my favorite playwrights.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream features several couples finding their happy ending and ultimately getting married at the end of the play!  I thought that our theme was most appropriate."

On what aspect of the wedding mattered most to them individually, Nicole and Joseph remind us that family, love and people matter more than anything else in this world, even at your wedding...

"My father was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in August of 2009 (we found out upon returning home from vacation).  So, my biggest concern for that day was that he’d be alive to walk me down the aisle and that he’d be feeling well enough to enjoy the evening.  Not only was he there, but he danced the night away!  My father passed away on October 28, 2010 – 3 months after our wedding.  For Joe, his biggest concern was that was father also be there for me and that as many of his family members as possible attend the wedding...his family lives in Texas, the Bahamas and Seattle."

On what they disagreed on the most...

"We initially disagreed on the number of guests. Since my husband was in the military, he knows people all over the world and he wanted every single one of them there!  However, since both of us have fairly large families, we had to compromise and find a way to cut down our list to stay within our budget.  It was very hard to eliminate people that we both cared so much about." -Nicole

Now that the wedding is over (Whew!), Nicole shares how she feels about her wedding vendors...

"ALL of my vendors were AWESOME!!!!!  I am extremely happy with our choices."

On advice for engaged couples and brides-to-be...

"Keep God at the center of your relationship.  Do not compare your spouse or your relationship to any other.  Take it one day at a time.  The wedding day is a fairy tale.  But, it takes work to make your marriage a fairy tale.  When times get rough…and they will, remember why you fell in love with your mate in the first place and the excitement that you felt on your wedding day!" -Nicole


We wish Nicole and Joseph a lifetime of love, friendship, committment and happiness. Be sure to visit each one of these remarkable vendors that made the bride so happy!


BRIDAL GOWN: Maggie Sottero
SHOES: Manolo Blahnik
FORMALWEAR: Calvin Klein
PARASOLS: Pamela’s Parasols
OFFICIANT: Reverend Franklin Peterson, Jr. of Faith United Baptist Church of Baltimore
CEREMONY VENUE: Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Lanham
RECEPTION VENUE: Martin's Crosswinds, Greenbelt MD

EVENT DESIGNER/DÉCOR: Sharone Arajel of DaVinci Florist and Blush Wedding Planning and Event Planning Firm
WEDDING PLANNER – Tami Smallwood
INVITATIONS/STATIONERY – Tami Smallwood of Blush Weddings
FLORIST – Sharone Arajel of DaVinci's Florist and Tami Smallwood of Blush Weddings
CAKE – Ms. Desserts designed by Tami Smallwood of Blush Weddings
FAVORS – Handmade by the Bride

HAIR/MAKEUP – Lashawn Banks of MAC Cosmetics, VA
HONEYMOON – Las Vegas, NV & Sandals Resorts
PHOTOGRAPHER – Borrowed Blue Photography
CATERER – Martin’s Crosswinds of Greenbelt, MD
REGISTRIES: A donation to theAmerican Cancer Society
RENTALS: Limo’s and Rolls Royce by Lasting Impressions of Westminster, MD
ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Tanzof Baltimore, MD

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