Traditional Christian Wedding at The Carnegie Institution of Science: Sheniaka + Sekou

Have you ever visited your sibling on their college campus? Sheniaka was visiting her sister on spring break when she met Sekou. Though the two had an age difference that concerned Sheniaka's sister at first, love prevailed and it wasn't long before the two began dating.  It wasn't long before an intimate engagement led to a beautiful wedding at the stunning Carnegie Institution of Science. Talk about an unforgettable location.

Wedding Date: January 2, 2016
Wedding Location: Washington, DC at The Carnegie Institution of Science
First Dance Song: "Loving You Baby" by Charles Bradley

Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!

It all began in spring of 2003 on the campus of Morgan State University (MSU). There Sheniaka would spend her spring breaks visiting her big sister Nakita, who was studying for her undergraduate degree. Nakita and her roommate would host “study sessions” at their campus apartment. During one particular session, in walked a tall handsome frame with a bright smile by the name of Sekou. Sekou was with a group of guys, but his smooth demeanor separated him from the rest. Sheniaka was immediately smitten and bombarded her sister with comments. Even though Sheniaka knew her sister would never in a million years let her date Sekou due to the age difference, that didn’t stop her from secretly crushing! Much to her surprise, Sekou often inquired about the “pretty young thing” as well.

On the morning of March 29th 2014, as she primped for a birthday brunch, Sekou was in the kitchen pacing back and forth contemplating his big moment. With a beautiful diamond ring in tow, Sekou mustered enough confidence to approach Sheniaka. As she finished her hair, in walked that tall handsome frame and bright smile. Sekou gently took her hand and reiterated a conversation they had the night before about their future goals. Then he dropped down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage. Sheniaka dropped down as well, they embraced and cried and she said, "Yes!" Our relationship was tried and tested, but God’s purpose and timing prevailed!

Wedding Style

My wedding dress was a Sottero & Midgley dress from the Spring 2014 collection with guipur lace appliques and intricate embroidery with dazzling Swarovski crystals skim a Demir Stretch Satin bodice, flaring into a frothy Chic Organza skirt. Finished with corset back closure over inner corset closure. Wedding shopping was very simple. I literally tried on three dresses and the third dress was the winner.


As Sekou and I prepared for our big day, The Park Hyatt in Washington, DC accommodated us and our traveling guests. My bridesmaids threw me a surprise slumber party in my suite, and on the day of our wedding, my mom, mom-in-love, aunt, and all my bridesmaids helped me prepare and get dressed. Our wedding began at 6:00pm and all 170 guest were on time and present. Our wedding was literally the best day ever as the atmosphere was filled with an unprecedented level of love. I walked down the spiral staircase to Shelea Frazier’s "I’m Sure It’s You" with both of my fathers escorting me. Highlights of our wedding include the finger licking food, which was a southern flair, the top shelf open bar, the maid of honor and best man speeches, and the surprise sparkler send off at the end.

Help a bride-to-be out!

Happy Planning! Don't stress over the small things. This is your wedding so don't let others try to influence your decision on things too much.


Photographer: Memories of Bliss Photography
Videographer: Sweet Marital Bliss
Wedding Coordinator: Serendipity Events
Wedding Dress: Serendipity Bridal & Events
Bridesmaid Dresses: The Bridal Boutique
Makeup: Blushen by Tiffany
Hair: Shelette Satcher
Nails: Nelle Nails
Bridal Shoes: Shoe of Prey
Venue: Carnegie Institution of Science
Caterer: Effies Catering
Wedding Invitation: Big Day Essentials
Florals: Serendipity Events
Officiant: Pastor Lucretia Ann Dawson
Stationery: Nakita Manning & Jennifer Fuller Maid of Honor(s)
Accommodations: Park Hyatt Washington, DC
Transportation: RSRVD, Inc
Disc Jockey: DJCam

Coterie Members

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  1. Lillian

    This was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever attended. The couple was surrounded by so much love and joy that day. You could feel how genuinely happy everyone was for the bride and groom! Wishing this beautiful couple 100+ years of happiness!

  2. Cristi

    This was a true fairytale wedding that I am so grateful to have been a part of. These 2 people were destined to be together and I never doubted that destiny would come true one day. My daughter has two of the most caring , loving and nurturing God Parents. WE love you to the moon and back.

    Cristi & Sage!!!!!!!

  3. Debbierena1

    Sekou & Sheniaka Johnson A Forever Kind of Love 1st Corinthians 13-1-12 ! Your wedding was so beautiful! The Love of God is Upon Your Very Marriage and Lives! God Bless You! Love Love from the Heart of Aunt Angel

  4. NELLE

    You looked beautiful! I’m honored I was able to be apart of making that day special. Blessings for your union!


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