It was during an evening out in Boston celebrating her birthday when Stephanie received the greatest gift of all – true love.
It was the end of a night of dancing and drinks at a local nightclub when Stephanie and Karl were first introduced by a mutual friend. Offering to walk Stephanie to her car, Karl noticed the Northeastern University sticker on her window. Having also attended Northeastern, this opened the doors for a conversation that lasted hours into the evening. After connecting so naturally they exchanged numbers and were soon planning their first date…
Continue reading all about Stephanie and Karl’s love story, proposal, and experiences in their beautiful botanical garden wedding in Rhode Island – featuring event planning & styling by MunaLuchi Coterie member Signature Designs by Monica.
Bride & Groom: Stephanie & Karl
Wedding Location: The Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence, Rhode Island
Wedding Date: 08/03/2019
How did you meet? We met after a night out celebrating my birthday at a nightclub in Boston. At the end of the night, a mutual friend of ours introduced us. Right away, Karl offered to walk me to my car, which I accepted. After arriving there, he noticed the Northeastern University decal on my back window and mentioned that he went to Northeastern too. I did not recall seeing him before and didn’t believe him, and so our friendly banter began. We spoke for hours in my car and the rest is history.
Tell us about the proposal. Karl told me that he wanted to celebrate my one year anniversary of working as a Nurse Practitioner. He asked me when and where it should be, so I had no reason to suspect that he had a grand scheme planned. We ended up having dinner at Ocean Prime at the Seaport area of Boston. After a delicious meal, we ordered the famous Ten Layer carrot cake with cream cheese icing and pineapple syrup. Midway through dessert, the manager brought over two complimentary glasses of champagne, one of which contained my engagement ring. He got down on one knee and proposed, to which I said yes! I was over the moon with happiness but didn’t cry until he later told me that he went to my parent’s house earlier that day to ask for my hand in marriage.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? My favorite color is blush/peach, so I wanted to incorporate that into the bridesmaids’ dresses. I wanted a light, ethereal look for my bridesmaids. They were able to choose among various dress types that would complement their personal styles and they all looked amazing. Finding my dress was simpler than I ever imagined it would be. My sister (Matron of Honor) flew in from Chicago and organized a whole weekend filled with various shops to check out with restaurants speckled along the way. The wedding dress that I picked was about the fifth dress I tried on at the first store that we planned, Precious Memories in Malden, MA. I loved the fit and pure elegance of the dress. I knew that the floral appliqués and subtle lace touches would complement the Botanical Center’s setting perfectly. People tell you that you’ll cry when you finally find and put on YOUR wedding dress. I didn’t cry, but something about it told me that I couldn’t just leave it behind.
Karl had a customized navy fitted tuxedo and vest that was a gift by his Best Man. The groomsmen had a similarly styled navy suit, except with suspenders and without a vest. Using the Black Tux suit rentals made things super convenient. Once Karl and I knew the type of look we were looking for, everything seemed to flow from there.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Karl and I come from large Haitian families who live in the US, Canada, Haiti, and Paris. We knew that most of our family members would not be able to join us at a destination wedding, so we found what ultimately became the next best thing. After visiting the Botanical Center at the Roger Williams Park that cold December day, we knew that we found a gem. Upon entering, we were transported to the Caribbean as we saw the soaring indoor palm trees and the greenery, heard the water of the fountains, and felt the humidity in the room. Our wedding planners, Signature Designs by Monica, went above and beyond with our wedding decor. There was just the right amount of glass accents, candles, and added greenery with palm leaves balanced with beautiful white flowers which included calla lilies, roses, and hydrangeas. We worked with The Catering Gourmet to customize our meal selections and hors d’oeuvres to incorporate a well-executed Haitian, Caribbean flare. Our hors-d’oeuvres included macaroni-au-gratin shooters and fried pork shoulder with pickled cabbage. Our meal choices were Caribbean Mojo chicken thighs, Szechuan salmon with ginger cream and coconut-crusted eggplant. Everyone had a side of rice and beans with sweet plantains, no other choice! Our wedding guests are still raving about the food. Our DJ, Ricky Groov, played Haitian, Zouk, and Afro Beats music, which further helped to transport us far from where we physically were. Later in the night, as we were transitioning from dinner to the tent for dancing, Signature Designs by Monica surprised us with a huge Haitian Flag as the music was ramping up. Karl and I carried the flag high in our hands as we led our guests towards the tent. Coming from two proud and strong Haitian families, who have worked hard and have sacrificed much for the betterment of their families, it was a touching moment for us all. We also ended the night with an ice cream bar, which included the all-time Haitian favorite-Rum Raisin ice cream.
Wedding Party Gifts: We made gift boxes for our bridesmaids and groomsmen with the help of our wedding planners. The bridesmaid’s boxes had a candle, small bottles of liquor, an electric fan, lip gloss, and stemless champagne glass customized with their first names. The groomsmen’s boxes had a cigar, cigar cutter, money clip, cufflinks with their initials, small bottles of Hennessy, whiskey stones, and whiskey glasses customized with their first names.
Gifts for Each Other: I got Karl a pair of Gucci cufflinks. Karl bought me chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne, a beautiful flower arrangement with a meaningful card.
Ceremony Entrance Song: “Canon in D” by Pachelbel
First Dance Song: “Soldat” by J-Ron
What is your best memory from your wedding? The best memory from my wedding is seeing Karl for the first time at our First Look right before our wedding. I was so nervous up until that point. Finally being able to see him, look into his eyes, and hold his hands melted all of my nerves away and I knew that we were going to have a marvelous day no matter what because I was with him. Everything that we had planned had been set into motion and what would be, would be. It allowed me to truly take in every single moment afterward.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? The best wedding advice I would give to engaged couples is to be present for your future spouse. The engagement period can be a stressful time, but if you stay true to who the two of you are and uplift your mutual values, you will come out on top. After all, a wedding day is just one day. A marriage will be for a lifetime.
Wedding Planner & Stylist: Signature Designs By Monica
Wedding Photographer: Trevor Holden Photography
Decor Photographer: The Event Shooters
Wedding Videographer: Together Forever Films
Rentals: Dez Collective Party Rentals and Art
Floral: Signature Designs
Lightning: Boston Prosound
Calligrapher: Lettering By Liz
Custom Acrylics: Sydney Smith Design & Lekisha Limage Designs
Makeup & Hair: MM Hair Designs & Melissa O’Donnell Makeup