Ricardo met Chelsea’s parents on the first date. Talk about pressure, but he made a great impression.
Chelsea reminisces, “The nostalgic sentiment was the perfect start to our relationship. We had brunch at the Four Seasons and little did we know, we would marry at the same location just a couple years later.”
Their chic, black-tie wedding was a fun celebration of Chelsea’s New Orleans culture, and black excellence. She made sure to hire as many black vendors as possible, and their reception was a nonstop party. Everyone was so excited that guests flooded the dance floor as soon as the bride and groom entered! After hearing heartwarming toasts, and dinning on fine cuisine, Chelsea and Ricardo had one last surprise for their guests… a SECOND LINE! They brought a taste of New Orleans to Baltimore!
See all of the beautiful details below.
- Couple: Ricardo Silva and Chelsea Silva (Dunn)
- Occupations: 4 th Grade Teacher (Chelsea), Account Executive (Ricardo)
- Wedding date: July 6, 2019
- Wedding location: Four Seasons- Baltimore, MD
- What gifts did you give to your bridesmaids and groomsmen: I gifted my bridesmaids makeup, robes, and jewelry. Ricardo cheered over a glass of cognac with his gents.
- Gifts for one another: Our wedding bands.
- Ceremony entrance song: Kem, “I Can’t Stop Loving You”
- First dance song: Ledisi, “All the Way”
How did you meet?
We met via Facebook. While we both attended Hampton University, we did not formally meet until I (Chelsea) reached out to Ricardo on Facebook. We were both teachers in the DMV area and I asked Ricardo out for coffee. Ricardo likes to joke that he knew coffee would not suffice, so he asked if he could instead take me out for Sunday brunch. Living with my parents at the time, Ricardo sealed the deal by picking me up and meeting my parents on the first date. The nostalgic sentiment was the perfect start to our relationship. We had brunch at the Four Seasons and little did we know we would marry at the same location just a couple years later.
Tell us about the proposal.
Ricardo proposed on the sandy sunset beach of Jamaica. My entire family was in Jamaica for my father’s 60th birthday celebration. Ricardo and my mother planned my proposal down to a T! We had just changed getting ready for my dad’s cocktail hour and began talking with my aunt about how I was worried that a proposal might not happen anytime soon. Before I knew it, a videographer began following me, and to my surprise Ricardo was standing ahead on the beach to take my hand. I turned around in bewilderment to see my family and friends standing behind me with my future husband on one knee. I never in a million years thought I’d fall for the fairytale proposal, but I was undeniably swept off of my feet.
Describe your wedding style.
Our wedding was the perfect mix of glam and class as guests were requested to dress in black tie attire. My dress, a Pnina Tornai, was a lace beaded off-shoulder corset silhouette gown with a cathedral style veil that extended well pass my train. Ricky was the perfect complement as he wore a midnight blue tux with gold accents. My bridal party wore custom made blush bateau floor length dresses. Mistresses of ceremonies wore floor length sheer burgundy dresses. Groomsmen dressed in classic black tuxes. Our parents, grandparents, and God parents dressed in gold with black accents.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you?
Going into the wedding experience, Ricky and I had pretty clear expectations of what we wanted aesthetically, which made looking for vendors a bit easier. My mother and I checked out a bridal expo in Baltimore and were blessed to find not only our wedding planner (DeAnna Jefferson, Alpha 2 Omega Events), but our photographer and videographer (Garret and Brittney Pitts, Megapixels media) as well. We realized with them the importance of hiring people that you could trust and that felt like family. They set the bar high for what we would expect from other vendors moving forward.
What made it all better is my mother’s impeccable taste, without her at each meeting with vendors…I’m not sure what I would do. It’s not to say we didn’t bicker along the way, but hindsight is indeed 20/20, and every bride needs someone by their side to keep you in line and to advocate for you along the way. While we have always been close, she became my best friend throughout planning my wedding and no words could thank her enough for all that she sacrificed to make my dreams a reality. She wasn’t a “vendor,” in that regard but she was undeniably the MVP on our team.
We gravitated toward vendors who listened. Often times you will find people who try to tell you want you want. It’s important that you find vendors that take your ideas and bring them to fruition which is exactly what the Four Seasons Baltimore and our floral and event vendor (Victoria Clausen Floral Events) did. I wanted to feel like myself through the entire process, and having a team that respected that meant the world. The glitz and glam was important, but not as important as feeling like my authentic self-walking down the aisle. Even down to my make-up team (@SharonReneeMUA, @mercedes_facethebeat), I appreciated that they put my wants above all else. I kept telling Sharon, “I want to look like myself.” As meek as that sounds, it’s easy to get lost in all of the wedding hype and lose yourself along the way. Having a team that knows you and is in your corner is most important as you approach your special day.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding?
While I of course have I a biased opinion, I felt that our wedding exemplified Black excellence. From our violinist (JenViolin) to our DJ (DrJuanksi) to previously mentioned Photog, Wedding Planner, and MUA’s, we wanted to hire as many Black owned businesses as possible.
When we went to the Four Seasons, I immediately made mention of the lack of representation of people of color within their vendor list and advertisement. It was important to us to provide exposure and to create bonds between our vendors and a big name like the Four Seasons.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
Our best memory has a lot to do with culture. My father’s side is from New Orleans, and on the top of my list was to make sure that we had a second line. The Second line was brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans and has become a ritual for Black people in America for various processions. Being the youngest in my family, I have long sat back and watched in awe as my big cousins lead their second line dreaming of the day it would be my turn. Having this moment at my own wedding meant the world to me. It was truly the moment our families became one. Ricardo’s family is from Baltimore and I will forever remember the moment his family joined my family to shower us in love as we danced around the room with umbrellas and white napkins flying high.
Me and my daddy’s first dance will be a moment that I will cherish for a lifetime. Mommy and daughter duo Adrian and Kayla Diggs (@itz_a_vibe365) choreographed the most perfect dance for my dad and I to share. Since birth, I have been a daddy’s girl and it was important to have a moment that he and I could share the day of our wedding. We started off classy with Nate King and Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable” and broke it down to 24k magic with our shades on. It was a moment that will forever remind me of the bond that we share.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
If you are lucky, you are marrying your best friend. So, above all else, remember that. When all the dust is settled, when all the glitz and glam has been put back on trucks, when your wedding dress remains in the bag for months on end…you will have each other. Everything else is relative and is truly temporary. So, give each other grace, forgive, and listen first…because in the end you have one another.
- Wedding dress designer: Pnina Tornai
- Wedding dress salon: Klein fields New York
- Bridesmaids dresses: Bella Bridesmaids, Baltimore
- Hair: @Manebyfatmata
- Groom hair: Varny Diggs @clutch_cutzmobile
- Makeup: Sharon Rennee @Sharonreneemua, Mercedes Sharps @Mercedes_facethebeat
- Shoes: Imagine, Vince Camuto
- Ceremony & reception location: Four Season Baltimore
- Photography & Videography: Megapixels Media
- Wedding planner: DeAnna Jefferson
- Florist & Event Design: https://www.victoriaclausen.com/our-story
- Cake: https://www.cakebyjason.com
- Groom’s & Groomsmen attire: The Black Tux
- DJ: Juanksi, @drjuanski
- Violinist: JenViolin
- Choreographer: Adrian and Kayla, @itz_a_vibe365