Matthew and Shanese’s chic and modern black and white wedding was featured in our Winter 2021 magazine!
High school is full of awkward moments with secret crushes. Shanese remembers when she first spotted Matt during a high school assembly. She shares, “I remember saying to one of my friends ‘he’s cute!’ I said it jokingly and didn’t think much of it. Matt and I had a mutual friend who planned for us to meet (without my knowledge). She made a plan with Matt to come over and talk to us while we were by our lockers. When Matt came over, she left! He was nervous and was beating around the bush, and then I just blurted out ‘Do you want my number?’ From that day we were inseparable.”
Matthew proposed during a romantic trip to Dubai. He was nervous the whole time- worried that he would have to take out the engagement ring during the airport security check and agonizing over the perfect place to propose. He recalls, “I felt defeated. I was thinking about the anxiety I had traveling with the ring, how I hadn’t been enjoying Dubai so far because I was so fixated on where to propose as well as thinking about going through another day looking for the ‘perfect’ place to propose.” Instead, he decided to propose in their hotel room, dropping to one knee while saying, “Shanese, I love you. I’m the luckiest man in the world and this trip so far has been amazing. But I don’t want to continue this trip with you as my girlfriend.” It was so sweet.
Their summer wedding was a visual metaphor for their growth through love. The couple is obsessed with trees and nature, so they incorporated cherry blossom trees into their decor to represent growth and transformation. Their greenery and florals signified the wealth and prosperity they hope for in their future. Shanese was stunning in two wedding dresses, including a unique black wedding gown, which just happens to be Matthew’s favorite color. Their wedding was perfect despite switching venues, postponing their wedding several times, and even being faced with the possibility of a hurricane. Shanese shares, “Our wedding went off without one hiccup. The sun was shining and all of our guests (about 100) tested negative for COVID-19 after the wedding. All I can say is that we were truly blessed.” See, love always wins.
See the details from their timeless black and white wedding below.
- Couple: Matthew and Shanese Wallace
- Location of Wedding: Tampa, FL
- Wedding Date: 8/1/2020
- Wedding flowers: Roses, Hydrangeas, Peonies, Eucalyptus
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: DIY Custom bags, hangers, and robes
- First dance song: Best Part by H.E.R
- Advice for brides: Don’t stress. Have fun with planning your wedding. Remember, your wedding isn’t about materialistic things. It’s about your union. Do not lose sight of that. It’s a celebration of your love between both you and your significant other. Nothing else matters.
Overall, it was a very interesting experience for us. We were engaged in October 2018 and had everything pretty much planned by Christmas of that year. We were set to get married on April 11th, 2020. In January 2020 we canceled our original wedding venue and caterer due to many, many red flags. So, I had to find a venue and caterer within 3 months of the wedding. When we finally got that sorted out, the Coronavirus pandemic hit and forced us to push back our wedding to August 1st, 2020. So, a bunch of rescheduling, informing guests of the changes, losing guests not only because of schedule conflicts but because of concerns over COVID-19.
A week before the wedding, I find out that the bridesmaids’ dresses were horrendous!! So in one week, I took it upon myself to find and coordinate dresses for all of my bridesmaids.
We then find out there was supposed to be a hurricane coming the day of our wedding! It was a very bizarre set of circumstances but love always wins. Our wedding went off without one hiccup. The sun was shining and all of our guests (about 100) tested negative for COVID-19 after the wedding. All I can say is that we were truly blessed.
What is your best memory from your wedding?
My favorite memory of the wedding was just seeing all of our friends in one place and enjoying each other’s company. With us living out of state, it is rare to get all of us together.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Be sure to always remain grounded in the reason you are getting married. Love is what is bringing you together. There were moments during the wedding planning process where we bumped heads over the cost of things, the way things would look, etc. We both had to take a step back and remember that this wedding is not bigger than us. At the end of the day, the wedding will come and go but we will live as one forever and that is what is most important.
- Photography & Videography: Created Four
- Event planning, florals, decor/design,stationery: Royal Events and Services
- Bride’s dress: Kleinfeld Bridal Corp. (White Dress) & Solutions Bridal Orlando (Black dress)
- Bridal salon: SHIC Beauty
- Bride’s headpiece and/or veil: Cape Solutions Bridal
- Bride’s shoes: Akira
- Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS
- Cakes/desserts: Publix Bakery
- Catering: Affordable Catering
- Ceremony venue: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center
- Entertainment: DJ Black Haze
- Groom’s attire: Milano Exchange
- Groomsmen attire: Men’s Wearhouse
- Hair: SHIC Beauty (Bride) & Hair By Christal Tyms (Bridesmaids)
- Lighting: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center
- Linens: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center
- Makeup: SHIC Beauty(Bride) & Beat By Sal (Bridesmaids)
- Reception venue: Bayanihan Arts and Events Center
- Rentals: Flower Walls of Tampa