Shanelle, a program manager, and James, a professor, met at a Jamaican restaurant in Washington, DC. James was unintentionally holding up the line when his indecision took hold. Shanelle, hungry and impatient stood behind him as he asked the cashier a slew of questions about the menu. Unwilling to wait much longer, Shanelle suggested that he order the jerk chicken insisting that he would love it. James looked back at his future bride and hesitated once more before deciding to order two jerk chicken meals. He then turned to Shanelle once more asking if she’d like to join him for lunch. She gladly accepted.
The couple’s chance encounter led them to an absolutely beautiful gold wedding in Ohio. The bride donned a classic Cristiano Lucci princess cut gown, setting the tone for the elegance of their big day. Gold tones and soft florals created a subtle regality that made this wedding an affair to remember. Take a look at Shanelle and James’ gorgeous wedding with photos by Seth and Beth Photography.
Favorite item on the wedding menu: The food was amazing but I was also really pleased with how our three signature drinks turned out. They were “Something Old/New” (a New Old Fashioned), “Something Borrowed” (A spiked hot fruit tea – bride’s family recipe), and “Something Blue” (a fizzy blue cocktail for the ladies)
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Monogrammed jewelry boxes with their wedding jewelry enclosed; monogrammed engraved leather flasks
First dance song: “You and I” by Stevie Wonder sang by Dwight Lenox
Bride: Shanelle Haile
Groom: James Haile
Wedding date: 11/01/2014
Wedding location: The Athletic Club of Columbus – Columbus, Ohio
Tell us all about the proposal
The proposal took place in Brussels, Belgium. The couple were on vacation and having lunch before heading home. Shanelle left the table to buy chocolate for the long flight home. When she returned, he had the ring waiting for her. He took her, and told her how much he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. She tearfully said yes.
Describe your wedding dress style. How was your dress shopping experience?
My wedding dress was a princess cut Cristiano Lucci ball gown. My mom and four best friends/bridesmaids went dress shopping with me. We had visited two bridal salons already and found several pretty gowns but none that I was in love with. We finally made it to Elegance by Roya in Old Town Alexandria Virginia and saw the gown hanging near the rest of the store. When I tried it own I loved it immediately. When my mom cried, that was it!
How was culture incorporated in your wedding?
As a nod to his distant Ethiopian heritage, the groom wore antique Ethiopian cufflings. The couple chose to “jump the broom” as an acknowledgement of their ancestors and of nuptials in the face of historic federal sanctions which denied African American (slaves) the legal right to marriage. After saying their vows, the couple played Mariam Makeba’s Pata Pata song as a celebratory song as they walked back down the aisle to exit the ceremony hall.
What are your best memories from your wedding day?
Bride – my favorite memory from our wedding is the moment after we said our vows and left the ceremony hall. James pulled me to the side and gave me a hug and kiss. It was the first private moment we had together all day.
Groom – When she first walked down the aisle. She always looks beautiful but I had never seen her look like that before.
What advice do you have for our brides-to-be?
Relax! Everything will work out beautifully in the end. And if there are any hiccups, they will make for hilarious memories later.
Wedding and Reception Venue- Athletic Club of Columbus
Catering – Athletic Club of Columbus
Photographer- Seth and Beth Photography
Bridal Gown- Cristiano Lucci from Elegance by Roya Salon in Alexandria, VA
Brides Shoes – Valentino
Bride’s Makeup – Olivia Moore of Makeup by Olivia, Columbus, Ohio
Bride’s Hair – Kwelli Burton from Salon Lofts in Columbus, Ohio
Bride’s Jewelry- Swarovski
Groom’s Tux- Joseph Aboud from Men’s Warehouse
Bridesmaid Dresses- Jim Hjelm from Katherine’s Bridal Boutique in Alexandria VA
Groomsmen Tuxes- Joseph Aboud from Men’s Warehouse
Bridesmaid shoes- Betsey Johnson
Florist – Prema Designs
Cake – The Suisse Shop
DJ – Krate Digga
Ceremony vocalist – Lawanda Spicer
Cocktail Hour/First Dance vocalist – Dwight Lenox