Many say that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” When Stephanie and Alexander Boyd locked eyes at a social gathering five years ago, they both knew they were kindred spirits and that their souls would be bound by love. When a job opportunity in Afghanistan placed a physical separation between these two soul partners, their love only grew stronger. Alexander knew Stephanie was the only woman who could hold his heart, so he decided a tropical winter vacation to Bora Bora would be the perfect time to “pop the question.” When this handsome couple arrived at their luxurious villa, Alexander requested that Stephanie go outside and videotape some of their amazing topical surroundings. Stephanie loves video documenting, so she thought nothing of it until she saw Alexander moving frantically through their Villa’s sliding glass doors. When she re-entered the villa, their bed was covered in fuchsia flower petals and a blue box with a sparkling engagement ring was inside. After asking, “What is that?” several times, it became clear to Stephanie what was going on. Before Alexander could complete the question, “Will you marry me?” Stephanie screamed, “Yes!”
For their wedding, the couple had a sentimental church ceremony that incorporated both Filipino and African American traditions. Stephanie shares, “we incorporated in our wedding ceremony the Filipino traditional ceremonies of the Arras, Veil and Yugal and the African American tradition of ‘Jumping the Broom.’ In the Arras ceremony the groom gives the bride 13 gold coins to signify his trust in her handling his worldly possessions….The Yugal tied in the shape of the infinity symbol represented the union of the bride and groom as one with no beginning and no end.” For the reception, guests headed to a luxurious hotel ballroom where the couple mixed classic décor with a bit of sparkle. Fuchsia roses and uplighting, and tables covered with crystal votives and candles created a romantic mood. Stephanie was stunning in her lovely mermaid Lazaro gown, and guests danced the night away under a blue ceiling that mimicked a starry night. Mary Beth Tyson Photography captured all of the timeless moments of this classic wedding.
- Wedding Date: 09/27/2013
- Wedding Location: Ceremony Venue: Knox Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, OH
- Wedding Theme: A Classic and Timeless Wedding Accentuated with Sparkles
- Wedding Colors: Fuchsia and Black with touches of Sparkle
- Wedding Flowers: I carried a bouquet of white garden roses accented with Swarovski crystals, and our centerpieces, bridesmaid’s flowers and groomsmen’s boutonnieres were a variety of fuchsia roses.
- First Dance Song: Spend My Life with You by Eric Benet & Tamia
- Wedding Cake Flavors: French Vanilla and Lemon
- Wedding Menu Favorite: Roasted Salmon & Braised Short Ribs duet with Pinot Noir Sauce
- Bridesmaids Gifts: Personalized: champagne flutes, robes, canvas lunch boxes and tote bags. I also provided a hair stylist, make-up artist, wedding day jewelry and a massage therapist for the day. The bridesmaids enjoyed a catered hot breakfast with all the trimmings and lunch filled with Cincinnati’s favorite foods.
- Groomsmen Gifts: Custom black & white diamond cuff links, monogrammed handkerchiefs, and a wedding day lunch filled with Cincinnati’s favorite foods.
How They Met
On April 10, 2009, Alexander and I met at a social gathering in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Alexander asked me to dance, I said, “No”, but he persisted and continued to converse with me. We exchanged numbers, and the rest is history. Little did I know what the future had in store for the two of us. Our chance meeting was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Alexander’s Love Story: “It was LOVE at first sight for me. I knew she was the one for me when I saw her enter the room. I only had to approach her and begin a conversation, and I knew she would be mine.”
Stephanie’s Love Story: “On July 18, 2009, Alexander accompanied me to a wedding of one of my friends. During the wedding, an overwhelming intense feeling of happiness, warmth, and excitement came over me (some refer to it as sparks) as I looked at him. I knew, at that moment, I had fallen in LOVE! It became clear to me as the evening continued that he would be the man that I would spend the rest of my life with.”
Our Story of Romance: Shortly after our relationship began, Alexander’s job required him to travel out of the country to Afghanistan, so we began a long distance romance. The months apart have made our weeks together more meaningful. Every second of each day our LOVE for one another has grown stronger. On our first date, Alexander expressed to me that he wanted to show me the world, and he has definitely kept his promise. We have traveled to Fiji, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Bora Bora (The Proposal Location), and we are planning trips to the Philippines, Dubai, Africa, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, and Europe in the near future.
The Proposal Story
December 3, 2011 at 12:35pm. Alexander planned a tropical winter vacation for the two of us to Bora Bora, a French Polynesian Island located in the Pacific Ocean. Simply stated, Bora Bora is the most beautiful and romantic island in the world, and for the two of us, it is the place where our lives were forever changed. After a long flight to Tahiti, we traveled by yacht to the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort. When we arrived, we were greeted by the rhythmic sounds of French Polynesian music, flower leis, refreshments, and exotic island dancers that led us into a welcome reception and orientation of the resort. At the beginning of the orientation, the resort manager personally whisked us off to our villa. I initially was disappointed to leave the reception, but my disappointment turned to amazement when I saw our picturesque “King Royal Overwater Villa” #126 named “Here Rahi” (translation in English “BIG LOVE”).
The resort manager gave us a tour of our villa, and left us to get settled. I instantly began to video document everything as I usually do on our vacations. Alexander requested that I capture the exotic fish and crystal clear blue water from the back of the villa, so outside and down the stairs I went. While outside I noticed through the sliding glass doors of the villa, that Alexander seemed to be diligently running around inside.
Since the beginning of our trip, Alexander’s behavior was a little unusual. When I was chilly on the plane he didn’t offer me his jacket for warmth, and as hot as it was in Bora Bora, he refused to take off his jacket to cool down. Being the inquisitive person I am, I went back upstairs to see what he was up to.
As I entered the villa, I noticed a small blue box on the bed surrounded by beautiful fuchsia flower petals. I zoomed in on the box with my video camera and noticed that the box held a sparkling object. I immediately stopped videotaping and asked Alexander, “What is this?” He calmly replied, “What is it?” I asked him again, “What is this?” By this time, my stomach had a mind of its own and was in knots, and he replied while looking at the box, “What is that?” I picked up the box to examine it closer and finally he said, “Will You Marry…?” and before he could complete his question, I screamed YES! He smiled with that grin I love so much, but before we embraced I said, “Wait! You have to get on your knees!” He complied, and he asked me again, “Baby, Will You Marry ME?” I said emphatically, “YES, YES, YES!” He placed the ring on my finger, and the rest is history….
Later that day, much to my surprise, Alexander revealed to me that his parents, siblings, my mother, and the resort manager all knew about his plan to propose. He had been planning this “Amazing Proposal” for quite some time. Alexander had my engagement ring secretly hidden in his jacket pocket during our entire flight to Tahiti.
Unbeknownst to me, on the way to Bora Bora, during our two day visit with my family in South Carolina, Alexander formally asked my mother for my hand in marriage. Now, my mother is not known for keeping secrets, however she kept this one quite well. My fiancé, Mr. AlexanderAdizas Boyd, is truly the most amazing, thoughtful, caring, romantic, considerate, supportive, compassionate, and loving man that I have ever known. Our vacation was a carefully orchestrated surprise proposal. A proposal of marriage in the most romantic place on earth. I am blessed to have been proposed to in this “Amazing” way by my “Amazing” fiancé’.
We spent the rest of our vacation celebrating and settling into the idea of becoming husband and wife. It was Perfect! Bora Bora is a true paradise on earth, one of romance, natural beauty, warm and friendly people, and the place where our lives were forever changed. We will always remember December 3, 2011 at 12:35 pm as the day that we decided to commit our lives to each other forever. We are truly blessed to have found “The One” that God has made for us!
Our design inspiration started with the engagement ring my husband gave me in Bora Bora. My husband and I call the ring “SPARKLE”. When my husband proposed, I found “Sparkle”, on the bed surrounded by a bed of fuchsia flower petals. From that moment our wedding theme developed into “A Classic and Timeless Wedding Accentuated with Sparkles”.
My wedding gown was a light ivory jeweled and embroidered organza trumpet bridal gown with a sweetheart neckline, tufted organza skirt and a chapel train. My favorite wedding accessory was a pair of Christian Louboutin silver glitter heels. My bridal shoes really added just the right amount of sparkle to my wedding day look.
Incorporation of Culture
Honoring family wedding traditions and culture was very important to us. To show respect for our family’s heritage and culture, we incorporated in our wedding ceremony the Filipino traditional ceremonies of the Arras, Veil and Yugal and the African American tradition of “Jumping the Broom”. In the Arras ceremony the groom gives the bride 13 gold coins to signify his trust in her handling his worldly possessions. The coins represented Jesus and his 12 disciples. The veil was a symbol of purity and the promise of fidelity. The Yugal tied in the shape of the infinity symbol represented the union of the bride and groom as one with no beginning and no end. According to African American tradition, the bride and groom held hands and jumped a broom to signify the new life the bride and groom would begin together. It was said that the one who jumped the highest would be the decision-maker of the house. By incorporating these traditions, we showed respect for our family’s culture. Keeping with tradition, I followed the traditional wedding sayings of “something old, something new, something borrowed something blue…”. To represent “something old” I chose items from 3 deceased family members, a picture of my great grandmother that I carried in a locket attached to my bouquet, an angel pin from my Aunt Eliza attached to my dress, and a 1947 Award ribbon from my great aunt Neily. The “something new” was represented by a signed sketch of my wedding dress by the designer. While shopping for my wedding dress in Atlanta, I met the wedding dress designer, Lazaro, and he picked a dress especially for me. He made an impromptu sketch of the dress, signed it and gave it to me as an early wedding present. The “something borrowed” was a silk prayer cloth that was pinned to my dress that a dear friend of mine loaned to me for the day. The “something blue” was represented by blue crystal appliqués that my husband and I wore on the bottom of our shoes that read “I Do” on my shoes and “Me Too” on his. We also featured pictures of all of the items from each of the sayings during our cocktail hour at our reception venue.
Most Memorable Moment
Perhaps the most memorable moment of our wedding occurred as we left the church. During the ceremony, we only had eyes for one another and we didn’t even seem to notice anyone else. As we exited the church, we were able to focus on family and friends some who had traveled many miles to celebrate with us. To see the smiles and tears of our families and friends as the church doors opened was overwhelming. We walked down a red carpet as our well wishers rang bells and waved fuchsia, black and ivory ribbon wands and we departed in a classic white Rolls Royce.
The best advice we can give to engaged couples is to stay in the moment and remember to say Thank you to your guests, family members, wedding party, vendors, and friends, but more importantly to one another. This is the beginning of a new chapter in your lives and it should start with gratefulness.
- Wedding Dress Designer: Lazaro
- Wedding Dress Salon: Bridals By Lori
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm
- Hair: Extreme Glam Hair-LaQuita Tiller
- Makeup: Christian Balenciaga
- Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin
- Ceremony location: Knox Presbyterian Church
- Reception location: Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel’s “Hall of Mirrors”
- Photography: Mary Beth Tyson
- Videographer: Lifetime Films
- Wedding Planner: Elegant Events By Elisa
- Florist: The Secret Garden
- Cake: Patricia’s Weddings and Custom Cakes
- Stationery: Etsy & Creative Invites and Events
- Entertainment: 2nd Wind Band
- Rolls Royce: Mario Custom Limousine
- Lighting: Goodwin Lighting
- Custom Broom: www.etsy.com/shop/
- Bridal Party Bus: Motor Toys
- Sphire Elegance www.sphireelegance.com