Shelita and Michael first met in San Francisco where she was attending college.
With Michael working out of Los Angeles at the time, they remained in a long-distance relationship for two years before life eventually took them in different directions. Almost Twenty-five years later they were reunited, their love picking up where it left off all those years ago in San Francisco. During the holiday season three years later, Michael asked Shelita for the honor of being his wife at the annual tree-lighting ceremony in the city where their love first began. Read all about Shelita and Michael’s love story and experiences in their classic southern glam wedding in New Orleans.
Bride & Groom: Shelita & Michael
Wedding Date: 9/1/2018
Wedding Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
How did you meet? We met in 1988 in San Francisco and dated for two years. During that time, I was attending college in San Francisco and Michael was working for United Airlines out of Los Angeles. Our attempt of maintaining a long-distance relationship eventually became too much of a hardship and we parted ways. Fast-forward to 2014, we reunited as adults and on December 24, 2017, Michael popped the question.
Tell us about the proposal. Every year Michael and I would attend the tree lighting ceremony in San Francisco, Union Square to start the holiday season. However, this year, it was full of unexpected surprises, we were standing in front of Macy’s Union Square listening to the saxophone player as he played Let’s stay together by Al Green, I was waiting to cross the street. As the light turned green Michael was no longer by my side. I turned around surrounded by a crowd of holiday shoppers, cellphones and looked down and Michael was down on one knee asking for my hand in marriage. I was totally surprised, nervous, crying and happy at the same time and of course, I said yes. Once I said yes, the saxophone player changed the music to “Pretty Wings” by Maxwell. It was perfectly orchestrated and such a romantic way for me to say yes. Everyone cheered and held Michael so tight and placed my face in his chest as he kissed me on my forehead and he said you are going to finally become my wife. I just love him so much…
Describe your wedding style. The theme was classic with a twist of contemporary southern glam. The color palette was classic black and white. The Wedding was held in New Orleans, at Southern Oaks Plantation… Our ceremony was a Christian ceremony, we were administered communion, we said vows and we jumped the broom. Once our feet hit the ground, the music started Natalie Cole “This will be”, family and friends cheered us on as we walked out to the White horse and carriage which started our new life as one…
Let’s talk about wedding decor. The Southern Oaks Plantation was the perfect space with a rich color palette of antique parchment and historic creams throughout, the floors are cream marble with complementary hues throughout the mansion. Every table had richly adorned cream linens and the best wedding chair a bride always desires for her guest; Chiavari. Therefore, space only required dim lighting of the chandeliers and gold lanterns which were placed throughout the mansion which added additional classic detail to the historic features inside each room.
How was your wedding shopping experience? I wanted my look to compliment the theme and my personal style. I am originally from New Orleans and wanted to fully take advantage of the great style a southern bride has to offer with a modern flair. I chose a couture dress that perfectly enhanced my silhouette it was made using a Bellagio Crepe fabric that made it look more elegant and ultra-flattering. It also had a lace upper bodice, racer-back lace detail and a dramatic train that draped perfectly down the front stairs of the plantation during the ceremony. I also wore gorgeous pointed-toe shoes by Badgley Mischka, which is a glamorous satin show with an elegant embellished d’orsay heel that perfectly complimented my dress. Each bridesmaid wore black Betsy and Adam one cold shoulder dresses with birdcage hairpieces that also complemented the broach hairpiece the bride wore. The Groom wore a shawl-collar-style, single button, off-white paisley print tuxedo jacket with black tuxedo pants, no stripe. The groom’s shirt was a plain tuxedo front with french cuff links. This style was chosen to keep with the theme of a classic yet modern look with a hint of panache.
What were your most memorable wedding moments? My most anticipated moment was when I stepped into my dress and the moment I saw Michael at the end of the aisle. It stills makes me smile. It is such an overwhelming feeling just getting here. It is the Aha moment…the feeling of looking at yourself in your gown, it tells you, your life is getting ready for a lifetime commitment. You are becoming one. It feels good knowing that someone has a sincere and genuine love for you and your well-being. I’m going to have a partner for life that makes me smile, he allows me to process my feelings, he loves family and keeps me accountable. Another special moment was when the brass band played Bill Withers’, “Lovely Day”. We both danced with umbrellas and smiled at each other. Everyone danced along singing the tune as the sounds of the bass trombone, bass drum and tuba reveled throughout the plantation. That was something to see and a very special moment we will always cherish.
What wedding advice do you have for engaged couples? Make sure you select a Bridal Party that understands the expectations of being a part of your big day. You want to minimize stress, have fun and you want to make sure they understand your vision and willing to assist in executing it well. Less is more, do not have a huge bridal party it will complicate the process. Do not overspend on customizing. Find a venue that is inclusive and one that does not require you to spend lots of money creating your dream space. You do not want to overspend on upgrading a space for a few hours. If you can afford a bridal consultant or day-of-consultant, it is worth the money. My event planner, Ebony Pickettay of Addicted Avents managed every intricate detail from the engagement party to post-wedding. This also allows you to focus on being a happy bride, trust me, your event planner will become your new bestie.