When Brian first met Shirley at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, he knew right away that she was special with “a positive energy and smile that lit up the room.” As two strangers exchanged phone numbers with a potential new friend, Shirley and Brian gradually realized they had found love. They were involved in every aspect of their wedding planning, from selecting cultural songs for the reception to DIY party favors. They also took dancing lessons for 6 months to learn the social foxtrot for their First Dance. Filled with glitz, glamor, and love, their beautiful wedding was photographed by PW Photography.
How They Met
From the groom… Having been in love with Washington DC’s attractions from the first time I visited the city, I had developed some favorite attractions in the 3 years that I lived and worked in the area. One of my favorites is the National Portrait Gallery. I had visited it often, but there was one particular visit that changed my life forever.
It was a beautiful Spring Saturday afternoon in our nation’s capital. The National Portrait Gallery had just unveiled a portrait of the newly inaugurated President Obama. I had decided earlier in the week that I needed to visit the Gallery that weekend to check out this new portrait. This visit started out like any other, with my typical browsing of the different gallery rooms. However, when I got to the Obama portrait, I happened to notice an amazingly beautiful young lady standing there with a young boy in hand. Her smile was infectious and it lit up the room. She was glowing with positive energy – I knew I had to find a way to get to know more about her. The young boy was wearing a Washington Nationals baseball cap. I asked him if he was excited for the baseball season to begin and carried on a playful conversation with him, knowing that he was the key to getting to talk to the beautiful young lady. Seeing how playful and cheerful I was with the boy, she turned and introduced herself to me. I told her my name and we talked a little bit. We exchanged phone numbers. After about a month of talking and getting to know one another, I worked up the courage to ask Shirley to go on a date with me. We rekindled our initial connection by going to the National Portrait Gallery as our first date. We then proceeded to continue to date and get to know one another. As we continued to get to know one another, Shirley began to realize that I did not have any plans and was going to be staying home for my birthday. Even though she had injured her foot earlier in the week and could hardly walk, she insisted on taking me out for my birthday. It was that exact moment when I knew she was the one and I had to spend the rest of my life with her, as she had put aside her injury and pain to ensure I did not stay home for my 25th birthday. It is selfless acts like these that show how wonderful a person Shirley is and make my love for her grow deeper every day. That is why I asked her to marry me and I am so thankful that she said yes.
From the bride… On a cold night in February, Bryan came over to see me. Something was a bit different though. He was exceptionally nervous, and he actually ended up falling sick to his stomach, having to spend the night. That was aSunday and it was the night before we were supposed to go out to celebrate Valentines Day (we intended to celebrate it early so as not to deal with large crowds on the day itself). I figured because he was so sick, our plans might not go forward on Monday night. However, I was wrong. Bryan called me from work on Monday to confirm our dinner date for the evening. I figured it was going to be just like any other dinner date. Boy was I wrong.
When Bryan arrived on Monday night, he was looking especially dapper. Anyone who knows him knows that he loves to wear jeans and t-shirts. On this night, he was dressed in his suit and came bearing valentines gifts of a cute teddy bear and a box of chocolates, along with a card. Typical Valentines Day gifts, I supposed. When we got to the restaurant, Ristorante Picolo, the atmosphere was totally amazing. There was a musician serenading guests at individual tables. The place felt special. All through dinner, Bryan seemed to be a bit nervous. I suspected that it was because he still had a bit of the stomach bug from the previous night, especially when he got up to use the restroom after dinner and before dessert. Boy was I wrong. Bryan had given me a crossword puzzle before he left. When he came back and sat down, the waiter followed shortly thereafter and delivered a cheesecake to Bryan and just a plate to me . I said to myself, why do I just get a plate? Maybe i t had something to do with the crossword puzzle. But, then I looked at it again and it had “Will You Marry Me?” written on it in chocolate icing – the sweetest proposal ever! The phrase also happened to be the answer to the crossword puzzle, which I was finishing just as the dessert was delivered! Bryan was very nervous though, as he initially just placed the ring box on top of the table by my plate. I had to ask him if there was something he wanted to ask me. He then proceeded to attempt to get down on his knee to ask me properly, but his nerves got the better of him as he fell over and knocked down the chairs as well. He did finally get the question out of his mouth, and put the ring on my finger, as I said “YES!”. The entire restaurant cheered and gave us a congratulatory ovation. We finished our desserts and proceeded to leave. It was then that Bryan’s nerves got the best of him again, as he had forgotten where he had parked the car. He did find it later and did take me home. It was a very interesting and unique proposal, one that I am sure we will never forget. Bryan does regret the embarrassment of the night and wishes that he had been less nervous, but it is all fine by me as I am happy to be marrying such a wonderful man.
Together we were involved in every detail of our wedding planning, including hand selecting the cultural songs to be played by the DJ, DIY favors, and more. We took 6 months of dancing lessons to learn the social foxtrot for our first dance. Our guests also sat at tables named for the ingredients that we believe comprise a lasting and happy marriage
I love glitz and glamour, so I wanted to incorporate that into every aspect of my wedding as possible. Being that our wedding was at a historic manor house, it took countless hours to get all of the details right to create the perfect blend of glitz while honoring the charm of the manor at the same time.
I am Ghanaian and my husband American so we knew from the start that we wanted to honor both cultures. We chose a DJ with experience playing multi-cultural weddings and events. We gave him a list of Ghanaian songs to blend in with the more traditional American wedding songs. For our food, we had a traditional caterer but we were also able to have them serve several Ghanaian dishes along with their selections.
You Make Loving You So Easy
From groom… I love how she is so determined to always accomplish her goals and never let anything or anyone get her down or hold her back.
From bride… Bryan has a very good heart. He is always striving to figure out what more he can do for me and for us. He is very giving of himself and never expects anything in return.
VendorsDress Salon – Demetrios Bridal http://www.demetriosbride.com/ Bridesmaids Dresses – Eden Bridals http://www.edenbridals.com/ Makeup – Melanie Jones http://www.melaniejonesbeauty.com/ Shoes – Angela Nuran http://www.angelanuran.com/ Ceremony Location – Stone Manor Country Club http://www.stonemanorcountryclub.com/ Reception Location – Same as Ceremony Photography – PW Photography http://www.pwphotography.com/ Videography – Black Tie Video http://www.blacktievideo.net/ Florist – Ory Custom Florals http://www.oryflorals.com/ Cake – Sugar Bakers Cakes http://www.sugarbakerscakes.com/ Stationery – The Organized Bride http://theorganizedbridestore.com/