Sharilyn and Joel first met on the beautiful Caribbean island nation of Trinidad where they were introduced by mutual friends during vacation.
Their love story would truly begin a few months later when while on a work assignment in Dallas, Sharilyn reached out to Joel where he offered to be her tour guide. Their friendship “instantly blossomed,” continuing to evolve and develop into the foundation of love it is today. Joel and Sharilyn were pronounced husband and wife during a gorgeous garden-party styled ceremony in beautiful Johannesburg, South Africa. Read all about their love story, sweet park proposal, and wedding experiences!
Bride & Groom: Sharilyn & Joel
Occupations: Software Product Manager & VP Senior Infrastructure Manager
Wedding Date: October 12, 2019
Wedding Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
How did you meet? In February 2015 while on vacation in Trinidad, Sharilyn and Joel met through mutual friends. Fast forward a few months, while on a work assignment in Dallas, Sharilyn reached out to Joel to ask him for recommendations on things to do. Joel offered to be her tour guide and their friendship instantly blossomed.
Tell us about the proposal! On December 26, 2017, Joel got down on one knee and proposed to me in the park. It was an unusual freezing morning in the Dallas area but we had just adopted a dog a few weeks prior and decided to take him for a walk. When Joel got down on one knee, I thought it was to tie his shoelace and I wondered why in the world he would choose to stop and tie his shoe when it was so cold instead of waiting until we got back to the car. By the time I looked at him, he had the ring out and I was in complete shock.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? I fell in love with and purchased the fourth dress I tried on. Joel had multiple conversations with his tux designer to select the right fabric and design for his suit.
Describe your wedding style. We were set on having an outdoor garden party-style wedding with lots of natural light. I wore a Pronovias dress that featured lace on the top and tulle on the bottom with a short train. My husband was BOLD in a floral tux (both blazer and pants!) created custom by Eaden Myles. I decided to match his boldness with a bright blue shoe. Our guests really showed out in beautiful bright colors and jewel tones to boot. The day was exactly what we wanted: bright colors with a lush green backdrop and pops of fuchsia and white.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? The wedding included elements that paid tribute to the bride and groom’s Caribbean roots whilst also paying homage to the wedding locale. The bride walked down the aisle while being serenaded by Zulu singers. There was a Zulu wedding dance performance directly following the conclusion of the ceremony. Cocktail hour featured a contestant from “The Voice” South Africa who sang the bride and groom’s favorite love songs. The reception included Guyanese black cake and Soca music from Trinidad. Captain Morris (Morgan) and Coke served as the signature cocktail and a tribute to the memory of the bride’s late grandfather and uncle (Oscar and Gary Morris). The wedding favor featured local South African Amarula fudge.
Gifts for Each Other: Handwritten vows shared privately on our wedding night.
Ceremony Entrance Song: Traditional Zulu serenade
First Dance Song: “Do I Do” by Stevie Wonder
What are some of your best wedding memories? Our best memory was the moment we locked eyes as I walked down the aisle. It was as if nothing and no one else mattered. It was magical and we’ll always remember that moment of pure joy and excitement.
What advice do you have for engaged couples? Set a budget and pad it for the things you don’t know you’ll want or need until you’re well into the throws of planning! Also, remember that the event is ultimately about your union so make decisions that you will both appreciate.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Langhams
Wedding Planner: Blue Olive Events
Wedding Stylist: Living Room
Photographer: Tyme Photography
Groom’s Tux: Eaden Myles
Bride’s Dress: Pronovias from East Coast Bridals
Bride’s Shoes: Badgely Mischka from Nordstrom
Bride’s Hair: done by ME!
Groom’s Hair: Lajawi
Makeup by: BK Phetlhe-Dikobe
Videographer: Hauke Video
Wedding Reception Lighting: Draping Worx