Stephanie and Charles' love story began as college students, where they shared several classes. Often finding themselves lost in conversation together, they soon began to realize there was much more to their connection than simply being classmates. In Stephanie's words, "one day it was like our eyes were just opened to each other. It was the most natural process I had ever experienced in developing a relationship. It was like we didn’t even realize it was happening until it did."
Continue reading all about Stephanie & Charles' love story, proposal, and experiences in their luxurious historic ballroom wedding on Long Island, New York - featuring floral and event design by Leah T. Williams Events.
Bride & Groom: Stephanie & Charles
Occupations: Professional Singer/Songwriter/Conductor/Assistant Minister of Music & Music Director
Wedding Date: 1/25/2019
Wedding location: Floral Terrace in Floral Park, NY
Tell us how you met. Charles and I met at Nyack College in the fall of 2015. I had already been there a year and he had come a year after. Both of us had returned to school to complete our music degrees. We had several classes together and would often find ourselves talking after class. They were some of the most fulfilling and beautiful conversations, and one day it was like our eyes were just opened to each other. It was the most natural process I had ever experienced in developing a relationship. It was like we didn’t even realize it was happening until it did.
Tell us all about the proposal. One day in one of my classes, the professor said we are going to take a field trip. She led us to the the water in the Battery Park area the overlooks the Statue of Liberty. This area was the place that Charles and I shared our first kiss. As we got closer, there was Charles waiting for me, and then he got down on one knee and proposed. Outside of our wedding day, it was the sweetest moment of my life.
How did you know he was "the one?" Stephanie: "I knew Charles was the one based on how he knew how to love me, and to let me be who I am called to be. My life is very demanding and I always knew it would take a special man to cope with those demands. Charles knows just how to nurture that, he doesn’t try to change me, or make me feel guilty about my hectic schedule. He wants me to walk in my purpose always, and because he is that way, it makes me strive to be not only the best “me” I can be, but to be the best wife to him that I can possibly be. His love empowers me. I want to give him what he gives me…no, I want to give him more."
How did you know she was "the one?" Charles: "I heard a preacher say 'Time and circumstance shows you who a person is' and Stephanie’s character is the main reason I knew she was the one. Stephanie and I met in the fall of 2015 and she was unlike anyone I had ever met. A kind heart, humility, success, leadership and beauty don’t always come in the same package! As we began to date it was clear that we had similar goals and aspirations so by December of that year I knew I wanted to make her my wife. But what came next really blew my mind and answered the questions that were still lingering in my mind. Early 2016 was a tough time for, Stephanie, there were some difficult circumstances that she had to navigate through along with her work and school responsibilities that winter. The way she handled that season in her life really showed me what she was made of. She didn’t treat me any different despite her stress. Stephanie, didn’t become short tempered or distant but instead communicated with me and continued to be a great girlfriend. When that season ended she came out on top in every area of her life. I knew then that no matter what life threw at us that we would overcome together and that she was most certainly the one."
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? Shopping for my gown was a dream! I went to Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan as it was always my dream to shop there. The appointment was all that I expected and my gown was literally the second one that I tried! I tried others just to be sure, but nothing compared to how I felt in that gown! I searched high and low for this headpiece and the designer Dawn Guibert, moved heaven and earth to make sure that I had it. I knew that I wanted a headpiece that made a statement, and when I saw this piece, I knew it was the one! I asked Dawn to make a few special touches, and it could not have been more perfect. I was a bit nervous having something made overseas, while my gown was in NY and not being able to try them together first, however they paired up like magic!! I don’t think I could have made a better choice!
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Our ceremony was full of love but also religious customs specific to our faith. We were blessed and prophesied over, we lit a unity candle to signify the joining of our lives, and we took communion to show that our marriage is covered by God. Charles is Salvadoran-American, and I am African American. We are both musicians, so we reflected our culture mainly in our music. We featured classic hip hop, r&b, and jazz with live performances from friends and colleagues within the music industry. We also featured merengue music, Latin pop, reggaetón, Caribbean, and soca music throughout our reception. It was awesome seeing so many cultures enjoy partying together and just having a great time!
Bridesmaids gifts: specially decorated bling hangers, kimono robes, and custom made shoe bags in midnight blue and platinum (wedding colors).
Groomsmen gifts: crown lapel pins
Favorite menu item: Chicken, sausage and jalapeños
First dance: Live performance by R&B recording artist “Tweet”, singing “Beautiful” from her Southern Hummingbird album.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Stephanie: "My sweetest memory from the wedding was the first reveal. I was shaking so much from happy nerves. He looked at me with so much love. I felt like the most beautiful woman alive, so treasured."
Charles: "My sweetest memory was the first reveal. She blew my mind and I just saw the love in her eyes."
Wedding Coordinator/Design: Marcklon Drouillard, Heavenly Events Designs
Floral & Event Design: Leah T. Williams Events
Photographer: Never There Yet Photography
Videographer: Anusha Peterson
Bride's Hairstylist: Steven Seven Hudson
Make Up Artist (Bride & Maid of Honor): Theresa Francine
Make Up Artist (Bridal Party): Omega Celeste
Custom Dresses: Keesha Stillwell
Custom Tuxedos: Tim Arrington
Soloist: R&B recording artist Tweet
Choir: Voices of Virtue Inc
Band: Kennedy Administration
MC: Melonie Daniels-Walker
Venue: Floral Terrace
DJ: Chas Edwards Jr.
Sound: Audio Design Group
Wedding Cake: Buttercooky Bakery
Accessories (card box, cake cutters, champagne): Suquilah Stillwell of "Sweet Sukey"
Programs: Seventh and Lane