Shaecole and Joseph’s love story started at a restaurant. A fast-food restaurant to be exact.
They met at sixteen years old when they started working their first after school job at a fast-food chain. Shaecole shares, “We quickly took a liking to each other and would often talk, and innocently flirt with each other in passing during work hours. We often tried to find similar shifts to work on together because we just liked being around each other.” Sadly, they went to different high schools, and when they left their job, they no longer kept in contact.
Years later, a chance meeting at a local bar brought them back together. They made plans to meet up for an official date, and their attraction was immediate. But as they continued dating, it was their ability to be their real, authentic selves and to support each other through good and bad moments that solidified their love.
These Baltimore natives said,” I do,” in a beautiful garden ceremony surrounded by 150 of their closest friends and family. Their vibrant flowers and decor in bold hues of red and pink with black and gold accents were stunning against the beautiful garden landscape. Everyone headed indoors for the reception where the decor was equally amazing. Guests stayed on the dance floor and smiles stayed on the beautiful couple’s faces.
- Couple: Shaecole (Shay) & Joseph (Jay)
- Location of Wedding: The Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD
- Wedding Date: October 12, 2019
- Wedding flowers: Assorted red and pink rose, hydrangeas and spray floral
- Favorite item on the menu: Crab stuffed Chicken Breast
- Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: Groomsmen: Custom Ray-Ban Sun Glasses; Bridesmaids: Custom Robes
- First dance song: “Wedding Song” by Ahmir
- Advice for brides: Things will go wrong, but you will be ok- adjust as needed but don’t dwell on it, as cliché as it sounds try to stay in the moment because the day goes by so fast.
How They Met
Our first acquaintance with each other was at the tender age of 16. We were both so young and eager to be working our first afterschool job at our nearby fast food restaurant. We quickly took a liking to each other and would often talk, and innocently flirt with each other in passing during work hours. We often tried to find similar shifts to work on together because we just liked being around each other. But given we were both attending different high schools and living completely separate social lives, we both outgrew that job and ended up losing touch over the years. To our surprise, we had no idea that we would lose contact as teenagers and end up as husband and wife as adults.
Several years later we bumped into each other at a local bar, which we later discovered we both had plans of not going to that night but in different ways got convinced otherwise. We thank those folks a lot. We remember smiling at each other from ear to ear and embracing in a brief hug as well as making plans to connect and catch up over dinner and drinks soon. We managed to make dinner and drinks happen about a month later at one of our favorite restaurants, STK Steakhouse in DC. One date led to another date and our attraction, connection, and passions of life all manifested in a way that brought us together naturally. In 2014 we made it official and the rest is history.
We both love to travel and so for Shays 27th Birthday in June of 2017 we traveled to Cancun, Mexico for what we planned would be a relaxing birthday getaway with a few surprises planned. On the evening of June 24th, which is Shay’s Birthday, we went to a lovely dinner at a Japanese restaurant at our resort. We took a walk on the beach as the sun was going down and then decided to hang out at the lobby bar for a glass of wine. I wanted Shay to really relax on her Birthday and also didn’t want to draw any suspicion that something could be up my sleeve. So, I let the day go on as any normal relaxing day.
Around midnight and onto June 25, 2017, I mentioned leaving something in the room and asked her to stay at the bar. While she sat at the bar waiting for me to come back, I went to check the room to make sure the concierge had set up the room like I had hoped and requested. I asked for fresh rose petals to be laid on the bed and to spell out Mrs. Mims on our bed. I went back to Shay, we finished our drinks and headed back to our room. I let her walk ahead of me and into the room. As she walked into the room and noticed the rose petals, I was already on one knee. She turned around, and I asked her to be my life wife.
How did you know they were “the one”?
Shay: There are many realizations of Jay being the one for me, but the one that is most present in my mind is about a year and a half into our relationship. I had gotten off of work, and I was having a really rough day. I came home and realized just how overwhelmed and emotional I was feeling. Crying my eyes out, I talked to Jay about it and shared how I felt. In the moment, it felt completely embarrassing and a total mess, but I remember how he made me feel in that moment. I had never felt so safe sharing my fears and worries with anyone. He gave me a level of security, understanding, and comfort I had never felt before. I realized that I could be my real and authentic self with him, that I could share my happy moments but also my very hard, not so great moments with.
Jay: I knew Shay was the one for me after she met my mother for the first time on Thanksgiving. I never introduced any girl to my parents at all. While I was in love with her, we became very serious after I knew that she fit into my family. The feeling it gave me reminded me of why I loved her so much, and why I knew she was the one for me.
Incoporation of Culture
We went with a traditional Christian Wedding.
Describe your wedding dress and your favorite wedding accessory.
Dress: off the shoulder, mermaid blinged-out lace gown with a full-bodied ruffle bottom
Wedding Accessory: Statement Earrings.
Best Wedding Memory
Outside of marrying my best friend, being put on a chair at the reception for Swag & Surfin.
Be realistic in your planning regarding your budget. Prioritize the things that mean the most to you and your significant other, and stress less about all the things that are not a priority. People won’t notice anyway. Communicate with each other more than you think you should to avoid any conflicts that might arise. Limit outside influences on what you want for your day and find ways to still spend time together and enjoy each other’s company during your time before marriage.
One thing that we really wanted to do for our special day was to support black and minority-owned businesses and in particular women of color and we were so happy to be able to do that.
- Photography: Chip Dizard Weddings
- Event planner: Sensational Soirees
- Bride’s dress: Casablanca 2334 Blakely Illusion Lace and Ruffle Mermaid Wedding Dress
- Bridal salon: Amanda Ritchey Bridal & Beauty
- Bride’s headpiece and/or veil: Amanda Ritchey Bridal & Beauty
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: Abyss by Abby
- Cakes/desserts: Charm City Cakes
- Catering: Grateful Deli Catering
- Ceremony & Reception Venue: Cylburn Arboretum- Baltimore
- Event decor/design: Designs by Oochay
- Entertainment: Djno.id
- Florals: Designs by Oochay
- Groom’s attire: The Black Tux
- Groomsmen attire: The Black Tux
- Hair: Paige Monroe
- Lighting: @eventdynamic
- Linens: @dcrentals
- Makeup: @knicolemakeup
- Rentals: @dcrentals
- Stationery: Minted
- Videography: Chip Dizard Weddings & Trene Forbes
- Wedding signs: Z Create Design