Though Valerie and Devon went to the same University, and knew of each other, it wasn’t until years after graduating that they would finally meet. At the insistence of a mutual friend who thought they would make the perfect couple, they agreed to meet up. Initially their plans to get together fell through several times until finally at a friend’s birthday party their paths crossed. According to Valerie they “didn’t ride off into the sunset” that day. That moment wouldn’t take place for sometime, until a friend’s wedding party would once again bring them together. This time the sparks flew and their shared magnetism was palpable. In Valerie’s words, “it was at this party where our journey began. Devon and I talked and laughed the whole night…” Their official first date came a week later and they’ve remained inseparable ever since…
It wouldn’t be long before Devon began to realize Valerie was “the one” and so planned their perfect proposal, taking place January of this year in gorgeous Marrakech, Morocco. It was a beautiful morning at the luxurious La Mamounia Hotel, where Devon suggested they get dressed to take some pictures around the grounds to document the trip. Not at all suspecting a proposal on this trip, Valerie agreed and they made their way down to the lobby. A security guard unlocked a particularly photogenic courtyard that would make the perfect backdrop. Handing the camera to the security guard, Devon asked if he could take a few pictures of Valerie and himself. After a few images Valerie looked towards Devon and found him looking back up at her from one knee. Valerie fondly recalls how, “he beautifully reminded me of our journey together and how much we’ve grown, and how happy he is with our life together…it was the sweetest and most endearing way to propose.”
Valerie and Devon’s wedding was, for their guests, a surprise ceremony within a cocktail styled engagement party. The wedding style was “elegant simplistic chic” hosted at the beautiful Houston Towers. The event menu reflected both the bride and groom’s cultural backgrounds of traditional Southern and Caribbean cuisines. Valerie was gorgeous in a custom Karen Sosa gown, classic white crepe long sleeve with shimmer beaded fringe back. Complimented with her late mother’s diamond ring, tennis bracelet and teardrop earrings, in honor of her memory. Her Groom was sharp and sophisticated in a plush, navy blue, velvet tuxedo.
Wedding Flowers: Classic red roses. My grandmother custom made my bouquet with cream roses.
Favorite Item on Menu: Brisket egg-rolls!
Best Memories: Our wedding was basically a “pop up” wedding. We invited our guests to a cocktail style engagement party and surprised them with a ceremony mid-way through the party. A lot of our friends from college and friends we’ve gained over the years who also knew each other were guests at the party so it very much felt like a college reunion of sorts. Some people suspected what was going down and others were happily surprised at the transition from a full-on party with food, drinks and music, to a sacred exchange of vows…and back to a party! Honestly one of the best nights of our lives and we had so much fun sharing the experience with everyone who attended. Sorry to the folks who left the party early and missed the vows.
Advice for Engaged Couples: There are no rules! You can totally do your wedding however you want to do it and not break the bank doing so. If you wanted to do a pool party and get married in your swimsuit because that’s what you want, do it. I’m sure everyone would have way more fun if they didn’t have to buy a wedding outfit and would still have a great time and you will be less stressed about who to invite, what to wear, and all the other formalities that unnecessarily overwhelm people. Your guests will come and will be there for you. Not because of what you wore or what venue you selected, or the flower arrangements or the party favors. They will remember the fun and the laughs, not the stuff in between that brides worry about. Do not stress or get caught up in the weeds of the details because no one will remember or care about all of that anyway. The decisions we made were based solely on what type of experience and memory we wanted for us, not traditions. We did not have bridesmaids or groomsmen, first dances, my fathers didn’t walk me down the aisle and we didn’t have a 300 guest seated dinner reception or a wedding cake. We didn’t even do formal invitations…I emailed our guests a snapshot of an invitation I designed online. We felt zero pressure to include or do everything by the book or spend money on things that are forgettable. The only time I vacillated on our approach was when I couldn’t decide between acrylic or real champagne glasses. I went with the former because it was smart and made sense and no one really cares about the material of the glass, they care about what’s in the glass! So do your wedding on your own terms and do not be concerned with perception or traditions. We had a party with a tiny snippet of a ceremony and it was the most fun I’d had at a “wedding” in a long time. We like to party and that’s what we did.
Bride’s Dress: Karen Sosa
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Cakes/Desserts: Donut Holes from Duck Donuts; White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Danton’s Seafood; Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse Shots from Bud’s Pitmaster BBQ
Catering: Bud’s Pitmaster BBQ & Cool Runnings
Ceremony Venue: Houston Towers
Event Decor/Design: D’Concierge Events
Entertainment: DJ Flash Gordon Parks
Event planner: Darryl Wilson
Florals: Keisha’s Kreations
Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply
Hair: Chara Bennet of Canvas Hair Studios
Lighting: Lion’s Heart
Linens: D’Concierge Events
Makeup: Noe Flores of Color du Jour Studio
Photography: Julia Arceri
Rentals: D’Concierge Events
Videography: Klasik Kreatives