For these two, their first date should have been their last, but they gave it another go and their ‘second first date,’ was one to remember. Fast forward and they are tying the knot in a romantic and elegant outdoor wedding, photographed beautifully by Harwell Photography. From sunset shots to gorgeous tablescapes with overflowing florals from Andy Beach, the day was perfectly planned by Chancey Charm! Take a look below and be sure to read that ‘second first date’ story that ended at sunrise!
An interview with the Bride and Groom…
Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from, what are your interests/hobbies, where did you go to school, etc?
Bride: I am from Brooklyn, New York. I enjoy reading, helping others reach their potential by being their best selves, and meeting creatives. Oh! I am also obsessed with herbal teas and all things HGTV!
Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from, what are your interest/hobbies, where did you go to school, etc?
Groom: I am from Macon, Georgia. I am passionate about education and mentorship. I enjoy traveling, running, golfing with friends, and volunteering.
Tell us about a date you’ll always remember.
After an awkward first date of silent pauses and sweaty palms, all signs suggested that it should have been our first and last date. Yet knowing intuitively that we saw something special in each other, weeks later, we decided to give it another go. Our second date, affectionately known as our “second first date” and “the best date of our lives” is one we will remember forever and still think of fondly to this day. After a night of laughs and great conversation over dinner, I was relieved when Jamaar had the courage to say exactly what I was thinking -that he did not want the night to end. We decided to go dancing, but somehow we never made it inside. Instead, we found ourselves sitting side by side on a ledge outside of the nightclub, talking about relationships, life, and everything in between until we realized that the club was closing! We discovered that night that we found each other more interesting than anything any around us could offer. Still not wanting the night to be over, we went to the nearby Hammond Park and talked for hours on a park bench underneath the stars into the early morning. Feeling completely at ease in Jamaar’s presence, I felt unusually free to show him my silly side. So I challenged him to a foot race on the soccer field, where he met me with the sweetest forehead kisses and gentle embraces at the finish line. (We still disagree about who actually won the race that night!)
Describe the proposal: Complete synergy! Neither one of us knew that the other was planning a surprise. After weeks of secretly planning a romantic getaway to the Bahamas for Jamaar’s birthday, I was the one that ended up with the surprise of a lifetime! At the end of our one-week vacation stay in the Bahamas, Jamaar proposed on the shore of the beautifully secluded LOVE BEACH (actual name of the beach). Apparently, the proposal was a long time in the making! He had the ring for a while and had asked for my parents’ blessings in advance. Jamaar bending down on one knee and me crying tears of joy was all secretly captured on video as part of his perfect plan! There was no better way that my husband could have proposed, choosing to have the moment to be a shared personal experience with just the two of us.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: Jacqueline’s engagement ring is rose gold with an oval diamond center in a halo setting. I chose to have that ring made for her because it reflects her personality and style with features that are simple, elegant, and unique.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? The union of our marriage is very sacred to us; one which we were intentional about entering into reverently. We read his and her companion books by Tony Allen- For Married Men Only and For Married Women Only. We also completed pre-marital counseling.
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Season, location, venue, time of day, city and state, etc. Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple?
We were married on September 9, 2016, in Alpharetta, Georgia. The evening ceremony was held outdoors underneath a beautifully decorated gazebo overlooking a small river. Being outdoors is when we feel the most connected to one another, so we knew that was where we wanted to say our “I do’s.”
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, Loving, and Emotional
What was the weather like on your big day?
Amazing- upper 80s with a light breeze. Clear with plenty of sunshine.
How many guests attended your wedding?
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple?
Inspired by nature, we wanted to design a wedding that was filled with as much beauty as we feel love for one another. It was also important to us that our guests felt surrounded by the joy and happiness that we wanted to represent for our new beginning as husband and wife.
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding:
The highlight of the day was walking down the aisle and seeing Jamaar waiting for me. Leading up to the wedding, my matron of honor told me to “remember to stop and smell the roses and bask in the moment. It will only be about the two of you on that day.” And she was right! I focused on my husband the entire time I walked down the aisle, and I will never forget the way he looked at me with all the emotion in his eyes.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding:
The pre-ceremony gift experience. Jacqueline surprised me with a personalized gift that included a pocket watch and a handwritten letter. The letter inspired me with overwhelming gratitude and love. My heart was activated in a special way, inspiring an expression of emotion that was uncontrollable, authentic, and unprecedented.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it?
I wore a mermaid style wedding gown with off white Alencon lace by Matthew Christopher. After having tried on several dresses, I knew that it was the one because it made me feel like the most beautiful version of myself! The champagne lining ended up being my favorite thing about the dress. Choosing a dress with a hint of color, over a traditional white gown, represented my courage to be uniquely me. I finished the entire look with an off white lace-edged veil, pearl jewelry, and peep-toe shoes from Badgley Mischka.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them?
My bridesmaids wore blush-colored wrap dresses from BHLDN. I chose a dress that I hoped would be easy, light, and make them feel beautiful.
What did the groom and groomsmen wear?
I wore a blue shawl lapel tuxedo with a black bow tie, covered placket white shirt, black patent leather shoes, and a white pocket square. The groomsmen wore a navy blue suit, black tie, covered placket white shirt, black patent leather shoes, white pocket square. We all wore a black rosebud flower lapel pin for a modern take on the traditional boutonniere.
Tell us about your wedding flowers. How did you choose them? What did you love about them? Your wedding should always be infused with things that you love….and I love flowers! It was the center of the wedding design. We wanted to create an atmosphere that was classic and romantic. I was inspired by my engagement ring to use shades of blush, cream, and white. I chose to incorporate my favorite flowers which included orchids, garden roses, and hydrangea.
I carried a beautiful bouquet of orchids, spray roses, and garden roses. The stem of the bouquet was wrapped in cream silk ribbon and cream lace ribbon with accented pearls.
The bridesmaids carried a fluffy bouquet of white hydrangea wrapped with blush satin ribbon with a petit double loop bow with tails.
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony?
Groom: I picked up roses to decorate our honeymoon suite, listened to special gospel songs to prepare my mind for the day, and had a quiet lunch alone. The groomsmen and I later spent time together coordinating grooming activities.
Bride: I wanted to be sure that I cherished the final moments of my singlehood bonding with my dearest friends, who are like sisters to me. So I had a mini spa day with my bridesmaids to help get us relaxed and ready for the big day!
Did you have any special pre-ceremony activities?
Being of Ghanaian descent, it was important to me that I acknowledged my heritage during this special time in my life. Prior to the wedding, we held a traditional Ghanaian engagement ceremony that involved our parents.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings?
The most special part of the wedding was having a ceremony that reflected our faith and reverence for God that brought us together.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony?
We included Kente cloth in our ceremony for the officiant to wear. I wanted to highlight the Kente cloth as part of my culture and as symbolism for the occasion.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? Processional, interlude, recessional?
The string trio played Canon in D Pachelbel (processional), A Thousand Years (Bride entrance), I Surrender All Hymnal (interlude), and Signed, Sealed, Delivered (recessional)
What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day?
Groom: Reading the personalized letter from my wife and experiencing her walking towards me during the ceremony.
Bride: The entire day was so special but the one lasting memory was having all of our loved ones celebrating our union. It is an amazing way to start your life together.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding?
On the most special milestone of our lives, we wished to lovingly remember those close to our hearts who were no longer with us, or unable to attend. We did this by honoring our grandmothers by placing their photos in special reserved seating in the front row of the ceremony.
What was your reception like?
Romantic, Elegant, yet comfortable.
Tell us a bit about your first dance.
For our first dance, we danced to Lalah Hathaway’s cover of the Anita Baker song “Angel.” The moment was amazing…it felt as if we were the only two people in the room.
Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets.
We chose individual almond cupcakes with buttercream, adorned with a blush petal flower with a gold center. We also chose a non-traditional 8” tall carrot cake decorated with fresh ivory and blush colored roses.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding?
The best advice we can give to other couples is to consider that there is life after your wedding. Plan accordingly, budget, be flexible, consider each other’s feelings during the planning, and remember that life begins after the “I do’s.” To future brides, when you make a major decision- go with it and move-on! You can drive yourselves nuts if you are constantly doubting and re-thinking every decision. Be yourselves. Your guests love you and are there to celebrate you. Incorporate as much of your personality and culture as you can. Finally, be as present with the experience as you possibly can every step of the way, because it goes by fast!
Photography: Harwell Photography | Event Planning: Chancey Charm | Floral Design: Andy Beach | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Wedding Dress: Bridals By Lori | Invitations: Studio LMC | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Talk Of The Town | Makeup: Paulette Cooper | Hair: Marlena Mendez | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux