This traditional wedding is proof that that being conventional does not mean being boring. The beautiful Orthodox ceremony was something very important to our couple and it showed how the cultures were being blended together and not pulled apart by differences. I love the “Crowning” part of this tradition for it signifies that the bride and groom are becoming the “queen and king” of their own “kingdom/family”. Don’t you just love how that sound? Then moving on to the aesthetic details of the wedding, we love the use of fuchsia and silver in their color palette. It was such an elegant combination. But despite this refined disposition of the decors, I love how this did not stop the entourage from simply having fun and striking adorable poses. What a beautiful wedding. Congratulations Hermon & Byron!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
I was out having dinner with my cousin and her friends when we decided to check out this new lounge across the street from the restaurant. Once we arrived I ran into a friend of mine and decided to stay behind after my cousin and her friends left. The friend I ran into wanted to introduce me to a friend that he had that I had never met. He made sure to mention that Byron (my husband) went to University of Virginia (a school I despise). After a few jokes and jabs about our alma maters, and us proceeding on with the night, he stopped by before leaving to ask for my number. We have been inseparable ever since.
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
We’re crazy about each other and we’re also the best of friends. We know one another better than anyone else in the world, and every one can see we were meant to be together.
How did he (or you) propose?
After a day of bridal shower decoration shopping for a friend of mine, I got home to find that Byron wanted to go out to dinner and told me it was kind of nice so jeans probably wouldn’t be the best option. So I opted for a simple dress. We arrived at the restaurant and did not realize that it was the same restaurant where we had our first date because the restaurant had been bought by a new owner and completely re-done. During the dinner the manager brought by a vase full of roses. Each stem had a message on it stating things about love, quotes from him, or just romantic messages. I figured this was it! But no, just flowers lol. Once we were done eating Byron suggested walking a block down to get some ice cream for dessert. I quickly agreed. We went into the ice cream place, got our orders, then proceeded to sit outside of the store at an available table. After a few minutes a good friend (and photographer) of Byron’s walked by. We were all surprised by the “coincidence”. He said that he was out taking pictures for his portfolio and decided to sit with us for a few moments while chatting and playing with the new lens on his camera. He asked if he could take a few pictures of us to test out some angles. After a while, he went on his way to continue taking pictures. Once we were done with the ice cream, we began walking to the car. Right next door to the ice cream shop was a “My Eye Doctor” office. Byron gestured to look at the store so I did, and quickly did a double take. There was a huge eye chart in the window. So as a typical eye chart would be, it had letters from large to small going down into a pyramid. The letters spelled out “Hermon Will You Marry Me”. By the time I realized what was going on, I looked over and Byron was on bended knee with an engagement ring. After a few tears I quickly said yes, and realized the people on and across the street yelling and clapping. Oh an not to mention that Byron’s photographer friend was nearby taking pictures of the whole thing. What a great day
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
Approximately a year and it was plenty of time. I would not recommend planning for more than a year.
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
Don’t take things too seriously. At the end of the day you’re marrying the love of your life. Who cares if the flowers aren’t the right shade of pink, or if the up-lights aren’t positioned the exact way you envisioned.
What tips & tricks (can we use “hacks”?) can you share future brides that you yourself have learned during and after your wedding?
Everyone that has had their own wedding has lessons learned from their experience, so leverage your friends and family so you can avoid overspending, over stressing or over analyzing. Oh and ETSY is a god sent.
What were some challenges you faced while planning your wedding & what did you do to address them?
It would difficult incorporating all of the cultural aspects yet making sure it still represented the personalities of us. We made sure to both be very engaged in the planning and making sure we were open to one another’s ideas.
What inspired your wedding décor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
I loved fuscia because the color looked so well on all of the skin tones in our bridal party. And silver just seemed to compliment it so well. We wanted the wedding to feel warm and very family focused.
What was the wedding budget?
Where did you save the most money?
Wedding favors, outside catering, invitations.
What was the biggest expense?
The hotel venue.
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
475 invited and about 430 attended.
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
The traditional wedding songs.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Montego Bay, Jamaica. The RIU Palace.
What are you most excited about for the future?
Starting a family!
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
Stay calm, don’t get too stressed out. It’s an important day, but the fun part is what happens after the wedding
What do you think is the overall story for this album?
It’s a story about family, love and a merging of cultures. It shows two people in love, getting married to their soul mates and best friends.
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
I loved that my wedding dress was not a stark white. The champagne color looked so much better against my skin tone. The guys looked great in the modern looking charcoal gray tuxedos and the fathers looked dashing in the classic black tuxedos.
What was your favorite part of the day?
The moment we said “I Do” and being able to dance and party with all of our friends and family, and showing people all of the culture I grew up with.
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
We had thank you cards at each seat with a few kind words, a list of what was scheduled for the evening, and some baby pictures of us. With the card, was a small handmade African woven basket full of candy that we had shipped from Eritrea.
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
The energy, excitement and happiness throughout the crowd.
What part of the ceremonies do you think was the most memorable for you? Your guests?
The traditional Orthodox ceremony was beautiful. Felt like such an ancient and culture-rich way to get married. I think the guests enjoyed seeing such a well blended wedding. It represented both of our cultures and families.
Photographer: PhotoArt by Lu
Flower: Da Vinchi Florist
Venue: Westfields Marriott
DJ: David DJs
Hair: Yene Damtew Hair Stylist
Make Up: Mua by Fifi
Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: Alvina Valenta