Ceshia and Anthony wanted their wedding to have a contemporary Afro-Centric and Caribbean feel. The theme for the wedding was sparked by a sheet of colorful gift wrap which planner Susan Graham included in an inspiration board she created for the couple. Taking cues from the inspiration paper, they incorporated bright colors into the wedding palette and the couple did a great job of honoring their African-American heritage by incorporating traditions with African meaning.
The bridesmaids wore hand crafted necklaces, bracelets, and earrings (designed and made by the bride) made from antique African beads in the colors from the inspiration paper (beads from www.oldbeads.com).
MORE DETAILS FROM THE BRIDE: My gown was made by Amsale who is a designer orginaly from Ethiopia. The men wore custom designs by Avark, an Afro-centric men’s clothing designer located in Barbados.
Rather than using a flower, planner Susan Graham made the groom’s boutonnière using hand-fired beads from Africa.
FROM THE BRIDE: My earrings and reception headpiece were inspired by traditional African wedding ceremonies where cowrie shells were used. Cowrie shells are believed to encourage fertility in love, life, health and wealth and are used for purification and as a symbol of beauty and power. Some African tribes also adorn their brides with the shells because the groom should hear his future wife coming for him…meaning the clanking of the shells create a loud sound.
FROM THE BRIDE: The African ceremonies we participated in included a Tasting Ceremony and the Jumping Of The Broom. The Yoruba Tasting Ceremony involves tasting four elements which illustrates the experiences that a couple is expected to go through during their marriage. The elements include bitter, sweet, sour and hot. In this ritual water is used to cleanse the palate and represent a way of moving forward. Jumping The Broom is a African tradition that symbolizes the beginning of making a home together and it was very important that we do this as well.
Raffia was used to embellish the wedding stationery and it was also incorporated into the reception as an embellishment on the cake and with the use of oversize raffia fans on the tables.
FAVORITE WEDDING DETAIL: I loved how we used the colors and designs from a gift wrap paper to influence the entire feel of the wedding and reception.
As you can see we tried to incorporate traditional african elements to make a modern African-American wedding. I think we succeeded!
(Photography by Nadia D)
Next, we’ll take a look at some of their stunning portraits….