On a sunny afternoon in September Ife and John said “I do” in a lovely ceremony at The Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley, CA.
The groom wore a pink tux in honor of his mother who died of breast cancer. Their customized ceremony included personal vows written by the couple, poetry by Gibran and culminated in Ife and John jumping the broom.
John is author of the book “The Oop: Simplifying Finance & Economics Through Basketball”, in which the concepts and terminology of basketball are used to impart financial wisdom and literacy. His writing skill was evident in his touching and personal vows to Ife.
Photography: Hannah Costello
Venue: Hummingbird Nest Ranch
Planner: Champion Events Productions
Cake: Frost It Cakery
Floral: Fox Gloves & Folly
Officiant: Rev. Connie Jones-Steward of Officiant Lady.
The dating website Match.com boasts about the high number of marriages between its users. Now it can add Dawn and Mark to that number.
The couple chose to exchange vows at the beautiful Hotel Maya in Long Beach, CA. They chose the location because they loved the gorgeous Spanish theme and the spectacular views of Long Beach Harbor and the city skyline.
If Dawn could sum up her wedding day in three words they would be: amazing, loving and memorable Says Dawn “My big day was exhausting but the excitement of going from Ms. to Mrs was exhilarating. I was filled with love, happiness and joy to share my vows with the man I love in the presence of all our friends and family.”
Many of my wedding couples are older couples or couples who are walking down the aisle for the second (or third) time, so quite often one or both of them has children or grandchildren.
It’s understandable that these children sometimes feel some kind of way about getting a new parent, grandparent or set of siblings to contend with. The couple can start the new family out on a unified footing by including the children in the wedding ceremony. So on this National Sons and Daughters Day, let’s look at how some of my couples have included the kiddos in their wedding ceremonies
- Vermyttya had seven children, aged late teens to toddlers when she married Douglas at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Her oldest daughter was her maid of honor, her youngest children were the ring bearer and flower girls and her middle sons were groomsmen. The ceremony also included a nine person family sand blending as one of their unity rituals.
- When Vilda and Gustavo wed at Friendship Gardens & Japanese Tea Room in Glendale, CA his daughters entered just before Hilda carrying a banner that said “Daddy here comes your bride”. They also had a family sand blending ceremony with sand in each person’s favorite color.
- Right after Israel put the ring on Minata’s finger during their wedding at The Castaways Restuarant in Burbank, CA, he placed a small gold band on her daughter’s finger and promised to always be her dad.
- Nelly’s teenaged son stood beside her as her best man when she exchanged her vows with Yamie in Long Beach, CA.
- Carl and Jackie were grandparents before they rekindled their high school romance and decided to get married. They included their adult children as bridesmaids and groomsmen while their grandchildren took part as flower girls, ring bearers and broom bringers during their wedding at The Newland Barn in Huntington Beach, CA. There were so many tots involved that an adult daughter was appointed the official kid wrangler.
- Last but not least, when my husband and I jumped the broom 11 years ago, his then 10 year old son was the broom bringer. I didn’t have any children but my three nieces served as bridesmaid, gift table monitor and mini-maid. We each had nephews serve as groomsmen.
There are many, many ways to include your children in your wedding ceremony. You could have them render a reading, sing a song or act as a “backup” photographer. Let your imagination along with their talents and interests be your guide.
In 2012 I completed my Masters Thesis on hip hop culture. So it’s a little bit of synchronicity that I now find myself being called on to officiate the weddings of some of the rising stars of the hip hop music world.
In August of 2016 I officiated the marriage of hip hop rapper Tamba Tongu to dancer Sabrina Ratchousky at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica, CA. Sabrina walked down the aisle to a rap song written and performed just for the occassion by Tamba.
In April of 2017, I officiated the marriage of hip hop rapper Douglas Miller to actress Vermyttya Edwards. Douglas is the nephew of rapper Master P and the cousin of Lil’ Romeo.
The Miller’s were married at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in the Korea Town section of Los Angeles. This church has been active since 1888 and holds weekly services in English, Spanish and Korean.
Being the old hip-hop head that I am, I hope to marry more couples like the Tongue and the Miller’s. I just wish that BET had called me about the Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir wedding.