On October 25th, I married the love of my life. We exchanged vows at Cuvier Park as known as the wedding bowl in La Jolla, CA. Immediately after the ceremony we had our reception at The Cuvier Club about 2 blocks away. The decor, the dress, the venue-everything came together perfectly. I’m just so grateful for my pandemic wedding day to have gone exactly how I imagined the most perfect wedding day in my head. Even with the few hiccups everything was perfect. The both of us had the time of our lives which is the most important detail when planning a wedding.

Redd fashionably came down the aisle to “24 Karats” by Bruno Mars. While I walked arm and arm with both my dads as our friend sung “For you I will” by Monica. Our youngest son stole our thunder as ring bearer in his cute 3 piece suit. Of course, I tried to upstage Redd with my vows. I just wanted him to know how much his love means to me. We then said I do with the beach in the background (one of the grooms request) and sealed it with a kiss. Afterward, we jumped the broom in honor of our ancestors.

Our hashtag

Hashtags are fun. It’s a great way of being able to see all your pictures your guest took on social media. We originally were suggested #martindowntheaisle which was a play on me becoming a martin. I thought it was cute but later we changed it to #stillmartindown the aisle when we decided to keep our original wedding date amid a global pandemic. It represented that our love was not cancelled and that no matter how big or small, because life is short we were going to get married anyways. I know a few brides that changed their dates but all I kept thinking is how much uncertainty there is in the world today and what if next year was worst. You just never know.

I don’t regret a single penny spent.

To have been able to celebrate and enjoy the best day ever with friends and family who love Greg and I, despite there being a pandemic, was the best feeling in the world. I promised in 2020 I’d be a Covid bride or die! I refused to give up my wedding date and I am so glad I persisted. There were times I wanted to ugly cry and give up but I figured everything out. I made sure I fought for every detail big and small so that our day would be even more special to us. All the arguments Greg and I had over the entire wedding process sucked but even he admitted the next day was entirely worth seeing everyone we love be present for our holy matrimony. At the end of the day the money didn’t matter because the memories we made would last a lifetime and that was priceless.

Good luck

The whole week I knew that there would be a 30% chance of rain on our wedding day but I remained calm. I am not a calm person but for some reason I just felt like everything would be fine by the time of the actual ceremony. When I woke up and I saw that it was starting to rain the morning of our wedding I just prayed to stay calm. Little did I know rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck. They say that if rains on the day you tie the knot your marriage will last. Hindus believe that when a knot is wet it’s harder to unravel which is why they believe your marriage will be hard to unravel too. So with that being said we are quarantined for life. Ain’t no breaking us apart.

I love the fact that rain actually signifies everything thing I hope for. I didn’t have a back up plan if it rained so I’m glad that the rain stopped just in time so I could enjoy my ceremony without umbrellas or a last minute venue change. I really wanted my outside wedding and I got it. It’s crazy because the minute we said I do it started sprinkling. It was as if God smiled on me in perfect timing. They say he always come right on time and that day he did just that. He made sure that I had the most perfect day ever. So many of our guests have called and raved about how much fun they had, how great the food was and how beautiful the venue looked.

Meanwhile, I’m just happy we have each other for the rest of our lives and that the our beginning of our forever was so beautiful. I think just about everyone cried happy tears because to become one in flesh is the epitome of happiness. It’s a miracle. To find love and friendship in one person is rare and because of this I think just about everyone loves to see love or to be in love. It truly is a blessing that I thank the universe for every single day.

Having a wedding was important because I wanted to show my children what a strong family unit we have and how much love their dad and I have for each other, and especially for them. I feel like often times black love isn’t celebrated enough and to me it’s important. To often families get together when someone passes or someone’s in trouble and I wanted to change that narrative. Going to the courthouse isn’t in me. Not knocking anyone who did but I wouldn’t have been satisfied with a courthouse wedding I wanted the whole pageantry of a wedding and I’m glad I got it.

My I do Crew

So many people told me not to have a huge bridal party but I didn’t listen. From the minute I got engaged I knew my sisters would be my bridesmaids. I have 3 half sisters and 1 step sisters. Then, I couldn’t imagine getting married without my close friends by my side and I have 4 good friends I speak with regularly if not everyday. That brought it up to 8. My step sister bowed out as soon as the pandemic hit and a friend I asked to be a bridesmaid who ended up not being a good fit removed herself from my bridal party. I choose people I knew who not only would love to be bridesmaids but would help execute my vision for the day.

Cuvier Park

I saw this location on Instagram and immediately became fixated on it. I always told myself if I got married this is where I’d get married because I knew Redd wanted to get married on the beach but I am not about that sand life so this would be the perfect compromise. I’m also a Cali girl though and through so I wanted a location that represented that.

The view of the beach here is beautiful and I felt like if I moved anywhere in the world you would know that my pictures were taken in California and that meant a lot to me. I always liked that fact that I could always come back and visit the site where I got married and possibly have a romantic picnic, just enjoy the sunset every year or even see another couple in love get married in that exact same spot.

Cuvier Club

La Jolla, California is a sea side community know for is being one of the most popular beach destinations with amazing views of the coastline. I For the location and the price nobody could even come close to beating the Cuvier club. I really wanted delicious food and found tons of excellent reviews about the Abby Catering. I specifically worked with their company to create the most magical day with Jack and his team. They gave me an event captain Petr who was super thorough and coordinated all the staff who worked the wedding. They also, provided the tables, linens, chairs, love Marquette sign, up lights, and photo booth.

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They gave us a special discount for choosing the Abby Catering Company which was nice. Wedding are pricey so anywhere we could get a price break we did. From all the YouTube videos I watched one of the number things I took away from brides before me is that the more inclusive your venue the less stress you experience on your wedding day. I’m a self proclaimed DIYer but I opted to not take on so many projects so that I could have time to enjoy as much as I could of my wedding. You most definitely get what you pay for so I let the experts handle major parts of the wedding.

Bridal suite

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Getting ready at my phenomenal bridal suite definitely set the mood for the day. They definitely helped us create a vibe. The bridal suite at the Cuvier Club is not only beautiful but spacious. It accommodate my 7 bridesmaids, hairstylist and makeup artist comfortably. There was 3 different dressing corners to get dressed. Before the wedding we played music, sipped champagne and took way to many pictures of our fabulousness.

The menu

Together Redd and I chose 4 appetizers and 2 specialty cocktails for cocktail hour. For dinner we went with a dual entree of fried tilapia and chicken Marsala. I am huge food critic and they executed the food marvelously. I had guest tell me that our food was the best wedding food they ever had and that speaks volumes on how good the food was. They even accommodated our vegan guest and our picky guests.

I was nervous about being able to dance and socialize but they assured me that my party just had to follow restaurant rules and have their masks on while dancing next to their table. Which meant we could still enjoy the cha cha slide. For me that’s all I wanted was to celebrate but keep it safe. In order to do that, there would be no buffet and the waiters would serve everything. I honestly didn’t mind the restriction because they were reasonable and neither did my guest.

We all made the best out of the circumstance and coordinated our outfits which masks to match. We served macaroons, cupcakes and donuts for dessert to our guest instead of the cake we cut with our masks off to prevent the possibility of spreading Covid. We offered plenty of hand sanitizer and had custom made signs stress the importance of not spreading germs.

The dress

I didn’t spend very much on my dress. I’m a firm believer in clothes don’t make you you make the clothes so although I was gifted my dress by my mom I didn’t break the bank on this item. I knew due to my height and body shape I couldn’t wear a big poofy dress or it’d look like a cupcake. I figured something simple and form fitted would be cute on me. I actually was inspired by Justin Bieber’s wife Haileys wedding dress. I loved her long sleeve off the shoulders dress. I wanted that same shape.

I found my dress on AN luxe label for way less. AN is a dress company out in Australia that makes formal dresses as well as wedding dresses. They even offer Sezzle a affordable way to get the dress you want and pay the rest later in four equal payments. My dress isn’t a wedding dress but it worked well as one. I fell in love with it because I love a sexy back and of course anything with sparkles. It was sequence from head to toe and hugged my body in all the right places.

I worked my second look.

Why not be extra af and sparkle in a intricate diamond and pearl bedded dress. After all, you only get married once. I just couldn’t resist getting a party dress to dance in. I almost wasn’t going to get a 2nd dress until I found my dress during my bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas. I opted to go with a shorter dress because I didn’t want people stepping on my dress and ruining it. Plus, I wanted something I could twerk in. When I saw my dress I knew it’d be perfect for making a statement and for being able to dance the night away in.

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Happy ever Martin

From the ceremony to cocktail hour and the reception I received so many compliments. My day of Coordinator was heaven sent. She made sure everything went smoothly. She did a fantastic job. She kept my bridal party on schedule, she had the DJ on point and relieved me of any chaos behind the scenes. I can’t thank her enough. If you can’t afford a wedding planner at least get you a day of coordinator. I chose the only friend I knew who could handle such a huge task and I’m so glad I did.

The people who attended our wedding were suppose to be there. They were who we were suppose to be surrounded by. I wouldn’t change a thing. We know who has our best interest at heart and we are happy to share our lives with those who value and support us. We appreciated every congratulations and every gift. Now to kill this wifeyhood and continue building our empire together for our family.

#Coronabride

#Bestdayever

#stillMartindowntheaisle

#ringfingerwheretherockis

#covidwedding

#Lajollawedding

#Blacklove