The parents of Ricardo introduces Chelsea on the first date. Talk about pressure, but he made a good impression.
Chelsea recalls: “The nostalgic feeling was the perfect beginning of our relationship. We had brunch at the Four Seasons and we didn’t know we were going to get married in the same place a few years after.”
Their chic, black tie wedding was a fun celebration of Chelsea New Orleans culture, and black excellence. She made sure to hire as many black salesmen as possible, and her front desk was a nonstop party. Everyone was so excited that the guests overworked the dance floor as soon as the newlyweds arrived! After hearing a heartwarming toast and having dinner on fine kitchens, Chelsea and Ricardo had one last surprise for their guests… ON THE SECOND LINE! They brought a taste of New Orleans to Baltimore!
See all the beautiful details below.
Facts at a glance
What gifts did you give your menu and groomsmen: I gave my make-up menu, my clothes and my jewelry. Ricardo applauded over a glass of cognac with his masters.
- Gifts for each other: our wedding rings.
- Ceremony song entrance: Kem, ” I Can’t Stop Loving You”
- First dance song: Ledisi, ” All the Way”
How did you meet?
Facebook. While we both attended the University of Hampton, we did not officially meet until I (Chelsea) contacted Ricardo on Facebook. We were both teachers in the DMV region and I asked Ricardo to have a coffee. Ricardo likes to joke that he knew coffee would not be enough, so he asked if he could rather take me to Sunday brunch. Ricardo was living with my parents at the time and sealed the deal by picking me up and meeting my parents on the first date. The nostalgic trip was the perfect start for our booking. We had brunch at the Four Seasons and we didn’t know we were going to get married in the same place a few years after.
Tell us about the proposal.
Ricardo struck on the sandy beach at sunset of Jamaica. My whole family was in Jamaica to celebrate my father’s 60th birthday. Ricardo and my mother Planned my proposal up to a T! We had just changed as we were preparing for my father’s cocktail hour and started talking to my aunt about how I feared a proposal would come soon. Before I knew it, a videographer began to follow me, and to my surprise Ricardo stood in front of the beach and took my hand. I turned around in a daze to see my family and friends standing behind me, with my future husband on his knees. I never thought in a million years that I would fall in love with the fairy proposal, but I was undeniably swept off my feet.
Describe your wedding style.
Our wedding was the perfect mix of glamour and class as guests were asked to dress in a black tie. My dress, a Pnina Tornai, was a lace beaded Off Shoulder corset silhouette dress with a cathedral-style veil that extended well through my train. Ricky was the perfect match as he wore a midnight blue tuxedo with a gold accent. My Bridal party wore Tailored Blush Boat floor length Dresses. The mistresses of the ceremonies wore transparent burgundy dresses on the floor. Groomsmen dressed in classic black tuxedos. Our parents, grandparents, and God parents dressed in gold with black accent.
What did the wedding shopping experience look like to you?
Upon entering the marriage experience, Ricky and I had pretty clear expectations of what we wanted aesthetically, which made finding suppliers a little easier. My mother and I attended a bridal exhibition in Baltimore and were lucky enough to find not only our wedding planner (DeAnna Jefferson, Alpha 2 Omega Events), but also our photographer and videographer (Garret and Brittney Pitts, Megapixel media). With them, we realized the importance of people in desire whom you can trust and who looked like a family. They set the bar high for what we expect from other suppliers.
What made everything better is the impeccable taste of my mother, without her at every meeting with the sellers … I do not know what I would do. That’s not to say we haven’t quarreled along the way, but the regression is 20/20 indeed, and every bride needs someone by her side to keep her in line and stand up for her along the way. While we have always been close, she became my best friend while planning my wedding and no word could thank her enough for everything she sacrificed to make my dreams a reality. She was not a “saleswoman” in this regard, but she was undeniably the MVP of our team.
We have heavy towards the sellers who have listened. Often you find people trying to tell you that they want you to want. It is important for you to find the vendors who will support your ideas and concretize what exactly is what the Four Seasons Baltimore and our suppliers of flowers and events (Victoria Clausen Floral Events) have. I wanted to feel like myself throughout the process and have a team that respected the world. The glitz and glam was important, but not as important as I feel like my authentic self walking down the aisle. Even up to my makeup team (@SharonReneeMUA, @ mercedes_facethebeat), I enjoyed them putting my desires first. I kept saying to Sharon, ” I want to look like me.”As sweet as it may sound, it’s easy to get lost in all the hype of marriage and get lost along the way. Having a team that knows you and who is in your corner is the most important thing as you approach your special day.
Have you integrated a culture into your marriage?
Although I naturally have a biased opinion, I felt that our marriage illustrated black excellence. From our violinist (JenViolin) to our DJ (DrJuanksi) to the aforementioned photog, Wedding Planner and MUA’s, we wanted to hire as many black companies as possible.
When we went to Four Seasons, I immediately mentioned the lack of representation of people of color in their supplier list and advertising. It was important to us to create transparency and create connections between our suppliers and a big name like the Four Seasons.
What is your best memory of your wedding?
Our best memory has a lot to do with culture. My dad’s side is New Orleans, and at the top of my list was making sure we had a second line. The second line was brought to New Orleans by interview: “Africans and became a ritual for blacks in America for various processions. Since I was the youngest in my family, I sat down for a long time and watched in admiration as my big cousins led their second line, dreaming of the day when it would be my turn. Having that moment at my own wedding meant the world to me. That was really the time when our families became one. Ricardo’s family is from Baltimore and I will always remember the moment when his family came to my family to shower us with love while we danced around the room with umbrellas and white towels.
The first dance of my father and me will be a moment that I will cherish all my life. The mother-daughter duo Adrian and Kayla Diggs (@itz_a_vibe365) choreographed the perfect dance for my dad and me to share. Since birth I was a daughter of dad and it was important to have a moment that he and I could share on the day of our wedding. We started classy with “Unforgettable” by Nate King and Natalie Cole, and we broke that down into 24K magic with our shades. It was a moment that will forever remind me of the connection we share.
What is the best wedding tip you can give to engaged couples?
If you’re lucky, marry your best friend. So, first of all, remember. When all the dust has fallen back, when all the glitter and glam has been put back on the truck, when your wedding dress stays in your pocket for months…They have each other. Everything else is relative and is really temporary. Then give yourself grace, forgive and listen first … because in the end they have each other.