Shortly after getting engaged, Matthew and Shakirah decided they would have a destination wedding, and they did it in grand style.
Shakirah shares: “Rather than following the traditional route, we wanted our bridal experience to feel like a big family trip. We put together a list of 20 of our closest friends and family members and invited them to join us in Chianti for a wedding weekend with all expenses covered.”
Guests arrived to welcome boxes filled with authentic Italian treats, including a bottle of Limoncello, biscotti, and a bottle of wine, and prepared for a weekend filled with delicious Italian food, dancing, memories, and sightseeing.
The wedding day was foggy, romantic, and filled with touching moments. Shakirah gegenenfälle so-called: “Our little wedding ceremony (I believe today’s term is micro-wedding) was officiated by Matthew’s father, making the day even more special. After the ceremony, we held a cocktail on the terrace followed by a three-course dinner, then danced in the lobby of the estate.”
It was a beautiful celebration of love and family with views of the beautiful landscape of Tuscany. See full details and learn more about Matthew and Shakirah’s love story below.
What gifts did you give to your menu and groomsmen: the groomsmen were leather toiletry kits and antique watches. My menu were gifted with earrings and monogrammed pyjama-shirts shipped from Australia. We also paid all the travel expenses of our wedding party and their spouses and other important people in Italy (accommodation, transport and food during the wedding weekend).
- Gifts for each other, I gave Matthew 24K gold-Star-Wars cufflinks; Matthew gave me a Gucci bag I wanted. We also wrote deeply personal letters to each other to read before the ceremony.
- Ceremonial entrance song: for Matthew and the groomsmen “Whenever,
- Wherever Wherever” by Maxwell. For Shakirah “Angel” by Anita Baker sung by a soloist.
- First dance song: A Rendition of Bob Marley’s ” is This Love”
How did you meet?
Matthew and I started as friends through mutual friends. We joined a racing team together and allowed our friendship to become a real attraction, respect, admiration and love.
Describe your wedding style.
My wedding dress was absolutely the dress. I tried on at least 30 dresses between dress purchases in DC and North Carolina. I wanted something bride without feeling overdone.
As an “older” bride getting married for the second time, I wanted my dress to be elegant, elegant and timeless. Looking at the inspiration, I was attracted to dresses made of lace and with subtle details. The dress I was was an essence of Australia, mermaid dress with a deeper neckline and open back. It was very supernatural. I knew this was the one where it had all the elements I knew I would feel sexy and empowered to wear: lace, buttons, and an eye-catching train.
During drinks and dancing, I changed into a fitted navy sequined cocktail dress with a high slit.
Matthew and his groomsmen used the Black Tuxedo. The groomsmen wore a semi-traditional black tuxedo (scarf collar) while Matthew opted for a midnight blue scarf and traditional tuxedo pants. All the men had matching wine-colored braces to bring everything together.
Have you built a culture in your marriage?
My family is Indo and Afro-Jamaican, so we have incorporated a lot of reggae and soca into our wedding activities as well as special recognition to our ancestors.
Before getting married in Italy, Matthew and I had a very private lawful ceremony in the state. During this private ceremony, we jumped the broom in honor of Matthew’s Black American heritage.
What is your best memory of your wedding?
One of my favorite moments during the wedding dinner was when Matthew gave year impromptu toast in my honor. He shared, with tenderness and transparency, how he had struggled with get down, until he Met me and finally understood the concept of joy when he found me and that in a way I helped save his life. It was completely unexpected and the first time he shared this story with anyone other than me. Even his parents did not know how dark this period of his life had been. His words were not just a gift to me. Matthew sharing his story helped many others find hope. I will cherish this moment forever. So, the fact that Matthew’s father officiated our wedding was the best gift we could have given.
What is the best marriage advice you can give to engaged couples?
The first advice we would give to engaged couples is to keep everything in perspective. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Wedding should be the goal of the bride and the future groom. Remember to keep the upcoming wedding in mind.
The second advice we would give to the bride and groom is to trust the expertise of their wedding partners (vendors). As someone who works in a customer service agency, I know how important it is to have the trust of our customers and the freedom to be creative. Your wedding vendors are here to help. You need to give them creative license to exceed your expectations. If you are not satisfied with a recommendation, share your feedback openly and respectfully. Specify your priorities. Let them do a great job for you. Count on them as much as possible.