Shayna and Christian exchanged poetic, brilliant, and beautiful vows in the backyard of their home last Sunday. The weather was perfect for an early fall wedding. The seasonal bundles of flowers all around the yard, paired with the stunning floral arrangements for the bouquet and boutonniere, tied this intimate fall wedding together so nicely. There were so many creative and personal touches that made their little backyard in Cambridge, MA, into something really special. There were antique pieces of furniture, with pops of color, and twinkle lights that transformed their garage. Their garage is very special since it is utilized for a home-school co-op space, called Blackyard Learning Community, with their housemate Ashley (Read more about it in The New York Times ).
Shayna and Christian are such thoughtful, loving, compassionate, individuals who operate out of humility and grace. Their love has been founded upon community organizing and their commitment to Black liberation. It did not surprise me that their home would be utilized to help educate and empower, Black and multiracial families.
Despite wanting more of their village around them, they were surrounded by immediate family and a handful of close friends, who were all genuinely there as a huge support. There were however many who watched and attended via zoom. The bond that Christian and Shayna each have with their parents is so beautiful. There was no doubt that they were raised by amazing parents, especially by the way they both operate with such love and intention.
Their wedding day started with them getting ready on separate floors, putting on the attire that neither one of them as seen yet. Shayna’s curls looked amazing, with her makeup done beautifully as well. Their parents helped them both with their finishing touches until we headed out to do their first-look at Middlesex Pond. The nerves and excitement were real, but when they saw one another, it was like a weight had been lifted. It was the sweetest to hear them notice all of the details and hype one another up. Christian’s face was priceless as his jaw dropped to the ground with how stunning she looked. They effortlessly killed their portraits together until it was time for us to head back home to their wedding ceremony!
Their wedding ceremony was held in the backyard and it was one of the most intentional and beautiful ceremonies. There was an offering of gratitude, Pouring of Libations, a charge to the Couple, I do’s, commitment to community, washing of hands, while Ashley (their housemate) sang a song. They exchanged beautiful personal vows, rings, and they jumped the broom! And of course, they danced up the aisle during the recession, while saying hello to those on zoom.
They danced and sang their First Dance together, followed by cutting their beautiful cake. There were many heartfelt speeches given by their close friends and family. So many laughs and tears shared with everyone, it was overwhelming to be around so much genuine love. Everyone was also able to take home the amazing, narrative cuisine, Tanam, which was impeccable. Then the night ended with a fun, lavender send off!
Shayna and Christian may not have had their wedding at their original size or location, but it surely was one of the sweetest and most unforgettable weddings. They were fully themselves, showed their creativity, supported vendors they love and business owners they know, and made sure that everyone there felt seen, appreciated, and loved. Their love is such a genuine, special love that you admire; it makes you want to love those around you that much harder.
In love with her laced dress!
Putting on her finishing touches!
Christian looked so sharp in blue.
Christian and his dad together are so special.
Then it was time for their First Look, down by the water at Middlesex Fells. It’s always the best part when they get to see one another for the first time, all dressed up.
His wide-eyed, jaw-dropping reaction was priceless!
This is so them!
Then we went back to their home, captured a few more moments together before it was time for their ceremony to begin.
Wow, just wow.
All of the creative touches and pieces came together so nicely.
So many special details to honor their loved ones that are no longer with them.
Their reactions seeing one another just make you melt.
The pouring of libations.
Their vows were so incredibly beautiful.
They were emotional, to say the least, but truly a testament of walking through some hard times together very tenderly.
Their housemate, Ashley, sang so beautifully during their hand-washing.
The part we all wait for!!!
And they jumped the broom!
And the smiles that everyone should have after walking up the aisle as Mr. and Mrs.!
Their amazing parents, who could not have been more proud.
The night came quickly, and the string lights brought in such a sweet ambiance.
First Dance as Mr. and Mrs.
Love that their favorite quote was written on the chalk board for everyone to see.
These speeches were so beautiful and heartfelt. Everyone couldn’t have enough amazing things to say about them.
In love with this cake design. So beautiful!
Shayna and Christian,
Thank you so much for allowing me to be apart of such a beautiful celebration of your love. I truly am so honored to have been apart! I am so grateful that our paths have crossed years ago, Shayna, and now I was able to witness this amazing season in your life as you did in mine. Thank you, thank you, for being so wonderful! I am so excited to see all that God does in and through your beautiful lives now, fully together as ‘One.’ I could not be happier for you two!!!