Favorite item on the wedding menu: The chef did an awesome job with our menu and the chicken and salmon were awesome, but I think the salad with the Asian pears and balsamic vinaigrette was amazing!
Bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts: The bridesmaids and MOHs received their wedding day jewelry accessories. The maids of honor also received a few extra special gifts. The groomsmen and dads received cuff links, ties, and socks all to match their suits.
First dance song: Always and Forever by Heatwave
Honeymoon Destination: Maldives
Venue: Sheraton Dallas DFW
Photographer: Donnell Perry Photography
Wedding Planner: Elana Walker Events
Entertainment: PTP Entertainment
Videographer: Teshorn Jackson Photography
Florals: Haute Floral
Please share your engagement story and how you met? We actually came across each other on Facebook because of a mutual friend we had. That was back in 2007! For 6 years we would share random messages between each other every blue moon or so. We were both living in Chicago at the same time at one point and Leo tried to set up a lunch date. I accepted at first, then changed my mind because I was still very apprehensive about meeting someone off the internet. Our back and forth messages picked up a little around 2012 when I posted a cake I made from scratch on Facebook. I didn’t know it at the time, but Leo is a true cake monster! I’m pretty sure it was love at first sight with him and that cake 🙂 He tried pretty hard to get me to ship him a cake while he was stationed in Afghanistan!
Fast forward a few years, Leo was stationed in Ft. Campbell, TN and I was living in St. Louis, MO. One of his Army buddies was from St. Louis so they both were coming to St. Louis for the weekend. Leo tried to meet up again, and again I said ok–initially. But AGAIN, I changed my mind at the last minute and backed out. It wasn’t until 2013 that we actually met and had our first date.
Where was your first date? What did you do? Our first date was pretty much about 6 years in the making! After several phone conversations, we decided (and I agreed without changing my mind!) that we should meet up. Ft. Campbell and St. Louis are about 3 hours away so Leo got a weekend pass and rented a room at a hotel. We agreed to go to a movie theatre that also served dinner and had a bar. I showed up after Leo, and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw! He was handsome, dressed nice, and his clothes actually FIT him! We were early so we had a drink at the bar. I teased him at the bar (and to this day) because I felt like he was being so mean to the bar tender and made the poor guy nervous! Once the movie was over we went our separate ways but had breakfast at Cracker Barrel the next morning before he got back on the road. After that, we kept in touch and here we are today!
How about your wedding shoes and jewelry? I made picking out wedding shoes more difficult than it probably needed to be! At first I wanted something really fancy, then I became more practical and decided to get something that I would want to wear once the wedding was over. I decided on a pair of Jessica Simpson d’Orsay gold sparkly heels that went perfect with my dress and our wedding colors (navy, gold, and blush pink). But since I have almost no arch in my feet I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear them all day. As my party shoes, I picked out some fabulous open toe flats from INC with lots of bling! My mom gave me my jewelry which was a gorgeous pearl necklace with matching earrings.
Describe your wedding dress style? I had an ivory colored mermaid style gown with a sweetheart neckline, sequins, a long train, and buttons going all the way down the back. I couldn’t decide between a French and American bustle so the seamstress combined both and it turned out great!
Tell us about your bridesmaids? My bridesmaids were 2 of my cousins that I’m very close to and a friend from college. I have 2 very good friends in my life and I wanted them both to be my maids of honor. One has been my friend since 9th grade (her and I debate about whether it was 8th or 9th grade to this day!) and the other friend I’ve known since college.
Tell us about his groomsmen? Leo and his best man share the same first name and have been good friends since college. He had 3 groomsmen: 2 of them are his Army buddies and 1 is a good friend of his he met at his job here in Texas.
Tell us about your flowers? I love flowers so in my mind there is no such thing as too many! I carried a simple, modern bouquet with different types of white colored roses and had my bridesmaids carry bouquets with shots of blush pink flowers. We also pinned flowers on all the parents, grandparents, and men in the wedding to match. As much as I love flowers and can’t get enough of them, I didn’t want to overwhelm people at our reception. Some tables had larger more elaborate centerpeices while others were smaller and more simple.
Was there any particular theme or style for your wedding? Leo and I love to travel and take selfies at our different locations, so we had a travel themed wedding. We had a photo booth which was also our guestbook, our cake topper was a couple holding a picture frame in a selfie-esque manner, our card and advice boxes were trunks with old world maps on them, and our wedding favors were bottles of water with old world map labels that had our names and wedding date on them (we try to drink lots of water when we travel since we tend to do A LOT of walking!). The bottled water had small bags of candy attached that said “you mean the world to us”. We didn’t want to overdo it with the travel theme, so we found small but creative ways to incorporate it into our wedding.
What’s your favorite image from your wedding day, and why? My favorite image is Leo and I walking out of the ceremony space together. We are genuinely happy and in love with each other and that picture shows it!
The Grand Entrance. Introducing Mr & Mrs. Spicer!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day? I think I can speak for everyone when I say my favorite part of the day was when my dad rapped! I never knew exactly what he was planning on doing, but he kept telling me weeks before our wedding that I would either love what he was going to do or hate it so that made me nervous! He gave a very beautiful and meaningful speech beforehand that he didn’t write down, rehearse, or anything so that part meant a lot to me, too. Never in a million years would I have thought my dad would get up there and rap, but it was great and we all loved it–my aunt even put it on YouTube! Almost a month later, people are still talking about how much they enjoyed his performance.
The reactions from Markita & Leonard on her Dad’s rapping moment was priceless!
And your beautiful cake? Along with the traditional wedding cake, we also had a groom’s cake–which I never heard of until we moved to Texas! For the wedding cake, the icing was blush pink and had gold ribbon going around the different layers while the actual cake layers were colored navy blue and blush pink and had different flavors.
Tell us about your wedding photography experience with Donnell Perry Photography? I can’t say enough about how great Donnell is! As much as I’ve always despised taking pictures, I knew having a fantastic photographer was VERY important. This is a one-time thing and the pictures are one of the most important aspects of the day. I couldn’t have asked for a better photographer! Donnell took so many beautiful pictures. One of the things I love most about the pictures is all the genuine and beautiful smiles he captured! Every time I look at the pictures (which is a lot) I feel like I’m reliving the whole day all over again and I love it. I’m still receiving compliments from my guests about Donnell’s professionalism and I completely agree with them. Not only was he great at our wedding, but he was great in the months leading up to. As an out-of-state bride, communication is everything to me and it was so easy getting in touch with Donnell. The FaceTime chats were great and he always responded to my e-mails very quickly.
Tell us about your wedding planning experience with Elana Walker Events? I never realized how important a planner was until I spoke with Elana. I thought a year would be plenty of time to plan a wedding and make sure it’s perfect, but our wedding day would have been nothing without Elana! She thinks of every single detail that I never would have thought of on my own. Again, as an out-of-state bride, communication with Elana was super important and she couldn’t have possibly made herself any more available than she did. Although we were in different states, she was here with us for the more important things. And if she wasn’t physically here, FaceTime made sure she didn’t miss a thing 🙂 She’s also quick to respond to emails, phone calls, and texts. I felt so comfortable talking to Elana and she always had an answer to my questions. Just like Donnell, I’m still getting compliments from my guests about her professionalism as well!
Any advice for future brides? Wedding planning can be stressful at times, but please just enjoy the day! I know it’s been said time and time again, but it’s very true. The entire day will fly by, so live it up!
Any advice for future grooms? Stay the course! There are times when wedding planning will drag on and seem like an endless task. Just stay the course and be the voice of reason for your bride and you will be all good.
What are your favorite things to do together? We love to check out a lot of different restaurants here in Texas. As a side note, I like to check out all the different wines in these restaurants 🙂
Any funny stories about yourselves? Some of my family members took a summer vacation to Myrtle Beach one year and Leo and I decided to join them. My niece and nephew were there, 6 and 5 at the time. We were all at the beach and I asked my niece and nephew about something they had and they said they got it from Uncle Bob. There is no Uncle Bob in my family so I was concerned and confused. I asked them who is this Uncle Bob and they both pointed to Leo. I turned around and Leo was laughing pretty hard since he heard our entire conversation. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still has them calling him Uncle Bob today.
Do you have everything in common or do you have things that you can’t agree on but poke fun about? Interestingly enough, we don’t have very many things in common! It works out great in the kitchen since we don’t have to worry about the other person stealing our snacks 🙂 I can get anxious and flustered pretty easily, while he’s always very mellow and calm. We truly are each other’s yin and yang, and I joke and say it will make for a very interesting marriage.
Question for the GROOM: What things do you love the most about her? Her ability to compromise, her willingness to put “us” before “I” and her loyalty. It has been very reassuring to meet a woman in this day and age of the “individual” that still has these “old school” qualities that made marriages last a lifetime in our grandparents’ generations.
Question for the BRIDE: What things do you love the most about him? As much as I tease him about how “mean” he can be to others sometimes, I actually really admire that about him. He’s not mean at all; he’s assertive, firm in his choices, not afraid to speak up, and actually gets things done. In a world where it’s the norm for people to just talk about doing/changing things, he actually does them. I joke with him and tell him that’s what will make him a great president in the future. I also love how motivating and patient he is with me. I’ve been known to go back and forth with decisions but no matter how frustrated or exhausted he may get as a result, he never lets it show and always supports me. He lets me come to my own decision about things, even if it takes 6 years 🙂
This Jewish wedding wouldn’t be complete unless it ended with the Hora, also known as the chair dance. Congratulations Markita & Leonard!