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Venue: Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, Maryland
Steven and I are actually an internet romance. He's from Canton, Ohio, and I'm originally from Baltimore. We were both living in Atlanta at the time, and we connected online through a cooking questionnaire. He challenged me — and I enjoyed that. I told him my favorite dish. Honestly, he wasn't really my type at first. But he was funny and candid, and we finally met in March of 2005 in an Atlanta grocery store, which seemed like a safe place to meet an internet match for the first time. He was a recent transplant to Atlanta and he wanted me to show him around. We went out a few times, and I even took him to some nice clothing stores to let him peruse the offerings and to get a sense for his style. I wasn't feeling him as a romantic interest — he was too laid back and too debonair for me.
Still, by the end of July 2005, we were dating exclusively, and we were engaged in December of 2006. We got married at the Cylburn Arboretum, which was a place that a wealthy gentleman built for his mother on 250 acres during Civil War times. Many people don't even know it's there. My cousin, a prop stylist, found it for us. It was beautiful in March when we scouted it out, and even better in May when the weather was nicer.
The wedding was a lot of fun, with my family contributing a good deal of entertaining and musical moments. My brother and uncle did an impromptu version of "Ribbon in the Sky" by Stevie Wonder. They are really good at doing things off the cuff. My brother, the comedian that he is, also added his own little rendition. He ad-libbed and drew the song out to buy us some time for the next part of the ceremony.
Our best man lost his ascot the day of the wedding. He did however, produce a profound speech, and then immediately broke down and sang a song from Jodeci. His girlfriend got up and did a rendition of "My Funny Valentine." There was also a toast that was so funny that I almost lost my dinner over it.
Our photographers were unbelievably helpful. From getting me out of the car with my five-ton makeup case to helping arrange chairs, they lent a hand whenever they were needed and I was very pleasantly surprised. It wasn't like they were just photographers. I explained to them the style and they just went with it — everything turned out beautifully, exactly how I envisioned it. Our pictures were gorgeous, and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
We really had a blast, without a great deal of pomp and circumstance. We just wanted to kick off our shoes and have fun.
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