In an almost prophetic occurrence of events, Renise and Stephen were introduced at the wedding of mutual friends, where they were partnered to walk out together as part of the ceremony.
It wouldn’t be long before they were repeating the same steps but this time towards each other and their own union as husband and wife. It was during a romantic Italian restaurant dinner in Harlem, celebrating Renise’s birthday, when Stephen took the first step towards that future by getting down on one knee and asking Renise for her hand in marriage. They celebrated their union in a charming chapel wedding in New Jersey – featuring Makeup Artistry by MunaLuchi Coterie member Joy the MUA. Read all about their love story and wedding experiences.
Bride & Groom: Renise & Stephen
Occupations: Critical Care & Construction
Wedding Date: August 21, 2019
Wedding Location: Park Chateau Estate and Gardens in East Brunswick, New Jersey
How did you meet? We met two years ago at a bridal party meet and greet for two of our best friend’s wedding. We were both at the wedding and were actually partnered up to walk together.
Tell us about the proposal. Stephen proposed on my birthday in a beautiful dainty Italian restaurant in Harlem, New York. He had everyone involved and had the waiter film the entire thing. He got on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I started to cry and barely was able to say yes but of course, I did. We embraced, everyone clapped with joy, and the restaurant manager sent over a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Stephen is very shy and an introvert so this was very special that he proposed in a crowded restaurant in New York.
What was the wedding shopping experience like for you? My wedding dress and Stephen’s suit were both French-inspired. My gown had beautiful lace details all throughout. I wore a beautiful lace cathedral veil to accompany this as well. I knew right away that my wedding dress was the one. Although, my friends and family wanted me to continue to look, just like Stephen and I; it was love at first sight.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? I am Haitian so we had to incorporate our Haitian flag in the festivities. Stephen and I, as well as the bridal party, while being introduced to the wedding reception, came in carrying the Haitian Flag dancing. We also made sure that our wedding gave honor to God who was the center of it all for us. We had scripture readings in French which is my first language. We had a very spiritual ceremony from worship prior to the ceremony, a praise dancer, the lighting of the unity candle, and first communion as husband and wife.
Wedding Party Gifts: My bridesmaids received a personalized wine tumbler, personalized robes, and jewelry for the wedding day. Stephen’s groomsmen received a shot glass, bottle opener, and personalized bag. We also provided personalized robes and jewelry to our flower girls and personalized toy cars and shirts to our ring bearer and ring security.
Gifts for Each Other: Stephen brought me a beautiful diamond tennis bracelet which I wore as something new on the day of the wedding. I gave Stephen a pair of Louboutin shoes to match my Louboutin shoes that I was wearing on the wedding day and he wore the shoes on the day of the wedding.
Ceremony Entrance Song: “When God Made You” by NewSong & Natalie Grant.
First Dance Song: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Our first kiss and our first dance as husband and wife would be my best memories. Both were epic and a once in a lifetime feeling that will be with us forever.
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? My best advice would be to remember why you are getting married in the first place. Don’t let all the glamour, planning, and festivities overshadow the love you both have for each other. Continue to do heart-checks and refocus the attention back on each other and the relationship throughout the planning process.
Venue: Park Chateau
Ceremony: Park Chateau Chapel
Florist: Crest Florists
Bridal Dress Shop: L&H Bridal
Dress Designer: Eve of Milady
Lighting & Sparklers: Elite sound Entertainment
Bride Makeup: Joy the MUA
Bridal Party Makeup Artist: Joy the MUA & MsArtistry
Planner Coordinator: Jennifer Barnes
Photography: Ryan Eda Photography
Cake Artist: Palermo Bakery
Decor Rentals: Rent4parties
Videography: Kaan Tulgar
DJ: DJ Smoy
Bookworm with degrees in English, Psychology, and Fine Art. Interests include cycling, rock climbing, hiking, Tabla, Violin, hoarding books, and poorly identifying birds.