Joan and Richard’s love story started five years ago, and this April it was time for them to tie the knot! Their wedding at the Lake Mary Event Center beautifully reflected their heritages – bits of African culture was incorporated into the ceremony, and Haitian culture included in the reception.
Bright purples and blues stood out in the bridesmaid dresses, florals, and reception decor – plenty of color to catch your eye! Joan looked stunning in her fitted wedding dress, which created a gorgeous silhouette. Lake Mary Event Center’s giant windows splashed tons of outdoor light into the ceremony room as she walked down the aisle to meet her groom. Their portraits are adorable – we love the face Joan is giving the camera as Richard gives her a kiss!
After the ceremony, guests were offered delicious comfort foods and Kremas, a popular Haitian drink. Joan and Richard’s wedding cake was full of pretty details, finished off with a bow and a topper that read “Meet the Conleys.” And you can get to know the Conleys – find out more about their special day from the bride herself below!
From the Bride, Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? My husband is African American and I am Haitian American so we had so much fun incorporating both our cultures into the entire wedding festivities. At the ceremony, we opted from the traditional sand ceremony and performed a Love Letter Wine ceremony instead, which we wrote love letters to each other and placed them in a wine box so that we can open, read the letters and toast to many more years at our one-year anniversary. Additionally, we jumped the broom, which is a traditional African American ritual that symbolizes a blessed ceremonial uniting. Finally, we incorporated the Haitian culture in our wedding day by having our entertainment open up the dance floor with Haitian Kompa music and providing “Kremas” (popular Haitian Liquor/Drink) as our wedding favors to our guests.
From the Bride, What is your best memory from your wedding?
This is a tough question – especially to pick just one as we have so many great memories on our wedding day. Our ceremony was romantic, full of love as we recited our personal vows to each other, as it was a special moment for the both of us. At the entrance to our reception, we were introduced as husband and wife for the 2nd time and came in the ballroom to the popular Dade County native, Trick Daddy’, “Can’t Mess with the South,” which had the crowd on their feet screaming. In addition, Rich and I had a very special dance we choreographed, Michael Jackson’s, The Way You Make Me Feel. We had so much fun rehearing this dance and I believe it brought us so much closer during the process. We wanted the night to be a personal experience for us as well as our guests.
From the Bride: What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? The best advice we can give to engaged couples is to be really prepared for the step you are about to take. Always put God first in all your decisions throughout the entire process because it can get tough in the midst of planning. Take time to think about what you both want for your wedding and for your future together. Plan extra extra early even if it takes you more than a year… have a blast- the night will fly by so quickly.
Click below to see more Lake Mary Event Center weddings
Venue: Lake Mary Event Center
Wedding Planner: Events by 7
Photographer: DW Digital Photography
Videographer: Live Happy Studios
Getting Ready Location: Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes
Florist: Lee Forrest Design
Cake: Michael Anthony Cakes
DJ/Lighting/Photo Booth: MADD Vybez Entertainment
Catering: Big City Catering
Draping: Swag Decor
Rentals: Orlando Wedding & Party Rentals
Tufted Bars / Ascot Tables & Chairs: Chic! Furniture Rental
Dish and Flatware Rentals: Dishie Rentals
Aisle Runner: Artistic Aisle Runner
Transportation: VIP Wedding & Transportation
Dress/Accessories: Patricia South Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Flower Girl Dresses: Cathy’s Boutique
Groom / Groomsmen Tuxedo: Men’s Wearhouse
Makeup: Shan B. Flawless
Hair: Mia Farah Beautique
Stationery: Papered Wonders
Custom Branding Items: Ten23Designs
Welcome Bag Treats: Lamounier Macaroons
Wedding Rings/Band: Zales