Brittani and Jared met in chemistry class in 2012. The high school sweethearts attended the same college, Howard University, and got engaged in 2019, the same year they graduated. Jared surprised Brittani with a trip to Paris in December 2019, and they spent New Year’s Eve taking photos around the city. “We were walking to a surprise canopy full of luscious roses, a live saxophonist and a scenic view of the Eiffel Tower when he popped the question!” Brittani recalls.
The two agreed to a wedding at the Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. “We loved the resort’s luxurious ambiance, stunning setting and surprising price per room,” says Brittani, “we wanted all of our guests to leave feeling like this was the best wedding they’ve ever attended. ”
Though the couple had a hard time narrowing down their guest list, they invited 171 guests to an all-white welcome party and tropical-themed wedding on November 12, 2021. Brittani and Jared found it important to work with black or minority people. own company as much as possible. “We both graduated from historically black colleges and understood the importance of finding minority vendors to give them the attention and support that many don’t typically get,” says the bride minority-owned businesses, including our photographer, stationery, floral and design, wedding planner, DJ, cigar roller and videographer.”
Brittani and Jared worked with Simply Breathe Events’ Tiffany to plan their white and gold ceremony and reception, curating a style guide to inspire their guests to wear tropical colors. Read on to see all the details of the destination wedding, captured behind the lens of photographer Elizabeth Austin.
The guests received news of the couple’s wedding on chic acrylic invitations with gold-tone details. The modern meets elegant design was the perfect preview of the couple’s wedding design.
When I looked in the mirror, I saw the bride I envisioned as a little girl.
Bearing in mind the humidity in Mexico, Brittani chose a low bun hairstyle on her wedding day to combat frizz and accentuate her cleavage. She knew instantly that a strapless Berta dress with a sweetheart neckline, sheer nude lining and lace detailing was her dress. “When trying on dresses, my eyes were immediately drawn to the beautiful lace detailing when I saw the Berta dress on the hanger,” she says. “When I looked in the mirror, I saw the bride I envisioned as a little girl.”
She completed her look with a tailored cathedral length veil to match her dress, an embellished hairpiece and heirloom diamond earrings that were a gift from her nana. She opted for a soft nude and peach palette for her makeup look. “I didn’t want my makeup to be too flashy, heavy, and distracting under my veil,” says Brittani.
The couple exchanged heartfelt cards as they prepared for the ceremony.
Jared worked with Mochee Kent to create two custom tuxedos for the wedding. “My goal was to find a timeless yet bold set for my wedding day attire,” says Jared, “as it so happened, my two suits complemented my bride’s two dresses perfectly, with no prior cues or coordination. It just shows we’re both on the same page.”
His ceremonial tuxedo had a cream floral print and satin lapels. Jared wore bespoke Kappa Alpha Psi cufflinks as a tribute to his brotherhood, a gold Rolex watch and Pantheré de Cartier sunglasses to complete his look. In the months leading up to the wedding day, Jared used SOSS grooming products to condition his beard and in the days leading up to the big day he got a facial scrub and manicure.
Brittani and Jared’s ceremony took place at sunset on the beach, where a white platform was set up in the sand. All-white floral arrangements lined the aisle, and white geometric structures formed arches at either end. Before the ceremony began, the couple shared a first look to calm nerves. “We absolutely had to get out of our nervousness! We’ve been together for almost a decade, and to soak up the bliss of our special day, we wanted to share an intimate moment just with the two of us before walking down the aisle,” says Brittani.
Brittani walked down the aisle alone to John Keith’s “I Can Only Be Me.” “Jared made a comment years ago about dreaming of me walking down the aisle to this song at our wedding, so I saved it in my notes for years and made sure to surprise him with this song!” says Brittani .
Brittani and Jared wrote their own vows. The bride was sure to include some Marvel jokes and old love letters the two went back and forth in high school. The couple chose Kanye West’s “Good Life” for the recession. “It just suited us so well and the song is spot on,” says the bride.
“It was everything we could have imagined! Very emotional and surreal like, wow look how far we’ve come, we really do this! Kind of moment,” the couple reflects. “Tears were definitely shed on both parts because it was just the sweetest moment to come full circle in appreciating all the years of dating that led to this particular moment.”
After the ceremony, Brittani and Jared joined their photographer, Elizabeth Austin, for portraits on the beach and around the resort. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed a live saxophonist and cocktails including Brittani’s choice of a spicy margarita and Jared’s favorite; a raspberry mojito.
A white structure with hanging lights and strings of white flowers surrounded the perimeter of the reception room. Tables were set with white linens and paired with gold and white chairs. Some tables included low, all-white centerpieces, while others had tall tree arrangements. Place settings included gold-rimmed underplates, ivory napkins, and gold cutlery. Acrylic table signage and menus were the finishing touches.
“One of my fondest memories was our quick look at the venue,” says Brittani, “Jared and I were able to see our dream come true. We were so excited to immerse our guests in such a lush, intimate and romantic setting while we danced the night away.”
Brittani and Jared shared their first dance to TLD’s “Love Ballad.” Jared danced to K CAMP’s “Mama” with his mother, while Brittani danced to “My Girl” from The Temptations with her father, stepfather, grandfather and father-in-law. “I have experienced many trials and tribulations in my life, and each of them has given me love and support in their own way. I felt like the best way for me to honor them was to share their love and have my first dance with them on my big day,” says Brittani. “All the men got each other on the dance floor and it went without a hitch!”
The couple greeted their guests from their sweetheart table, which was completely adorned with white flowers. The golden table was set in front of a white trellis covered with flowers.
The couple opted for a seven tier artificial wedding cake. “Only the top tier was real,” says Brittani, “it made so much sense for us to have a sheet cake at the back that can be served while maintaining the dessert’s simple and elegant design for display throughout the night.”
Brittani is part of the Delta Sigma Theta fraternity while Jared is part of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. “On special occasions like weddings, it’s traditional for the bride and groom to be serenaded by members of this organization,” says Brittani, “To experience this moment through a special bond with your brother or sister is such an honor and a memory, to cherish forever.”
Jared loves a freshly rolled cigar on the weekends, so the couple found a local cigar roller from the Vallarta Cigar Factory to roll fresh cigars for guests at the wedding.
During the reception, Brittani and Jared switched their alternate looks. Brittani transformed into a custom beaded Ryan & Walter gown with a sheer sleeve and dramatic slit. She also wore pink suede pumps from Jimmy Choo with crystal and pearl embellishments. Jared’s reception outfit included a black velvet jacket with silver embroidery on the lapel by Mochee Kent. At the end of the evening, the couple walked out under several flower arches.
“It was definitely a memory to last a lifetime and I’m so glad we made it possible in the midst of a pandemic,” says Jared. “It really showed how much love and support we are surrounded by. ”
For couples planning their wedding, the couple recommends enjoying the process. “Though it can be stressful and you might encounter a few obstacles, you’ll find the pleasure of actually planning your wedding with the person you love,” says Brittani, “Sunbathe in the planning moment and keep a positive attitude.” Mood to help you usher in your day stress free.”