Sunday, August 24, 2008

Native New Yorkers Wed With "Urban Chill"

When Stephanie Cooper contacted me she requested the price of this dress which was $2000. A little high for her taste but she called again to see if we could work something out.

Luckily for her the sample was on sale and she was a little smaller than the sample, all the skirt needed was some adjustments. A new top that suited her was designed which made the gown perfect for the couples Brooklyn Nuptials.

Ahead the event details:

Native New Yorkers Wed with “Urban Chill”

When a new colleague suggested to Stephanie Cooper that she thought it would be a great idea for her to meet her godbrother, Cosby Smiley, Stephanie said to herself, “whatever”. At least she’d get a nice dinner out of it but fully expected he would just be another of the usual commitment-phobic brothers she always ran across. But on June 14, 2008, there were no phobias and no “whatever” in sight as the couple jumped the broom in Brooklyn.

The colleague, Lisa Jenkins, just starting out in ministry when she introduced the couple, has since gone on to become a fully ordained Baptist minister and served as the wedding officiant.

The bride and groom, both native New Yorkers, got engaged last summer on the much talked about “luckiest” day of the year, July 7, 2007. After spending all day together, Cosby waited until minutes before midnight to get down on one knee to propose and present Stephanie with his grandmother’s engagement ring. Not wanting to wait more than a year to marry on August 8
, 2008, they decided to try for a date sooner rather than later, but how easy could that be in the New York area? Plus, they didn’t want the standard catering hall affair—too predictable—but still wanted to have the “feel” of a wedding. The goal was to do something that celebrated their New York roots and their African-American heritage. An even bigger goal (and maybe even more challenging) was their interest in using as many black-owned businesses as possible to meet their wedding needs.

The wedding ceremony was held at Stephanie’s home church, St. Stephen’s Church of Christ, D.O.C., a church in East New York where her father had been the founding pastor. Special pew markers adorned with the insignia of the New York Mets decorated the rows where both of their mothers sat. The markers were placed in memory of their late fathers, both of whom were Met fans. The wedding party processed to the beautiful strains of Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon in the Sky while the bride entered to the Richard Smallwood classic, I Love the Lord.

The couple planned an intimate reception at the Akwaaba Mansion, a bed and breakfast spot in historic Bedford-Stuyvesant. New Yorkers Cassandra Bromfield Designs of Manhattan and Moshood of Brooklyn designed their wedding attire; Sherri Hobson-Greene of Beauloni, also in Brooklyn, created Stephanie’s hair accessories. Food for the reception was provided by Bro
oklyn-based caterer Mellanee Harvin of The Fork Goes on the Left, and their red velvet and lemon cream wedding cakes were made by Harlem bakery Make My Cake. Local black entrepreneurs also provided their photography (Ray Llanos), music, and limousines.

A “mature” couple, Cosby and Stephanie knew they weren’t feeling the idea of having the basic “cookie-cutter” traditional w
edding: a second-time bride, she wasn’t planning to wear white and he wasn’t terribly interested in wearing a tux. Enter Cassandra Bromfield and Moshood both of whom knew a thing or two about “non-traditional” and were more than willing and able to provide just the look this forward-thinking couple wanted. In fact, Moshood outfitted all the brothers that served in the wedding party, including Cosby’s young nephew Colby, who served as “junior best man”, and five-year old godson Mason who served as the ring bearer. Above all, the couple just wanted to share their special day with friends and family in a laid-back atmosphere.

Again, not wanting to be typical, there were no matchbooks, napkins or stirrers with their names given out as favors; instead, a music CD of songs, interspersed with dialogue by Cosby and Stephanie summarizing the story of their relationship was given to guests as the wedding favor. Even the
song selection was a bit different than the typical romance-laden songs. A version of the Star Spangled Banner by Marvin Gaye led the CD off followed by songs including This is How We Do It, by Montell Jordan, Fight the Power by Public Enemy, and Incredible God, by contemporary gospel group Youthful Praise. Neither the bride’s bouquet or garter belt were thrown so single guests didn’t have endure that horrible tradition.

“We didn’t have assigned table seating for the reception and we asked our guests to include on the response card the names of two
songs they wanted to hear at our reception—any songs they wanted to hear. We just wanted an “urban-chill” kind of ambience where everyone would feel at home, feel relaxed and like they were at a friend’s home for a party. Of course, we didn’t count on it raining cats and dogs that night keeping us from having the outdoor party we planned, but folks had a good time anyway and the vibe was definitely one of love and friendship without all the pomp and circumstance,” said Stephanie.

“At the end of the day,” added Cosby, “ a good time, good food, and good wishes are what a wedding celebration is all about, right?”

Cosby finally married his “baby-girl”, and after what seemed like a lifetime of “kissing one frog after another”, Stephanie gets to spend the rest of her life with her own handsome prince! A two-week honeymoon spent in the Hamptons and
Angeles followed.

Who says black-love doesn’t exist???


Soror Wheels said...

Wow! Thanks Cassandra for sharing our story on your Blog! Yep, that bridal outfit was fabulous! :-) It was a great day and the beginning of what's going to be years of fun. Thanks for your contribution to our first day as husband & wife.
Stephanie Cooper-Smiley

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