Written By: Jessica Burke | Photos: Audie Jackson Photography
Jerome and Shemia met at a local lounge, a location Shemia had never been to and wouldn’t have gone to, she shares. “I felt it was meant for us to meet. We introduced ourselves, joked around, then me and my friends left. The next week I ran into him again so we exchanged numbers!”
On January 19, 2019, Jerome popped the question. He bought out the entire top floor of Café Sbisa Restaurant in New Orleans and told Shemia they were going to a fancy party for his stepmother’s brother. When she arrived, Shemia found all the guests wearing her favorite color, purple, and when she turned around Jerome was on one knee, with her family and friends holding a banner reading: “‘Will You Marry Me?’” She immediately said “Yes!”
The newlyweds are both first responders, Shemia is an RN at Touro Hospital and Jerome a K9 officer with the City of New Orleans, and both have worked throughout the pandemic caring for the sick and keeping the City safe. Covid restrictions forced them to make a lot of changes to their wedding, including moving the date as well as changing the ceremony location. In the end the entire wedding took place at the Westin Canal Place. “It’s been a time, but everything came out perfect!” shares Shemia.
The bride, dressed in a luxurious Badgley Mischka gown, and groom, in a custom made tuxedo, said “I do” under an arch of white phalaenopsis orchids and then jumped the broom (made by Shemia’s mother) into their new life as a married couple.
“What drew us to the Westin was those beautiful windows overlooking the city and river front,” says Shemia. “They had just remodeled the entire hotel that year so it was brand new compared to past weddings there.”
The couple’s event planner, Tenisha Keller a.k.a. “Chocolate Bunnie,” made sure that the event was both luxurious and fabulous.
“Bunnie was wonderful,” says Shemia. “I gave her and the decor team my vision and they exceeded my expectations! When other friends were stressing during this pandemic I just remained calm. Bunnie took care of everything.”
“As I entered the 12th floor of one of the reception spaces, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” says Shemia. “From the burgundy dance floor to the gold glass tables, the fancy chairs, oversized florals and all of the candles. The room was more than I imagined.”
The wedding cake mirrored Shemia’s gown and the groom’s cake was a crawfish pot with all of Jerome’s newspaper accolades creatively included. The party even featured an appearance by the Zulu Tramps!
“I will tell others, let the professionals and the designers do what they do best,” advises Shemia. “That’s why you hired them. I still sit and look at the pictures and can’t believe how that blank canvas was turned into my fairytale dream wedding.”
FEATURING SHEMIA & JEROME’S WEDDING::
FEATURED NOW VENDORS:
EVENT PLANNER: Chocolate Bunnie Events
BRIDESMAIDS’ GOWNS: Pearl’s Place
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: VENUE + CATERING: The Westin Canal Place | OFFICIANT: Pastor David M Patin, Sr, DCC, DTH, DD | REHEARSAL DINNER: Drago’s | BRIDE’S GOWN: Badgley Mischka, Brickhouse Bridal (Houston) | MENSWEAR: Luca Falcone (groom), Men’s Wearhouse (groomsmen) | PHOTOGRAPHER: Audie Jackson | VIDEO: Steib Weddings | FLORALS: Grow With Us | BAKERY: Zoe’s | CEREMONY MUSIC: DJ Joe | RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: DJ Joe + DJ Captain Charles | TRANSPORTATION: Riculfy Livery | HAIR: Jazma Morris, JM Hair Studio (bride); Toya W, Unstoppable1beauty (bridesmaids) | MAKEUP: LakenLasheirMUA (bride); A Beaute Faces, Dontae Amber Makeup, Channell Makeup (bridesmaids) | DECOR + CANDLE RENTALS: Memorable Events Decor | JEWELER: Jared’s | INVITATIONS: Papier DeLuxe | SECOND LINE: Zulu Tramps | WRAPPED DANCE FLOOR: Firefly Ambiance | HANDKERCHIEFS: Second Line Handkerchiefs | FEATHERED BROOCH FANS: Elise Frey | PHOTOBOOTH: Phodat Photobooth Co.