Same Love: Revisiting Charice & Sharlene
In January of 2015, Charice e-mailed an inquiry to me about her wedding to take place on June 13, 2015. We exchanged a couple of e-mails and then moved to a phone call. Gathering details as is the case with any inquiry, I immediately noticed her passion for making June 13th a day that truly would live in the memory of her guests and family, forever. I like to get to know each couple and in her description of her relationship with Sharlene, I could absolutely sense the love. I could sense a mutual admiration between the two of them. After speaking with Charice, we scheduled a time to chat (all three of us) once Sharlene was back in town from business travel. Our conference call was about one week away and in the days leading up to this call, I was anxious! Why? Each couple I partner with represents an opportunity to produce their best day. I was anxious to hear more about their love, their vision and how I could create the day of their dreams. Yes, even a veteran wedding DJ isI nervous, excited and anxious to speak with each couple! I did not know it then, but it was during this time that #diamondlove was born.
After our conversation, Charice & Sharlene chose our team to produce their wedding celebration. Planning a wedding from afar, is often a challenge. After all, #diamondlove was to take place in Baltimore, MD with home base for Charice & Sharlene being Atlanta, GA. Over the months of planning, dozens of e-mails & conversations, a great in-person meeting (thanks for dinner ladies!) and two people who were meant to be together, June 13th was by all accounts… the perfect celebration. From the time I arrived, the mood was set and the backdrop ushered in a sense of warmth. The hotel staff was accommodating... the decor sharp. A beautiful display of pipe & drape accompanied the ceremony site as a video crew placed and tested cameras. When I met the officiant, my sense was that Charice & Sharlene took the time to hand pick this vendor as they did each vendor on the #diamondlove team. It wasn’t about cost, it wasn’t about getting the best deal. It was about assembling a group of people who would, by design, bring their day to life. Not a detail was left unaddressed.
As a professional wedding DJ, I’ve been a part of thousands of wedding celebrations. Each of these allowed me the opportunity to get to know my couples, work closely with them and turn their vision into a great wedding day. In working with Charice & Sharlene, it also presented an opportunity to work with two women who were tireless in their effort to tell their story. Each guest, vendor, meal selection and detail were clearly the result of their vision. There were no cavalier choices here. What I found on June 13, 2015 was a masterpiece. Often times, I am given credit for the planning, the music, the details and the execution of a wedding celebration. I truly appreciate the compliments and I’ve loved the experience. In this instance however, I must defer the accolades to Charice & Sharlene. It was their vision from start to finish. It was their love and the support of their team that made June 13th a success. I am simply thankful to have been a part of it!
Date – Saturday, June 13, 2015 Location – Marriott Inner Harbor Weddings By Kurtis Cross Services - Ceremony, Cocktails & Reception
Weddings By Kurtis Cross Team - Kurtis, Krissy & Paula Colors – Crimson, Cream, White # Of Guests – ~100 Photography – PhotoArt by Lu (Lucrecia Bagnati) First Dance – “You & I” by Keke Wyatt & Avant Unique Detail – Once the ceremony was complete, the staff at The Marriott (Black Tie) hosted a wonderful cocktail hour. There was one change… Charice & Sharlene provided each staff member with their own custom made T-Shirt with #diamondlove as the theme!
Modern Touch – On three large LCD screens, guests were able to post and follow the day through social media with photos, well wishes and hashtags… appearing on a live timeline! Keep in mind... this was in 2015, when social media inclusion was not mainstream.
Other Fun Details – A candy station, photo booth, live vocalist for the ceremony, “An Everlasting Love” as the recessional song and a serenade by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Why #diamondlove? – During their proposal, “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” by Rihanna was playing!