Gangsta Mittens
Words combined to express thoughts. Pictures displayed to convey emotion. Opening my brain to the world.

We Got Married

To say I’ve been MIA is an understatement. I would have loved to be around a bit more but the truth is, I had entirely too much on my plate. Between finishing up with school, ALR stuff, quitting the job, and everything else, shit has just been HECTIC. At any rate, here I am… done with ALR, unemployed, done with law school (except for my Computer Crimes exam), and married. You couldn’t have paid me to believe this is where i’d be in 2009.

The wedding was amazing. Somehow, we managed to meld our personalities and create an event that was fun, exciting, tasteful, and a true representation of who we are. One thing we decided early on was to include as many of our friends as possible, not just by putting them on the guest list, but by finding ways to make them a part of the wedding.

With that in mind, we had our friend George design the invitation. Music is a huge deal to us, so we decided to make our invitations look like records. George “borrowed” the Pete Rock and CL Smooth “logo” and put our faces in the middle. For the colors we went with red, black and green to pay tribute to ATCQ’s “Midnight Marauders” album. Besides giving information, we wanted the invitation to give everyone an idea what to expect. It was our way of saying “this isn’t going to be your ordinary wedding… we’re having a party.”

The next step for us was finding a location that suited us and represented our personalities. We looked at a few more traditional venues, but settled on Top of the Town in Arlington. ToTT sits 12 stories up, on top of an apartment building in Rosslyn. To take advantage of the location it has huge panoramic windows facing DC, providing a beautiful view of the city. When I saw the location, I knew I wanted it. Both he and I are from DC, and it was a great way to bring our city into the mix. Out-of-town guests and locals alike could marvel at the monuments and look out on where we grew up. A bonus that we didn’t even consider happened shortly after we began dancing at the reception. The Washington Nationals had scheduled fireworks for that night, and so our guests were treated to an unexpected impromptu fireworks display. Although several folks took credit for it, that was truly just the luck of the draw.

Now while all this was going on, I also decided that I wanted to do something to surprise Brian. I wanted to give him something that he wasn’t expecting, but that would be very special to both of us… enter Charm City Cakes. I watch A LOT of FoodNetwork. Like… hours worth. One of my favorite shows is Ace of Cakes which focuses on a bakery in Baltimore that makes the most amazing cakes EVER. As SOON as we set a date, I emailed them to reserve the date for the cake. My idea was fairly simple: his MPC 3000, my law review book, and us standing on top with my cat nearby. I was so scared that something was going to happen and they’d say no, but Mary Alice quickly got back to me and said things were on, I paid the deposit and realized that it was really going to happen. I remembered from watching the show that one thing that makes the process difficult is when there’s only one shot of the object being recreated, with that in mind, I set out to take like a million pictures of his MPC, because the more photos I could get, the more details they could include. I added pics of me in my “Gangsta Mittens” hoodie, him in one of his favorite hats, and Fishbone our cat.
Now I knew what I had asked for, but I was NOT ready for what I saw when I went to pick the cake up. Not only did they capture a ridiculous amount of detail, they captured us and Fishbone; Brian’s hat was perfect, my hair, hoodie, and earrings were on point, and the MPC and Administrative Law Review book were outstanding.

Another thing we thought about was what we wanted to give to our guests. A cd was a bit of a no-brainer. But we didn’t want to just burn some cds on the laptop and hand them out in little plastic cases. We wanted it to be “official” so we went to friend well again to tap another resource. Our friend Frank actually did the artwork for the album that I considered to be the best album of 2004, so I went to him when it came time to design the cd. Although this was “our” day, I wanted to give Frank as much leeway as possible in designing the cd, so I sent him off to essentially do whatever he wanted, with one caveat – this was not some stuffy wedding cd, it was hip hop. What he came up with surpassed my expectations. Towards the end I asked him to change a couple of things and got kinda nitpicky, but the end result was worth it.

As important as the artwork on the cd was, the music on the cd was equally important. We reached out to another friend, and talented DJ for this task. My first interaction with Cuzzin B was at our friend Vickey’s birthday party. I walked in and asked him to play a Tanya Morgan song, not only did he know who Tanya Morgan was, he had the song available AND played it for me. He’s been my favorite ever since. Hell I even helped* him DJ the NYE party at Liv (by “helped” i mean, he had to run somewhere and asked me to push a button if he didn’t make it back in time – he made it back in time, but i was ready). In addition to Cuzzin B mixing the cd, we also asked a few of our favorite rappers to record an original song for the cd. BJ made the beat, and Donwill, Von Pea and Sekani did the verses. I LOVE how the song came out. It’s great to have a song that we can say is ours, and even better to have three people that we know and respect to go to to ask to lay down verses for the song.

In addition to the surprise cake, we also had a more traditional cake. It was a simple with cake with pink gum paste flowers. It was adorned with green Adinkra symbols representing love, faithfulness, and harmony; faith and trust in God; love, safety and security; wisdom, knowledge and prudence; and the power of love. The idea behind that cake was not only to be the “traditional” cake, but to symbolize things that are important to us in life; both in our present lives and in our future lives together.

Ok ok, I promise I’m wrapping this up. BJ and I also wanted to share a but of ourselves with our guests. We set out to take photographs of DC landmarks to use in place of table numbers. We were a bit overambitious with this endeavor though, so while we were able to capture many landmarks, we also sprinkled in some of our favorite photos as well.

The final thing that I insisted on was not having anything that was just pointless sitting around after the wedding. One thing I’ve ALWAYS hated is the guestbook. Some people just sign their name, others give an address… it’s just always soooo dry. To get around this, we went with a photo guest book. We gave guests a Polaroid camera, some colorful pens, and let them go for it, the result is two books of photos and well wishes that we can actually keep and look back on for years to come.

I honestly cannot believe how well everything came out. Planning ahead and starting early definitely made the process somewhat less stressful, and since there was so much that I enjoyed doing, it made it less of a chore. We didn’t bow to outside forces and I found that more often than not people assumed that my natural nonchalant attitude was stress. I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t overwhelmed at times, but overall I enjoyed the process, and, most importantly, the wedding day itself. There were DEFINITELY issues, but I think I took it in stride and kept it moving to enjoy my day. ok ok.. now… pictures!!

5 Responses to “We Got Married”

  1. woooooohoooooooo! 🙂

  2. congrats to both of you and best wishes for many good years to come. wish i were there, but i’m sure i’ll catch y’all soon.

  3. this makes me so happy. i feel real joy for you. ❤

  4. congrats lady…dope.ass.cake

  5. I’m really sad I wasn’t able to attend. This looks and sounds like it was magnificent event. And you are 2 of the most deserving individuals I know of such a beautiful day. I truly am happy for you both and I love y’all. I cannot wait for y’all to come home.

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