Photo: Iris Mannings Photography

To quote Shug Avery from The Color Purple, “I’se married now!”

Last Friday, in glorious fashion and with glorious weather—and three wardrobe changes—by the end of the night, I had a wife and great memories of a wonderful wedding experience. Quite simply, ‘twas a ball ... all day long.

As a culture commentarian, and because my wedding was imbued with significant cultural flourishes because my wife is Ghanaian, and also half Ivorian and half Italian (inside joke), it is my duty to share with you all the reflections, remembrances, facts and figures from what was dubbed, in advance, on social media (Instagram, in particular), a #VerySmartWedding.

Photo: Tim Wilson

Here are reflections about the day, the wedding and the general matrimonial spirit around the grand event.

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-I’ll start with the most important facet: My wife planned out the wedding. We had a day-of coordinator, but the details, vendor acquisition, etc.? All that was the wife. She did an exemplary job. She bossed up on this wedding. I was in awe at how well it all came together, how beautiful the venue looked, and how the ceremony turned out. She did that. I participated, but minimally. I cut checks (or found some) and offered input where it was absolutely required. But me and planning, we do not go together. She killed it. Absolutely beautiful event.

-That was important because I’m sure most men in the wedding game will feel me: I didn’t think about the cost of the wedding a single time during the day. I had so much fun, money never crossed my mind. I know weddings cost dough—trust me, I do—and it’s easy to get wrapped up in that instead of the enjoyment of the occasion. But that day? Didn’t matter. This is a good thing.

-We had two ceremonies: In the morning, we had the Traditional Ghanaian engagement, which was how weddings happen in Ghana. The two families sit across from one another. A rep for her, and a rep for my family haggled back and forth towards agreement for marriage. I was outside with my boys for most of that time, as was my wife (with her girls), so we didn’t see most of that ceremony. However, everybody who did said it was great. For black Americans who have no real ties to their homeland, it was dope to participate in a culturally-sound ceremony that has immediate ties to an African culture. Here’s something that came up during the pre-engagement discussions: Kanye West at the White House; Putin; Russians; I apparently have a private jet and somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.2 million dollars. There will be video forthcoming. I was very excited to be part of the traditional ceremony.

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Photo: Somebody At The Wedding

-I looked like a king, bro. I said there were three outfits. The first outfit was for the traditional engagement. The pictures of me and the homies? We kilt it. Totally kilt it. This isn’t a reflection; this is facts. Judge for yourself.

Photo: D. Carnegie Harty

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-Let me speak on my homies right quick. Seven of my groomsmen (I had 10) are my boys from Morehouse; two of them I’ve known since high school (one of whom was also from Morehouse); another is someone I consider my big brother and became family as we worked together at Bohemian Caverns in D.C. Last, but not least, was VSB’s own Damon Young, one of my best friends and brothers who I’ve been through every facet of life with for more than 10 years now. We had a blast. The drinks were pouring early and often. More importantly, the camaraderie was real and authentic. While some of them don’t really know one another well at all, you would have never known that. Everybody came to support me and have fun in the process. I love them all like actual blood brothers. I couldn’t ask for a better group of groomsmen who were down to do whatever. And we did. The shenanigans, also, were aplenty. Lawdy.

Photo: Iris Mannings Photography

-That support was on display during the processional. One thing I wanted was to have as much fun as possible. One way to do that was to make sure the music reflected who we were. The groomsmen? We came down the aisle to The Whispers “Keep On Lovin’ Me.” That happened, and it was a hit because my boys showed up and showed out.

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-The whole wedding party was great, as were the guests, of course. Everybody was in great spirits and there for the love and support. My wife will have to speak more to her bridesmaids, but I know them all. Their support over the years has been monumental to her, us, and me, as well. They marched down the aisle to Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby,” but Instagram was hating on dropping the video because Sony is the feds. Point is, to all the bridesmaids and every one of her girls who participated in the traditional and second entrance (put a pin in this), I love and appreciate you. #youdabest

Photo: Iris Mannings Photography

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-Our DJ was a mooooonster. We had a second entrance, in which we changed out of our tuxedo/wedding attire into African attire and re-entered the reception. After that, DJ NiteCrawler got so busy, it was insane. My man had the wedding on turnup status until the party was done. There was damn near a moshpit. Apparently, when we were changing, there was even a Soul Train line, but I didn’t see it. I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to know that a Soul Train line happened at my wedding.

-Can we talk about the bar? Let’s talk about the bar. We had a total of three drinks available: one vodka drink, one bourbon drink, one non-alcoholic beverage. The drinks were curated by some friends of ours. There was a whole lot of inebriation. A whole lot. Also, two days before, I was laid out on the floor in Costco because I bought nearly 50 1.75L bottles of various liquors, 48 bottles of Prosecco, plus an additional 60 bottles of wine, in addition to 12 bottles of Sangria provided by a homie of ours. We had a lot of liquor on deck and a lot of liquor was consumed, not to mention the 24 bottles of Champagne. I only had sips of the champagne during the best man/matron/maid of honor toasts. I wanted to be present for the whole thing, and I was. I have full memories of the whole day. I’m so thankful I made that decision so I could be there with my wife and our family and friends—fully. I still managed to have as much fun as possible. Also, I almost quit drinking after my weekend in New Orleans for the bachelor party. #Distewmuch is all I kept thinking.

-I can’t tell you how happy I was to be there with my wife and how happy I was for the whole day. I felt so full of joy the entire day. I wanted to fully embrace the whole occasion and made it a point to do so. You weren’t going to be at our wedding and not see us happy to be there.

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Photo: Iris Mannings Photography

-We’ve been on a high since the wedding. Both of us have spent time talking about how much fun we had with each other, with everybody else and how we’re so happy how it all came together. I don’t know how weddings are supposed to look or feel, and even this post is but a small part of my true feelings (it’s getting long, though), but we’re so happy to be on this side of the wedding and to have had so much fun at our wedding celebrating our love.

I love you, baby, we did that.

-I want to thank each and every person who came and celebrated with us.

I’se married now!