I've always been a little off; unconventional, odd, weird...difficult. Which as a result made me kind of a loner. I really don't like sharing my space or energy with people that I felt weren't on the same wavelength, I'd much rather be alone than do that. I never wanted to compromise my solitude for just any ole body... And then I met LaFlore...
Jason and I just work. We are alike in the ways that matters most to us, and different in the ways that allow us to grow and learn from each other. We instantly bonded over our love of shoes, and I immediately fell in love with how his brain worked, he had such an interesting way of looking at things and was never afraid to be who he was wherever he was. JUST LIKE ME!
I was never the child that dreamed of their fairy-tale wedding. I had told my bestie a list of things I thought I wanted back in high school, but that was moreso out of the pressure to feel like I was a "normal girl" and had it all figured out like all the other girls around me had, in reality I had no clue, and never really gave my wedding any serious thought. Until I got engaged, then it got REAL.
I had decided years ago that I didn't want a wedding, if you follow this blog you know this, and you know why so I won't bore you with the details. If you're new to this, just check out my previous posts. I expressed this to Jason and I know he thought I was just being cynical and jaded and that once the time came I would instantly change my tune. To his dismay, that did NOT happen. Lol. Hence our first REAL compromise...
I told him well if we are going to do this I want the wedding to reflect us in EVERY capacity. I want everything we do and decide on to be intentional, no going through the motions or incorporating traditions just for the sake of doing so. I wanted EVERYTHING to be meaningful. This was important to me because I have been in SEVERAL weddings and I didn't really see or feel many differentiations amongst them. In fact, I've only been to two weddings in my life that I felt like I truly "saw" the couple; their personality, their love, their spirit. And THAT is what I wanted. I wanted folks to be like "Oh that's Mia" when they saw something that reminded them of me or "Oh Jason totally decided that." Those were the things that were most important to me. If people were there to celebrate us, I wanted them to truly SEE us in the celebration. I hated that weddings had become so routine... And when I actually took the time to look into WHY certain traditions surrounding weddings were in place I immediately thought NOAP, me no want. I told LaFlore from jump if you INSIST on us having this wedding, there are definitely going to be some things that might make folks uncomfortable, but we are gonna do it our way.
You remember earlier when I told you I was kind of odd right? Well, this odd ball decided it would be best to start her actual wedding day off in a totally different state. Yup, you guessed it. I didn't leave Chicago for my 6pm wedding in St. Louis until 11am the morning of the wedding.
I promise you it was for a good reason. Over the years I had developed a huge bond with a MUA that I happened to stumble across randomly. She came into my life when I wasn't in the best space, she was there from the beginning and witnessed first hand how Jason and I's relationship evolved. She unfortunately couldn't come to STL for many reasons but I wouldn't have ANYONE else do my face, for someone as introverted as me feeling like my best self was so important on a day where EVERYONE is looking at you. The anxiety of not having someone that I felt comfortable with consumed me. I knew Jody knew my face, and me and I wouldn't leave her chair looking like a different person. I wanted to look and feel like me... Just a more awesome and refined version. So I stayed behind and had her make me over that morning at 8am, only to fly to St. Louis with my wedding face on for my 6pm wedding. Jason and his Mom were VERY stressed about this... They are the worrier's. My Mom had 32 years of experience with my shenanigans so her response was "This is just how Mia rolls, she will be here with bells on but she is going to stress you out in the process." Things always work out. I arrived to StL early and my face did not move the entire night hunty... and I was SWEATING.
As far as what to expect in terms of the day.... We are both very much unapologetically black. I knew that I wanted the wedding to reflect this. Starting with the vendors. I also knew from jump that I wanted my hair to be in it's natural state, I wanted Tacarra (Spifster) to slay my nails and I wanted my dress to be simple and modern. I in fact didn't go to one bridal store. I ordered my dress online without ever trying it on. I know right? I swear I was pretty much the most low maintenance bride ever. I opted to have my bouquet to include roses made out of comic book pages. In particular the Black Panther and Storm wedding story line. I wanted to incorporate comics because they're something that are important to me, and also something that brought Jason and I closer together.
OMG THERE'S A FIREEEE....sale. (c) Tobias
Yup, you read that right. We got a call at around 2pm that our venue had indeed caught on fire on the third floor. The wedding was at 6pm so I wasn't the least bit concerned, I just figured it would make for a great story... and indeed it did! The fire was contained and we were ready to roll at 6pm on the dot.
City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri was where we decided to make it official. This is one of my favorite places in St. Louis, prior to us checking out the venue Jason had never been. I just loved the whole concept behind how it came to fruition. It is a play house of sorts, for children and adults alike. It is the exact antithesis to a commercialized theme park. They created a space where everything is functional and almost every aspect of the museum is made out of repurposed materials; the true example of one man's trash is another man's treasure. I love the idea that something so wonderful was created out of what some people might see as garbage.
The ceremony was short and sweet. No bridal party... Just us. Our mutual friend Rob agreed to be our officiant and we wanted the mood to be more light hearted and fun, a true reflection of our love and dynamic; and not a complete sob fest. To set the tone for what the ceremony would be like Jason chose to walk down the aisle to Mystical - Here I Go and my little brother served as our "flower man."
Tears were shed.
I chose the song Willie Hutch - I Choose You to walk down the aisle to. I opted to walk down the aisle alone. Not because I don't have an amazing dad that I adore, admire and love very much but mostly because the idea of being seen as property being given away didn't sit well with me. I chose to honor my relationship with both of my parents in a different way and not adhere to what I considered an outdated tradition.
I decided on a black veil because I hate the stigma surrounding the color black being seen as bad and evil, and white being seen as pure and clean. I wanted to show people that wearing black doesn't have to be viewed as an omen; black is elegant, black is beautiful.
We sealed our vows with a handshake.
For our Recessional we decided to walk out as Mr. & Mrs. to UGK - Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)
It's what we've all been waiting forrrrr. THE TURN UP! The reception is pretty much what Jason and I cared most about. We opted to go with a "BLACK AS F*CK" and "STL" theme all the way through... From the black art on the wall during the ceremony, to the music and the menu. Our culture and hometown were very much represented. For cocktail hour we offered two STL staples; Imo's pizza and toasted ravioli.
We had a board game that Jason designed for guests to partake in while we took pictures around the museum.
At the end of the dance with my Mom my brother got on the mic and told everyone to wrap their arm's around each other's shoulders. Everyone got up and complied for what they later told me they thought was about to be a prayer.... AND THEN swag surfin starts playing.... The brother/sister dance was life changing.
After that it was time to eatttt. We had an STL inspired dinner and none of the items truly went together but bah well. We served, BBQ ribs, fried catfish w/pickles and onions, special fried and plain fried rice, mac and cheese from Sweetie Pie's and Imo's salad w/provel cheese. Guaranteed itis.
After everyone is good and full and sufficiently drunk it was time to get REALLY greek up in here. Jason and I are both members of Black Greek Letter Organizations; Him Kappa Alpha Psi and myself Sigma Gamma Rho. We decided to honor the traditions of these orgs at our reception.
AND NOW FOR THE TURN UPPPPPPP. This is when things got real. So much fun. Word to DJ Sir Thurl.
Neither of us were big on wedding cake so we stuck with the STL theme and had a dessert table filled with Gooey Butter Cake and Dad's cookies.
Our take away gifts were Red Hot Riplets yet another StL fave!
This day simply couldn't have happened without the people below. I can't find the words to truly express my gratitude. But I will tryyyyyyy....
Check out the day through Juniper's lens below. Just breathtaking.
**all video in this post was provided by the awesomeness known as Juniper**
**Special shoutout to Konquered Balance for helping me get my bawdyyyyy right. Hit him up HERE**
**we are still accepting wedding gifts. Bless us HERE**