Make it a Family Celebration
From The Bride ...
“We met online through eHarmony,” says Tameka Johnson, who recently married Chris Bodden at il Tulipano. “After I signed up, it said Chris was a match. We emailed back and forth for about two weeks before deciding to meet.”
His last name looked familiar to her and they soon discovered that they went to the same high school. “I was a freshman and he was a senior at the time and we had many of the same friends!” They also discovered that their parents went to grammar school together! “It’s fun at family events when our families meet and see people they knew from when they were kids and then reminisce about old times.”
Tameka and Chris were together six years before they got engaged. “We became foster parents before we got engaged. Neither of us thought about becoming parents just yet, but we fell in love with Anika, who was then two years old.”
Before bringing Anika into their home, they went through a series of interviews with the adoption agency. “Near the end of our final interview, the woman interviewing us said, ‘Your backgrounds check out, but there’s one problem. You two aren’t married,’ and Chris said, ‘I can do something about that.’ Then he walked over to the woman, got a ring out of her bag, and proposed! He had it all arranged beforehand! So in that one year, we got engaged, planned a wedding, and moved our new child into our home!”
Planning the Wedding
“I am a control freak,” Tameka tells us, “so at first I was very adamant about not having a planner. But between work and the baby, planning was sometimes a little stressful.”
To pick their vendors, they first found their DJ, LEM Entertainment. “We met with Jose and loved him right away. He recommended a photographer and a videographer and we loved their work. Later on, Jose told me about Torcianna’s. I checked their website and gave them a call. They told us they could do day-of wedding planning and I’m so glad we hired them.”
They had several meetings with Torcianna’s. “We told them what we wanted and hired them for the night before the wedding and I have to say, during the last 48 hours, I did not have to worry about a thing! They asked us who our vendors were and then took over from there. They called the hairdressers and the makeup artists to coordinate what time to get there and where to go. I was so comfortable with Torcianna’s that I was able to relinquish control. I even trusted them with adding last minute things, such as changing parts of the décor.”
The weather report said it was supposed to rain the whole day and night on their wedding day, “so we had a plan to move everything inside, but literally the minute we arrived at il Tulipano for our ceremony, the sun came out! il Tulipano and Torcianna’s made sure the chairs outside were dried off and set up for our guests, ready for the outdoor ceremony we wanted.
“When people ask about our wedding, they say, ‘Something always goes wrong,’ but it really didn’t for us! Torcianna’s just handled everything. That really made our wedding day perfect.”
Tameka is happy to share the best advice she got. “At some point during your reception, go to the back of the room and look at all the people who came to celebrate your union.”
From the Planner ...
“After our initial consultation with both Tameka and Chris,” says Yasheca Ebanks-Williams of Torcianna Events & Florals, “we were eager to be part of their celebration of love. From the designs of their bouquets to them dancing the night away, they wanted simplicity, with a focus on happiness, laughter, and family.
“Collaborating with LEM Entertainment along with Dreams Photo Video in NJ allowed us to focus on their vision during their all-day experience. They didn’t leave the dance floor all evening and every moment was captured. Stepping in and coordinating from start to finish was truly an honor.
“We specialize in creating timeless moments for our couples and so we offer wedding planning, coordination, floral, and event design services. We also recently added Hospitality Consulting to translate the day-to-day lifestyles of our clients into a dynamic personal experience for them.
“We strive to reflect the personality of each of our couples,” says Yasheca, who is a floral designer and certified wedding planner. “Incredible events need to go beyond just a great design, so we translate the love story of each client.”
Their team comes from humble backgrounds in the Caribbean, citing the strong work ethic of their families as a key part of their personalities. “Our passion for flowers and designing beautiful weddings is only surpassed by our desire to provide top quality services for our wedding couples and to always live up to our motto, ‘Creating vision for Your Timeless Moments.’ We thrive in finding beautiful solutions to creative challenges.
“The most exciting part of working with brides is to watch an ordinary soiree bloom into an extraordinary celebration of love!”
Their Vendors: Reception-il Tulipano. DJ-Jose at LEM Entertainment. Photography-Omar Genao at Dreams Photo Video. Gown-An Illusion lace and satin mermaid wedding dress, by David’s Bridal. Planner-Torcianna Events & Florals.
Torcianna Events & Florals
888.217.2376, Yashecae@Torcianna.com, www.torcianna.com