The simple and sophisticated details were inspired by the couple's relationship.
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Shanice and Stephen Settle aren't your average high school sweethearts. Stephen met his now-wife in his ninth-grade biology class at Cleveland Heights High School, where he tried (a little too hard) to capture her attention. He might have failed the first time around, but a friendship formed after the two became locker buddies and the relationship quickly became a romantic one. After deciding to attend separate colleges, they parted ways but found each other once again in 2014. Their second shot stuck.
Three years later, Stephen found himself on one knee in the rain, asking Shanice to marry him on their way to dinner. "Obviously I said yes," she said. "And when we walked inside the restaurant our families and close friends were all there to celebrate. It was perfection!" The duo began searching for venues a week later. With the help of Sharlyna McQueen of Your Day Your Way Events, the couple planned a wedding in seven months, a feat Shanice refers to as "the first success of our marriage." On the sunny fall day of October 1, 2017, that success came to life. The couple tied the knot at the Ariel Pearl Center, with a classic, music-filled ceremony. "My grandfather sang the Lord's prayer, which is a tradition in our family," explained Shanice, of her favorite moment.
The couple's reception was simple and elegant with a blush-and-burgundy color scheme—and just as personal as the ceremony. "Our relationship was the backdrop and the inspiration for how we wanted the day to feel," said the bride. Before kicking off married life in the city that brought them together, Shanice and Stephen stole away to Montego Bay, Jamaica, for their honeymoon.
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The bride carried a Petals by Pettus bouquet with hydrangeas, roses, and wildflower accents.
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The couple chose to do a first look, which took place at the Cleveland Museum of Art. "It was pretty special for us," Shanice said of seeing each other for the first time on the big day. "I always wondered who my husband would be, so to see him there that day, standing in front of me, was surreal."
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Shanice referred to the celebration's venue and blush-and-burgundy color palette when choosing her bridesmaids' dresses. "I loved how the 'mauvy pink' colors of the dresses looked in the venue, against the marble," she explained. Her bridesmaids' petite clutches complemented her bouquet.
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The Flower Girls
Shanice's three flowers girls (her cousins!) posed pretty in their identical blush dresses.
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Sprays of hydrangeas and peonies—they corresponded to the bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets—dotted the ceremony space. They were perched in antique-style urns and placed on pedestals throughout the room.
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Shanice and her father walked down the aisle to Major's "This Is Why I Love You." The bride first heard the song on the radio just months before the wedding, and immediately knew that it'd be part of the ceremony.
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Music defined the duo's ceremony, which began with a rendition of Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years" sung by Shanice's best friend. Although their day was highly personalized, the couple chose to exchange traditional vows. "We just didn't like the pressure of writing our own vows and having to say them," said Shanice. "We wrote letters to each other, instead, and read them privately before the ceremony."
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Find Your Seat
A framed seating chart guided guests towards the reception space at the end of the cocktail hour.
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The duo took their first married spin to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," and then headed to their gold-draped sweetheart table. Cream and burgundy linens and tall vases filled with floating candles topped the other tables while overflowing floral arrangements dotted the reception hall.
The couple looked on as guests dined on chicken marsala, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans before everyone hit the dance floor.
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Photography, Unique 2 Chic Photography
Location, Ariel Pearl Center
Event Planning, Your Day Your Way Events
Catering, Special Moments Catering
Flowers, Petals by Pettus
Officiant, Pastor Jerry Birch
Cake, Sweet Creations and Cakes by Kelly
Music, DJ ChopUFL
Bride's gown, Enzoani
Groom's tuxedo, Bryan Michaels
Hair, Gloria Watts; Lanetta Warren