Thanks to a matchmaking mom, LaKeisha and Al first met back in 2013. “My mom played cupid,  and I still can’t believe it!” shares LaKeisha. “She expressed how this good-looking single guy was working at her job part-time.” After giving her mom permission to give him her number, the two connected and went on a first date. “We have been inseparable ever since,” she says. “Our shared love for God and family made me love him more and more each day!”

 A few years later, the couple spent Valentine’s Day weekend together in San Francisco. After dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse, Al suggested they go to The Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton for a nightcap. “I could tell something was off with him that night,” recalls LaKeisha. “He kept asking me over and over if I was having a great time. My response was ‘Babe, of course I’m having a great time.’” After cocktails and dessert, he excused himself for a moment. Upon his return he got down on one knee and asked for her hand. “I was truly surprised and overjoyed,” she says.

With a two-year engagement, the couple enjoyed plenty of time to plan their ideal wedding. “We wanted our big day to be a celebration with our closest family and friends,” says the bride.

LaKeisha applauds her planner Belinda Cunningham of B-Coming Event Planning and Decor for keeping her on track. “I’m such a procrastinator, so she really kept us on our toes and on schedule with everything,” LaKeisha says. The couple also loved their photographer, Mackenzie of Chuck Roberts Photography, “I can’t express how much Al and I love her work,” she adds. “She made our photos look like a fairy tale!”

LaKeisha can only describe the ceremony at Capitol Plaza Ballrooms as truly magical. “Al and I were blessed to have his grandfather, Pastor Erby Sr., marry us on our special day.” The reception was held in the same venue, but on a different floor in The Silver Ballroom. “Once we stepped out of the elevator we were mesmerized with the colors and lighting, and the food was pretty amazing,” LaKeisha says. “Our wedding planner and her team truly did an amazing job decorating!”

  One of the most memorable moments of the evening came from Al himself. “My father died from stomach cancer in 2015,” says the bride. “My mom, sister and I took it really hard when he passed. During the reception, Al surprised me with a slideshow of all the truly unforgettable moments with my dad. I cried like a baby, but that moment I will never forget; we really felt my dad’s spirit that night.” 

—Darren Elms