Real weddings

To protest is to love: Wedding in the midst of the Black Lives Matter Protest

By Buhlebenkosi Sibanda

Groom? Check. Bride? Check. Officiant? Check. Protesters? Check. If you thought your wedding had a unique creative theme, wait until you see the photos from a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest wedding. That’s right, Kerry Anne Gordon and Michael Gordon of the Philadelphia exchanged vows right after joining a Black lives Matter Protest.

In support of the Black Lives Matter Protest

We have all been to dozens of weddings that follow the standard format – the rehearsal and subsequent dinner, the wedding ceremony where the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and couple walked formally down the aisle, and finally, the reception, where dancing and dinner is bound to follow. But have you ever thought about shaking up your wedding, with a little ingenuity? The Gordons have and they had an incredibly diverse wedding and am sure it will remain one of the world’s memorable unique weddings.

The Philadelphian couple, the bride originating from Jamaica and the groom born in the U.S, whose family also come from Jamaica, lawfully wedded on the 6th of June 2020. The couple met in the gym in 2013. Kerry Anne says “Mike and I loved working out and fitness, so we were bound to cross paths at some point, living in the same city with membership at the same gym. He initially asked me for a date and I denied the offer. Over the next two years or so we continued to bump into each other and started small talks. In 2015, he asked for a date again and I accepted. I then realized how great of a man he is and I decided to give him a chance. Our relationship was mostly long distance so we didn’t see each other much. We dated for four years until we got engaged in January 2019. The day was one of the happiest days of my life.”

And YES, her life became a series of happiness they managed to bring another dream into reality despite the effects of the pandemic, proving how love conquers all, even COVID 19. The ceremony took place at the Logan Hotel’s lush garden which blended in well with their micro- lavish white theme.

As the saying goes, ‘when life throws you lemons, make a lemonade’. Three days before the wedding, the couple was notified of the peaceful planned demonstration. Despite the pandemic that had taken place, the protesters were not to become a setback for the couple. Kerry Anne explains “the most profound thing was, I accidentally left my bouquet in the hotel which was delayed our ceremony by 30 minutes. During the delay, the protesters started to march by our venue and first took note of me standing outside waiting in my veil and gown for my bouquet. When the protesters and I met together, the moment was so powerful that I called Mike to share the moment with me. What then happened was we shared our first look on our wedding day surrounded by hundreds of people from all walks of life.” Hence the wedding plan unbelievably spiralled from micro to macro real quick as they ended up sharing their special day not only with their loved ones but with the nation.

The image I found most powerful from their wedding pictures(whom the bride gives credit to the incredible photographer, Linda McQueen) was the one where they stood there holding hands, with her looking like a black queen and princess all in one while, on the other hand, her king stood there ready to lead her to heaven, both holding up resistance fist, not only bringing the light of the issue of ‘Black Relevance’ but also representing ‘Black Love’. What drew me to the picture is the fact that from a young age, people think about the perfect wedding- everything from the perfect outfits to the colour scheme, venue design among others. Every girl, even men though they might not show it, aspire to have the perfect wedding including a perfect balance between beliefs, culture, and traditions. And despite how humongous the lemons seemed, Kerry and Michael, unintentionally made their aspirations to inspiration to the world as, despite the odds that could have hindered them, they hosted an event that could go into the Hall of Fame of unique weddings.

Whether for personal reasons or creativity’s sake, walking down the aisle the non-traditional way for example with just your pet, grandparents, or anyone of your parents other than the type of your father, is a great and unique way of integrating other important people into the day. Also, one of the most memorable moments of any wedding is when the bride walks down the aisle as it marks the start of the journey of the marriage, and the guests have this ‘we want to see her dress’ mentality. “Yes, my mother walked me down the aisle, she was very sick with COVID 19 for nearly 3 months and finally tested negative for the virus, 4 days before the ceremony. That day was the first time she was truly out of quarantine and I was so happy to have her walk me down the aisle. My mother has been my rock and she became even stronger during her battle with COVID 19.” Thus, Kerry would not have awarded her mother for being the world’s best and strongest, in any other than giving her the honors to hold her hand, as she has always done, as she was opening a new chapter of her life.

Kerry was looking heavenly sent. Her lovely gown was hugging her perfectly and she was the whole cherub indeed. The groom on the other hand was looking like magic, ready to ‘abracadabra’ the princess to a world of happiness. Lastly, for the future brides and grooms, Kerry Anne advises that firstly you should cherish every moment together and don’t sweat anything. Secondly, constantly plan activities and things to do together. Never stop dating! Finally, she says “tell your partner you love them every day.”.

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