Happily Ever After: Nana and Cleon’s Multi-cultural Intimate Ballroom Wedding in DC

Nana and Cleon’s love story first began when both were part of the same church youth group. For Cleon, it was love at first sight, and though life separated them for a time, fate would always bring them back together. Knowing in their hearts that they truly belonged together it wasn’t long after reconnecting that Cleon began planning their perfect proposal that would lead them down the path towards happily ever after…
Read all about Nana and Cleon’s love story, sweet proposal, and experiences in their modern ballroom wedding in Washington DC.

Bride & Groom: Nana & Cleon
Occupations: Physician & Police Officer
Wedding Location: Park Hyatt Washington DC

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal. We met in 2002 when Cleon first came from Jamaica. Our families attended the same church at the time and we were part of the youth group. We quickly learned we had a lot in common and loved to laugh!
Cleon proposed to me on a cruise vacation on Aug 14, 2017. He surprised me at dinner, specifically at dessert time! He disguised the ring box as a chocolate dessert (knowing that chocolate is my favorite) and I fell for it! I was truly surprised to find a gorgeous ring instead of a dessert! I was speechless.

How did you know they were “the one”? It’s hard to say when that one moment was. We were teenagers/young adults when we first met. Even though it was definitely love at the time, we were young. Cleon says he knew from the moment we met. I would say that I knew for sure when we reconnected after an 8 year separation. Fate brought us back together.
What was wedding shopping like for you? Wedding shopping was fun! I loved trying on dresses and choosing from various designs that I liked. And once I found the perfect bridal salon, the process was even more simple! Elena and her team at Bridals by Elena are absolutely fabulous! They know how to make a dress compliment your body type and work very diligently to get you the perfect dress. My bridesmaids also looked fabulous. Cleon had his suit custom made, adding special touches to make it fit his style and physique. The men got their suits from Jos A Bank. They all looked very handsome! Our wedding style was modern elegance! We wanted a classic and elegant flare with a modern twist to it. It worked out perfectly.

Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? Being that I am from Ghana and Cleon is from Jamaica, we wanted to add a little element from each country. We named our reception tables after cities in Jamaica and Ghana. We also made sure the DJ played cultural music to keep our guests on the dance floor.
Favorite item on the menu: Everything was amazing thanks to the catering team at the Park Hyatt! The hors d’oeuvres were probably the best: lamb chops, goat puffs, beef patties, coconut shrimp, crab cakes, and mini veggie egg rolls. Absolutely delicious!
First dance song: “Is this Love” by Bob Marley & “Share My Life” by Kem

What is your best memory from your wedding? The entire day was PERFECT! We will never forget the look/expression of each other’s face when the curtains opened for me (the bride) to walk down the aisle. What a memorable day!

What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? You can’t please everyone! Do what your heart desires and what is within your own budget! And on your wedding day, make sure to take at least 10 mins (either before or during the reception) to escape and take it all in!

Photography: Judah Avenue Photography
Videography: Visually Inklined
Venue: Park Hyatt
Wedding Planner: Howerton+Wooten Events
Catering: Park Hyatt
Deejay: DrumPulse Entertainment
Emcee: Liz The International Diva
Florist: Nature of Design with Janet Flowers
Hair Stylist: A Touch of Te
Lighting: PSAV
Make-Up: Tiffany Lumpkin
Stationery: LePenn Designs

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