BRIDE AND GROOM
Sharise Monet Johnson and Richard Oliver Johnson II
CEREMONY + RECEPTION LOCATION
Hampton University Memorial Chapel, Lesner Inn
THE STORY – HOW YOU MET AND THE PROPOSAL
Sharise & Rich’s story begins at their “Home by the Sea”, better known as Hampton University. On a cold winter afternoon in January of 2010, Rich and Sharise stood in the financial aid line as they prepared for the second half of their Junior and Senior year. Sharise wasn’t happy about having to stand in line, and sat next to Rich with a not-so-kind look on her face.
Rich, with his humorous personality, turned to Sharise and inquired about the pitiful look on her face. Shocked that Rich had the audacity to even ask her why she was mad, Sharise was immediately intrigued. The two sparked a conversation, started following one another on Twitter, and spent that evening engaged in hours of discussion as they began to learn about one another.
Fast forward to June 2010. Sharise was a recent grad of Hampton University and accepted her first job as a reporter at KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Nearly 1,300 miles apart, Sharise and Rich relied on technology–cell phones, Skype, Facebook, and text messages– to keep in touch. Unfortunately, with Rich finishing his tenure at Hampton University, and Sharise busy starting her career, conversations and Skype sessions began to fade. They soon made the decision to part ways.
Between 2010 and 2012 life happened. Rich enjoyed college, graduated from Hampton, and began working in Maryland. Sharise pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., worked as a reporter for a year, and moved back to Atlanta to begin a career in Public Relations at AT&T. Over the years, Rich and Sharise remained friends, often spoke on the phone, and occasionally ran into each other at Hampton University homecomings, but that was the extent of their friendship. In June of 2012, Sharise decided to attend Atlanta Greek Picnic with her Sorors, but little did she know that Rich was headed to Atlanta to enjoy the festivities with his fraternity brothers. And just like that, they bumped into each other at the picnic, exchanged numbers, and reconnected during the weekend.
Throughout the next year, Georgia stayed on Rich’s mind, and in June of 2013 he moved to Atlanta as he and Sharise began their courtship. Rich and Sharise enjoyed growing together, and in Christ, as they explored Atlanta, went on exciting trips, and continued to work hard at their careers.
Nearly two years later, Rich and Sharise made the decision to move to Charlotte, NC to expand their careers and be closer to both of their families. They packed up their belongings and moved to their new place on Wednesday, February 25th. And on Friday, February 27th, as Rich and Sharise were attending an annual family brunch at the mother of the bride’s house, Rich popped the question in front of more than 70 family members and close friends. Sharise was so surprised to say the least!! You can see learn more about the proposal and see the video here. http://www.winterweddingbythesea.com/our-story/
THE WEDDING – WEDDING THEME + OVERAL VISION
“Winter Wedding By The Sea”- a holiday/winter themed wedding, and all of the venues were nestled on the waterfront in Hampton, Va and Virginia Beach, Va.
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Johnson II were married in Hampton, Va on December 19, 2015 at the same location where they met 5 years ago–Hampton University. The couple wed in the University Chapel overlooking the waterfront. Guests enjoyed a wedding weekend–complete with a “southern food” rehearsal lunch, welcome happy hour at a hotel on the waterfront, and a football & farewells event to close the weekend.
The couple had a morning wedding at 10 am, followed by a brunch reception at the Lesner Inn at Virginia Beach. Guests enjoyed chicken and waffles, an omelet station, baked apples, bacon, shrimp and grits, salmon, and more. And guests were treated to an unlimited mimosa bar throughout the cocktail hour and the reception.
As guests checked in to their hotels they received personalized room keys with photos of the bride and groom on them and welcome gift sets with a “winter wedding by the sea” personalized coffee mug, Russian tea, and a note and weekend itinerary from the bride and groom.
With an early start to a morning wedding, the bride and groom wanted to find a unique way to wake up and entertain their guests, so at 8 am every guest received a personalized, pre-recorded wakeup call from the bride and groom sharing their excitement for the big day and thanking everyone for traveling near and far to attend their wedding.
And for guests and family members who were unable to attend, the couple livestreamed their wedding ceremony and first dance via Periscope. This was a wonderful touch for a lot of the groom’s extended family who live in Jamaica and England. Everyone was able to take part in their special moment.
At the reception, guests were greeted with an ornament guestbook, where they signed Christmas ornaments with their name or a message to the bride and groom and hung them on silver trees. The bride and groom surprised everyone with their first dance to Let it Snow by Boyz II Men—complete with real falling snow on the dance floor. Guests also enjoyed a hot chocolate bar, cookie bar, selfie station, and cigar bar throughout the reception. We also had baby photos of the bride and groom on the bathroom doors for men and women, respectively, canvas photos from the bride and groom past Christmas holidays together as guests entered the reception venue lobby, and more.
And guests placed gifts into monogrammed Christmas stockings, instead of the traditional bird cage, and the groom (who is a huge football fan) threw a silver football with a Washington Redskins garter wrapped around for the garter toss.
Guests received favors of mini bottles of sparkling wine, snowflake ornament place cards and magnets, snowflake ornament napkin adornments, a Christmas CD complete with the bride and groom’s favorite holiday tunes, and a set of jingle bells for the bride and groom sendoff.
MOST MEMORABLE – FAVORITE MOMENTS + FAMILY TRADITIONS
Our best memory would have to be the vows we wrote for one another and the moment we had our guests stand during the ceremony to also take vows to commit to supporting, loving, and praying for us.
And an unforgettable moment would be our first dance. We danced to “Let it Snow” by Boyz II Men to coincide with our winter wedding theme, and we actually had snow fall on the dance floor as we danced. 🙂
Wedding Coordinator- MorLina Events http://www.morlinaevents.com/
Wedding Dress Designer:Casablanca
Music- Hampton Roads Violin http://www.hamptonroadsviolin.com/
Reception Venue- Lesner Inn http://www.lesnerinn.com/
Church Venue- Hampton University Memorial Chapel
Lighting/Special Effects- Stage Right Lighting http://stagerightlighting.com/
Linens- Waterford Event Rentals http://waterfordeventrentals.com/
Wedding Dress- Lily Rose Bridal Boutique http://www.lilyrosebridal.com/
Photographer- Bryan Myhr Photography http://www.myhrphotography.com/
Videographer- SMVisuals http://www.smvisuals1993.com/
Cake & Cookies- Incredible Edibles Bakery http://www.incredibleediblesbakery.com/
Transportation (Party Bus for the wedding party)- Truffle Shuttle http://www.truffleshuttle.com/
DJ- Audio the DJ
Makeup- Shakierah Wright & Angette Williams
Hair- Hairista Salon by Ebony Robinson https://www.styleseat.com/HAIRista