Bride: Yaasmeen S. Heard, 33
Groom: Richard Spencer, 33
Occupations: Heard, neuroscience area manager; Spencer, engineer
Wedding Date: May 7, 2011
Wedding Location: Ceremony & Reception: Hard Rock Resort & Casino, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
First Impressions Yaasmeen, a Texas native, noticed her future husband Richard, a Tennessee transplant, while they were both leaving a then-popular Washington, DC nightclub. “I followed him down the street and made casual conversation,” admits Yaasmeen with a laugh. The two exchanged contact information but there didn’t seem to be any sparks. “Even though she gave me her number I thought she was interested in my friend,” recalls Richard. Yaasmeen shares, “I didn’t think he liked me at first because I invited him to a few functions but he kept declining.” “I called her the exact same day she deleted my number from her phone because she thought I wasn’t interested,” says Richard. He adds, “We had one of those three hour phone conversations…everything just clicked.”
Falling Right in Line: After Yaasmeen and Richard did get on the same page, everything started to fall into place. They even began a fun banter about who went to the “real” HU since Yaasmeen is a graduate of Hampton University and Richard is a Howard University alum. “It’s very rare to meet someone you have a lot in common with. I observed her and her tight group of friends. We have similar relationships with our friends and family. We’re also both very planning oriented about our short and long-term goals,” reveals Richard. Yaasmeen echoes this sentiment adding that Rich (as she affectionately calls him) is a southern gentleman. “We met each others families early on — it seemed natural,” she shares. Yaasmeen adds, “In a loving way he knows how to put me in my place and challenge me. It was refreshing.” “I would joke with my girlfriends, ‘This is my husband, y’all!”
[All images courtesy of Arnaud Brichet, HDC Photography.]
Count On Me: Not long after Yaasmeen and Richard started dating, Richard’s father passed away. “It was sudden — a heart attack. He and Rich were very close and I was in the room when he got the call from his mom,” remembers Yaasmeen. Without hesitation, Yaasmeen helped her beau pack and made the drive with him to Tennessee to be with his family. “She was so selfless,” says Richard, adding that his beloved was very patient with his grandmother while assisting his mother with cooking and cleaning. Perhaps it was that life-altering event that made Richard want to ask for Yaasmeen’s hand in marriage. He drove to Atlanta to ask Yaasmeen’s father for his blessing face-to-face before popping the question. Although he planned a thoughtful proposal in the exact D.C. location where they met Richard claims, “It didn’t turn out how I envisioned it.” Nonetheless, Yaasmeen joyfully accepted.
Down the Isle in Style! It wasn’t difficult for the couple to decide they wanted to tie the knot in DR. “We had gone there for a vacation the year prior,” explains Richard. It is also no accident that they wed on the 7th of May. Yaasmeen breaks it down, “We met on September 7, 2007 and he proposed on September 7, 2010 so 7 is a significant number for us.” Once their date and venue were solidified, the pair began planning a full-fledged wedding weekend to remember. Combining their nicknames to form the monkier Razzy, Yaasmeen also tapped into her DIY (do-it-yourself) skills to create a creative lineup of festivities aka Razzyfest for the couple’s 100+ out-of-town guests including a Cinco de Mayo welcome reception, golf tournament and Mother’s Day farewell brunch. “It is all a blur now but I really enjoyed the toasts and seeing everyone dancing and having a great time,” says Richard before adding, “All the feedback I got was people saying it was the best wedding they had ever been to which is pretty impressive since Yaasmeen initially just wanted to go to the justice of the peace!”
Yaasmeen’s Money Saving Tips for Future Brides:
Coupon Savvy: Yaasmeen established a personal email account shortly after getting engaged solely for the wedding and it helped save the couple cash. “I used that email address to sign up for promotions and sales with vendors in our area, as well as Groupon discounts,” she says.
Let It Go: While the bride was very particular about all her wedding details leading up to the wedding day, she didn’t allow this to sabotage her nuptials or her bank account by making last minute changes/additions. “I woke up that morning super calm. At that point I didn’t care, it was all about me and Rich getting married,” she explains.
Resourcefulness Rules: Since the newlyweds were already in a tropical locale, they decided to stay for the honeymoon after their guests returned home. “We switched resorts. It was our wedding gift from my godbrother; he let us use his timeshare,” shares Yaasmeen.
Take a look at past Tie the Knot Tuesday features here.
***Did you or someone you know recently tie the knot? Complete this brief form and the wedding just might be featured in an upcoming Black Bridal Bliss feature!***