Bride: Sharifa Cudjoe, 33
Groom: Leighton Murdock, 31
Occupations: Cudjoe: fashion executive; Murdock: bus operator
Homebase: New York
Wedding Date: July 6, 2012
Wedding Location: ceremony and reception: The Liberty Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY
Opposites Attract He’s not my type. These are the words Sharifa Cudjoe said to herself when she left a blind date with her now husband, Leighton Murdock. The duo were set up by Sharifa’s best friend and boyfriend. “I avoided his future date requests and calls,” admits Sharifa. The main reason for her disinterest? “I work in a fast paced fashion environment and have to be assertive and outspoken at times,” she explains. Leighton on the other hand is a NYC MTA bus driver, soft spoken and couldn’t care any less about fashion. While Sharifa dismissed the date, Leighton was smitten. He immediately phoned Sharifa’s best friend’s boyfriend following the date to thank him and proclaimed, “I just met my wife!” He adds, “For me it was love at first sight.”
Special Lunch Delivery Fast forward to a year later, Leighton surprised Sharifa at her office with lunch. “That day we shared quiet, intimate time. He became my friend, charmer and eventually my unexpected prince,” she reflects. As they dated, their two polar opposite lives merged and Sharifa admits she fell in love. “We complement each other. Leighton slows me down and my fashion love is now his new obsession!” says Sharifa with a laugh. Leighton does admit that the couple’s hectic schedules can be a challenge for their relationship but quickly adds, “We just make the best of the time we do spend together.”
[All images by Danielle Honea Photography.]
Mother’s Day Surprise “I’m a hard girl to surprise,” states Sharifa. But Leighton managed to do just that when he asked her to be his wife at a Mother’s Day celebration at Sharifa’s home. All of her close friends and family were present, and everyone was in on the proposal except Sharifa. “She always told me I had to speak to her father first,” Leighton says. With Mr. Cudjoe’s blessing in tow, Leighton popped the question and Sharifa joyfully accepted. She shares, “Many women look for a certain color box and ribbon but sometimes there are [better] things [for you] in a different kind of package.”
Brooklyn Meets the Caribbean The couple injected elements of both their unique personalities throughout their wedding day. They agreed on the out-the-box venue of The Liberty Warehouse for their ceremony and reception. The industrial space attracted Sharifa because it could be transformed to their liking. The couple exchanged vows outdoors with a scenic view of the Statue of Liberty and then moved indoors for dinner and dancing. Guests were treated to the tunes of calypso music by pan players following the ceremony — a nod to Leighton’s Caribbean background. Of course the entire celebration was stylish with the help of wedding planner of Khary Seph of Pink Rooster Events and international image director Alexander Allen. Sharifa gushes, “Leighton and I will always remember our incredibly wonderful night surrounded by children, many memories and our loved ones.”
Sharifa’s Money-Saving Tips for Future Brides
Multiple Choice “Be sure to get at least five quotes from each vendor,” shares Sharifa. This can help ensure you get the most bang for your bridal buck.
Friday Night Lights! Sharifa and Leighton decided to wed on a Friday evening — a significant cost saver. More and more couples are taking advantage of similar savings by opting not to tie the knot on a Saturday.
Take a look at past Tie the Knot Tuesday features here.
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