Tie The Knot Tuesday: The Royall Union (Bridgette and Anthony’s Bliss-part two)

 

Introducing the Royalls

Couple: Black Bridal Bliss founder Bridgette and Anthony Royall
Wedding Date: October 19, 2013
Wedding and Reception Location: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture – Charlotte, NC

Me and My Girlfriend
After being introduced by a mutual friend, the Royalls developed their friendship-turned-relationship by phone. Although both lived in New York City, the two talked by phone for a month before ever meeting in person. Bridgette found Anthony to be cute, funny, down-to-earth and ambitious: all the traits she wanted in a boyfriend. For her, the chemistry was instant. “We would talk on the phone for hours as though we had known each other for years,” she says. “Early on I felt like I could be myself around him and that doesn’t happen often. I was also impressed by the strong relationship he had with his mother.” Anthony was more inclined to foster a friendship. He shares, “For several reasons, I didn’t think a relationship would be able to develop into a marriage. But Bridgette’s family values, ambition, and general curiosity about life kept my attention the first few years. Frequently eating her mother’s cooking was another reason I stuck around.”

Love is Stronger Than Pride
Bridgette and Anthony spent their whirlwind courtship reminiscing about growing up in Jamaica, Queens, discussing how to navigate their careers, and just spending quality time together. The duo genuinely enjoyed each other’s company and dated on and off for years. But their relationship was not without challenges. “When things were good they were great, but we had lots of starts and stops,” Bridgette explains. They experienced job losses, cheating, and illness to name a few. At one point, Anthony also became the temporary guardian of his niece (with no financial assistance). That act of generosity was a game changer for Bridgette and revealed another layer of Anthony’s character. She scored a stand-up guy. “Anthony quietly does for others and he loves hard,” Bridgette explains.

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{Images by 3RingWeddings}

Love on Top
Bridgette doesn’t remember the exact time she fell in love with Anthony. “I think it was a gradual process,” she reveals. Anthony actually realized he was in love with Bridgette during a break-up. And how did he know she was the woman to share the rest of his life? He confesses “I decided I wanted to marry Bridgette because of her beauty. Not just how beautiful she looks in one of her temporary amnesia — makes me forget anything she has ever done wrong — dress and pumps combos. I’m reminded how beautiful she is each time she kisses me when I’m having a bad day. Each hug followed by an encouraging pep talk reminding me of the big picture.” The self-proclaimed Mama’s boy adds, “Bridgette possesses several attributes I first recognized in my mother and grandmother. However, in Bridgette these attributes are packaged in a gentler way. She allowed me to push boundaries within myself.”

Meet Me at the Altar in Your White Dress
Bridgette was impressed by Anthony’s September 2012 proposal at her father’s gravesite, but not surprised. “Anthony likes to do things off the beaten path, so I knew his proposal would be unique. His proposal, the engagement ring, our wedding—it is all very much us.” Anthony prides himself on not conforming to “the norm.” “My proposal felt like I was clearly doing it my way…perhaps our way. Those closest to me weren’t shocked after learning how I popped the question.” The couple decided to jump the broom in Charlotte, North Carolina, where lots of Bridgette’s family live.

From Queens to the “Queen City”
Following an intimate ceremony and gathering in their hometown of New York, Bridgette and Anthony headed below the Mason Dixon line for a traditional wedding affair with about 110 guests. However the Queen City nuptials were hardly traditional. The couple had a pizza party themed rehearsal dinner, their venue was an African-American museum, the bridesmaids wore dresses of their choice and the entire weekend ended with a farewell fish fry. Good times were bountiful. “My favorite part of the ceremony was the joking that took place with our wedding party,” recalls Anthony. Bridgette shares, “Our ceremony was emotional because although my father wasn’t there physically, his spirit was definitely present.” She adds with a chuckle, “And I was shocked by how much Anthony danced during the reception – and that my brother attempted a split during the Soul Train line.” All in all, The Royall Union was a weekend Bridgette and Anthony will treasure for a lifetime.

Bridgette’s Budget-Friendly Tips for Brides-to-Be

Stay True to You: “Don’t purchase items just for the sake of tradition if they aren’t important to you. For instance, Anthony and I didn’t spend money on limousines or luxury cars. Instead we (and the entire bridal party) all stayed less than ten minutes from the venue. I took my hotel’s shuttle to the Gantt!”

Cut Your Clothes to Fit Your Size: “Be honest about what you cannot afford. I realized early on that I couldn’t afford fancy floral centerpieces. But, I was happy with the feeling floating candles gave the space; especially because of the Gantt Center’s distinct architectural details.”

Accept That Compromises Will Be Made: “Even as a magazine editor turned bridal blogger who received many perks while wedding planning, Anthony and I had to make sacrifices. We got great practice in managing household finances and working as a team which we’ll need for a healthy marriage.”

Step Outside the Bridal Box: “Our groomsmen’s ties were purchased at H&M and their gifts were from the J.Crew Factory Outlet. My mother scored our cake cutter from Goodwill. Once you stop thinking everything for your wedding has to come from a “bridal-specific” resource you’ll reap significant savings.”

Get Your Frank Sinatra On: “Yep, do your wedding your way! From our wallet-friendly pizza party themed rehearsal dinner to nixing pricey calligraphy addressed invitations, we decided what The Royall Union was going to be and not only did it save us cash, I think our guests were able to appreciate the authenticity.”

CREDITS

Dress: Mother’s wedding suit/A Something Borrowed Something New creation by Kelly Nishimoto (designer) and Sam Saboura (fashion expert).

Jewelry: Simon G.

Veil: Veil Trends Courtesy of Soliloquy Bridal Couture

Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Groom’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse

Groomsmen Attire: K&G/Ties: H&M

Photography & Videography: Three Ring Media

Hairstylist: Aubrey Harley and Alex Jones of Charlotte, NC

Makeup artist: Amy Tritt for MAC

Nails: The Nail Suite by Lisa Logan

Music & Lighting: DJ Battle of One Sound & Entertainment

Bridesmaid shoes: Nina

Bridesmaid jewelry: Carolee

Florist: Colleen Rett of Poppies Floral Design

Wedding Coordinator: Summer McLane of My Simply Perfect Events

Wedding Cakes: Doris Marsh of D.J.’s Creations, Bear Creek, NC

Groom’s Cake: For Goodness Cakes

Custom Coffee Station: Courtesy of Dolce Gusto

Libations: Svedka Vodka

Décor Rentals: The Linen Loft

Venue: The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture ~ Charlotte, NC

Invitation Suite: Pinda Romain of Penny Design

Wedding Day Signage: Save the Date

Broom: Leap Two Love

View a Pinterest board of vendors here.

Check right rail for the couple’s wedding video trailer!

 

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Share the Bliss

    Comments

    1. Okay i just cried at my desk. I’ve been coming to this site for at least two years and NEVER commented. You deserve all the bliss Bridgette. Congrats to you and may God bless your marriage.

    2. Ana Jirves says:

      What an Amazing Love story!!!

    3. Very nice recap! Thanks for the wedding tips and candid insight into your journey to the altar.

    4. So happy for you two! I love LOVE!!! …My two college friends………Many blessings and 1 o 2 babies please & thank you! LOL :)

    5. So fabulous! I loved all the little details. Congrats again!

    6. Bridgette,
      These pictures and your story are so beautiful. Congratulations again to you and Anthony!!
      Alecia

    7. Bridgette exuded beauty and class on her wedding day. She planned details like a conductor and they came off wonderfully. Everyone was family that day, you could feel the love. The groom, usually New York cool, was visibly on Cloud Nine. Majestic? Dare I say, Royal!

    8. Kima-Shai says:

      What a beautiful story! I’ve learned so much since I first started following your blog after SBSN. The real ness of the ups and downs of the relationship…I can so relate! But I also know we wouldn’t be here and this strong had we not went through that! Can’t wait for May 3rd!!!!

    9. Thank you for being so transparent about your journey.Most people only tell the “happily ever after” part of their love story. And thank you for creating this blog for black brides like me who don’t get to see themselves alot in bridal magazines & blogs. I love your budget tips and they help me feel better about cuts I have to make for my Sept wedding.

    10. Single in the bronx says:

      Nice pics & story. Congrats!

    11. Truly beautiful Bridgette! Thank you for sharing so much with us. I am in deed taking notes! I also love all the little touches like the picture frames about seating and unplugging, I may just have to steal that one lol. Also you are so right about staying true to who you are. There are some things that I just don’t feel the need to do as far as my wedding but others tell me over and over “but that is tradition” .Its been hard trying to stand my ground but I also know you cant please everyone and to remember its my day. Thanks for all your tips and sharing your love story. Many blessings to you both!

    12. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      As you can imagine, I was more than a little nervous about this Tie the Knot Tuesday feature. Thanks to Mondella Jones, I am very happy with the final result. The gallery brings back such fun memories. Marriage is no joke. It has nothing to do with how big your centerpieces are or the length of your veil. It is a serious comittment and I still have so much to learn but I’m happy and appreciative for this place in my relationship — even the not so rosy stuff. God has given us so much to be thankful for as a couple. Maybe it comes from losing a parent to cancer at a fairly young age but I’ve learned that when you have a chance to celebrate in life, you should. And with a grateful heart. So that’s what Anthony and I tried to do. Many people say weddings aren’t necessary and they absolutely aren’t. Neither are birthday parties, baby showers, housewarmings or congratulations on your new job get-togethers. When you get the chance to dance in life, you better take it. (And stay within your budget of course, LOL!) I appreciate the love from my Triple B family. Thank you, all!

    13. Sharon Jenkins says:

      Very nice so happy for you Bridgette never met you, but I know and love your mom. I think you get her warm, caring spirit. By the way I like the cake cutter part..that ‘s your mom.

    14. Bridgette I don’t know where to start. First of all I am so happy that you’re happy. Anthony I’m also happy and glad she chose you, for her husband I couldn’t have ask for better. Know that what God has for you is truly for you and the best Is yet to come………
      Mondella you did a great job with their story, thank you so much.

    15. Simply beautiful, words are just not enough for me right now. I wish you and Anthony the best always.

    16. delma murcock says:

      Beautiful!! Amazing love story.

    17. Brother Ben says:

      Congrats to The Royalls. Thanks for sharing your story out loud. Marriage is sacred. I hope you both get to grow old together and enjoy your union as God planned it. This feature is well written, as is all the content on your site – bravo. You’ll always be my little sister, just all grown up now. Still luv ya like cooked food, ya ‘ere!

    18. Bridgette & Anthony,

      The Gantt Center was thrilled and honored that you chose our museum for your ceremony and reception. It was the most beautiful, heartfelt wedding I’ve witnessed here. Thanks also for sharing your love story with the world. We wish you all the best, always.

    19. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      Aww, shucks! Thank you for the support and well wishes. I truly appreciate you all for not only viewing the pics and reading our story but also leaving an encouraging comment. It means so much.

    20. Heather W. says:

      Love, love, love! Bridgette, congratulations to you and Anthony (again). Hope to meet him one day! Hugs to you.

    21. Congrats to the Royall couple! I’m so happy for the two of you. I was honored to able to witness such a beautiful event. Thank you for this site and all the tips for future brides-to be. Hopefully Onyx will be a big brother in the not so distant future! :-)

    22. What a journey and it’s still goes on. Your mom is so proud of you, and rightfully so. The details of your wedding journey speak volumes about how important it is to be surrounded by the people you love.
      Love is a journey!

    23. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Heather, Nish & Debbie – Thank you much!

    24. Gerald McCoy says:

      Congrats to you guys. Great article. And I didn’t realize the list of vendors in your Credits would be so long. Lots of moving parts…

    25. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Gerald – Thanks much and yes…LOTS of moving parts. ;-)

    26. Beautiful story! Congrats and well wishes to the couple.

    27. Hey Bridge and Anthony, Beautiful story and pics. Congrats on everything and i wish you guys nothing but happiness. love ya Bridge : )

    28. Thank you Intoxicating Vixen Boutique! @Karean – This comment is monumental. LOL! Thanks much. You’re now off the hook. ;-)

    29. “Many people say weddings aren’t necessary and they absolutely aren’t. Neither are birthday parties, baby showers, housewarmings or congratulations on your new job get-togethers. When you get the chance to dance in life, you better take it.”

      I’m almost in tears at reading your words, Bridgette. I’ve been feeling really frustrated with wedding planning lately, combined with the stresses of moving and work. Between various disappointments and worries, you sometimes forget about what really matters. With your words, you have helped this frazzled bride to be focus on what is important. Thank you for inviting us into your amazing celebration of joy.

    30. @Tiffany – You’re so welcome! Thank YOU for stopping by and commenting. I hope Triple B continues to be a wedding planning resource for you. Be blessed and enjoy every second of your bridal bliss.

    31. What a wonderful occasion. So glad I could be apart of it. It was truly a beautiful bright day regardless of the weather. The love in the room was transferred to everybody who attending. Congrats to The Royall’s.

    32. @KClarke – Thanks so much, cuz! Love ya.

    33. Congrats Bridgie on your 4th anniversary…I can’t believe how time flies! May you be blessed with 40 more years (of marriage & the website)!! ;-) Love you!

    34. Congratulations to you and Anthony! Happy 4th Anniversary to BBB! You know how feel about the #4 Love you much,

    35. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Esh – Thanks so much! (Yes, time flies — trite but true.) Love you, too!

      @Nakia – Thank you, Nik! I just had to explain what the #4 was about to Anthony. ;-) Love you, too!

    Trackbacks

    1. […] on Triple B is because this happen to me while still a a very new newlywed. The day after The Royall Union, there was a Farewell Fish Fry. Folks ate, played Spades, cracked jokes–it was a good time […]

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