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.”


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!