Lisa had planned her wedding date around our availability. I was beyond honoured when she asked us to be part of their day. We met her and her fiance Hakeem for engagement photos, a few days before their wedding. He was so polite and kind. After the shoot, we headed for some food and drink. They asked if we normally pray before we eat. We normally don't. So we did, together. It was such a refreshing evening. In a seemingly helter skelter society, it was nice to be in the company of a true gentleman and a couple who still had old fashioned values.
I was so excited to be part of this day. It started off at Sheraton hotel downtown Hamilton. Lisa and her girls were in the large suite and Hakeem waited while his groomsmen were on their way from Buffalo.
As in the case of most bridal suites, there is a nervous and anticipatory energy in the room. Sophie, Rhonda's little daughter had me in hysterics with her antics. Lisa's sisters worked together to get her ready and get the room in order. The limo came and we were on our way. Back to the property that I remember as a child.
The McLaren household has always sat on a large chunk of land in Winona and housed many, many parties. Family and friends came together to set up a wedding only made for a fairytale. Lanterns were intertwined amongst the trees and tent. The guests were seated. The weather perfectly sunny with a warm breeze. Hakeem sauntered down the aisle to a smooth R&B song. The bridal party followed suit, never missing a beat. I loved it. I've never seen people literally groove down the aisle. I knew this was going to be a fabulous night.
Lisa and Hakeem were married and honoured his children with necklaces they bought. There were some serious paparazzi at this wedding so we had to share the aisle...but we did, and everyone played nice. I ran into old schoolmates and even my very first young love and his parents...we laughed about what trailblazers we were; interracial dating in the 80's was hardly the norm.
The band played and cocktails and appetizers were served while we took Lisa and Hakeem for photographs. Hakeem's sister Nikki sang their first dance....At Last. What a powerhouse! The night was filled with wonderful music, food, family, friends, laughter, dancing and of course love. There was even a translator there for Lisa's hearing impaired sister, so she would not miss anything during the speeches.
We couldn't be more proud to have been with you during your celebrations. Thank you for trusting us to document your wedding. Lastly, I may be a white girl (I've got moves!), but I so appreciate the soul. Your wedding to me, represented what it's really all about. Family coming together with many hands making light work, friends surrounding you with their joy and above all, two people who so obviously were meant to be together.
With love and gratitude,