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Teddi Alaina and Darren

Houston, TX, United States

Featured on Say Yes to the Dress, our wedding was a magical day at The Bell Tower on 34th in Houston, Tx. My bridesmaids and I arrived to my bridal suite completely decked out with small unique touches to make my day more enjoyable. Mimosas and laughs were shared while everyone took turns getting their hair and makeup done. I occasionally participated in small interviews during my "get ready" process, and even received a hand written note, accompanied by a Pandora charm from my fiancé. My father, who had was left with the uncertainty of if he'd even be present to walk me down the aisle was able to receive his heart and kidney transplant and recover in time to be present on my special day. We shared a very emotional moment, where he was able to see me in my dress and I was able to share how proud I am of him for overcoming all that he has. Meanwhile, our groomsmen were in their suite being gifted with custom Nike cleats that we had designed for them to show our appreciation. My then fiancé had a few small interviews of his own while the guys joked and exchanged playful jabs in their suite.

As our guests were seated, the seating sun shone through the floor to ceiling windows as a violinist surrounded them with the melodies of familiar love songs. My bridal party entered and took their places. My youngest petal princess was my 1 year old niece, Zaira Elaine, who had just started walking about 3-4 weeks prior. My father escorted me down the aisle to Adele's "Make You Feel my Love," played by our violinist. Our wedding was officiated by none other than Pastor Remus E. Wright of The Fountain of Praise. We laughed, prayed, and even participated in a small moment where Darren and I braided 3 cords, signifying our union with God (a Cord of Three Strands). After our vows were exchanged, I surprised Darren by asking his 6 year old daughter to join us up front, where I exchanged my own vows with her. I ended them with, "I may not have given you the gift of life, but life has given me the gift of you," then adorned her with a special necklace. The 3 of us shared a pinky promise before she returned back to her place on the steps. After our "I do's," we danced up the aisle and shared a midway kiss before exiting.

Our ceremony lead into the outdoor cocktail hour in front of Bell Tower's waterfall with passed hors d'oeuvres and live music. Due to my heritage being comprised of Creole and Bahamian, we entered our ceremony with Bahamian dancers and a massive Junkanoo band complete with tubas, trumpets, drums, and a massive Bahamian flag (brought by my cousins that flew in from the island). We wanted our reception to start as a party so our guests surrounded us with mini Bahamian flags, whistles and danced until we all broke out in a slight preliminary sweat. Our first dance was to "Aisle of You," a song by one of our groomsmen, recording artist Christon Gray, that he sang live at the piano "John Legend style". I shared my first dance with father to "Daddy" by Beyonce.

The normal routines including dinner, toasts, and cake cutting all transpired. Like everything else, Darren's removing of my garter was a show and something that, to my surprise, he practiced prior to. His groomsmen simulated throwing him across the floor where he then was able to glide under my dress to dramatically remove my garter. During the party, we had another small performance where "Love on Top" by Beyonce was sang as Darren and I danced together. Caribbean music, New Orleans bounce music, and classic favorites were all spun for our guests.

At the end of the night, I was whisked upstairs by my bridesmaids and assisted into my sultry exit gown. Eventually, Darren and I had our final dance together to "You and I" by John Legend as guests were being distributed their late night snack of hot and fresh beignets while being escorted outside. At the end of the song, we found ourselves alone in the middle of the dance floor and shared a kiss, Darren with his shirt slightly unbuttoned and bowtie draped around his neck. We then ran outside and were greeted by cheers and whistles, and to my surprise, Darren had gotten a Lamborghini convertible for our grand exit. There was a large water fall behind the car where pictures of he and I were being projected. We had our last small speech while guests took their last few photos, and made sure everyone was aware of the after party at Hotel ZaZa. Darren opened my door, as his friends joked that he didn't know how to drive a sports car of that caliber. The engine roared and Darren hit the gas, peeling out across the cobblestone drive as I threw up the peace sign. Absolutely magical.

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