Now more than ever in this generation’s lifetime, all our senses have been tested. We are living in a state of constant uncertainties.
We have had to make major adjustments as to the way we engage with everyone in our lives and every aspect of our life–from work, socializing, with friends and family. Living with COVID-19, today in 2020 and trying to create some kind of normalcy is challenging.
Our every emotion are being tested. But one sentiment that seems to be carrying us through things when applied is LOVE.
Tracy Willimon and her now-husband James Slade had been planning their wedding for some time now. The date was set. Venue secured. The other details were just a matter of booking appointments, meeting with vendors, and making payments.
The most difficult as far as they were concerned was going to be narrowing down their guest list.
But as things would have it–COVID-19 hit, each state started to make rules, changes, and set standards in how gathering would be held. Like many, we thought things would get back to “normal” by the Summer, then we said late Summer, and as Fall started to usher in decisions had to be made to move forward with the wedding or to cancel and reschedule for 2021.
Tracy and James decided they wanted nothing more than to be married and to spend the rest of their lives together. The few things that they were certain of were they both felt if they put Jehovah God first, and sought his blessings all else would fall in place. They knew they loved each other, their commitment to their families and friends was not in question. So they decided to announce their decision with the understanding that some would not accept and that was ok under the current circumstances.
Once they told their family and friends, they had decided to go forward with the wedding, they felt the love and support.
Christopher, James’ oldest son flew in from Colorado to celebrate with his dad and walk his bonus mom, friend down the aisle. It is heartwarming.
Their bridal party Julie, Dana, and Angela went into action mode to make sure that Tracey and James felt joy, despite the pandemic. They did not want it to damper the occasion. They hosted a virtual bridal shower and did all their bridesmaids shopping virtually and individually.
They did everything to ease the minds of their family, and friends. The mission was to find a location that would accommodate their guest list of 22 people for an intimate ceremony, and a dinner to celebrate their union.
Our WBM Production Team went straight into action to hire vendors that would ensure the professionalism and safety of all in attendance from guests to vendors present.
We were able to secure one of our favorite locations Bacchus Bistro & Wine, who give us a detailed outline of things that ensured the safety of everyone in the establishment from the entrance of the building to the garden space.
Although there were only 22 guests physically present, a large number of others received a digital invitation with a Zoom link that the photographer and her technical assistant provided that would give the guest a quality sound and professional view of the wedding as it happened. After the ceremony, Tracey and James addressed the friends and family on Zoom to make them feel very much a part of the festivities.
This was not the first marriage for both Tracy and James but the wedding was very important to them. Incorporating their faith, and spiritual beliefs was non-negotiable.
Full names: James J. Slade& Tracy Slade
Occupations: Traffic Device Maintainer for DOT, (James) Caretaker of grounds NYCHA(Tracy)
Cultural Background: Both of us have Southern Roots.
How did you both meet? We met at JFK Airport we worked for the TSA Dept of homeland security.
Where did you get married? We were married in Brooklyn, at Bacchus Bistro & Wine.
What was the most important thing for both of you when planning your wedding: Location meant a LOT to us we didn’t want a wedding in another state we wanted to be married in Brooklyn where most of our friends and family were. It was the best choice for us.
What does love mean to you? Love means everything to us. We love God FIRST and each other because we were Friends First, we believe that in order for couples to truly love each other and trust one another they must be friends with each other.
What does family mean to you? Our families are also very important to us. James has children from a previous marriage, he loves them as a Father should, and we both have elderly parents that we take care of.
What are some tips you want to give to couples planning their wedding? FIRST Make sure you know what you want, your theme/style that is good for you. Also, remember that flowers ARE IMPORTANT to make sure you have the budget for your wedding items. Ladies if you are planning your wedding for the next year get started on your weight loss and skin regimen now.
And if you have Bridesmaids make sure they have your back and are willing to help you (the Bride) with the invites, wedding registry, and other details that may be tedious.
The Give Back
Tracy and James’ love story not only showed the power of community during challenging times… but their wedding inspired the love of others.
Weddings have a way of doing this. Couples in the audience start to feel more sentimental. You can observe this by the warm looks you will see couples giving each other which is so heart warming.
Simple acts of kindness become more and more important and precious. Tracy and James gifted the bridal party masks that would keep them safe and that would also benefit those less fortunate. Her masks were designed by our friend, Yemi Osunkoya of Kosibah Couture Bridal in partnership with Music Kitchen. With every masked ordered one would be donated to someone living in a shelter. So because of James and Tracy’s wedding gifts, 22 strangers will be protected. Love Never Fails.
WBM Production was honored to produce this intimate soiree right in the heart of our community–Brooklyn. Special thanks to our preferred vendors who stepped right in to give impeccable services throughout from beginning to end.
The bride acquired her dress without a hitch at Designer Loft which provided full service, dress along with alteration services, and veil.
Beauty team provided by Bridal Gal on makeup, special thinks to Lilly for providing both trial and day of makeup.
Sonia Castleberry from Brides By Sonia Castleberry and her assistant Chanelle Everetts for making the hair experience seamless for the bride.
All on-premises design by Nia Mozee by Simply Design for staging and designing the space to beautifying it even more. Being able to bring in seasonal flowers, and working with the natural beauty of the space.
Hannah Sole Powderly of Dont Quit Your Day Job Production for providing engagement pictures, day of wedding images, and bringing the A-game to our Zoom experience for guests not present to feel like they were there.
Last but not least the cake. Shannon of Heavenly Crumbs was able to make the bride stop on her tracks to enjoy her cake. Now that is great customer service.