If we have learned anything these past two years, it is these few things: We WILL NOT take life for granted. We WILL love harder. And we ARE GOING TO CREATE our own narratives about our own stories. Therefore, when it comes to your wedding, we are going to create our own traditions and leave our own legacy.
John and Imani King tied the knot in October in Atlanta. They are a reflection of the loving experiences World Bride Magazine has been sharing with you all for the past 20+ years, before diversity and inclusion started trending. This beautiful couple shares their love story with us.
With so much culture in one room, we wanted to know what they did to celebrate their love and heritage. They decided to celebrate their spiritual bond.
“We didn’t do anything culturally specific during the wedding ceremony but our officiant, Greg Wiggins, did wrap a sash around John and my hands to recite a final blessing over us. I was raised Catholic, so I wanted to incorporate some of that into the ceremony without doing a full mass. Before the ceremony, Greg did something special with John, his groomsmen, and my dad. John and Greg share Scottish roots and did a shot of Ardbeg single malt, Scottish whiskey shortly before the ceremony started.”
How The Love Story Began
Imani and John met while they both pursued their master’s degrees. After a chance meeting on Valentine’s Day, the two slowly grew closer until they became a true couple on New Year’s Eve. Now the two are aiming to take the Atlanta film scene by storm, with Imani designing the sets and John acting and singing upon them.
Also in the photos: (from the inside out) Michael Wilson – Best Man, Jerome Newman – groomsman, Jordan Smith – groomsman, Kaejauny Tufts – Maid of Honor, Kayla Brewster – bridesmaid, Annyce Goodrum – bridesmaid
Their Love Story In There Own Words
Full name: Imani Adeline King, formerly Celestin, and John Patrick King.
What is your occupation?
Imani- I work in the film industry as a set dresser and will be starting on an exciting film in a few weeks!
John- I’m currently an Operations Manager at Wiggins Group, a manager at Jake’s Ice Cream, and a singer/actor in my spare time.
What is your cultural background?
Imani- I’m African American. My mom was born and raised in Colorado and my dad is Haitian. According to 23 and Me, however, I’m over 30% Nigerian and also have roots in Ireland.
John- I’m an American with a mix of Anglo-Saxon heritage that primarily draws from Scotland and Ireland.
How did you meet?
We met by chance on February 14th while we were both studying in Grad School. John walked into a room to rehearse for an upcoming theatrical production and Imani was already in there doing some work on her laptop. They shared the room and struck up a conversation that lasted for two hours before John was called into a rehearsal. After that, it was a series of colliding paths that kept bringing them back together.
What does love mean to you?
Imani- Love to me means knowing that this person is worth all the troubles that will come down the road. It means wanting to share your life with them and being able to be my complete self when I am around them. Love is all about acceptance, happiness, and growth.
John- When I think of ‘Love’, I think of how it makes me want to be the best possible version of myself for those that I love. I will fight for them and give them everything I have before all others. There may be a hierarchy in my Love but anyone who claims otherwise hasn’t met anyone truly special, at least in my opinion.
What does family mean to you?
Imani- Family to me is the core group of people in your life that you would do anything for. You know you can call them whenever and they will be there for you and vise versa. That can include friends while not including all blood family as well. We all get to choose our families.
John- I believe that family is more than blood relations and that we can choose who is in our family. Due to that belief, family, to me, is a group that cares for its members and wants for their happiness, safety, and success before that of others.
What was the most important thing for you when you were planning your wedding?
Imani- I always wanted to have the perfect dress, a delicious dessert, and great music. We got to have all three, thankfully.
John- I really wanted there to be a fun, light atmosphere that allowed for connections to be made among the guests.
What is one bit of advice you would give couples planning their wedding?
Imani- It is about you and your husband and what you both want. Outside opinions/suggestions could be helpful, but not always and you are not obligated to follow them.
John- Focus on what’s most important to each of you and build from there.
So as you, our readers prepare to plan your own wedding, don’t worry about keeping traditions that don’t resonate with you and your beloved. Start your own. Find the thing that binds you both together. Invite people that will celebrate your union and make it memorable for now and eternity.
*All Photos by Makenzie Grall ImagingTheir Love Story In Their Own Words.