Real Weddings

This Entire Wedding Lost It When The First Dance Cut to Meek Mill’s Dreams & Nightmares

Plus it's got the cutest teeny-tiny flower girls we've ever seen.


Photography by Kanayo Adibe

Vernon and Paris Dupree met years ago at the University of Delaware, and stuck together through a long-distance relationship from D.C. to Delaware before finding themselves happily together in Philadelphia. Their beautiful spring wedding celebration featured a pretty ceremony at St. John The Evangelist church, followed by a glamorous reception with 265 of their friends and family at Ballroom at the Ben. (And the cutest, teeny-tiny flower girls we’ve ever seen.) See it all unfold in the photos below by photographer Kanayo Adibe.

The two met back in 2008 during their college years. They were both from Delaware and the pair had best friends who happened to both play basketball at the University of Delaware. “Through our friends, we would see each other at various social events,” said Paris. However, it wasn’t until late 2014 that their friendship finally turned into a relationship. “I was in my third year of law school at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. when we reconnected at an open mic night while I was home in Delaware on winter break,” remembers Paris. Since they’ve known one another for so long, they still can’t decide when their first date is (they agree it’s probably either ice skating at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, or dinner at Mikimotos in Wilmington) but they’ve decided a little ambiguity is okay.

For the next year and a half the pair grew closer and closer even though they were long-distance since they lived in two different places (Washington D.C. and Delaware). Then, during a trip to Mexico that Paris planned for his birthday, Vernon proposed and Paris immediately said yes! Six months later they both made the move to Philadelphia, and started planning their perfect wedding day, which took place a year and a half after they got engaged.

“Our wedding was a modern take on a traditional wedding and was filled with so much love! It was amazing to see all of our ideas and hard work come to fruition,” says Paris, “Our wedding party was super supportive and our wedding coordinator, Tiffany Chalk, was superwoman!” She and Vernon recited their vows at St. John the Evangelist Church in the heart of Philadelphia. Paris walked down the aisle to “Ava Maria” by Beyonce, which was played by a local pianist and saxophonist. The ceremony also featured 3 tiny flower girls, Paris’ young cousins, and two junior bridesmaids, Vernon’s niece and Paris’s niece.

Their cocktail hour on the balcony of the Ballroom at the Ben featured a seafood bar with shrimp and snow crab claws, a carving station which included filet mignon and skirt steak, an Italian food station which included various types of pasta, a southwest station which included fajitas, a Neptune station which included lobster tails, and a number of other passed hor d’oeurves. Their guests enjoyed custom cocktails: “The VLD,” a take on a margarita, and “The Peyonce,” a martini. Dinner consisted of a duet entrée of a char grilled filet mignon with a demi glaze and an oven roasted jumbo lump crab cake with Brussel sprouts and classic garlic mashed potatoes.

One of the favorite moments from the celebration was their entrance. “We entered the ballroom from the balcony level and all of our family and friends were just cheering us on. Once we made it to the dance floor, we danced a little while before the DJ cut the music as if there was a malfunction and immediately played Dream & Nightmares by Meek Mill. All of our guests rushed the dance floor to start dancing with us and it set the tone for the rest of the night. The video of this went viral!” [Editor’s Note: Scroll to the bottom for the video!] The music kept folks on the dance floor until the lights came on, and all of their family and friends loved the celebration.

“We truly had the time of our lives and we think our guest did too as they haven’t stopped talking about it,” says Paris. After all of the celebrating they spent two weeks on their honeymoon traveling in Sri Lanka and Bali. After a fantastic trip, they happily returned to their home in Old City, where Paris works as a corporate lawyer and Vernon is a recruiter and men’s college basketball coach.

THE DETAILS
Photography:  Kanayo Adibe | Venue: Ballroom at the Ben | Florist:  Eilena Mercier of Event Loft | Wedding Planner: Tiffany Chalk Events | Caterer: Finley Catering | Videographer: CineMavericks Media | Ceremony: St. John The Evangelist | Officiant: Pastor Christopher Rue of Word of Life Christian Center | Bride’s Dress and Bolero: Berta from L’Fay Bridal | Hair: Courtney Willis | Makeup: Robin Lynette  | Groom’s and Groomsmens’ Hair: Javar Pastreno | Groomsmen’s Tuxes: The Black Tux | Groom’s Suit: Henry Couture Paris | Cake: Termini Brothers Bakery | Entertainment: DJ Mike Music and The Company Band Live | Wedding Invitations: Ola of Ijorere | Pianist: Monty Reynolds | Saxophonist: Khari Hayden

See video of Paris and Vernon’s viral first dance below: 

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