Elegant West Indian Wedding at Dyker Beach Golf Course, Brooklyn NY | Karisa & Devon

Brides Full Name Karisa Taylor
Grooms Full Name Devon Martins

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal.
We met in October 2003 through his cousin Tiffany. Tiffany and I (Karisa) were going to Sullivan County Community College together and we were both from Brooklyn. One weekend her cousin was giving her a ride to Port Authority and I hopped at the opportunity to get a lift. Devon dropped us off and I did not think much of it. I said thank you and we parted ways. Little did I know that would not be the last of our rides.

The years went on, we remained friends, we had different relationships and we even tried dating in 2006, but the timing was not right. We went some time without speaking, but it was never for long.May 2011 he asked me “why aren’t we together? What’s holding us back?” I explained that we both had things we needed to work on. His response was “we can work on them together”. I thought that was a great response and I told him we can take baby steps.
Baby steps turned into big steps and in October of that year, we made it official. Over the course of the following year things were wonderful, trying new restaurants, movies, even a few concerts, getting to really know each other on a different level.
I was slowly falling in love. I have always loved him, because he was such a great friend for so many years, however, the feelings were different now. I wanted to spend all my free time with him, to share every aspect of my day, to share every joke.

October 29, 2012, my life changed forever in many ways. Hurricane Sandy took us by storm literally. I spoke to Devon around 6:30 pm that evening and decided to watch TV with my mom. Sandy hit and caused us to lose everything we had. My mother and I watched as our lives washed away. The water in the house started to rise and we had no idea when it would end. The phone service was bad but I was able to reach one of my friends, who told me to come to her house. My mom and I walked 10 blocks through the storm and flooded streets. When I got to my friend’s house, I was finally able to speak to Devon who said he would come and get me. I explained that trees and power was down and I did not think it was safe. He told me he would be okay.

About an hour later, he pulled up in an ambulance! He had a friend who drove an ambulance at the time and convinced him that he had to get me. It was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me. I felt like a princess who was rescued by her knight in shining armor or rather not so shiny ambulance.

Wedding Style: Describe your wedding dress. What was wedding shopping like for you?
My wedding dress was mermaid style, designed by Essence Of Australia. I had no intention on picking a dress as early as I did, but when I went to a Maggie Sottero trunk show at Lotus Bridal and tried on this dress coated with buttons going down the backlight embroidery, unique straps, and just the right amount of train, I knew it was it!

I picked my dress on the 2nd go round and I was truly happy it wasn’t a long drawn out process.

Culture: Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell us more.
We’re both West Indian, so with Labor Day the following weekend, we incorporated as many flags from other countries as we could.

The Waltz

Memories: What is your best memory from your wedding?
The Vows and Brides outfit change.

Advice: What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
Be sure to communicate your feelings during the whole process, good or bad. You don’t want to get too caught up in the wedding planning and engagement that you don’t see marriage is the bigger picture.


Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts:
Bridesmaids- Custom robes with Wedding jeweler (necklaces & earrings)

Groomsmen- Custom flasks with shot glasses and Cigar holders

Favorite item on the menu:

First dance song:
Beres Hammond – “There for you”


Day of wedding coordinator- Victorious Events NYC
photography- By Petronela
videography- Yamean Studios
Florist- Midtown Florist
Furniture rental- Evolution Rentals
Brides Dress- Essence Of Austrilia (Lotus bridal)
Brides 2nd Look- Evolution Of J bailey
Veil- Pantora Bridal
Flower Girl Dresses- Pantora Mini
Bridesmaids Dresses- Sew Uneek
Bridesmaid Make up -Tenelle Veira
Brides Hair & Make up- Hair By Gstar
Brides Shoes- Giuseppe zanotti
Stationery- Skkypaperdesigns
Cake- BkConamore
Venue- Dyker Beach Golf Course

Romantic Cameroonian Wedding at the Park Chateau in East Brunswick NJ

Brides Full Name Carine Elise Mbida
Grooms Full Name Julius La-ahban Ngalim

Tell us how you met and all about the proposal.
Our professional ties marked the beginning of an amazing life story. While Julius was being hired to start work, Carine had presented her letter of resignation. Being at the verge of leaving, everyone kept talking to Carine about a new ‘African guy’ who has been hired in finance. Since Carine is from Africa, many thought she may easily identify with the “African guy”. Unfortunately, she had no contact with this guy till her last day at work. Nevertheless, a farewell party was organized for Carine before her departure. The whole office but the “African guy” turn out for the party. ” Being so prudent, he decided to treat Carine to a special lunch of two. She happily accepted the invitation. During our lunch, we were happy to know that both of are not just from Africa but from the same country – Cameroon. Coming to realize that we are from the same country, the chatting and talking became more personalized. We had a nice time with each other. While departing we only wished each other success in his/her respective careers. A month later, we both received unique invitations to attend a mutual friend’s baby’s baptism. Little did we know that we were both invited for the same event. It was a huge surprise for us as we met in the same church in Manhattan for the baptism. We both wondered how coincidental this could have been – to have been invited for the same event – to meet each other after saying farewell at work

After the baptism ceremony, we exchanged numbers. From that day, communicating between us intensified. We called and checked each other often. Circumstances beyond our control pushed our friendship to the next level. We started dating and slowly realized that we completed each other. We found ourselves already identifying the other person as a best friend, better half, one and only love, darling etc We can name all the adjectives one can use to describe two people who are actively in love. Since we met, we pretty much spoke to each other on a daily basis. When Julius went on work mission to Cameroon for two weeks, communication between us was some how frozen and was not as frequent as it was before his departure. It was a tough time for both parties. The difference in the time zones and work schedules mad it hard to reach out to the other party. We both felt we needed the other person so dearly. This was a visible sign that the other person played a vital role in each other’s life. When he came back from his business trip, he could not hold himself but invited Carine to the same restaurant where we had our first lunch. Even though Carine was about to surmise something was to happen, she did not have enough evidence to proof her point. She happily came for lunch. During lunch it all happened – Julius whispered to Carine : “Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably” and Julius asked the famous question – ” Will you marry me? ” and the answer was – ” Yes, I will marry you.”

Wedding Style: Describe your wedding dress. What was wedding shopping like for you?
I really hated dress shopping. I live near NYC, so it’s not like I didn’t have options. I had plenty of options and I just didn’t have the time and patience to go around trying dresses. So I started dress shopping online shortly after we got engaged. I figured it would be something I could knock off the list quickly, but I don’t think my vision of the day (or budget) was clear enough at this point to really find the dress I wanted.

That being said, I just didn’t want to wear a strapless dress ( or anything too poofy), and, surprisingly, that was harder to find than I had thought. I wanted to be different, unique, elegant and sophisticated, great quality and price.
I am a true African girl with wide hips and a small waist, so I felt like it would be almost impossible to find my dream dress. No matter how much you clip that dress, it’s really not ever going to look like the real thing when you put it on me.

I turned to pintrest and Instagram to get an idea of the type of dresses that I should get. I fell on a picture of a bride that had my shape and I loved her dress and the way it fit her. I quickly jotted down the name of the designer and the dress style ( mermaid I learned J ). .. I googled it and I found the dress, it was pretty but there was only one problem; it was two times what my budget was….I spoke to Johanne (JP Events and Design) about it and she immediately told me about Pantora Bridal boutique, she set up the appointment for me and the rest was history. .. The first time I met Andrea, I knew that I was in good hands. She drew a sketch of the dress I have shown her from the Instagram picture, but then added her own touch to it and that was it! She created my dream dress and I couldn’t be any happier….

Culture: Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? If yes, tell us more.
Definitely, we did integrate some culture in our wedding. Getting married in the USA, while both of us have a huge Cameroonian heritage, we could not but manifest our collective human heritage during our wedding.

This manifestation was explicit in a number of ways. During our ceremony not only were prayers said in English, some prayers and songs were in Lamnso and Ewondo – the official languages of the respective tribes from where Julius and Carine stem from. During the cocktail hours we had a blend of Western Music and our rich Cameroonian musical culture that accompanied our guests during their refreshment. Notwithstanding, the epic of our Cameroonian culture was manifested during the reception – The songs, the dancing and the interaction during this time was so particular to our African culture.
Above all the last phase of the ceremony, was marked by a change into our Cameroonian outfit. This outfit brought us back to our roots. It made us do a true reminiscence of who we are and where we are heading to. It made us celebrate and dance to our own cultural wedding musics. It was really a blessing and real happiness to have had this part during our ceremony.

Memories: What is your best memory from your wedding?
To be candid, there has never been a day in our lives like this day. Suprisingly, many people get stressed during such events but we were so confident and happy everything was fine. There was no other reason for the stressfree wedding but the fact that we got an excellent wedding planner Johanne P ( JP Event and Design). She made us go to the event as if nothing depended on us. We both felt we were Royal Highness’s that evening. All memories – inclusive – of the day from beginning to end are best memories. We will want to live the day again.

Advice: What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples?
The best advice we can give to engaged couples is to do every thing within their reach to get married. There is some intrinsic joy coupled with some real happiness when you get married to someone you truly love. Getting married to your other half gives a feel of ecstasy which is given a true meaning in marriage. Being engaged is already a sign you are convinced you found the right person . DO NO WAIT FOR TOO LONG TO TIE THE KNOT.


Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts:
It was tough to decide which gift to offer our bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Nevertheless, we decided to pay a certain percentage of their attire. We paid a percentage of the dresses and suits coupled with the bow ties and the makeup for the ladies. We appreciate their wholehearted engagement to make the wedding a success.

Favorite item on the menu:
We enjoyed all the items we chose on our menu

First dance song:
Flavor – shake


wedding planner: JP Events & Design
photography: Nana Anan Photography
videography: Yamean Studios
Entertainment: Mike Music
wedding dress designer: Pantora Bridal
Groom Suit: Connaisseur Paris
bridesmaids dresses: Dollyskeppings
Groomsmen Suits: Connaisseur Paris
hair: Jacky International Hair Salon
makeup (Bride) : Yourfacemycanvas
makeup (Bridesmaids) : Danieandthebloom
shoes ( Bride) : INC
Shoes ( Groom ): Connaisseur Paris