A Southern couple’s traditional ceremony is accented with unity candles, blending sand, jumping the broom and a lengthy train
Michael and Robert’s wedding had the entire team at Equally Wed’s offices smiling. The grooms are so deeply in love and it comes through in every layer of their wedding, from their dedicated words to each other to their intimate kisses caught on camera. Possibly what touched me most when selecting the wedding photos to use in our feature and in watching their video (at the end of this article) is the tremendous support that Michael and Robert have from their parents and grandparents.
The Atlanta men were registered as official domestic partners with the Fulton County Courthouse on October 29, 2010. They married two years later in a church wedding on October 20, 2012, at First Metropolitan Community Church. The grooms included traditional wedding touches, such as the lighting of the unity candle (performed by members of their wedding party) and the blending of turquoise and lavender sands to represent their union. Next, the grooms—both African-American—jumped the broom, a ritual carried through history from slavery, when black slaves in America were not legally allowed to marry. For slaves, the broom-jumping was their binding covenant with each other and their community. For modern-day husbands Michael and Robert, the act has a double meaning since they reside in Georgia, a state that does not offer marriage equality.
The grooms wrote love notes for each other before the big day, and I just have to share some of the touching words with you:
Michael likes the simple things in life walking in the park, sitting along a water front or just enjoying life to the fullest. He enjoys making short jokes about my height (#TeamFunsize) not believing that God just made the ground to close to my behind. He is innocent and humble, honest and pure. While his jokes are usually simple, they always place a smile on my face. He is everything to me and more. Often when I reflect back over our relationship tears form in my eyes. His smile alone lifts my spirits and his presence places my soul at ease. He is my glimpse into heaven and an earthly representation of God’s love for me. He pushes me to always strive for greater never settling for mediocrity. He is my calm in the midst of the storm of life.
Robert is one like none other. I love Robert because he doesn’t let anything or anyone deter him from the calling of what GOD has predestined for him. He is sweet, strong, short and sensitive to all my needs. He unselfishly gives all that he has to everyone who he comes in contact with, always showing them the better side of every situation. He is my chunky monkey, my little one, and my captain of “Team Funsize”! Every morning when God awakes me, I can’t help but to smile at him because he is so beautifully and wonderfully made just for me. He says my smile lights up his darkness but his smile and his touch puts me at ease. He nibbles on my ear and holds me as I fall gently asleep. I love my husband and even the fat kid inside of him that loves Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Most of all I celebrate this day with YOU my love, to always stand by your side and your heart, to let no hurt, harm, or burden tear you down. I love you with every being within me. XOXOXO
WATCH MICHAEL AND ROBERT’S REAL WEDDING VIDEO:
Photography: Jaha Zainabu (with the exception of the jumping of the broom photos and the first kiss photo taken by a wedding guest)
Videography: Monique Smith of Modvsone
Officiant: Pastor Sonya E. William of Restoration Inclusive Ministries, Inc.
Ceremony Venue: First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta
Reception Venue: Garden Hills Center, Buckhead
Cake and Cupcakes: Atlanta Cupcake Factory
Catering: Step by Step Catering
Michael’s Attire: Jarrod Barnes (Shug)
Robert’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Flowers: Adam’s Apple of Avondale Estates
Singers: Edwina Lawrence and Nelson Quinones (friends of the grooms)