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David Tutera
David Tutera

Mariana & Chris – Love Is Stronger Than Hate

Another successful wedding located in Charleston, South Carolina at the Shipyard Park. A place that couldn’t be anymore perfect for these two to get married. Chris, a minor league baseball outfield player lost both of his parents. His dad Chris from health complications and mom Sharondra, one of the nine black parishioners in the fatal shooting by a white supremacist. Because 9 individuals lost their lives that day, Shipyard Park has 9 palm trees in remembrance. Chris’ mom being one of them has a building as well in her honor. During the immense struggle of Chris’ lost, his girlfriend Mariana was there every step of the way to be there for him. When I heard their story I knew I had to give this couple the wedding of their dreams. Now I have to say this, having a wedding on a baseball field was not easy. How was my team and I going to pull this off? We had looked at the weather and hoped for no rain, but to be safe we rented a tent too. Which came in handy considering how windy it was that day. Regardless, I was up for the challenge.

Chris’ mom was his biggest fan and I wanted to make sure we incorporated his parents into the wedding so that way he and Mariana had a day to remember for a lifetime of happiness. One of the many things that stood out to me was “love is stronger than hate.” This wedding was going to be the wedding for others to watch live just how strong love is above hate.

On let’s talk about Mariana, my lovely bride. She had grown up bullied as a child and something told me she needed a little boost to gain that confidence back. I took her away and helped her practice her walking down the aisle. In the show, you’ll notice that during each walk I added simple items like heels, bouquet, or a veil to slowly help her gain that confidence. I wanted her to picture herself during one of the happiest days of her life. By the end of our session I was so proud of her. Walking away from the bullying and her past, to step into this new life with her soon-to-be husband Chris and baby CJ. Remember, Mariana shoulders back, breath, and smile!! 🙂

Now it was time for the ceremony, how unforgettable?!? It was in that moment Mariana walked down the aisle with her mom and dad in happy tears to marry the man of her dreams. She was wearing the Mariana gown and veil I designed for her. Sewn in with petite florets each with crystal accents giving it that fine detail, which looked enchanting and radiant on her. During the ceremony we had a surprise guest, Grammy Award Winner Cece Winans. Cece was Chris’ mother’s favorite artist, so it was only right to surprise them with her favorite song and a gospel choir in her remembrance. We had a little part of Chris’ parents with us as his aunt and uncle were wearing their corsage and boutonniere with a charm that had both of their pictures in it. Sometimes it’s about those little details to remember the ones we love.

Now we can’t forget the reception. There were flowers galore and a crystal chandelier that could take your breath away. We had another surprise guest come and raise a toast to the newly weds, the Chicago Cubs baseball pitcher, Carl Edwards Jr. To top the night off we had the couple cut the cake. Little baby CJ scooted to his parents with a note. A note that read they would have paid airfare so that Mariana and CJ can travel with Chris when the Cubs spring training starts.

Ugh! I am so in love with what I do. I just love seeing the faces of pure happiness and joy from my couples. I know Chris’ mom must be watching over just so happy for her son and celebrating with us in spirit.

Love IS stronger than hate! -David

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