The actress said ‘Black Love & Black Excellence’ was the intended vibe of her special day, and everyone in attendance understood the assignment
Actress Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins, star of popular Netflix series Dear White People tied the knot with her partner of 10 years, sports agent Darroll Jenkins, at the Q Vineyard at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, California on September 5.
The 33-year-old Maryland native recently sat down with Vogue to recount the special celebration of Black love.
“The vibe of our wedding was ‘Black Love & Black Excellence,’ and I really wanted to go for clean and timeless yet dramatic looks for the entire wedding weekend,” Ashley said.
To develop the vision for the event, the couple enlisted the help of event planner Tricia Smith Brown, owner of TSB Planning and Design, floral studio Avant Garden and bridal stylist Selina Howard, owner of Vanglorious Brides.
“The majority of the designers I wore, the vendors I worked with, and my bridal team was made up of Black women, and I couldn’t be more proud of that,” Ashley said. “There was a time when Black people were told we couldn’t get married, so to have the wedding of my dreams surrounded by Black women supporting and uplifting one another was a moment I shared sacredly with my ancestors.”
Ashley walked the aisle wearing a custom dress with a 10-foot-long-train designed by Vanglorious Brides, hair vines and earrings from La Vie Bridal and headpieces from Maria Elena Headpieces.
“I knew I wanted to look back on our photos in five, 10, 15 years and see looks that stood the test of time,” she said.
The day Darroll proposed to Ashley after an oceanside horseback ride, she said she contacted Mali “Magic” Thomas of Mali Magic Beauty and hairstylist Nicole Newland to be her official beauty team.
“We always talked about this moment so to see it all come to life with them by my side was a dream come true,” Ashley said. “Nobody glams me like my girls!”
Darroll called upon designer and TV producer Davidson Petit-Frère to create the look for the ceremony and Canadian designer Eaden Myles was recruited to create the reception suit. Darroll completed his ensembles with velvet loafers and a crystal pinky ring, both made by Gucci.
Ashley’s bridal party members wore a blush-wine color palette against the backdrop of the all-black palette wedding guests were asked to wear. She said the contrast allowed the bridal party to stand out and showcase their individuality.
“Everyone understood the assignment!” she said.
Organizing a wedding in the midst of a pandemic proved to be a challenge at times, Ashley said, adding that the various moving parts made the experience slightly different than the fun, smooth-sailing endeavor she and Darroll anticipated.
“It’s really a ton of budget talk and decision making, but the beautiful part was that it connected us even more as a couple,” Ashley said. “We had a blast making the big decisions and working on the musical elements of the big day. Music is very important to us both, and we wanted our guests to feel that throughout the wedding.”
She added that all guests were asked to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the wedding.
On the day of the event, Ashley said that despite being overcome with emotion, she knew she had chosen the right partner to spend the rest of hr life with.
“I imagine that’s how it’s supposed to feel when you are with the person God designed just for you,” she said. “I also was secretly freaking out because I didn’t have my bouquet, my veil was blowing off, and people were on the hunt for my vow book. In life, you’ve got to have balance. In the moment, I was slightly mortified, but in retrospect, I realize it makes for a beautiful story, and it was perfect because it’s our story.”
“We were on cloud nine,” Ashley added. “It truly is so thrilling marrying the love of your life!”
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