Our Very Black Queer Wedding

Coming To America meets Love Jones

LaShay, Sexuality Professor and PhD Student & Bakari, Cultural Producer

One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: A funky fresh meeting with all the cool kids to cement a union of Black Love done right.

Soundtrack for reading: The entire Love Jones Soundtrack


Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About

Our wedding was a whopping $5,000! We had the ceremony at a park close to our home (also the park we got engaged in), and the reception was at our home. It was very important for all of our vendors to be Black/Person of Color, Queer friendly, or a woman. We do not consider ourselves Christian, so we had a wonderful mixture of African and African-American traditions. Because we knew that some people would come to our wedding to be “nosey” but not actually be present to support our marriage, we had all of our guests recite a Community Vow and it was simply breathtaking!

Favorite Thing About The Wedding

Definitely the ceremony and our First Poem (Bakari can’t dance so we did a first poem instead of a first dance)!


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  • So so beautiful! Those rings! Those headpieces! All the love! Can I just say that I’m sitting here just loving everyone’s hair? /swoon!

    • Laura C

      I was going to say “Those headpieces! Those rings!” But the other order will do, too. :)

      • StevenPortland

        I’ll add “Those headpieces! Those rings! That flower girl!”

  • Fiona

    Are the brides people dancing up the aisle???? Also their skirts! Breathless.

  • Tania

    Everything here is incredible! So gorgeous! So much life!

  • This is gorgeous and lovely and looks like so much FUN! And like everyone else, I love the gold headpieces. :)

  • SJ

    i would have rsvp’d the DAY that invitation came in the mail. YES! This is so beautiful!

    • JDrives

      Ok RIGHT?!? And I’d be bragging about it to everyone I know.

  • Love love love these photos!

  • SChaLA

    Crying bc I will never be this cool.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      That about sums it up…

  • Jessica

    This wedding is SO COOL and these brides are SO HOT. Everything is so stylish. The rings, the headpiece, the outfits, the first poem?! And I canNOT believe this was only $5,000!?! You win.

    • vegankitchendiaries


    • Sarah

      Even the outfits of the guests are amazing!! The woman in the yellow dress *SWOON* and I also would love to see a full length picture of the person holding the broom. This wedding has style for days!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    My heart is *bursting*… Is there a APW Wedding of the Year prize?

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Also… are brides here? Can someone say what the pic of the 3 dancing girls is all about?

      • Renee

        LaShay and Bakari had African Dancers dance down their aisle before they entered the ceremony. It was absolutely amazing & I’m so honored to have photographed such a beautiful day! :)

        • Emily

          Thank you for explaining– that looks like it was awesome!

  • Gina

    WHERE did that little girl’s dress come from and does it come in my size???

    Also, everything else is just breathtaking.

  • Sparkles

    Can I second the headpieces? And that beautiful blazer on the one bride. And the flower girl as a ball of tulle (that dress looks so much more exciting than anything I ever wore)? And pizza for dinner? Seriously. This is amazing.

    • Emily

      Omg the baby in the tulle I love it!!

    • KimBee

      Yes! Ya’ll that little girl’s dress is perfection.

  • KM

    LOVE it. Love it all.

  • Elysiarenee

    Bakari’s outfit is the best wedding outfit I’ve ever seen.

  • Kelly

    So vibrant and beautiful and happy! Love, love, love. AND for $5,000?! Amazing.

  • Sarah E

    Hot damn.

  • Stephanie B.

    The pure JOY just leaps off the screen!

  • KateS

    oh man, that picture of you guys entering the reception with the tongue out – LOVE. all around rad wedding and you both look AMAZING (those headpieces!!!)

  • Congratulations on your union Shay! You look beautiful and happy! :D I wish you and Bakari many many years of happiness in the future!

  • Renee

    Truly an amazing day! Congrats again Bakari & LaShay! I could photograph this wedding over and over and over! Thank you APW for the feature!

  • Hope

    So beautiful. I love the crown and head jewelry and blazer. And the flower girl, in all her glory.

    • Hope

      But…I am so curious about the can of sardines. ???

      • bintalshamsa

        Those appear to be things representing their ancestors. Perhaps they are the ancestors favorite things or items that the person wore in life. It looks like it may be a form of ofrenda.

  • So beautiful!! So proud of you both and I think the Community Vow was a fantastic idea! Many wishes for lots of love and great memory making to you both!

    • Daisy6564

      We did community vows of support at the end of our wedding too. For those who are Christian there is an Episcopal tradition for this that we borrowed.

      • We’re not, but I perform weddings for couples who are, so thank you for telling me about them. My wife and I got married in San Francisco on Baker Beach. It was just a small ceremony. We can’t do the legal thing in Ga. but we can do health proxies and POAs to help.
        Your ceremony, and inclusivity, was just inspiring.

  • They have the most amazing house. Can I get married there plz?

  • Carolyn

    Pretty sure this is my all time favorite of anything anywhere

  • Jessica

    So much JOY on everyone’s faces! This is just beautiful. The photograph of that kiss near the window..damn!!

  • bintalshamsa

    This was so Black Cool! I love that neither of the wedding rings included diamonds. It’s wonderful to see a couple who embraced their heritage AND chose not to participate in the exploitation of Africans. Y’all are the bees knees!

  • Kara Davies

    First poem. Love it!

  • Another Meg

    LaShay’s grin in basically every photo. My fave.

  • steph schneider

    Oh my goodness, I love your dress! It is perfection on you. I tried it on at David’s Bridal and still think about it today…Congratulations!

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  • This wedding is all kinds of awesome.

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