I could not have been more elated when I received the call from this couple, Ricardo & Denyse, to assist with coordinating their wedding day on October 2nd, 2016.

My  first encounter with Denyse Gordon was almost 3 years ago when I worked on The Ms. Veteran America (an extension of Final Salute, Inc.) for two consecutive years.  Denyse was the very first Miss Veteran America and serves now as Ms. Veteran America Emeritus.   Her dedication to the organization is indescribable and humbling.  She is a beacon of light and one dedicated to helping others.

Denyse, a native of San Fernando, Trinidad in the West Indies, who later moved to the big apple, New York City to finally reside in Northern Virginia.  After a few years in college, Denyse, decided that she wanted to serve her country – and she did very well.  Twenty-three years of service!  Denyse is a retired Master Sergeant of the United States Air Force; a Combat Veteran who has served all over the world to include Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

Ricardo Watts, is a native or Norfolk Virginia and graduate of Norfolk State University.  After completing his studies in journalism at the university, Ricardo also became a member of U.S. Military – the United States Navy.  An honored Veteran, Mr. Watts is an avid tennis player and is very active with the Meherrin Indian Nation.

Well, how did these two Military soldiers join forces?  Their paths crossed at a charity event hosted by a mutual friend, and Rick spotted Denyse across the room.  After surveying Denyse for hours at the event, Rick made his way to Denyse to introduce himself.  During their exchange of introductions, Rick, declared to Denyse that they would indeed exchange numbers before the night was over – bold and confident move by Rick!  It worked because they did exchange numbers!!!  Rick followed up on his promise by calling Denyse the next day, and from that point on they began to write their love story.

On their wedding day, there was truly love in the air.  Their love for each other is like a magnet and it was deeply expressed through out their day.  Which brings me to a poem by E.E. Cummings that expresses such degree of love, “I Carry Your Heart with Me.”  I will share the words at the end.

From every branch of the United States Armed Forces in attendance to the wedding, to family and friends from all parts of the earth, to the most adorable dog with a bow-tie in the wedding (Denyse’s dog of 11 years, Mr. Coffey).  Love sparked through out the entire evening.  Take a look at their photos, and the love will definitely bounce off of the pictures into your hearts.

Thank you Ricardo & Denyse for allowing us to coordinate such a special moment in  your life!  It was our Honor to Serve the Two of You!!!

First Dance, “Goodnight Kisses” by Charlie Wilson | Wedding Colors, Butter & Indigo | Bride’s Gown, White Swan Bridal | Groom’s Tuxedo, Lord & Taylor

Special thanks to the wedding professionals that helped to make this a success:  Photography, Phelan Marc | Location, Rose Hill Manor | Officiant, Pastor Bernard Snowden | Catering, R&R Catering | Florals, Edge Floral Event Design | Deejay, MSE Productions | Wedding Cake, Cakes by Linda | Make-up Artist, Monica Gray


(photography credit:  Phelan Marc)