Wedded Bliss: Akelah Marie Burks & Javon Michael Reese

Wedded Bliss

Akelah is an academic advisor at Wayne State University in Detroit and Javon is a program manager at Eisenhower Center in Ann Arbor. The couple lives in Belleville and honeymooned in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Here, Akelah shares details from their classically elegant wedding day.

Date: July 13, 2019

Ceremony and reception: Masonic Temple in Detroit

First dance: “So Amazing” by Luther Vandross

Photographer: Mark Adrian Photography


The venue

“Detroit’s Masonic Temple was absolutely beautiful and unique, and had an elegant vibe, complete with an illuminated cross, stone and gorgeous stained glass. It made us feel like we’d be getting married in a castle! We chose the Crystal Ballroom for the reception. The chandeliers and the artwork on the ceiling were our favorite parts. I instantly fell in love with the whole venue and its ambiance; it was exactly what I was looking for!”

The dress

“I chose a simple silk Martina Liana gown from Bella Bridal Gallery in Bloomfield Township. The dress had a plunging V-neckline and a slightly dipped back. I paired my gown with a cathedral veil by Essence. The veil’s traditional lace and clear sequins added a little twinkle to the ensemble, and it was just right for the venue.”

The entertainment

“Harpist Lydia Cleaver, violinist Leslie DeShazor and DJ Mike Johnson – Javon’s cousin – provided the music for the evening. Javon is a huge The Lion King fan so Lydia played “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” during his entrance and the wedding party processional. I walked in to “All of Me” by John Legend. During the cocktail hour, Lydia was joined by Leslie and they played during the entire hour, then Mike and DJ Pup Luv took over the reception.”

Most memorable moments

“I loved spending time with my ladies in the spacious bridal suite at the Masonic, listening to music, drinking mimosas and getting our makeup done by the amazing Christina Renee. My aunt also gave me an Alex & Ani firefighter’s bracelet during my bridal shower. My father was a Detroit firefighter, and he passed away in 2015. I wore the bracelet on my wedding day and it made me feel that he was there with me!”

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