Toni-Ann and Kenneth were connected through a mutual acquaintance in 2016 and decided to go on a first date after several phone conversations with each other. Their first date was at a restaurant in Washington, D.C.'s National Harbor. The restaurant was packed so they received a buzzer and were instructed to wait nearby. Toni-Ann and Kenneth then decided they'd prefer to sit outside on a bench located across the street from the restaurant. They wanted to enjoy the nice weather and chat with one another, so they sat around and joked about how comfortable they were around each other and how it felt like they were meant to do this sort of thing together. Five minutes turned into ten, and ten minutes turned into over an hour before they realized that their restaurant buzzer hadn't gone off. It turned out that they were so engrossed in their conversation that the buzzer had gone off over a half hour prior but they hadn't even noticed. Two years later, and this lovely pair still enjoys having long conversations together. So, it should be no surprise that Toni-Ann and Kenneth got hitched to solidify their fondness and partnership. Check out their romantic, rose-themed wedding day at the Alfred Street Baptist Church, captured by Joshua Dwain Photography.
Bride's full name, age, and occupation: Toni-Ann Craft, 33, Communications Manager
Groom's full name, age, and occupation: Kenneth Craft, 38, Civil Engineer
Place of residence: Alexandria, Virginia
Wedding date: April 7, 2018
Wedding location: Ceremony at Alfred Street Baptist Church and reception at the Renaissance Arlington Capitol View Hotel, Arlington, Virginia
Wedding theme: Romance & Red Roses
Honeymoon Destination: Our mini-moon was in Napa Valley, California and our honeymoon was in Antigua and Barbuda
Kenneth asked me to be his wife on my birthday in January 2017. It was around 10 p.m. and he drove from Philadelphia, where he was living at the time, to Virginia to surprise me. He called me on the phone and asked me to get dressed because he wanted to take us out to D.C. It had been an extremely cold day, so when he arrived, he decided that we weren't going to go into D.C. anymore.
Instead, he knocked on the door and when I opened it, he walked in with a bouquet of fuchsia roses in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other and told me to sit down. Once I sat, he presented me with 10 roses one by one. Each rose signifying the months that we known each other. As he presented each rose, he told a significant story about that month in our relationship. On the last rose, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I undoubtedly said yes!
From the Bride:
The entire experience leading up to the wedding was very surreal to me. It didn't actually feel real until the limo pulled up to the church where we were having our ceremony and I walked in. That's when the nervousness really set in. All in all, we had minor mishaps with details but I did my best to stay in the moment and enjoy every second of our big day! I was also hiding a surprise up my sleeve for Kenneth and couldn't wait to see the look on his face at our reception.
From the Groom:
I enjoyed our wedding day. I got to marry the love of my life and that was the most important thing for me. I had my siblings and close family by my side so I was altogether happy. I also was shocked to find out that Toni-Ann hired traditional Caribbean front line dancers for the reception, which was a cool way to welcome me into her culture and it really got the party started. She did well!
What makes your love special?
Kenneth and I are both avid Christians. I had been praying for my husband for a very long time. I vividly remember the day before I met Kenneth that the lord put on my heart that he wanted me to trust him with my finances and tithes. I had tithed two weeks before but hadn't planned on doing so this time since I realized that I couldn't afford it. Well, to make a long story short, that day the lord allowed me to run into an old supervisor who reminded me of a time in my life when I was brought through a dark season.
After that situation, I got on my knees, prayed, cried and promised god that I would not doubt him and that I would trust his provisions for my life. Right after that prayer, I paid my tithe to my church online and the very next day I met Kenneth. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was my husband. For this reason, amongst others, we made our wedding hashtag, #CraftedByGod18 because we were indeed, crafted by the highest power in the universe.
Your most memorable moment:
Our most memorable moment occurred when we were first dating and Kenneth picked me up for a date night. We were in his car and he was blasting music from his iPhone. I didn't like it much because I preferred for the music to be low enough for us to have a conversation while we drove. I decided to go with the flow and engage him and the loud music by asking if I could play a song. Kenneth told me "no." Anybody that knows him, which I didn't at the time, knows not to mess with his music. I guess he started feeling bad since I make the best sad faces and he eventually handed me his iPhone and said that I could play just one song. In my mind, I knew that I wanted to play one of my favorite Eric Benet songs but as I was typing the song title into his Apple Music account, I felt something in the depth of my stomach tell me to play another song--specifically a song by En Vogue that I didn't even know the name of.
As I scrolled through the long list of En Vogue songs, it was like 'That Thing' said 'This One.' So I clicked on the song, hit play and immediately Kenneth looked at me and his eyes teared up. He shook his head looked out the window and said, "This is crazy! You don't understand, I gotta' call my brother." I was confused and thought, "Great job Toni, out of every song you could play, and you picked one that he hates!" Once he got his bearings he looked over at me and told me that his mother had passed away eight years earlier, and out of every song that I could play, I played his mother's favorite song. A song that was linked to his favorite memory of her when she was alive. The memory was of a time when he and his Mom were driving in the car together and the very same En Vogue song came on the radio so she stopped the car in the middle of the street, hopped out into the road and started dancing. I immediately got shivers and at that moment Kenneth turned around to me and said, "You're the one. I know it."
Our wedding song was "Promise to Love" by Kem. We both love Kem and when we were dating, the song came on the radio one day and we both joked that it would be our wedding song whenever we got married. It ended up being true!
Favorite wedding detail:
Our favorite wedding detail was our estate table. It was a long glass table with candelabras, crystals, red roses and candles all over. We also got a lot of compliments for our table names, which were based off of 1 Corinthians 13. Each table was named as one of the verses concerning, "Love is..."
What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
Growing together, creating a family and spending our forever loving one another.
Advice for a Bride and Groom on their wedding day:
Despite the issues and things that go wrong throughout the day, don't stress it. You just have to be present in every moment and be as happy as you possibly can.
Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish you many years of wedded bliss!