Brandon Mebane knew from the moment he saw Amena Jefferson at their Los Angeles middle school that he would someday marry her. “It's crazy to look at our yearbook and class pictures and see each other in the photos,” Amena confides. Though Amena doesn’t remember Brandon, he can easily recall memories of her. Amena says, “He remembers the color of my leotard from dance class and the scarf I would sometimes wear.”
However, it wasn’t until years later in Seattle that the couple’s romance began: Amena was enjoying after-work food and libations with her girlfriends when Brandon appeared at the restaurant. She noted his arrival – at 6’1 he’s hard to miss! – but paid him little attention. Moments later, Amena felt a breeze on her neck; Brandon was standing behind her. “He said ‘You are Amena Jefferson, and you went to Audubon Middle School and you were on the Cal Dance Team,'” Amena remembers of the startling – but sweet – moment.
After years of adoring her from afar, Brandon was finally ready to take the woman of his dreams on a date. And despite some initial reservations, Amena agreed to it. The rest, as they say, is history.
The beautiful bride and her groom, a Seattle Seahawks football player, said their “I dos” in a stunning baroque venue in their hometown among 200 of their closest friends and family members. Their theme, “concrete rose,” shone through in many of their big-day details. “[Concrete rose] is a representation of who we are, where we came from, and what we have become,” the bride explains. “We did a lot of contrasts between rough and soft, elegant and urban, edgy and sophisticated.” For instance, a photograph from the couple’s engagement shoot, taken in an urban area of Los Angeles and featuring the lovebirds in formalwear, appeared on Amena and Brandon’s wedding cake, chocolate-bar favors, and on a custom ice sculpture.
The bride was dazzling in an ivory strapless ball gown featuring a multi-layered full skirt and embellished bodice. Her shimmering locks, curled to perfection, cascaded down her back and shoulders beneath a magnificent cathedral veil; on her ears, a pair of sparkling teardrop earrings shone. Attendants donned stunning satin one-shoulder dresses in a luscious plum hue, and carried bouquets of roses in complementary shades.
The groom was dressed to perfection in a custom-made tuxedo topped off with an elegant bow tie in eggplant. Not falling short in the footwear department, dapper Brandon completed his look with glimmering Balmorals by Salvatore Ferragamo. His dashing groomsmen, too, donned custom tuxes, pulled together with ties and pocket squares in a deep purple shade.
It was important to the bride and groom to include a wedding tradition dear to them both: jumping the broom. Historians have suggested that the tradition originated with enslaved Africans in the U.S., who jumped the broom to join together in marriage in the absence of a legal ceremony. “We wanted to honor those who came before us who were not allowed to get married and have a wedding like we were blessed to have,” Amena explains. “Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
Following a stunning ceremony, the glamorous pair celebrated their union with an unforgettable fête. Among the bride’s favorite elements were the tables adorned with blooming lavender hydrangeas and supple pink roses that greeted guests in a grand ballroom. “I loved our flowers!” she affirms. Sky-high Roman columns and breathtaking violet lighting completed the sophisticated look of the reception space. A towering alabaster cake provided a focal point for the celebration, each of the five layers relating back to the couple’s unique wedding theme. At its base, the cake featured handmade sugar roses adorned with real crystals; the second layer was sculpted to resemble the gathered skirt on Amena’s gown. Additional tiers featured the couple’s signature “concrete rose” engagement photo, delicate sugar roses, and sparkling crystals.
While the start of their relationship may have been imperfect, Brandon and Amena agree that their wedding day was flawless. To brides and grooms who may feel overwhelmed by the wedding-planning process, Amena offers this advice: “Relax. On your wedding day you won’t be concerned about every little detail. You will just feel happy and blessed to have your husband/wife to walk through life with, and you will remember being surrounded by all your loved ones.”