Damien Pinkett is known for his grand gestures, so his girlfriend Lindsey McClain wasn’t completely shocked when her birthday arrived and he unexpectedly asked her to get ready for “brunch.” They arrived at the New York Botanical Garden. As they walked, hidden throughout the lush property were close friends and family members, each holding a single yellow rose.

“They were my granny’s favorite flower and Damien wanted to be sure that I felt her presence there,” confides Lindsey. “It was during our first date that I got the call that she’d passed away, making it a moment that bonded us forever in a really special way.” During the outing, Lindsey continued to think this was a really huge 27th birthday surprise. “Until I found myself in the middle of the rose garden under the gondola – with Damien on one knee and our family surrounding us. It was magical,” she reminisces.

Lindsey explains that she had not planned her dream wedding as a young girl nor did she have secret Pinterest boards ready to reveal. “But once we got started, my Type A personality came out in full effect, and I was pretty obsessed with every detail,” she admits. “Luckily, I had a great support system around me, a top-notch planner, and the best partner I could ask for in Damien.”

White and gold with ebony accents created an elegant color scheme. “We were aiming for more of a vibe than a theme,” says the bride. “We wanted everything to feel modern, clean, and fresh, but still romantic, warm, and inviting. The outdoor space at our venue really was the perfect setting.”

The ceremony playlist was simple, but soulful. “We played gospel music, such as ‘Psalms 23’ by Jeff Majors, as well as a jazz instrumentals, including ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ by John Coltrane. The bridal party donned sophisticated champagne-colored silk gowns and carried nosegays of vanilla calla lilies. Lindsey walked down the aisle in a feminine A-line gown with an illusion neckline to the song “The One He Kept For Me” by Maurette Brown Clark. She held a beautiful bouquet of phalaenopsis orchids, calla lilies, and roses.

Stunning trees flanked with camellia leaves and orchids formed an arch to mark the spot for the “I dos.” “It was simply gorgeous!” confirms the bride. The newlyweds felt it was important to honor their ancestors, so they opted to jump the broom, signaling the end of the service.

“We wanted everything to feel modern, clean, and fresh, but still romantic, warm, and inviting.”

For the reception, the structure was reassembled to serve as a backdrop for the sweetheart table. “It was too beautiful to destroy, plus it was cost-effective,” tells Lindsey. Attendees found their seating assignments by way of custom gold drink stirrers placed in flutes of chilled Champagne. “Table centerpieces were full of fragrant eucalyptus leaves and more orchids, along with white roses, gold mercury globes, and lots of candles,” illustrates the bride.

The couple opted for a traditional mother-son dance and father-daughter dance, both of which included dynamic sets that involved multiple songs. Lindsey and Damien note the first dance as one of their favorite moments of the day. “Damien surprised me with the most awesome dip during our slow dance; it literally swept me off of my feet,” shares the bride. “All of the speeches were amazing, too.”

Guests enjoyed a sit-down dinner, followed by wedding cake for dessert. The four-tiered confection boasted layers featuring gold-painted accents, black geometric designs, and orchids to match the floral décor.

When asked what piece of advice she’s glad she followed, Lindsey reveals that it was a suggestion from her mother. “She reminded me simply to keep an eye on each other throughout the day. From making eye contact with him while walking down the aisle, to staying close during the reception, she wanted to make sure we remembered who we were there for – each other.”

Since Lindsey and Damien were both very hands-on during the planning process, they were excited to see their choices come to life. “From the stirrers as table markers, to the wrapped dance floor with our logo, to huge Connect Four and UNO® games, to the amazing DJ and lighting design, it was perfect,” describes the groom. “I wish we could do it all over again.”