Restoring their romantic relationship after several years apart and having it blossom into a magical fairy tale wasn’t what Zena Foster had anticipated. But, as with many of her favorite memories with her beau, R&B singer Durrell “Tank” Babbs, he surprised her – this time with a marriage proposal in January of 2017. “I knew that I would never be able to get rid of her,” he first jokes, before sincerely adding, “I knew I needed her and she needed me.”
The couple began wedding planning and enjoyed working closely together, though they admit that the preparations for their dream nuptials were much more detailed than they had imagined and ultimately hired a wedding planner. “Tank was really a part of every decision… we didn’t want to involve family too much and instead wanted to focus on elements and ideas we loved,” the bride explains. Zena and Tank opted to host their nuptials in Los Angeles, mainly for the convenience of it being close to their Hollywood home and an easy direct flight for out-of-town guests. The bride also knew exactly what color scheme she’d follow – which was first introduced to guests in the invitation suite: “I always love to keep our celebrations classic with simple black-and-white and metallic,” she explains. “It will never go out of style.”
A string quartet played softly as loved ones entered the bronze front doors of the historic house of worship to witness the ceremony. Beautiful all on its own, with its high ceilings, carved details, and a gorgeous altar complemented with jewel-hued lighting, Zena chose to add minimal decoration and allow for their 200 guests to be awed by all of the stunning components of the church.
Five bridesmaids in off-the-shoulder gowns of black satin carried timeless bouquets of white roses. Groomsmen – including pals like Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx and R&B singer J. Valentine – looked sharp, donning black tuxedos complete with bow ties. Tank himself was dapper in a full black-and-white tuxedo and custom velvet bow tie. Zoey and Zion, the bride and groom’s children, were the last to precede Zena, who made her grand entrance in a stunning fitted lace gown. Tank confides that seeing her walk down the aisle was his favorite memory of the day.
At the conclusion of the service, attendees made their way downtown for the reception. Candles lined the entranceway, ending at a large gold-framed mirror where guests found their table assignments. In lieu of escort cards, members from their wedding-planning team warmly welcomed guests and showed them to their seats. The ballroom, awash in white, had been completely transformed. Long king’s tables covered in vanilla linens boasted crystal candelabra and a collection of floral arrangements down the entire length of the table, whilst circular mirror-topped varieties were bedecked with grand centerpieces of florals in peach, blush, and ivory. Additional details, such as multiple bullion chandeliers, plush cream drapery and carpeting, hundreds of candles, and a personalized gilt dance floor all lent to the elegant, romantic vibe the couple had hoped for. “I just wanted it all to be perfect,” shares Tank, who says he was amazed when he first saw the reception space.
As guests enjoyed their seated dinner service, the couple took to the dance floor. Joined by their daughter and son, they swayed to “Our Song,” written by both Zena and Tank specifically for the special family dance. The night was filled with sentimental moments, joyful laughter, and even more dancing – switching between a DJ and a live band. “The entertainment was classy, spirit-filled, and soulful all at the same time,” describes the groom. “I think the most unique part of our wedding is that we catered to the people attending just as much as we catered to ourselves.”
The newlyweds agree that they wouldn’t do anything differently, and they were surprised to see how smoothly the evening progressed. “Most people promise many things but very seldom deliver,” Tank explains in reference to the high level of work provided by their planner. “I didn’t have to worry about one thing but the happiness of my bride.” Zena adds: “We could have never done this on our own!