Belinda Jackson, Jimmie Shropshire exchange vows in a summer double-ring ceremony

Published 12:05 am Sunday, November 17, 2013

Belinda Jackson became the bride of Jimmie Shropshire when they exchanged vows in an afternoon double-ring ceremony at Wesley Ray United Methodist Church, with Dr. Alonzo J. Campbell, D. Min., of Baton Rouge, retired special ministry director of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and mentor, officiating the ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Jackson of Bogalusa. Her christened godparents are Mr. and Mrs. Eric (Thelma) Cousin, Freddie Jefferson and the late Geraldine Jefferson. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Norwood Johnson (Arie) Shropshire of Missis-sippi.

The inspiration for the wedding was “Faith in Southern Elegance: Joie de Vivre” (The Joy of Living). The church decor was a unique and trend setting appearance of southern elegance. The colors selected were shades of gold, pearl and nectar, and an elegant and original illuminated backdrop accentuated a true, elegant, southern-style summer wedding. The church aisles were adorned with pearl and gold draping and fleur de lis. The entrance arch, draped with flowers, reflected a summer touch, and the church was filled with calla lilies, magnolias and roses. Adding to the mood of a southern summer were the gold dupioni silk columns, which held rows of beautiful linen silk fabric transitioning the front of the church. French New Orleans-style lampposts added to the mood of style and grace.

The gorgeous shades of nectar, pearl and mint floral draped the backdrop, accenting the tone of elegance in a southern garden. The inspiration for many of the wedding items, from invitations to souvenirs, was imported linen, dupioni silk and silk chiffon, all of which are favorites of the bride. Linen and silk symbolize light and purity and a wishing of wealth.

Upon entering the church foyer, the guests were welcomed with an original wedding wall, which included wedding photographs of five generations of family members and friends. To accent the blessed ceremony instrumental selections and songs were provided by dear friends of the bride, Ms. Deidra Owens, Mrs. Nicole Powell and Mr. Mark Ross. The coordinators, hostesses, tea girls, and attendants were seated to a revised gospel and jazz rendition of “Blessed Assurance,” sung by Ms. Owens. The ushers were Master Cardez Jackson and Master Anthony White.

In memory of the couple’s beloved grandparents, godparent, and parents, a wedding memorial was performed with the illumination of candles and instrumental music.

The bridesmaids and matron of honor entered to the romantic and subtle “Ribbon In the Sky,” by Stevie Wonder. The twin flower girls and twin ring bearers stole the show as the infant flower girls were escorted in the groom’s family heirloom, a wicker baby carriage.

The mother of the bride wore a beautiful, teal dupioni silk two-piece suit The godmother of the bride wore a beautiful ivory silk chiffon dress trimmed in gold.

The bride, escorted by her father, made her entrance into the church as a trio of friends, Ms. Williams, Ms. Owens and Mr. Ross, sang “Great Is Thy Mercy,” by Donald McClurkin.

Her contemporary and timeless bridal gown, an elegant, sheath silhouette gown of pearl and imported silk chiffon by designer Lazaro Perez, served to uplift and reflect her unique personality. The soft, fluid, strapless bridal gown flowed with an exquisite fitted bodice that was draped with silk and elegant clustered pearls at the empire waistline. A pearl silk chiffon bolero complemented the bride’s attire.

Her veil, fashioned from imported French lace and pearls, gracefully embraced her face and swept into her silk chiffon detachable chapel train. To complete her ensemble, the bride wore a chic, vintage inspired, necklace fashioned with five clustered pearls. She carried a borrowed, vintage handkerchief.

The bride’s bouquet, fashioned from magnolia, calla lilies, pearls and an embellished pearl and rhinestone cross was created by dear friends of the bride, Mmes. Cassie Oubre’ of Baton Rouge and Kay Kay Varnado of Bogalusa. Kevin of Olla, Wash., also a friend of the bride, completed the original covering of the graceful and stylish church backdrop. The stunning and elegant bridal attendants’ dresses were designed by Kevin and the bride’s matron.

Longtime friend of the bride, Gretchen Durham of Baton Rouge, served as the bridesmaid, while Jalisia Jackson, the bride’s niece, was the junior bridesmaid. Don-na Martin of Beaumont, Texas, the bride’s aunt served as matron. Each of the attendants wore floor length imported silk dupioni gowns of gold and peach.

Little Miss Aaliyah Sanchez of Houston and twins Aryanna and Bryanna Nichols served as flower girls, wearing imported silk dupioni dresses in coordinating shades of peach and mint. Aaliyah carried a gold basket embellished with pearls and gold satin trimmed lace.

The groom and his groomsmen wore elegant and stylish classic gold imported linen suits with coordinating imported silk ties. The groom’s nephew, Fredrick Shropshire of Jackson, Miss., served a best man. Steven Martin I, of St. Louis, Mo., uncle of the bride, served as the groomsman, and Master Trey Micheal Magee of Franklinton, was the junior groomsman. The ring bearers were twins, Masters Zyon and Zymar Houston, of Ponchatoula, each carrying a pearl and gold satin pillow and a Bible.

Serving as tea girls were Misses Jaden Foster, Ki’Arra Green, Ti’Airra Green, Tiara Jackson, Hope Jefferson, Jayla Magee, Elana Powell, Ariel Smith and Kaylan Smith, each wearing identical lace dresses in mint, with a floral band ribbon and gold ballet shoes.

The coordinators, stunning in gold attire, were Mmes/Mses. Felecia Jefferson, Loreane Luter, Lisa Magee, Cashanda Nichols, Soror Natasha Oatis, Janice Pigott and Soror Sharronda Smith.

The hostesses for the wedding, each attired in ivory, were Mmes/Mses. Christine Bickham, Dor-is Dillon, Linda Dillon, Jackie Greely, Rita Hawthorne, Joannie Jefferson, Myra Magee, Edwina Mark, Tracy Martin, Wendy W. McGhee, Josephine Moses, Rene Pack, Nazea Rogers and Emma Ross.

The attendants, protégés of the bride, were Mses. Dra’Kerra Beavers, Charmarila Davis, Tysha Magee, Ken’Yonna Moses and La’Kendra Ratliff.

The communion stewards for the ceremony were Mrs. Gladys Harry, Mrs. Clotil Jackson and Mrs. Fannie Roberts.

The wedding, a spirit-filled inspiration of “Faith in Southern Elegance,” began with a greeting to the assembled guests by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated Soror Jacqueline Campbell, followed by scripture readings by Cashanda Nichols, Soror Bridgette Acox of Baton Rouge, Tiffany R. Harris of Mobile, Ala., and a wedding reading, by Soror Sheronda Martin of St. Louis.

Dr. Campbell delivered a vibrant wedding message that embraced the couple’s inspiration of Joie de Vivre, and addressed a presentation and covenant of marriage to the couple. Following the exchange of nuptial vows and official signing, Holy Communion, union cord and a family unity candle ceremony were incorporated to express the couple’s love for God and for each other.

Dr. Atwood J. Luter, mentor of the bride, provided a closing prayer expressing the joy of living for the newlyweds. After the presentation of the bride and groom as Mr. and Mrs. Shropshire, Mr. Ross sang the nuptial recessional, “Let the Church Say Amen.”

The Reception: Fleur de lis: Joie de Vivre

Immediately following the ceremony, the couple was honored with a reception dinner hosted by the bride’s parents at the Event Center in Bogalusa.

The Elegance of Fleur de Lis: Joie de Vivre theme was continued at the reception, with shades of gold and mint throughout. The décor, designed by Kay Kay and Madeline Varnado, continued the mood of simple elegance, using the bride’s favorite collectables, fleur de lis, crystal, and fine pottery. Louisiana icons of fleur de lis, second-line umbrellas and handkerchiefs transformed the building. Each table held assorted crystal pieces with fleur de lis centerpieces and soft lighting.

Sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated saluted the bride, and a wedding wall video and entertainment were provided by Luther Martin Jr., Luther Martin III and Steven Martin, Jr.

Tea girls distributed souvenirs to guests, which included cups, handkerchiefs, praline candy, and key chains, etched or engraved with “Joie de Vive” and fleur de lis symbols, as well as other keepsakes.

The bride’s cake table held a five-tiered wedding cake with vanilla filling and decorated with pearls, fleur de lis and gold draping. The groom’s cake, inspired by a cowboy ranch, was German chocolate.

Following the presentation of the couple to their guests, they were honored with a toast from the father of the bride and uncles.

Pre-Nuptial Events

The bride was feted with a miscellaneous tea shower at the Wesley Ray UMC annex, decorated in a formal tea setting of baby’s breath and antique china handed down from five generations. The bridal shower inspiration was “Tea Time and Love.” (Galatians 5:22-23).

The bride wore a silk chiffon floor length dress. The tea girls, coordinators, and hostesses wore spring, pastel colors. The souvenir theme was “Jimmie popped the question” popcorn and candy. After bridal gifts and dinner, the couple presented gifts of appreciation to the hostesses, attendants and tea girls.

Family and friends also hosted a Western Honey-do Barbeque for the couple at the home of the groom. On the evening of the rehearsal, the bride’s godmother held a southern seafood rehearsal dinner at the church annex.

The parents of the bride hosted daily breakfast and luncheons during the weekend event.

On the morning of the wedding, the bride’s parents hosted a bridal breakfast at their home, on on the Sunday following the wedding, the bride’s parents also hosted a breakfast and luncheon.