Microsoft director and Harvard University graduate Safiya Miller and Starwood Capital Managing Director and Howard Unversity graduate Bakari Adams are still on cloud nine after tying the knot in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
A destination wedding in Jamaica was a nod to the bride's parents who hail from the parishes of Kingston and Saint Andrew and Manchester.
Safiya and Bakari met, interestingly enough, as a result of their love of planning memorable and fabulous events. When Safiya moved to San Francisco after living in New York City and São Paulo, Brazil in 2015, she was looking for a way to spice up her time in the city and set her sights on planning an upscale sexy event. A mutual photographer friend, Larry, thought it a great concept and started listing names of key players to invite. Bakari's name was top of the list. After taking weeks to coordinate their busy schedules, Safiya and Bakari finally met at the Barrel Room for a 20-minute business chat (Bakari had another event to attend that evening) on how to execute events in the Bay. Suffice it to say that 20 minutes turned into two hours. Sparks flew and, too, the beginning of a special bond.
It is universally accepted that good things come to those who wait especially those who recognise when they've found their soulmate.
Safiya and Bakari's relationship flourished because they learned how to make #teamextra, flourish together, personally and professionally.
No surprise that Bakari went above and beyond for the proposal in 2019, which included multiple dress rehearsals and a West to East Coast team of friends and family to help execute his vision.
There was, for starters, a friend to play the steel pan to bring the island vibes and lure Safiya outside of her San Francisco apartment. When she eventually came outside, she saw Bakari in the lobby surrounded by rose petals and listening to one of their favourite songs, The Point of It All by Anthony Hamilton. The surprises continued as Bakari led all back to where it all started — the Barrel Room — for the actual proposal and where she'd eventually see the additional team members, including her brother Daren, who flew in from Brooklyn, NY, and 50 of their closest friends and family. Hers was an emphatic Yes!
The nuptials took place in the gardens of Rose Hall Great House, Montego Bay, against the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. The #OneLove2HUs and the colourful chic theme created by Kara-Ann Anderson and her team from Petals and Promises included a colour-block arch complete with colourful roses, orchids, carnations and hydrangeas.
Standing patiently at the altar was Bakari in a custom-designed black and white tuxedo inspired by his father's original wedding tux from Grayscale luxury boutique.
The couple's twin daughters and flower girls Zuri and Zaila made their entrance in the arms of their aunt Afiya.
Teena Marie's Square Biz and Luther Vandross's So Amazing signalled the bride's arrival on the arm of her father Winston Miller. Safiya wowed in a Wtoo by Watters Austin Tulle Wedding Gown from BHLDN featuring tiers of tulle, a sequinned floral motif, a classic corset-inspired strapless bodice finished with a full train, shining floral details, and a low open back.
The service was officiated by Reverend Jennifer Miller-Albert and included a unity canvas paint ceremony.
"Our reception was a colourful and upscale lounge dream," shared Safiya. "We encouraged our guests to sit wherever they pleased and the energy was still on 100 from all of the magical moments: from the surprise wedding location, taking guests from the S Hotel to the Greathouse at Rose Hall, to the surprise Beyoncé Coachella homecoming-style band — The Entity Band from Kingston — gave our guests a real-life battle of the bands between our alma maters, Harvard and Howard, to the pop-up customised phone photo booth, the coconut jelly man, the guest dancers and our own DJ bringing the best of the best party vibes to MoBay…the guests came, saw and conquered in colourful excellence," said Safiya.
MCs Ariel and Quinnton Harris were exceptional. The couple made their entrance to Can't Stop Won't Stop by King Combs and Wipe Me Down by Boosie Badazz.
Evangelist Joan Miller opened the reception with prayers and also blessed the meal that was catered by Bellefield Greathouse.
The couple's first dance as husband and wife to John Legend's So High was followed by father/daughter dance to a mash-up of Patti LaBelle's You Are My Friend, Beres Hammond's Rockaway and Stevie Wonder's You Are The Sunshine Of My Life. Bakari and his mum danced to The Commodores' Three Times A Lady.
The newly-weds, in lieu of a traditional wedding cake, opted for mini cake jar bites by Crumble By Mrs C. Other highlights included toasts from the couple's respective fathers, best man and maid of honour, as well as the bouquet and garter toss.
A honeymoon is scheduled for a later date.