Kimberly and Derrick met in 1998 when Kimberly was 11 and Derrick was 14. Kimberly’s family had just moved into Derrick’s apartment complex and she started crushing hard when she saw those dimples. Derrick also had a little crush, and he told Kimberly that he was turning 16 the next day to try to make himself seem cooler and more worldly, but his mom gave up Derrick’s real age.
They did not start dating immediately since they were just kids, but they remained friends and officially became boyfriend and girlfriend a few years later. Kimberly said that she really sealed the deal by always looking cute around the apartment complex, even when taking out the trash.
Fifteen years later, Derrick proposed to Kimberly in the jacuzzi of their romantic hotel room, which he adorned with thousands of rose petals. “I cried like a baby,” remarked Kimberly.
The couple married, the first time, in a small ceremony on June 14th, 2013, in the chapel at the Annapolis County Courthouse, but it was not their dream wedding. Five years later, they reaffirmed their love in a glamorous vow renewal on June 16th, 2018. Since their first wedding was in a courthouse, it was important for them to get married in a Baptist Church and they chose Viers Mill Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md. for their ceremony. Part of the reason that they chose Viers Mill was it’s handicap accessibility. Both Kimberly and Derrick are only children, raised by their respective mothers and maternal grandmothers, and their moms have mobility issues so this was an absolute must. Luckily, Viers Mill fit the bill and it was an absolutely gorgeous setting for their vows.
For the reception, Kimberly and Derrick wanted something that would not break the bank and was close to the church to make things easy on their 75 guests, so they settled on the VFW Post 2562 in Wheaton, Md.
They did not want to go overboard with spending, so they kept to a strict budget of $15,000. For their theme, they decided on Old Hollywood Glam and Derrick’s mom picked their accent color of royal blue. However, the real showstopper that day was not the decor, but Kimberly in her custom gown made by Devine Designs.
“I promise to try to find reasons to work with all my vendors again,” said Kimberly. “They went above and beyond to make our day special.”
Sadly, Derrick’s mother passed away suddenly a few months before the vow renewal and it was hard to continue to plan such a joyful event after dealing with such a terrible loss. Kimberly remarked that it was definitely the hardest part of wedding planning. However, she was definitely there in spirit when her son married his love, for the second time. “This vow renewal was the highlight of what started off as a really bad year,” said Kimberly. “It still managed to be the best day of our life.”
The best part of the day for Kimberly was saying their vows before God, family, and their close friends since they did not get to do that the first time. Derrick joked that his favorite part was not having to spend anymore money, but he loved every moment right up until the end of the reception.
Kimberly’s biggest advice to other members of the Big Bride Club is to take things as they come and roll with it. “Do not sweat the small stuff and do not try to cater to everyone else,” said Kimberly. “All that matters is marrying the LOVE of your life.”
Bridal Hair: Aleeah Hewitt @aleeahthegift
MakeUp: Kita Tucker @smilee1970
Dress: Abigail Asante @devine_designs
Photographer: Stephen Powell @stephenjpowell
DJ: Wendy-Rai Rothmiller “Dj Wendy-Rai” @djwendyrai
Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse