[real wedding] Ashley & Raimi’s wedding at the Wright Museum!

Have you ever seen a photograph that captured happiness so simply, so clearly?

If you look at even just one of the photos below taken by photojournalist Marcus Parham, you will realize that Ashley Whitfield and Prof. Raimi Gbadamosi had a blast at their December 2012 wedding at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History! Ashley and Raimi met when they were involved in social justice issues in London. She’s a youth worker and curator; he’s an artist.

Ashley and I met during college at the University of Michigan. Doesn’t she look radiant? I love that Riana, one of the bridesmaids and another college friend, was a flower maiden! :-)

Ashley_Raimi ceiling

Tell me about your love for Detroit.

I have an affinity for Detroit for many reasons. It has helped to raise my community – some of my most dear family and friends. Detroit is a center for radical histories and contemporary social justice struggles. And I love the culture that seeps through it all from gator shoes to Dilla!

Ashley_Raimi groom pic

Ashley_Raimi candle_favors

Ashley_Raimi couple

Ashley_Raimi bridesmaids_Riana

The details

Venue: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 
Photographer: Marcus Parham, photojournalist
Gown: Runaway Bride budget friendly sample dress store
Catering: Jackson’s Five Star Catering
Cake: Holiday Market, plus a dessert table with peach cobbler and cheesecake
Flowers: Goodness Gracious Flowers
Favors: Art pieces created by the groom!
DJ: DJ Sicari
Ring: Sculpted by Mark Woods

Make-up: Shalonda A
Hair: Meatta B
Officiant: Hon. William G. Lipscomb, Jr (Ashley’s uncle)

Ashley_Raimi ceremony

Ashley_Raimi couple1

How did you incorporate Detroit into your wedding?

I was fortunate to have my wedding at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History a national but also local gem. The Wright Museum is an essential part of Detroit’s landscape. Also, I requested a set of some of my all time favorite music: Detroit Ghetto Techno (DJ Snowflake & DJ Assault). Finally, our lovely guests were some of my favorite Detroiters.

What socially or environmentally conscious choices did you make during the wedding planning process?

I was determined to stick to a modest budget. We donated flowers to a nursing home after the wedding. I felt uncomfortable with the history of certain “traditional” wedding elements such as the wedding veil, so I did not wear a veil, toss a bouquet or have my groom find a garter belt! All accessories (except my shoes) were family heirlooms: my mother’s headpiece and great-grandmother’s earrings. Finally, I asked my friends to select their own dresses.

Ashley_Raimi bride laughing

Ashley_Raimi bride and bridesmaids

What was your favorite moment of the wedding?

My four favorite moments were: (1) Dancing with lifelong friends to some of my all time favorite music: Detroit Ghetto Techno! (2) Seeing one of my best buddies, Riana Anderson, walking down the aisle as the flower maiden (she always teased about wanting to be a flower girl). (3) Our first dance to Wayne Shorter’s Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 from the album Alegria. (4) Being ‘sprayed’ with money, a fun Nigerian custom.

Ashley_Raimi cake

Ashley_Raimi first dance

Ashley_Raimi dancing

Ashley_Raimi embrace

What words of advice do you have for those planning their own Detroit weddings? 

Relax and enjoy the process. Allow space for the incidental. Many of my most memorable details emerged organically!

9 thoughts on “[real wedding] Ashley & Raimi’s wedding at the Wright Museum!

  1. Spectacular photography. And love the idea that she gave her bridal party choice of their own dresses – they look terrific. I really am curious about the groom’s kilt and his choice of wearing that.

  2. What a gorgeous wedding! I loved reading about all of the unique details – it’s these types of weddings that really stand out to me as something special. Forgoing unquestioned traditions and making the day unique to the couple is so fun to see! And they did it all on a budget – even better!

  3. It is a wonderful pleasure to get this opportunity view Ashley’s and her new husband Ramini’s photos of their wedding. They are such beautiful photos and provide an excellent glimpse of their very special day.
    I am in awe of their ability to express their individualities and make their day their own. It looks like it was a marvelous and unique wedding. Congrats!

  4. Lovely wedding! As Becca mentioned, I’m also interested in knowing why the groom wore a kilt. It seems as though such a unique detail would have been explained in this post.

  5. Apologies for not including information about the kilt – really focused in on the “Detroit”-ness of the wedding but should have thought about the fact that readers would be intrigued by the kilt. I’m sorry for not anticipating that!

    From the groom:

    “Yes, it is a kilt, and it is made of the Tartan of The Republic. The Republic is a piece of my work and you can become a citizen at http://www.the-republic.net. I can therefore wear the kilt because it is of the national colours of The Republic. It is of considerable significance to me that on such an important day in my life I am in full formal dress of the Republic.”

  6. I love the bride’s natural hair. That stood out most for me, since so very often I hear natural hair is not “formal” enough for a wedding. Everything about her look was regal and classy.

    On top of that the venue was spectacular.

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