Real Weddings {North Carolina}: Imani & Philemon! –

Imani and Philemon took "Love in the Club" to a whole new meaning when they met in 2005 at a club appropriately called LOVE, in Washington D.C.  Although the two were both enjoying the Howard University Homecoming festivities, once the two met eyes, phone numbers were exchanged and plans to meet for lunch were made shortly after. Seven years later, Imani and Philemon's chance nightclub meeting turned into a union that will keep them dancing in each others arms forever. Check out this awesome wedding fit for a southern belle shot by Elton Anderson at The VanLandingham Estate in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bride: Imani Joye Sanders Samuels, 28, Integrated Marketing Analyst

Groom: Philemon Samuels, 31, Police Officer

Place of residence: Cheverly, MD

Wedding date: 7/14/12

Honeymoon Destination: Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

From the Bride:
That day was ethereal. Every moment was purposed perfectly…from the morning butterflies (aka anxiety) to late night dancing with family and friends. It was absolutely the best day ever! Planning from afar was a slight challenge and everyone had his or her own vision, but that day, there was no worry in sight. The touch of my husband’s hand with his wedding band was the most calming feeling. And the kicks of our first-born (who we then referred to as “Buddha”) kept our spirits pretty cool. I felt royal; I felt invincible.

Engagement story:

On July 14, 2011, Philemon took off work to spend the day with Imani. They both recall that summer day as perfect. Philemon surprised her with the most spectacular request of all…to spend the rest of their lives together – and a ring, of course. What was most telling about the experience was the dream where God told Imani, who is a self proclaimed commitment- phobe, to "Lean not on your own understanding." So when Philemon asked Imani to literally shake on his request, there was no hesitation, she said, "YES!" The covenant was made.

What makes your love special?
Our love is special by design. It’s purposeful and humble and genuine and fun. We come from very different backgrounds – southern conservatives and liberal Caribbeans so this melding creates this one-of-a-kind partnership. We’ve withstood distance, career conflicts, etc. but in the end, love has always prevailed.  And we don’t force it. We choose to love…one day at a time.

From the Groom:
My experience was grand. I felt like the king for the day. I had my family together to witness my wife and I start a new legacy with our marriage.

Your best/most memorable moment:
First dance – Prince’s “Adore.” It was classic, intimate and divine.

What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?
Kids, family experiences and morning smoothies.

Advice for other Brides and Grooms on their wedding day:

Smile a little; kiss a lot and hi-five in between.

Don’t get distracted by every little detail, the purpose of the occasion is that you are becoming one.

Enjoy and cherish every minute for that period of time it’s all about you two and nothing else should matter.

In the words of Bob, “Don’t worry…about a thing…cuz every little thing’s…gonna be alright."


Congratulations to Imani and Philemon and their new bundle of joy! We wish you and your family many more years of love and happiness. Want more of this beautiful southern wedding? Click here to see their wedding trailer shot by Absolute Productions & Media.



Vendors: Photographer: Elton Anderson/Ceremony and Reception location:  The VanLandingham Estate/Bridal gown: Original gown was the mother of the bride’s wedding gown 39 years ago; minor alterations made by CJ at J. Majors/Bridal party attire: Maid of Honor’s vintage dress from Annie Creamcheese/Caterer:  The VanLandingham EstateFavors: FDY/Bojangle’s/Wedding planners:  Style Perfect Events/Music: DJ Dexter Dynamite/Hair and makeup: MAC Cosmetics/Flowers: From This Day Forward Wedding Design/Stationery: Juana Merlo/Videographer: Absolute Productions & Media




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