At age 28, I had a chance to attend my first wedding. Yes, my first, and I wasn’t just an attendee, I was a bridesmaid. It’s not often in my life I’ve been given a chance to ever be invited to anything of the kind. My parents were never married, and I didn’t seem to see Black couples around me with marriage in their books. Oftentimes I thought it was just me, or maybe marriage just isn’t popular in Black love.

When my best friend asked me to be a bridesmaid, I didn’t hesitate to say yes because I knew the experience I would gain would probably make me see things differently—and it has. It wasn’t your everyday chapel wedding. This wedding was taking place in the beautiful city of Sorrento, Italy. With the beach below and the houses that looked as though they were built into the hills, the weather itself was scorching, and even tourists taking their daily stroll seemed to be engaged in the festivities as they watched two in-love people, Shane and Izoduwa Montague, say, “I do.’’ Both dressed in white, it was the most sacred moment I had ever seen, with the bride bejewelled in her fairytale wedding gown and the groom dressed in his well-tailored, embroidered suit. It was almost everything a couple could ask for.

Attended by guests, family and friends from the U.K. and America, the wedding day was filled with pictures and tears of joy. It was followed by an amazing evening reception in a hotel located on the hilltop of the historic city.

The bride and groom not only made their vows in Italy but also a few days after their arrival to the U.K., where they reside, they said their vows again in a wedding blessing, located in a villa on the outskirts of London. With more guests attending the ceremony, the bride and groom had a chance to relive their moment as they danced the night away. Internationally beloved singer Omar blessed their first dance with his hit “There’s Nothing Like This.” With the smell of the Caribbean food that graced the guests’ tables and the soulful music in the air, I can finally say my first wedding was surely a success. It proved there’s nothing like two Black people embracing love.