Afiya Bennett & Lloyd Dickenson
December 15, 2019. Somerset, New Jersey
Afiya Bennett and Lloyd Dickenson first met on the set of a Nike shoot in Chicago. “Although Lloyd has multiple businesses, he is also a model with Wilhelmina agency,” Afiya explains. “Believe it or not, my first impression of him was that he was standoffish and completely uninterested. Little did I know, he was going to be the man that stole my heart.”
For the engagement, Lloyd proposed in front of both their families in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Afiya’s mother has a vacation home in Atlanta where the family usually gathers together for the holidays. What she assumed was going to be a typical Christmas Eve, soon turned out to be an unforgettable night.
“The most important thing for my husband and I when planning was the wedding ceremony,” shares Afiya. “We were both raised in the church, and it was imperative that God was at the center of our union. Initially, we were going to get married on the beautiful island of Antigua; but things quickly changed when I realized my entire family wouldn’t be able to attend. Once we finally decided on having the wedding in New Jersey, planning from beginning to end took about four months.”
Finding the perfect venue was the first step of the couple’s wedding planning process, followed by sourcing the right floral designer, DJ, and the bride’s wedding dress. “One of the most stressful things about planning my wedding in four months was getting a gown that would arrive in time,” Afiya adds. “Finding my perfect dress came after many fittings and weeks of endless shopping. Of course, I had an idea as to my dream dress; but there is nothing like actually seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time. My experience with Galia Lahav was beyond incredible. From beginning to end, Galia Lahav gave me an incredible experience I will never forget. From the cupcakes and flowers at my first fitting, to the making of the dress video, to the customer service, they were truly with me every step of the way.”
With the theme of “Royal Wedding,” the wedding day included a 1960 Rolls Royce, and grand “King and Queen” chairs for the bride and groom. “I will never forget when I walked down the aisle,” the bride recalls. “Lloyd and I could not stop crying. That was actually my first time seeing him cry. I had this huge rush of emotions, and somewhere between the nerves and the excitement was a level of peace.”
The newlyweds decided to honeymoon in Antigua, where they were originally going to be married. With the warm weather, blue waters, and Antigua’s rich culture, it was the perfect way to end an incredible wedding experience.
Reception: The Palace at Somerset Park Somerset, New Jersey; Floral Design: A Touch of Elegance Floral and Event Design Randolph, NJ; Reception Dress: Galia Lahav; Groom's Attire: Robert Graham;