On Oct. 9, Tamika Lynn Wilson was married to the love of her life, Anthony Charles Byrd III, in a beautiful ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Penn’s.
The officiate was Dr. Felton, servant leader at Mt. Airy church of God in Christ. The wedding was held in the scenic riverfront ballroom with a spectacular view overlooking the river. Tamika was radiant in a strapless satin bodice featuring gorgeous hand-beaded embroidery that was repeated on the skirt hem. Her ball gown also featured a soft drop waist silhouette and draped pick-up skirt, which created an elegant shape. She wore a cathedral train approximately eight-feet in length from the waist.
Dear friends of bride: Monique Johnson, Kathering Burton, Steve Willis, Katherine Hightower and Howard Goodinson who all play string instruments and played at the wedding and reception. Tamika decided to dedicate a performance at the reception to Anthony and played with the string ensemble.
Tamika Lynn Wilson, 33, now Mrs. Tamika L. Wilson-Byrd, was born and raised in Philadelphia. She is the daughter of Evonne Wilson and the late Benjamin Wilson. Tamika is a graduate of Community College of Philadelphia where she earned a bachelor’s in business and engineering at Drexel University. She currently enjoys working in the field of research.
Anthony Charles Byrd III, also 33, was born in Palm Springs, Calif., but grew up in Philadelphia. He was in the U.S. Air Force where he excelled, and he now is currently in sales. Anthony’s mother is Annette Craig and his stepfather is Steve Craig. All of the bride’s grandparents are lovingly remembered, but Anthony’s grandfather, Lors Davis, was able to be there for the couple’s special day. Unfortunately, his beautiful grandmother, Sarah Lors, passed away just a few weeks before the wedding.
How They Met
His version: “Tamika Lynn Wilson has been my inspiration for being a better man. In my mind, it was honestly love at first sight. Our relationship has been what writers, poets and relationship counselors have been looking for to study. She was the strength that I needed to realize that in this world, God delivers one true soulmate for every person, I was lucky enough to find her,” Anthony said. Tamika and Anthony met on February 13th 1999, where she worked at a card and gift shop in Willow Grove Mall.
“I walked in looking for something that was not related to Valentine’s Day. When I approached her to pay for my card; and we just ‘clicked.’ We talked like we've been friends for decades. She made me feel like it was meant for me to go back. When I went to work the next day, I mentioned her to a friend from work and they said that I should give it another chance to try to talk to her. So after work, I went home, dressed, shaved, showered (in that order), and thought up some smooth lines to say to her. When I got there with words on my hand and a rose in the other, I started to approach her. In the middle of my line, I was interrupted by some guy trying to talk to her, too. I backed off for a second, then realized that I was better than that guy and stood my ground.
After he left, I felt like I was her boyfriend but my suspicions were corrected when she ripped up the phone number in front of me and said “I’m sorry, you were saying.” That, to me, was her saying that you are more important and that was the beginning of our relationship,” he shared.
Her version: “I remember meeting Anthony the day before Valentine’s Day in 1999. He came into the store that I was working at to purchase a few things. Once he got to my register, that was when I really noticed him. He was very cute. He just had a boyish quality to his looks. However, I realize now that when he’s 60 years old, he’ll look 40. We talked for a very long time and I thought that he had such a nice personality. It felt familiar, not as if I just met him.
“The next day, I was at work, and guess who popped up? Mr. Anthony, dressed very nicely and with a rose in his hand. I thought it was such a sweet gesture. As we were speaking, some guy rudely interrupted us trying to get my phone number. Once he left, I tore the paper and kindly asked Anthony to continue with what he was saying. It was way more important than what the other guy was talking about. That was the beginning of our friendship.
After years of speaking off and on, going to church ever so often, going out to dinner here and there, and learning about his departure to the Middle East, we still remained friends. It was after my graduation in 2009 that something changed between us. He was getting out of a relationship and I just got out of a relationship, and we just became very, very close. We were together that entire summer. Then as the winter approached, our thoughts on relationships, marriage, our lives, our wants and dreams, began to be discussed more frequently. And now I know that he had a reason for wanting to discuss all of these things,” Tamika shared.
“I proposed to Tamika on Feb. 21, 2010, at a quiet spot on Kelly Drive that she found to talk, relax and have a drink,” said Anthony. “After buying the ring a few weeks ago and thinking of the many ways that I wanted to propose to her, I just figured the best way was just to do it from the heart and tell her how I felt. And after the heart-felt proposal, she still thought that I was joking.”
Tamika recalls, “We took a bottle of wine to Kelly Drive on a Sunday evening, just to relax and unwind. We had a very good time because we always laugh a lot together. Then I remember him saying something like, ‘This is the perfect place to just do it.’ And I’m staring at him waiting for him to continue because I wasn’t sure what it meant. Then he went on to talk about his other relationships and how they weren’t that good. Then he began talking about how happy he was and that we had such a long friendship that was blossoming into something no one ever expected. Then he took my wine glass out of my hand (which is a no-no), and got down on one knee. He then proposed. And after all the sentimental things that he said, I did, indeed, believe that he was joking!
The Bridal Party
Brian Cannon stood as Anthony’s best man and Tamika’s brother, Terance Wilson, served as a groomsman. Jason Felder also served as a groomsman.
Katrina C. Thomas was Tamika’s maid of honor, her dearest friend for more than 10 years. The lovely bridesmaids were Rennet Amaro, Aisha Alexander, Torre Lynn Adams, the bride’s cousin, and Nikida McMillan.
A fabulous reception followed the ceremony, also at The Hyatt. The couple was announced and danced their dance as man and wife to “Dancing in September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. Their first “official” dance as husband and wife was to “So Amazing” by Luther Vandross.
Bridesmaid Nikida McMillan caught the bouquet of white Cala lilies with the black centers. The brother of the bride, Terance Wilson, caught the equally coveted garter.
Reflections in Tamika’s Words
“Goodness, God blessed us with a beautiful day. The weather was gorgeous! Everyone was on time and it was such a happy day. I cherished every minute of that day. It was amazing and the love shared between my husband and I was evident. Our friends and family made it even more special … there were only about six people who didn’t show! The seats were filled, the food was amazing, and we had a fantastic time. Even the ‘Soul Train’ line was a great addition to the end of the evening. My husband and I feel so blessed. And every time I sit and think about that magnificent day, there’s not one thing that I would change,” said Tamika.
The couple honeymooned at Le Blanc Towers on one of Mexico’s most beautiful stretches of private beach, near Cancun. They both agreed it was an absolutely amazing experience.
“My favorite part of the trip is that we opted to have a romantic dinner on the beach … and what a dinner it was! My husband and I share a lot of romance, and I would definitely put that dinner in the top three of dinners that we have shared.
Congratulations and best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Charles Byrd III!