Jennifer Lauren Marie Houston and Ronald Eugene Wilson were married at The Christian Church in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, on May 27. The late afternoon ceremony was officiated by Pastor Gordon S. Houston Sr., proud father of the bride. Jennifer was stunning in an elegant ivory fit and flare gown from the Vineyard Collection. An embellished handcrafted belt by Vera Wang, ivory satin Badgley Mischka “Salsa” pumps and a 5-foot-long bridal veil were Jennifer’s exquisite special touches.
Jennifer is 26 years of age. Her father, Pastor Gordon S. Houston Sr. is married to Mrs. Mary Houston. Houston has been the pastor of The Christian Church in Philadelphia (TCCP) for over thirty-three years. Mrs. Houston has been an educator for over twenty years and serves as the pastoral assistant at TCCP.
Jennifer is from Trevose. She is a 2008 graduate of the historic Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C., with a B.A. in elementary education. She has worked as a teacher for the past four years and most recently taught at Global Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Following her relocation to Charlotte, N.C., Jennifer plans to work in the school system there.
Ronald, 29, is the son of Mr. Ronald Wilson who is married to Mrs. Katrina Wilson. Mrs. Rhonda Wilder, Ronald’s mother is married to Mr. Theodore Wilder. Ronald was born in Norfolk, Va. and now resides in Charlotte, N.C. He attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C. Ronald earned an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering as well as an MBA degree from the University of Phoenix and is employed as a senior compliance specialist at Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C.
The Bridal Party
Jennifer’s maid of honor was her sister Kimberly E. Houston. Her bridesmaids were: cousins, LaTara Houston and LaToya Houston; sisters-in-law, Ily Houston and Erika Houston; Ronni Mason, sister of the groom; sorority sisters, Clinesha Harris, Kelay Crittendon and Reneta Chavis; and childhood friend Misses McKenzie Morris. Alyssa Bradshaw was the adorable flower girl and Grant Houston was the dutiful ring bearer. Hostesses were Candice Streeter and Tiara White.
Ronald’s best man was Brandon Hardison. Groomsmen were brothers of the bride, Gordon Stanley Houston Jr. and Rev. Alexander G. Houston, cousins of the groom, Rashad Ferebee and Timothy Lamb, and college friends of the groom, Michael Mittman, Daniel Clark, Jerron Daniel, Nathan Roberts and Khary Tatum. Brian Smith and Michael White served as ushers.
A fabulous reception with delicious food and dancing was held at The Hyatt Regency Hotel at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. Jennifer and Ronald danced their first dance as husband and wife to “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. She danced with her father to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole. Ronald and his mother danced to “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion.
Karima Bouchenafa caught the gorgeous spring bouquet and Timothy Lamb secured the bride’s coveted garter.
A host of relatives and friends traveled from far and near including Mississippi, Illinois, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. Guests and family included Mr. and Mrs. Earl Winston Houston Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Earl Winston Houston II and Mrs. Toni Houston, Mrs. Elzie Alves and Mrs. Gladys Smith, Ms. Brenda Houston, Doctors Tiffany and Hector Myers, Ms. Turnitta Rayburn, Antoinette Rayburn and Aria Rayburn, and Mr. and Mrs. Craig (Lisa) Houston.
The groom’s relatives included his lovely grandmother, Mrs. Annie Ferebee of Norfolk, Va.; his aunt, Ms. Deborah Ferebee; the groom’s sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Mason and their sons; and the groom’s nephews from Chesapeake, Va.
Over twenty members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Rho Theta Omega Chapter, where the bride’s mother, Mrs. Mary Houston serves as the president, were present and serenaded the bride with sorority hymns. They included Dr. Mahlene Duckett-Lee and Judge Sheila Skipper-Woods, who was escorted by her husband, Mr. Leigh M. Skipper, Esq.; Dr. Quinetta Roberson; Dr. Robyn R. Jones; Mrs. Marcia Shepherd Baker, escorted by her husband, Mr. Vince Baker; and Mrs. Vanessa Thomas Smith, escorted by her husband, Mr. William Smith.
Other guests enjoying the joyous celebration included: former Mayor of the City of Philadelphia; Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode and Mrs. Velma Goode; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Weinstock; Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Williams; Mrs. Felicia Whitney Williams; Mr. and Mrs. Ronald V. Cole, Esq.; Mrs. Lucille Rochester; Ms. Sharyn Fisher; Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Woods; Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Battle; Mr. Brian Smith, accompanied by Miss Tiffany Fisher; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Taylor; Mr. and Mrs. Carl Morris and Mr. Glen Waite; Dr. Jeanine Staples; Rev. and Mrs. Leslie R. Cook; Rev. and Mrs. Brailford Hodges; Mrs. Margaret Wright; Rev. and Mrs. Clarence Lockett; Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Bruce; Mr. and Mrs. Donald Williford, Esq.; Rev. and Mrs. Theophilus Wright; Mr. and Mrs. John Ramsey’ Pastor and Mrs. Kenneth White; and Mrs. Iredelle Fripps.
How They Met … The Proposal
The couple met at a college party, became friends and their romance blossomed. “Ronald was visiting from Charlotte during the weekend after Valentine’s Day 2011. Before he arrived, Ron noted that he was going to be shipping a package to my house. He arrived in Philadelphia, enjoyed dinner and a movie as if nothing were out of the normal. On Saturday, February 19, Ron and I were at my house all alone. During a light conversation, he told me that he had something for me and that it was downstairs. He led me downstairs and on my bed was a note. The note read, ‘Nothing would make me happier than making you my wife.’ After reading the note, I was quite puzzled and still at that moment had no clue that Ron was going to propose. I turned around and looked at him with a confused look like, ‘Is the package that you sent to my home — a note?’ I read the note once more and looked at him again. Only the second time I looked at him, he was on one knee with a ring. Filled with joy and nervous energy, I laughed a bit and finally said yes!”
“Our wedding day was absolutely beautiful even with a minor hiccup or two. The wedding coordinators, Mrs. Elyce Cole and Ms. Shirley Rochester-Hagan, managed to keep everything flowing smoothly without fail. Everyone that attended the wedding enjoyed every minute of our day. The forecast for the weather had been to rain with thunderstorms. Luckily, the weather was gorgeous and wasn’t too hot. I couldn’t stop admiring how wonderful everything turned out. My bridesmaids, mother began preparing for the ceremony by having our make-up applied, getting dressed together and having lots of pictures taken at the Hyatt. Ronald and his groomsmen also met at the Hyatt and we managed not see each other until the ceremony. We had the chance to take plenty of photos before the reception at Columbus Park by ourselves and with the bridal party. We were so blessed and thankful to have all of our friends and family together to celebrate such a joyous occasion.
“I will long remember my eyes brimming with tears when I exited the elevator only to see my dad waiting for me in the lobby. It was so moving. He greeted me with a big smile and kiss on the cheek. Daddy also told me how beautiful and lovely I looked,” Jennifer beamed. She and her parents excitedly rode in the limousine to the church together. When the ceremony started, Pastor Houston escorted Jennifer down the aisle and then took his place as officiate. Her mother then had the honor of speaking for both parents in giving Jennifer away. The couple’s mothers lit the respective candles. Ronald and Jennifer lit the Unity candle, symbolic of their lives becoming one. At the conclusion of the ceremony they kissed and happily jumped the broom!
Jennifer and Ronald enjoyed the scenic beaches and blue water at Sandals Resort and Villas in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, for a week. They will remember the sun, warmth, culture and Jamaican cuisine for many years to come.
Congratulations and very best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Eugene Wilson!