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July 24, 2014, 2:02 pm

Wedding Story: Aisha Strong, Ronald Murray

Aisha Strong and Ronald Murray were married at Tendenza, an elegant venue in Northern Liberties. The Rev. Theodore Mont, a longtime family friend, performed the beautiful candlelight ceremony on Aug. 18. Aisha’s father, James Strong, fashionably attired in a custom suit with a black and white bow tie, escorted his stunning daughter down the aisle and presented her to her husband-to-be. Aisha was breathtaking in an ivory mermaid gown with silk organza flowers. Her wedding gown, designed by Marisa, was purchased at Bridal by Danielle in Center City.

The marital ceremony culminated with the loving couple jumping the broom before proceeding to the ballroom for a photo session with the bridal party.

The Bride

Aisha, 33, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James (Myrtle) Strong. She is a native Philadelphian. Aisha attended Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. She currently owns an early childhood learning center.

The Groom

Ronald, 33, is the son of Sandra Murray and Avin Swindell. He is a native Philadelphian and also attended Shaw University. Ronald “Flip” Murray is a professional NBA basketball player.

How They Met…The Proposal

Aisha and Ronald first met in the North Philadelphia neighborhood where they grew up. They shared a class at Strawberry Mansion High School.

“Ronnie,” as Aisha affectionately calls Ronald, proposed on one of their traditional date nights. The romantic couple always tries to fit this special time into their schedule once a week. They went out for an enjoyable evening for dinner and cocktails. When they returned home, Ronald suddenly knelt on one knee and asked Aisha to marry him. The answer was “Yes!”

The Bridal Party

Members of the bridal party were: Jalonda Mitchell, Janessa Strong, Corey Dickerson, Joel Hopkins, Diane Barnes, Najah Haskins, Amber Littesy, Kulondi Fryer, Ayanna Sinyangwe, Laval Adams, James Strong, Alvin Swindle, Gerald Johnson, Cedrick Lusk, Yasmeen Everette, Clarence Taylor, Kareem Williams, Crystal Moore, Ariauna Murray, Isaiah Heard and Zakee Bryant Strong.

The bridesmaids wore Lazaro mermaid, one-shoulder gowns in purple and carried silver clutches instead of traditional flowers. The groom wore a classic tuxedo with an ivory jacket and black pants. The groomsmen also wore classic tuxedos from Black Tie, located in downtown Philadelphia.

The Reception

A joyous reception was also held at Tendenza in Northern Liberties. “Our reception reflected everything I hoped for and planned for my dream wedding,” said Aisha. “The centerpieces varied from elaborate candle-lit candelabras to orchid-filled vases topped with purple lampshades to crystal lamps that shimmered from the candles on the inside.”

DJ Gary O had the crowd on their feet all night. “Ronald helped select the menu and the wedding cake and said, ‘Everything else is on you.’”

“Overall, things went great. I can't put into words what a great job that Tendenza did,” Aisha added. “They made this experience truly a day we will never forget. Beautiful Blooms were the best. I don't think I could have asked for a better florist because they made the already chic venue look even more fabulous.”

Aisha and Ronald danced their first dance as husband and wife to “You’re All I Need” by Method Man and Mary J. Blige and “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross. The groom danced with his mother to “Momma” by Boyz II Men and the bride danced to “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion with her father.

The maid of honor, Jalonda Mitchell, caught the gorgeous bouquet and Zachary caught the coveted garter.

Reflections

“The wedding day was amazing. Tendenza did an amazing job with hosting the wedding and reception, from the cocktail hour, which included pasta stations, seafood selections along with lollipop lamb chops and too many more selections to name. Dinner was awesome, and guests selected two filets, salmon wrapped in sea bass and chicken with a delicate cream sauce,” said Aisha. “Guests were also wowed by the dessert. Not only was the cake provided by Tendenza gorgeous, but we also had a dessert buffet which included funnel cakes Belgian waffles, an ice cream station ,bananas Foster, mini cheesecakes and so much more. Bridal by Danielle did an amazing job with my wedding gown as well as my bridesmaids’ and mother’s. My hairstylist, Sina Marie of Sina Marie Salon styled my hair perfectly. I felt so beautiful, and my husband let me know when I walked down the aisle that I looked gorgeous. Ronnie looked so handsome and I couldn't wait to join him.

“My wedding coordinator, Frances Jones, made sure that anything I needed or wanted was provided. She did a fantastic job,, especially given such short notice. She truly does her job well,” Aisha stressed.

The Honeymoon

“The honeymoon was so fabulous, it’s under wraps,” said the bride.

Congratulations and very best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Murray!