The former Sharea Day was married to Al-Lateef Farmer at Gallerie Isada, a beautiful art gallery that provided a backdrop of history for their very special day — Dec. 24, 2011. The nuptials were co-officiated by the groom’s mother, the Rev. Tracey Arsenault and the Rev. Tony Harley. Sharea was beautiful wearing a soft satin and net bridal gown with a modified sweetheart neckline, elegant bodice and back.
Sharea, 33, is the daughter of Jacqueline Day. She earned her undergraduate degree from Rider University and a master’s in social work from Rutgers University. She has worked as a therapist for several years and teaches part-time at Rutgers University School of Social Work. She also works as a professional consultant for nonprofits and social service agencies throughout New Jersey.
Al-Lateef, 33, is the son of Agurs L. Cathcart Jr. and Tracey P. Arseneault. The groom’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Agurs L. Cathcart Sr., witnessed the ceremony with pride. Al-Lateef is a graduate of Kean University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. He currently works as student development specialist at Mercer County Community College. Al-Lateef is also a freelance writer for music and social awareness websites such as Soul Train, EurWeb and ThyBlackman, and has as a blog, “The World According to Teef.”
How They Met
The couple first met at a Black Star concert at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. The concert was standing room only and Al-Lateef was standing in front of his wife-to-be. Because he was completely blocking her view of the stage she politely asked if she could stand in front of him. He was kind enough to let her squeeze in front of him. They began talking, and after that night they became friends. The rest is history.
Sharea lovingly refers to Al-Lateef as “Teef,” and this is the very romantic proposal she shares:
“It was perfect, June 28. Al-Lateef and I had been attending Warmdaddy’s Hump Jam hosted by Kindred the Family Soul of Philadelphia for three weeks. It was the final night of the actual event and it was more people than it had been the whole month. We had invited my sister and her husband to join us. We stood in the back of the restaurant. I was restless because up until that night we always had a seat, not to mention I had on heels and my feet were killing me. But Al-Lateef was all about staying to support his friend and now like family, the Kindred Family Soul. So I stood strong and listened as Kindred continued their set to introduce their new music.
“Teef and I both love music so much and had already decided that music was our soul connection, but going into that would take up the whole article. So as the night continued, Al-Lateef was called to the stage from the back of the restaurant. I thought nothing of this, because just the week before Teef had jokingly been called to the stage. When he returned from the stage, Kindred began to sing my favorite song by them, “My Time.” I was singing along and paying little attention to what was happening around me. Al-Lateef had to turn me around to face him. Before he could ask the question I had already started to cry and said ‘Yes.’ It was so perfect, because I never had a clue and it involved our love of music.”
The Bridal Party
The bride’s attendants, maid of honor Nicole Powell and bridesmaids Renite Day-Jackson, Monika Walton, Carol Hunter-Price and Tranae Farmer-Boston were lovely in navy blue and silver satin gowns. The handsome best man William Knight and groomsmen Terence Johnson, Toby Jackson, Albert Jackson and Lawrence Day Jr. wore traditional tuxedos.
Sharea changed into a special reception dress with a bodice featuring a high neck with a keyhole cutout and beaded Empire waist. “The short skirt draped and flowed for me to dance,” she shared. The couple danced their first dance as man and wife to “Mr. Incredible, Ms. Unforgettable” by Leela James and Raheem DeVaughn. Sharea also changed into navy satin dancing shoes in keeping with her color scheme.
“We did not do the traditional dances. We felt it was important to celebrate the journey of marriage and did what we called ‘Celebration of Marriage.’ During this time we had couples at different stages and years in their marriages come up and dance with Al-Lateef and I. By the time we went through seven songs dedicated to the time frame the dance floor was full of married couples who had been married from one day to over 50 years. It was a beautiful celebration of the success of Black marriage.”
The bouquet of ivory roses accented with a poinsettia in the center and delicate baby’s breath was caught by Al-Lateef’s great-aunt Eleanor Wise. Sharea’s brother, Lawrence Day Jr., caught the coveted garter.
“After we jumped the broom and before we got our boogie on, Edible Delights Catering, owned by David Simms, made our stomachs smile with a variety of appetizers prior to the main course, which everyone said was delicious. But we barely got to eat because of the stream of guests to our table. We really wanted our reception to have a party-like feel, so once the formalities such as toasts, cake cutting and garter toss were done, the party was on. The DJ played classic music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, while we attempted to dance until Santa arrived.”
Family members and close friends, most of whom reside in North and Central New Jersey, and some traveling from as far as California and Georgia, had a fabulous time.
Sharea and Al-Lateef consider themselves to be a non-traditional couple. They took photos before their ceremony at a Catholic church, then rode together to Gallerie Isada. When they saw friends and family at the gallery, it cemented their belief that they were embarking upon a special journey. “Our vows only reinforced our love and commitment for one another,” said Sharea.
“The beauty of our wedding is that we went into it as a partnership and all decisions were made as a team. We felt that to be an important element and practice for our marriage. We shopped together for the engagement ring, our wedding bands, selected songs we both love and a meal that we not only enjoyed, but to fit the needs of our guests. The cake tasting was amazing. Imagicakes provided an array of flavors that made the choice nearly impossible. We finally selected pink and red velvet for our delectable layered wedding cake.”
The couple sailed on the Carnival Victory from San Juan, Puerto Rico and docked in five ports: St. Thomas, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. The most enjoyable part of the honeymoon was experiencing the various cultures of the islands, the serenity of the water and the peace found on the beach where the rest of the world didn’t matter at that time. Also, performing a duet of Cee-Lo’s “Forget You” is a moment they will always remember.
Congratulations and very best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Al- Lateef Farmer, who have settled in to live and work in Philadelphia. They plan to see the world, attend an NBA game in every city and, “continue to do our best to support our community and love each other until the day that 8x8x8 is 4!”