From the moment they met at the Baltimore Washington Airport, Robyn Iglehart and Stephen Ross Jr. had a first-class connection. “While waiting in line, Stephen was a gentleman and offered to carry my luggage for me,” Robyn recalls. “I didn’t have a chance to answer him before he was walking down the runway with my carry-on suitcase.” The twosome sat next to each other on the plane—chatting and laughing the entire flight—and the rest was history.
Fast forward a year and a half later, when Stephen proposed during a romantic trip to Italy. “After I accepted his proposal, ‘At Last’ by Etta James began to play in this small and lovely Italian restaurant halfway across the world from home,” she shares. “It happened to be one of the favorite songs of my late mother and his late grandmother. We both saw it as a blessing from heaven and sign of acknowledgement.”
Though travel has been an integral part of Robyn and Stephen’s love story, the couple decided to keep their July 2021 nuptials in Washington D.C., about an hour away from their cinematic meet-cute. “My vision for the wedding was ‘classic and timeless elegance,’” the bride shares. “I wanted to be able to look back at pictures and videos 10, 20, or 30 years from now and still find my wedding beautiful.”
With a floral-adorned venue, celebrity cameo, and touching tributes to their family, it’s safe to say Robyn’s mission was accomplished. Keep reading for an intimate look at the special day, as planned by Melissa Williams of B Astonished Events and photographed by Terri Baskin.
I wanted my bridal party to feel and look good, so I chose a style to complement all.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, Robyn and Stephen’s wedding was postponed twice before their July 2021 nuptials. However, the day’s classic navy, gold, and ivory palette worked nicely year-round. “The long, satin navy dresses [my bridesmaids wore] had been chosen for the original fall wedding but were still appropriate for the July wedding,” the bride shares. “I wanted my bridal party to feel and look good, so I chose a style to complement all.” Complementing the wedding’s well-appointed color palette was gilded invitations, courtesy of By Dami Studios.
The bride wore an ivory, lace, and tulle gown by Martina Liana. Though Robyn initially selected a beaded dress for her special day, she changed her mind when her wedding was pushed back. “My lace dress was always what I had loved, but I went with another dress,” she shares. “I always kept the lace dress in the back of my mind. After postponing the wedding and working through the challenges of the year, I questioned myself about it and thought, ‘Girl, live your best life and get that dress.’”
Robyn wore her original beaded frock to her reception, and enlisted her bridal salon to add a custom strap to her new number. Speaking of personal touches, she also had a bow from her mother’s wedding dress sewn inside of her lace dress.
Robyn accessorized her lace dress with Enrico Cuini shoes as well as a headpiece and set of ornate earring, courtesy of Etsy vendor Queen Me Jewelry LLC. And, as a perfect finishing touch? Soft gold and pink bridal makeup. “I honestly asked to look like a Black Barbie on my wedding day,” she shares. “Dommie Cole and Lauren Nicely knew the assignment and delivered! I have never felt so beautiful.”
The groom looked dapper in a bespoke, navy blue tuxedo by Winston & Lee. Rounding out the look was Paul Stuart shoes, a custom bowtie, and a special assortment of jewelry. “Stephen carefully chose his jewelry for the day,” Robyn shares. “Each had a significance: he wore a watch that was a gift from Stephen’s father, my late father’s gold ring, and a bracelet, which was his late grandfather’s.”
We chose the Anderson House because of its elegant and stately ambiance.
Before they swapped vows, Robyn and Stephen shared a first look and snapped pictures at their venue, the Larz Anderson House. “We chose the Anderson House because of its elegant and stately ambiance,” the bride shares. “It had a beautiful marble-lined stairway, gorgeous artwork, and regal hallways. The gorgeous ballroom with a stunning iron staircase was perfect for our first entrance as husband and wife.”
The couple swapped vows under a magnolia tree in the venue’s courtyard. To maximize their square footage, a runway was constructed over the pool for the processional. A clean white arch and urn arrangements—both decked out with white and blush flowers—blurred the lines between the pool and pavement.
Playing the role of the wedding singer was none other than Tamara Jade, who was a finalist on The Voice. “She was phenomenal; she sang the prayer during the ceremony,” Robyn shares. “I cried during her rendition because it was so beautiful. She even sang perfectly in Italian. Some of my guests are fluent and came to me afterwards about how perfect it was.”
Robyn was escorted down the aisle by her nephew, Bradley Iglehart Booker. “I am the youngest in the family and we basically grew up together,” she shares. “There is no one else I would have wanted to do this [with]. I remember many times picking him up from daycare, and years later on my wedding day, he escorted me down the aisle. I [think] my late parents would have been proud of this.”
After swapping their personal vows, the happy couple recessed down the aisle to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.”
Remember why you are doing this: to celebrate marrying the one you love.
After their first meeting at the Baltimore Airport, Robyn moved to Texas to be closer to her now-husband. Though long-distance wedding planning had its set of challenges—especially in a pandemic—Robyn and Stephen never lost sight of what was most important. “Remember why you are doing this: to celebrate marrying the one you love,” the bride shares. “Invite those who have shaped you and supported you. Pick [which] elements of the wedding are important to you and your partner and use your resources towards them.”
The venue’s courtyard also served as the reception area, with tables for the couple’s 115 guests deftly arranged around the pool. Each table was swathed in candelabras, textured linens, and a lush array of flowers such as roses, sweet peas, and hydrangeas.
For Robyn and Stephen, it was important to fill the day with delicious comfort food. The cocktail hour featured a flavorful mix of truffle sliders, chicken tacos, and tomato tartar and blue crab beignets. As for dinner? Guests enjoyed watermelon salad, braised short ribs, miso glazed salmon, and cumin-spiced cauliflower steak. “I wanted guests to leave full,” the bride shares.
Of course, no dinner is complete without dessert. The couple enlisted Fluffy Thoughts Cakes to create a gold airbrushed buttercream confectionary, complete with mouth-watering flavors like lemon tart, passion-vanilla bean, and sour cherry compote.
As for drinks? In addition sipping cocktails like a spicy mezcal margarita, lavender-tinged Moscow mule, and the couple’s favorite Jack and ginger combination, guests could grab a glass of bubbly from the Champagne wall.
“We had a memory wall dedicated to our loved ones who have passed,” the bride shares. “Our planner and florist designed this, and it was very important to us to have remembrance of them. We are where we are because of their example and love. I carried photos of my late parents on my bridal bouquet.”
Tamara Jade took the mic to perform the couple’s first dance, “At Last” by Etta James. Afterward, DJ Max Powers kept the party going with non-stop tunes.
Our meeting, courtship, and wedding were our fairytale.
“The evening ended with a second line band and a sparkler send-off,” the bride shares. “Guests waved personalized handkerchiefs and carried parasols. It was so much fun and the guests enjoyed it.”
Robyn shares that the wedding was nothing short of magic. “[They say that] once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a fairytale,” she says. “Our meeting, courtship, and wedding were our fairytale. We feel so very blessed.”