A Sophisticated, African-Inspired Wedding at the Cetwick in Asheboro, North Carolina

High school lovebirds who rekindled their love nearly two decades later, Ayisha Jefferson (39 and a professor) and Chris Evans (42 and a truck driver) threw a wedding bash that drew inspiration from Indian and African cultures. “I love culture,” Ayisha says. “I love the beauty on the continent of Africa and in the country of India, so we meshed West African and Indian decor. We asked everyone to wear black, and the wedding party was also in black, except me.” The couple said “I do” at the Cetwick in Asheboro, North Carolina, which was followed with a celebratory cocktail hour on the rooftop terrace, a traditional Southern dinner, and African dancing. “It was a very traditional wedding ceremony,” Ayisha says. “We did not exchange our own personal vows, but we did write thank-you letters to each other.” The aisle was decorated with candles, and guests sat in gold chiavari chairs. The reception space was decorated in a black and ivory with gold accents. Tables were adorned with photographs of the newlyweds and lush white peonies, a nod to Ayisha's love for Indian cultures. “Peonies embody romance and prosperity and are regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage,” Ayisha says. “We did a very nontraditional wedding dance,” Ayisha says of blending the songs “Candy Rain” by Soul for Real and “Peter Piper” by Run DMC. “It was a blend of what we call a two step and old-school hip-hop moves.” During the reception, African drummers and a flute serenaded the crowd and two African dancers. “We also had heavy crowd participation with the African dancers,” Ayisha says. “It was too fun to see young and old pair up to attempt the West African dance moves.” —Marissa Hermanson