A WEEK FULL OF FAMILY, FRIENDS, LOVE AND JOY!
Our wedding exceded our expectations. We planned the week and the actual wedding to have one central theme... blending family and friends. With an emphasis on catching up, reconnecting, and creating new memories our wedding week was full of activities, events and special moments. Over 80 guests traveled in from around the USA and around the world. They came from as far as Bulgaria, Australia, Vanuatu, England and Canada. Our out of town guests spent the days leading up to the wedding together. They went to Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco and explored Los Angeles. They enjoyed a rooftop lunch by the pool at our home and toured Paramount Studios. It was no surprise that come the day off the wedding that there were no strangers in the room. They joined our local friends and family in what was the single best day of our lives. The love that we have for one another in our marriage was mirrored by the people around us. We loved every moment of wedding week and hope that those who were with us did too.
For those who were not able to join us we hope that you enjoy reading about our wedding traditions below and viewing our photos.
We look forward to working on our new project together - Mr and Mrs McLemore, a travel and lifestyle brand. Our first project took us to Bali, Indonesia and Doha, Qatar where we worked with some amazing travel brands and snuck in part 1 of our honeymoon.
Thank you for the love and support that you continually give us and may you all be blessed with the love, good health and happiness that we have!
CLICK ON GALLERY IN THE MENU TO VIEW THE WEDDING ALBUM
Anthony & Sandra
FROM FRATERNITY TRADITIONS TO FAR AWAY ISLAND CUSTOMS...
One of the things we are most looking forward to in our marriage is the blending of family, friends, culture and traditions.
Anthony's parents are from Texas and have a heritage of African American, Native American, Latino and Caucasian. Sandra's family are a blend of South Pacific Islander, Australian and British heritage.
The ceremony and reception featured a traditional conch shell blowing
(signaling all guests to stand for the bride's entrance), a Solomon Island shell money exchange and a Sweetheart Serenade by the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers.
THE HISTORY OF SHELL "MONI"
Strings of polished shell beads, known as shell money, have been one of the most important cultural items across South East and East Asia. Used as currency and in traditional ceremonies, shell money has been made by hand for generations. Cash money has now become the dominant currency across much of Asia however one of the last remaining places to continue to produce shell money is the Solomon Islands.
For the 2000 Langalanga people of the central west coast of Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands, shell money is still a fundamental part of their culture. It is used as a bridal gift, at funerals, and to purchase important items from other tribes such as pigs, canoes and yams.
Women and children lead the process of producing shell money with assistance from the men. From the collection of the shells, to shaping, colouring and polishing, the entire production process can take up to three weeks to complete.
Four species of shells are collected by divers (usually boys or young men) to be shaped into shell money. The women then dry the shells and break them into pieces, fashioning them slowly into round disks of about one centimetre in diameter.
A hole is then drilled in the centre of the shell pieces (known as the oga process) to create beads that can be strung together. They are then ready to be polished and coloured. Men and boys polish the beads using grinding stones - this is the hardest physical work in the process and results in smooth beads around five millimetres in diameter.
During the para process the beads are coloured by heating them on a hot stone. When the ke’e shell is heated, it changes from purple to orange, with the colour of the shell representing its value and price. If heated too much the shells will turn white and be considered useless.
Now the beads are finally complete, they are threaded onto strings up to 7 feet long for use as shell money.
Solomon Islands Women’s Shell Money Association
Traditionally a form of currency, this traditional practice is now used by the Solomon Islands Women’s Shell Money Association to produce a range of jewelry products. Established in 2014, the association supports 300 Langalanga women and their families living on remote outer islands of the Solomon’s, by promoting the production and sale of shell money jewelry.