Wedding Photographer

Laurie and Damon had a brilliant backyard wedding in Chi-Town

Photo of Emily Mélissa

When Damon first laid eyes on Laurie while driving his car down the street one evening, he was so mesmerized by her beauty that he turned around so as not to miss the chance to log in. with her.

The year was 2008, the place was Chicago, and the beauty was a fashion designer and future Project track competitor (Season 14) Laurie Underwood. She was hailing a cab when wine entrepreneur Damon Russell walked past. The next thing she knew was that he was introducing himself.

“When I first saw Damon after turning his car around, the energy I felt changed my life and of course it did,” she said. at ESSENCE. “Love will always find you in the right place at the right time.”

The two had their first date the next night, and as Laurie says, “the rest is history”. They fell in love and started a family with Damon’s son, Daemond, and their daughters, Journe and Makemba. In 2016, Damon proposed on a Venetian gondola ride while the couple were on a trip to Rhode Island.

As beautiful as these years have progressed, planning the wedding would bring great stress and even greater obstacles. The couple were originally scheduled to get married in Florida, but when the pandemic hit in 2020 they had to postpone their nuptials and return to the drawing board. Despite the planning challenges, their situation allowed them to be creative and think outside the box when it came to saying “yes”. They decided to get married in a place already filled with a lot of love: at home, in their garden.

“We decided to plan and design our own wedding,” Laurie said of the Aug. 14 nuptials. “Damon designed a waterfall which was presented as the focal point of the ceremony, a floating terrace to elevate us as the bride and groom, and an elongated pergola, used during the reception.”

Showing greater resourcefulness, Laurie, the mastermind behind the Laury Bride bridal line, crafted her own wedding dress. She opted for it to be black. Every unique touch, from the big things, like getting married at home, to the small ones, like the bride and groom wearing unconventional clothes while the guests wore white, contributed to the wedding of Laurie and Damon’s dreams.

“Damon and I have been together for a long time, so traditions were abandoned and we were grateful to have the marriage we would be happy about; from the style, to the venue, to the family-style vegan dinner, to the look and feel of an affair we have planned together in our home, ”she says.

Check out the gorgeous footage from their intimate South Chicago home wedding, learn more about how the day unfolded, and learn more about their overall love affair.


Photographer: Emily Melissa Photo
Wedding dress and jewelry, bridesmaid dresses: Laury Bride
Groom’s jacket: custom made by the bride
Hair: bdemerittebeauty
Make-up: Siobhanwrightbeauty
Set: The couple and Trudy Underwood
Coordinator of the day: Victoria Beaty
Caterer: Majani Vegan
Cake: CakesbyDria

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SUBJECTS: Black Love Weddings Bridal Bliss Wedding Planning

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