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Lifestyle Weddings

Wedded: Kibibi Matthews and Rianna Brown

Date: July 6, 2013

Kibibi's story: Kibibi Matthews, 33, was born in Baltimore. She is employed by the federal government and works in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Her father, Dr. Derrick Matthews, is a pediatrician at a hospital in Tanzania, and her mother, Dr. Dorothy Matthews, works in Tanzania in the international prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Rianna's story: Rianna Brown, 33, grew up in Baltimore. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in May 2012 and works for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her father, Charles Brown, is an employee of the Community College of Baltimore County, and her mother, Cassaundra Brown, is a retired state employee.

Their story: Kibibi and Rianna met in February 2008 while both were working for the Baltimore City Health Department. In March 2009, Kibibi asked Rianna out for their first date. They went to the Mount Vernon Stable and Saloon, and the date lasted for five hours.

Kibibi proposed to Rianna on Sept. 19, 2010, after Rianna dropped not-so-subtle hints about getting a ring. Kibibi went shopping one day, but instead of a ring, she presented Rianna with a card that said "congratulations on your engagement." When Rianna turned around, Kibibi was on one knee.

In August 2012, Rianna proposed to Kibibi. She tied a "Will you marry me?" sign around their two dogs' necks and waited for Kibibi to come home.

"She knew she was getting a ring," says Rianna, "but she didn't know when. Everybody likes to be proposed to."

The venue: About 150 guests attended the ceremony at Govans Presbyterian Church on York Road in Baltimore.

"We live about 10 minutes from Govans, so I thought it was a good fit," says Kibibi. "I didn't want a church that was too big – I wanted it to be more on the intimate side."

Their inspiration for the wedding was sunflowers and summertime. A steel drum player performed as guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks during a cocktail hour preceding the reception at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore.

Kibibi's dress: She wore a beaded, lace trumpet-style gown with cap sleeves from David's Bridal. Her necklace, bracelet and earrings were handmade for the occasion by Karmic Kollections, a Maryland-based jewelry artist.

Rianna's dress: She wore an ivory, A-line gown from J. Crew. She bought her red necklace, earrings, birdcage veil and feather hairpiece from Etsy.com.

Bridesmaids' dresses: The bridesmaids wore satin, truffle-colored (brown with a hint of purple) knee-length dresses in different styles from David's Bridal. Their matching earrings and bracelets were made by Karmic Kollections.

Decor: Kibibi and Rianna chose purple and pink table linens to match the colors in the bridesmaids' jewelry. The centerpieces and bouquets incorporated bright colors with pink, purple and yellow roses, lilies and sunflowers.

Entertainment: DJ Marty of Baltimore entertained the guests at the reception. The couple's first dance was to "You're Still the One" by Shania Twain.

Food and dessert: The comfort food-inspired menu from Agape House Catering in Baltimore included ribs, fried chicken, yams and cornbread. Their three-tier cake from Stacey's Tastee's in Baltimore was yellow cake on the inside with chocolate icing on the outside and a cluster of sunflowers as the topper.

Favors: The couple gave their guests individual sweet potato pies from Avenue Bakery in Baltimore.

"They were a hit," says Rianna. "Everybody said they were really good."

Special touch: Kibibi surprised Rianna with a photo booth from Monumental Moments Photo Booths in Baltimore.

"I had no idea. That was a fun gift," says Rianna.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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