When New Orleans Saints linebacker Dannell Ellerbe stopped into a North Carolina Footlocker, he was looking for a pair of sneakers — but ended up finding his wife, instead. "He came in three or four days in a row for a pair of shoes that he never bought!" says his now wife, Shervella. In December of 2014, between football seasons, Dannell finally went with Shervella to visit Flamingo Garden in Davie, Florida ("I'd been bugging him about going for months!" she says). They toured the park and, just before they left, he asked her to stop and sit on a bench with him. A few minutes later, he stood up and popped the question. "I said yes, and then a cameraman came out of nowhere and started snapping pictures!"
A year and a half later, on May 23, 2015, the pair walked down the aisle at the Grand Marquise Ballroom in Garner, North Carolina, the perfect spot for their 250 guests and their timeless, elegant vision. It was truly an event to remember, with the couple's one year old son, Nevan, serving as the cutest ring bearer we may have ever seen. Keep reading to see the glamorous affair, photographed by Ross Oscar Knight.
When your fiancé is an NFL player — and Super Bowl XLVII champ! — you've got to rock a jersey with his number on your wedding day.
But the jersey was totally stood up by Shervella's embroidered Luna Novias gown. "I'd bought another dress, but it didn't feel like the one. I found this one while I was shopping alone, and I didn't tell anyone about it until I left the store with the dress in my hands!" she says. The sweetheart neckline, cap sleeves, and tulle skirt are totally flattering, while the sheer embroidered back added a hint of sexy.
She paired the gown with a cascading bouquet of white orchids and blush peonies and a necklace Dannell gave her after he made the game-winning tackle in the Super Bowl in 2013.
The couple's nephews served as Ring Security, while Nevan tagged along in a very tiny version of his dad's custom tuxedo!
This groom has serious style! Dannell paired his custom Badger & Welsh tuxedo with studded Christian Louboutin loafers.
For the traditional ceremony, the bride walked down an aisle edged in lush hydrangeas and gold-painted greenery. Tall pomanders of hydrangeas and roses flanked the aisle, while candles lit the staircase that served as an altar.
Nevan made quite an entrance in his flower-covered wagon, escorted by sharp-looking Ring Security.
Shervella walked down the aisle with her father, then exchanged personalized vows with her husband-to-be. "My favorite line was 'We grew up together, and now I'm ready to grow old together,'" says the bride.
Of course a couple that met at Footlocker would rock matching sneakers on their wedding day!
The ceremony space was completely transformed for the reception, with a sweetheart table on the staircase landing and head tables surrounding the dance floor. In the center of the room was a "family tree," decorated with strands of crystals and fresh flowers. The shimmering centerpiece was the perfect contrast for the soft gray linens.
The sweetheart table was totally drenched in blooms, with orchids, hydrangeas, and roses cascading over the ornate linen. Floating candles lit the table, the perfect spot for the couple's first meal as husband and wife.
Square tables featured tall arrangements of hydrangeas and roses (perfectly repurposed from the ceremony!) and low gold bud vases. The head tables featured floral runners of hydrangeas and gold-painted leaves.
After a cocktail hour featuring tomato basil soup shooters and miniature grilled cheese sandwiches alongside shrimp and grits, guests tucked into roasted rib eye with wild mushroom demi and potatoes au gratin and grilled salmon with champagne sauce.
For dessert, the pair served a towering seven-tiered cake covered in flowers. But those aren't live blooms — every single one was hand-made from sugar!
After Shervella and her bridesmaids surprised the crowd with a flash mob to "Sexy Lady" by UCB, Dannell tossed the garter — with a twist. "He put my garter around a football, and threw it straight to one of his groomsmen," says the bride. But that's not all! "It was all a plan, so his groomsman could propose during the reception!"
And this bride has some really great advice: "Give your wedding party all the details — costs, dates, responsibilities — as soon as possible, so they know what to expect between now and your wedding!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Grand Marquise Ballroom || Wedding Planner: Elana Walker Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Luna Novias || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Gia Peebles of Aura Salon & Boutique || Makeup: Tiwa Lawrence || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Angelo || Groom's Attire: Badger & Welsh || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Groom's Barber: Tawan Blacmon of The Bar Ber Shop || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Radcliffe Jewelers || Floral Design: Fresh Affairs || Invitations & Paper Goods: Royale Amethyst Invitations || Music: Blue Sands Music; DJ 360 || Catering: Rocky Top Catering || Cake: The Art of Cake || Rentals: CE Rental || Photo Booth: Shutterbooth || Videographer: Heart Stone Films || Photographer: Ross Oscar Knight
Can't get enough of this gorgeous celebration? Then check out another couple's glam wedding in the video below.