Brides is committed to guiding ALL couples through not only their wedding planning journey, but through relationship milestones and ups and downs. Every love story is beautiful, has its own distinct history, and its own trials—there's no relationship that looks the same. To celebrate that uniqueness, we're asking couples to open up about their love story, for our latest column, "Love Looks Like This." Below, actor Hubert Point-Du Jour, one of the stars of "The Good Lord Bird," tells his story.
We met at a fundraising event for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2017. Alie and her cousin Annie were working the front table at the entrance of Public House in Manhattan, placing wristbands on each attendee as they arrived. When I approached their table, I raised my wrist, and Alie and I locked eyes. We started chatting as she applied mine—making jokes and maybe even starting to flirt a bit—before looking down and laughing about how poorly she had applied the band.
From that point on, no other woman at that event mattered to me. When we finally found each other near a crescent-shaped booth across from the bar, we could not stop talking. We touched on our professions; Alie shared pictures of her seven siblings; and we eventually exchanged numbers (score!). Two guys sat across from us, and one of them asked how long we’d been together. Without skipping a beat Alie said, “About a year and a half.” To which I replied, “Uhh...uhh...yeeeah! That sounds about right.” We continued to play the role of a couple the rest of the night, and our “couple's history” was fleshed out so much that neither of us can remember what we said to this day. Alie had to stay behind to help wrap things up, but before I left, I leaned in to hug her. We still had the audience of the two gentlemen we’d been chatting with for a couple of hours at that point, and something in me thought, “I could kiss her.” So I leaned in and gave her a big kiss before walking out. We’ve been together ever since.
Whenever the topic of marriage had come up in the past, we both were in agreement that it would most likely be unconventional in some way.
April 26th of this year marked the three-year anniversary of us meeting—and it was also a perfect day for me to propose. Whenever the topic of marriage had come up in the past, we both were in agreement that it would most likely be unconventional in some way. Bottom line was that I knew I wanted to marry Alie, so I asked her parents for permission back in February, and they joyously jumped up and down and hugged me tightly. (Neither of them said the word “Yes,” but I guess that was implied by their enthusiasm!)
Given COVID-19 restrictions and no real sense of urgency, I decided to hold off on proposing until we’d be able to celebrate with family and friends in person. Skip ahead a few months and the world was shaken by civil unrest. Alie and I were thinking of ways we could help the cause financially while also raising awareness.
On June 1, 2020, we were on the phone with my dad talking about COVID-19, and he mentioned that a lot of people were getting married at city hall despite quarantine. That’s when the lightbulb went off for us, and we realized we had a unique opportunity. We decided to move our future unplanned wedding up to June 20, 2020, just three weeks from that night on the phone.
Our marriage would not only be a celebration of our commitment to each other, but we would tie in our desire to help raise funds for organizations fighting for racial equality.
Our marriage would not only be a celebration of our commitment to each other, but we would tie in our desire to help raise funds for organizations fighting for racial equality. The quick turnaround was because we felt that time was of the essence with respect to organizations that could use our donations during the current racial climate. We created a website with a link to our GoFundMe page and the organizations we planned on donating to. The website also includes books, podcasts, TV shows, and movies that support issues of racial justice.
An additional way we decided to support racial equality was to use black-owned businesses for Alie’s dress (Amsale), our rings (Valerie Madison), and a portion of the food (Bonbon Lakay for individually wrapped Haitian rum cakes, a nod to my Haitian heritage). Even the florist was black-owned (Hibiscus Flowershop in Brooklyn). We spoke to representatives at each company, and they were all very amenable to our needs given our tight timeline and the causes we were championing. All we had left to do was choose the venue—Alie’s aunt and uncle’s backyard in St. James, New York— and find the perfect officiant, Jamie Unruh, Alie’s cousin-in-law.
A week after our intimate COVID-safe ceremony, we delivered cards to everyone in our circle who could not attend. The cards contained a message explaining why we got married in this way, and a photo of us taken by our friend Megan Kapler. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and we plan on throwing a party with everyone once we can do so safely.
We really wanted to encourage the people in our circle to have similar conversations that we'd been having with each other about race from day one.
Alie and I have always talked about issues surrounding race, how it affects my life in particular, and how those issues may affect our future together. The day we met, she mentioned reading Michelle Alexander's book “The New Jim Crow,” and that told me a lot about the level of discourse we could engage in regarding racial injustice. We really wanted to encourage the people in our circle to have similar conversations that we'd been having with each other about race from day one, and the goal-breaking amount of over $34,000 donated to our GoFundMe was a great indication of how much our friends and families support these causes alongside us.
Beyond the monetary support, there has been a number of constructive conversations that have developed out of the content on our website. We hope these conversations continue and lead us to play a part in meaningful change.