Dr. Kerry-Anne Perkins, an OBGYN from Jamaica, and Michael Gordon, a wireless deployment manager from Pennsylvania, planned to hold their dream wedding ceremony on May 26, 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic forced them to scale back the occasion, the pair told Vogue.
Not wanting to wait a full year to take the next step in their relationship, the couple decided to hold a “micro” wedding on June 6 in the garden of the Logan Hotel, which could host up to 25 guests amid social distancing mandates.
As the big day grew closer, the pair realized another potential disruption in their road to matrimony — a massive gathering in front of the Philly hotel on June 6 to protest brutality and systemic racism toward the Black community following the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Although the soon-to-be newlyweds were nervous at first, they said they began to feel excited about the prospect of joining the protest on their big day — something neither the bride nor groom had yet been able to do because of work conflicts.
“We’re watching the movement; we’re feeling the movement. We hadn’t had the chance,” Kerry-Anne told Vogue.
As the couple prepared for their “first look” outside the Logan Hotel, protestors began approaching and cheering for the bride, her now-husband remembers.
“I was around the corner; I couldn’t see Kerry and was just waiting,” Michael told Vogue. “All of a sudden I started hearing the crowd around the corner, and I [realized] it was all for Kerry.”
“These peaceful protestors, positive energy, cheering, yelling, people with their phones out taking pictures and videos. And Kerry’s just standing there looking beautiful as can be,” he continued. “And I walked up to her and took her hand, and she was shaking. The energy and passion and moment, everything that was going on, was just blowing through her. It was the most empowering thing to be there at that moment. The narrative of love, of Black love, doesn’t always get put out there. But that’s what [the movement] is about, that’s what we’re looking for. Black love is a beautiful thing. Black love exists. Black love is powerful.”
Videos and photos of the moment, which show a beaming groom and an emotional bride, quickly went viral, with one clip shared on Twitter racking up over 7.2 million views.
The video also racked up hundreds of comments from social media users reflecting on the powerful moment.
“Their photo will be in history books,” one woman wrote.
“It made me tear up! Beautiful!” commented another user.
“What a beautiful expression of love and hope for the future,” said a third.
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