Couple Celebrates Their Wedding During Philadelphia Protest: 'Very Empowering Moment,' Bride Says
Kerry-Anne and Michael Gordon tied the knot on Saturday amid Philadelphia's protest in the wake of George Floyd's death
As thousands of protesters marched the streets of Philadelphia on Saturday to combat racial injustice and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death, Kerry-Anne, 35, and Michael Gordon, 42, stood out for a very special reason.
After tying the knot inside the Logan Hotel, Kerry-Anne and Michael came outside to huge cheers and applause from the thousands of participating demonstrators. At one moment, the crowd parted for the newlywed couple as they held hands and kissed in the middle of the street.
"It ended up being a very powerful moment," Kerry-Anne told ABC News. "Not only are we feeling the movement of the people ... but I'm meeting my husband, on our wedding day, as a strong black man and a good representative of who we are as people, what our men are like, what our culture is like. It was just a very, very empowering moment for us considering all of this is happening at one moment in one time."
Kerry-Anne and Michael postponed their wedding plans to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the pair still wanted to be married, and though the protests were occurring in the city, they went forward with the nuptials.
Michael, who is of Caribbean descent while Kerry-Anne was born in Jamaica, said that getting married while being involved in the protests over Floyd's death made their wedding day "more memorable."
"We all see this injustice. We all want to see this needle shift away from the status quo and ... that made this day more memorable in ways," he said.
The couple first met at a local gym, and Michael told Vogue that he knew immediately Kerry-Anne was someone he wanted to get to know thanks to her energy and aura.
"I knew that if I had this person around, my life would be good," he said.
They were engaged on a trip to Jamaica in December 2018, just before Kerry-Anne, an OBGYN, completed her residency.
Though the pair were emotional over having to postpone their wedding, they embraced the new challenge of planning a smaller, more intimate wedding, Vogue reported.
The Logan Hotel, where Kerry Anne was supposed to have her bridal shower, became the venue for their wedding, which included florals from Robertson's Flowers, music from cellist Aijee Evans and a dress from local boutique Sew Pretty Bridal Studio, according to the outlet.
They prepared for their "I dos" as they watched protesters gather near the hotel, something Kerry-Anne said she'll always remember.
"While I was getting ready in the hotel, and I'm reading over vows that I wrote five months ago, at that moment I was just so overwhelmed with emotion," she told Vogue. "We already had a lot built up inside because of the [protests over the past week]."
Michael also shared that he was glad the message behind Saturday's protest, which remained entirely peaceful, was amplified thanks to the online attention on their wedding.
"That's what the entire event out there was about. Of course, there was police and National Guard, but it was a peaceful protest. Everyone was so nice," he said. "That in itself showed what the movement can be and for us to be a part of that, it's a positive thing."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.