Jennifer Biancia Lewis and Richard Eddie Leon Norris were married on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, during a socially-distanced outdoor ceremony in Camden County, New Jersey.
Jennifer and Richard chose the date in honor of the bride’s late parent’s wedding anniversary. They were married for 57 years and this year would have marked their 65th wedding anniversary.
The small black-tie formal wedding took place in the garden at the couple’s home complete with beautiful plants, flower gardens and a large gazebo decorated with hanging silk flowers.
The couple loves to garden and is known to spend hours upon hours planting flowers so naturally, they decided to have a “garden-themed’ wedding.
The wedding’s aesthetic was black-tie formal with shades of grey. Then men of the “Bridal Circle” wore black tuxedos and the ladies were in shades of the grey. The bride was stunning in her sweetheart neckline ball gown featuring light shades of blush complimented by beading and shimmer. The flowers and decorations were done by the bride’s sister-in-law and event planner, Debbie Lewis. She made the bride’s cream and beige bouquet with a variety of summer flowers.
For an extra special touch, she included small framed photographs of the bride’s parents on their wedding day inside the bouquet along with a photo of the bride and her husband-to-be. The wedding was captured by photographer Eric A. Cheavers of Eric A. Cheavers Photography and videographer Chris Pelley of Pelley Pixels.
Jennifer Lewis grew up in Chicago and now lives in Camden County, New Jersey. She attended Douglass College at Rutgers University as an undergraduate, then went on to Northwestern University for her masters. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Continental Societies, Inc. She also sits on the Rutgers University Board of Trustees. Jennifer Lewis is a veteran network television journalist, author and international speaker. She is the anchor and producer of Politics In Focus at PHL 17 and the Manager of Community Affairs. She is an international speaker as well as an author of two books and a soon to be published children’s book.
Richard Eddie Leon Norris grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, and moved to New Jersey in middle school. He has lived in Atlantic County for four decades and feels blessed to be able to call himself a special education teacher. Rick, as he is affectionately known to his friends, attended Norfolk State University as an undergraduate then went onto Cheney State University for graduate school. Through the years he’s been a mentor, a football coach and a track coach as well as a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. You can find him in the garden or playing chess in his free time.
The Bridal Circle
The vows were officiated by Officiant Bishop Hargrove. Instead of a traditional court of groomsmen and bridesmaids, the couple opted for a “Bridal Circle” full of family. They chose to call it a circle because a circle surrounds you with love, care and joy. The Bridal Circle included Hunter J. Lewis, Deborah L. Lewis, Morgan Norris, Joseph Arthur Hall ll, Joshua Brooks-Richardson Hall, Billy Tillar, Joyce Coleman, Margaret Cunningham, Lisa Finn-Bruce, Gregory Reid, Edward Faulcon, Robert Logan and Kashai Phillips.
How They Met
Jennifer and Richard met one summer when they were college students working at the Jersey Shore in one of the local casinos. Back then they were focused on college and their careers but more than thirty years later fate brought them together again.
Richard surprised Jennifer with a Sunday afternoon carriage ride in Philadelphia. The bride’s sister-in-law and brother came along for the ride. Before leaving the carriage, Rick got down on one knee and the rest is history.
The black-tie reception combined with gourmet pizza food trucks made for a one of a kind event. The trucks served pizzas named after the happy couple, the “Rick-eroni” and the “Biancia.” Rick’s pizza spoke to his love of pepperoni and Jennifer’s pizza, a white pizza with spinach, mozzarella, ricotta, roasted garlic and red peppers, spoke to her love of vegetables.
The couple happily spent time at home and enjoyed doing things together locally. They also got in a quick getaway to the National Harbor in Baltimore.
Reflections in Their Words
Jen: The title of the first book I wrote is “Life’s A Journey – Not A Sprint.” On our new journey as husband and wife, I’m so looking forward to experiencing it TOGETHER.
Richard: Reunited with the love of my life. I’m blessed. It was simply a magical, breathtaking day. You could feel the love in the air.