The former Yvonne Caldwell and Henri White were married Saturday, June 8, 2019, at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas (AECST) in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. The Very Rev. Canon Martini Shaw, Rector of the AECST, was the wedding officiant. The bride was given away in marriage by her proud son, Cary Anthony Smith. Yvonne was radiant in her bridal gown, a Galina Signature design. The strapless cream-colored gown featured a flattering sweetheart neckline covered with lace, silver sequins and white pearls. The mermaid style was accented by a covered buttoned back. Yvonne’s beautiful train featured truffle filled chiffon. Silver accents and a jeweled belt added an elegant, sophisticated touch. The bride carried a bouquet of soft white roses, hydrangea and baby’s breath flowers with silver accents that complemented her gown.
Yvonne Caldwell is a native Philadelphian. She is the daughter of the late Fanny Elizabeth Caldwell and Lawrence Gregory Caldwell. Yvonne Caldwell recently retired from the Allstate Insurance Co. after working there for 42 years. She was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System. Yvonne attended Temple University and Central State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Yvonne is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.’s Phi Beta Omega Chapter. She also holds the position of graduate adviser to the Tau Xi Chapter at Villanova University. For the past 10 years, Yvonne has co-chaired AECST Women’s Day.
Henri White is also a native Philadelphian. He is the son of the late Celestine Jones-White and Henry White. Henri was also educated in the Philadelphia Public School System. Following a long career with Amtrak, Henri retired and is now a bus operator for SEPTA. He is also an active Prince Hall Mason. Henri is a member of Dare to Imagine Church in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia.
The Bridal Party
Yvonne’s Matron of Honor was Linda Giles and Henri’s Best Man was Eric White Jr. Bridal hostesses were Monica Lewis Jones and Katrina Marshall.
Soloists Patricia Akins and Susan Ben sang beautifully. There was a very special message to the couple delivered by the Rev. Craig S. Campbell, an associate minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Pennlyn, Pennsylvania.
How They Met
Yvonne and Henri met at an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Omega Annual Pearl Jam event. Henri, attended this affair annually. The couple was introduced by their dear friend Carol Young who they both knew from Overbrook High School. During their conversation, they discovered that they were actually members of the same graduation class. While in school, their paths never crossed. Finally, in February 2015, Henri called Yvonne after their mutual friend Carol told him to “go for the recipe.” “From that moment on our lives changed. We had both journeyed through life in different directions, but the circle of life joined us together,” they said.
Henri proposed to the love of his life on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2017, when they were enjoying time away at the Cove Haven Resort in the Pocono Mountains. Henri was prepared with the engagement ring during their getaway. The romantic atmosphere was perfect with the warmth of a crackling fireplace. He lovingly asked Yvonne to be his wife on bended knee. She said “yes” and they toasted their future together with champagne.
Reflections … In Their Words
“We enjoyed a beautiful wedding day with the sun shining bright. We were surrounded by family and friends as we begin our new life together as one. When I reflect back on our wedding day, the thing that stands out the most is the overwhelming joy I felt when my son and I entered the church to the music of Parchelbel Wedding March in D Canon and Henri was waiting for me at the altar. The church was lighted by candles and the pews were decorated with pink and white flowers. There were 120 there to witness our nuptials.”
The reception was held immediately following the ceremony in the AECST Anderson Hall. Everyone enjoyed the food provided by Brown’s Catering. The wedding cake was a three-tier creation by Heather Terrell that was decorated with fresh flowers. “The Water Music” on piano by Oke Nwaneshiudu played softly in the background. The reception area was decorated in pink and white with a touch of silver, in keeping with the wedding color palette. Each table was decorated with a white orchid and pink roses were placed throughout the room. Yvonne’s son Cary offered a wonderful, heartfelt toast to the newlyweds that they said they will never forget.
Yvonne and Henri selected the beautiful Caribbean island of Aruba as their honeymoon destination. They reported that the weather was picture perfect and it was a comfortable atmosphere. They were thrilled to make reservations at Barefoot on Beach and Popiamento in Oranjestad, Aruba. The food was as fantastic as the amazing scenery. Yvonne and Henri loved the beautiful sunsets and calm ocean. “We are in love, forever, until death do us apart,” they say.
Congratulations and very best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Henri White!