A Wedding Story: Jennifer Joi Jones, Jamal Robert Clinscales

The couple in front of their wedding cake.- TRIBUNE PHOTO/ROBERT MENDELSOHN

The former Jennifer Joi Jones, now Jennifer J. Clinkscales, and Jamal Robert Clinkscales were married in a beautiful afternoon ceremony on Nov. 16, 2013, at the Four Seasons Hotel. Elder Timothy Wortham Jr. officiated the ceremony, which took place in the hotel courtyard and the reception was in the ballroom. Jennifer was stunning in a modern duchess satin, hourglass-shaped gown with a ruched bodice, hand-beaded crystal straps, and a tulle skirt with satin ombre overlay by Kenneth Pool. Her wedding bouquet was a cascading arrangement of elegant white orchids by Petah Bashano Event and Design.


The Bride

Jennifer, 32, is the daughter of Prince Carmen Jones Sr. and Dr. Mable Jones. She is originally from New Orleans and moved to Cheltenham while in middle school. Jennifer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in American history. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Jennifer was a four-year varsity women’s basketball player. She received her master’s of social work degree from the university in 2007. Since then, Jennifer has worked as a licensed clinical social worker in various settings — from hospitals to drug and alcohol treatment centers. In 2010, Jennifer became a certified marriage and family therapist after completing a post-master’s program at Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. She is a part-time couples and family therapist at Council for Relationships and works full-time in student affairs at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.


The Groom

Jamal, 35, is the son of Marisa Clark and Robert Clinkscales. He is a 2001 graduate of West Chester University, earning a bachelor’s in finance. Jamal became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as an undergraduate. He worked in finance and social services for several years before returning to graduate school at Drexel University where he received a master’s in sports management and administration. In 2008, Jamal and his fraternity brothers created a nonprofit, “Society 41,” in memory of two fraternity brothers. The group mentors young African-American males from Philadelphia’s public schools and facilitates life skills and college preparation courses. Jamal currently works at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.


The Bridal Party

Jennifer’s maiden of honor was Krysten Littles. Bridesmaids were Ima Abia, Monica Gibbs, Tara Langel, Hilary Riechlin, Johari Rollins and Janai Smith. The junior bridesmaid was her niece, Nina Jones. The beautiful flower girls were Payton Clinkscales, daughter of the groom, and Logan Langel, daughter of Tara Langel.

Jamal’s best man was Marc Dumas. Groomsmen were Derrick Johnson, Dalen Jones and Devin Jones (brothers of the bride), Ramzee Stanton, Alfred Stewart and Hakim Walker and Lamar Walker, who are cousins of the groom. The dutiful ring bearer was Lucas Langel, son of Tara Langel and godson of the bride.


How They Met and The Proposal

Jamal and Jennifer met in February 2007 during a happy hour with friends. They met on the dance floor, began talking and exchanged numbers. They talked on the phone for several weeks before going on their first date at Jones restaurant in Philadelphia in March 2007.

Jennifer thought Wednesday, June 26, 2013, was just another day. Jamal picked her up from work and offered to cook dinner. While Jamal prepared dinner, they talked about their day. After 20 minutes or so, Jamal said that dinner would be finished soon and in the meantime he wanted to show Jennifer a few things he brought over from his apartment. They walked down the hall, and when Jamal opened the door to the empty bedroom, Jennifer’s mouth dropped and she began to smile. Two of the walls were covered with collages of their relationship from beginning to present with personalized notes on each photo. Jamal had spent the entire afternoon sorting through hundreds of pictures in order to find the perfect ones to create the collages. Jamal and Jennifer read the personalized notes that described how Jamal felt when they first met, the first trip they took together and how he wanted Jennifer with him always, because they are best friends.

Then, Jamal kneeled on bended knee and asked, “Jennifer, will you marry me?”

Jennifer said, “With all 32 pearly whites showing, I said, ‘yes’ and asked if Jamal could say it again because it sounded so nice! We kissed and hugged, and I literally jumped up and down with excitement. I was so surprised because who gets engaged on a Wednesday? Fortunately, our dinner did not burn and we ate and sipped champagne as a newly engaged couple.”

May all the love, excitement and friendship continue. Best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Jamal Clinkscales!

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