Love | Shammara Nicole Winbush & Melvin Heyward Jr.

Posted: July 15, 2007


June 2 at True Light Fellowship Church in East Germantown, with Pastor Wesley Pinnock presiding. One hundred fifty guests gathered for a reception at DiPinto's Catering in Northeast Philadelphia.

They met

November 8, 2005 at Wal-Mart. Melvin, a divorced father of two boys, had noticed Shammara back in April, at True Light Fellowship, where, he says, she always sat in the same pew. Shammara also worked at the church, so when Melvin spotted her in the checkout line, he waited for her outside, then asked "How are you doing, Miss Winbush?" "She was shocked that I knew her," he says, and walked her to her car. "I gave her all my numbers that night." A week later, they went on a first date to see the movie Ray.

He asked

November 9, 2006, over an anniversary dinner on the Moshulu. With the ring box in his pocket, Melvin asked: "Do you want your gift? It's a lifetime gift." Shammara answered yes, and Melvin placed the box on her plate. They celebrated over complimentary champagne.

9 to 5

Shammara, 31, of West Oak Lane, is a secretary at True Light Fellowship Church and a student at Arcadia University. Melvin, 38, also of West Oak Lane, is a mortgage underwriter for JPMorgan Chase in Fort Washington and a community football and basketball coach.

Making a home

The family resides in Mount Airy.

First steps

DJ William J. Osborne spun Kenny Lattimore's "For You." "It was just so beautiful," Shammara says. "It seemed like it was just us."

Doing it their way

"It's huge on the bottom," Shammara says of her strapless Cinderella-style ballgown, which she accessorized with beaded white gloves, veil, tiara and a bouquet of calla lilies. Melvin, also in white, gave son Malik, 6, ring bearer duties. Malik's older brother Daivon, 15, walked his grandmother, Margaret Heyward, down the aisle.

Two church soloists sang "Because of Who You Are" and "With All My Heart," during the lighting of the unity candle. At DiPinto's, guests were treated to bookmarks and pastel mint favors in iridescent bags. Mini bells came attached to the escort cards - "for kissing," the bride says. The couple also trotted out what appears to be a withering wedding tradition: the garter toss.

Not a dry eye

An emotional moment combined with rising church temps caused the groom to nearly pass out. "He was so hot, standing at the altar, waiting," says his bride. "They brought him a chair. I was worried."


Just a few minor music-cue goofs during the ceremony.

Shammara says

"Save money. Set a budget. Prepare and plan it out. Make sure you do it the way you want it."

The honeymoon

One week in St. Lucia.

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