Your Smile Would Be This Big Too If You’d Just Married Your Middle School Crush

The very first thing we noticed James Powel (Trey) and Nikkia Jackson’s wedding was Nikkia’s giant smile. And who can blame her? You’d look just as happy if you finally married your middle school crush! Nikkia and Trey’s beautiful wedding was captured in the photos below by Natarsha Wright Photography.

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Trey and Nikkia first met in middle school, and though she had a huge crush on him–she passed notes about him with her friends, who would later stand beside her as bridesmaids–and he thought she and her friends were a lot of fun, it wasn’t until they’d graduated high school that real romance sparked. On the morning of Nikkia’s high school graduation, her mentor was killed in a car crash, sending Nikkia reeling for the summer to follow. Trey started visiting Nikkia every day after work to comfort her, and as they grew closer, his kindness and concern turned to love.

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Seven years of dating later, Nikkia was finishing cooking dinner while babysitting her three-year-old cousin. Nikkia had paused to take a seat on the couch when her cousin approached, her little fist clenched around something sparkly. “What do you have?” asked Nikkia, to which, her cousin burst into tears and tossed the ring she’d been holding across the room. Seconds later, Trey had snatched up the ring and was down on one knee to continue his somewhat-botched proposal plan. Thankfully, a crying toddler wasn’t about to stop Nikkia from telling Trey “yes.”


A little over a year later, Nikkia and Trey planned for a pink and gold wedding at Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, Maryland. Their outdoor ceremony took place beside a fountain on the property, fitting the wedding’s “country garden chic” theme.


Their indoor reception was filled with gold accents, baby’s breath, and blush roses. Nikkia and Trey danced to Anita Baker’s “Caught Up In the Rapture” while guests snacked from the popcorn bar before the happy couple departed with plans to honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.


Venue: Newton White Mansion | Photographer: Natarsha Wright Photography | Event Coordinator: Jamésa Adams of Jayne Heir Weddings | Bride’s Gown: Essence of Australia, Serendipity Bridal & Events | Groom’s Tux: Calvin Klein, Jos. A. Bank | Hair Dresser: Tiffany Banks of TiffaniSade | Makeup Artist: Denyelle Ducket of Denyelle D. Beauty (Bride) and Tiffani Henry (Bridesmaids) | Cake: Baltimore Cakery | Florist: Makini Regal Designs | Caterers: Zeffert & Gold | Music/Entertainment: Dwayne Blythe | Invitations: Minted

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.