Weddings

This Former Redskins Cheerleader Performed an Entire Cheer Routine at Her Wedding

She brought her old squad, too.

Emerald Stewart, a non-profit management consultant, and Tolu Adeyemi, a private banker, were enjoying their young professional lives in DC when they decided to test their dating fates on Tinder. Emerald was merely looking for a good company when she matched with Tolu—who was searching for Love with a capital “L.” They messaged back and forth through the app for a few days before Tolu proposed the idea of a real life dinner date.

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The two met for their first date at a small sushi restaurant off of 14th Street. It didn’t take long for them to realize that their connection extended far beyond Tinder. Emerald and Tolu talked about everything—families, jobs, and their mutual passion for food and travel. The more time they spent together the more it seemed like the stars had finally aligned.REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAINWith one year and many more dates under their belt the couple had started to frequent the conversation of marriage. Both being in the their early 30s and having experienced disappointments in previous relationships, Tolu and Emerald knew that they wanted a love and commitment that would last a lifetime… a virtue that they saw clearly in one another. On an oddly warm February evening, surrounded by friends and family (Tolu had secretly flown in a crew from Texas), Tolu got down on one knee and asked Emerald to be his wife.

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAINEmerald and Tolu’s wedding was both a regal and elegant affair. The dramatic red bridesmaids’ dresses were the perfect pairing for Emerald’s beautiful and feminine off-the-shoulder ball gown and Tolu’s custom blue suit jacket.

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAINGuests were in awe of the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center location, which doubled as the venue for both the ceremony and the reception. Within an hour the space was transformed into an ultra-chic hall fit for a trendy reception.

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAIN“The best moment of the wedding for me was our grand entrance at the reception. To hear their reactions of cheer and surprise as we danced down thirty-plus steps onto the main dance floor was amazing! We felt like Beyoncé & Jay-Z performing at the Grammys,” said Emerald.

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAINThe whole evening was full of fun and personal touches. Emerald, who was a former Redskins cheerleader, had even planned a special dance tribute for Tolu with her old teammates.

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAIN“I met Emerald after her time as a cheerleader, so the wedding was the first time I got to see her perform with her pom-poms and friends,” said Tolu. “She’s got moves!”

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAINTheir fun and spunky personalities were the highlight of their wedding. Before whisking away for a tropical honeymoon to St. Lucia, the couple thanked their guests for sharing in their special day with Mumbo sauce favors and one final round-up on the dance floor.

REDSKINS CHEERLEADER Emerald Stewart WEDDING WITH CHEER ROUTINE RONALD REAGAN INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER JOSHUA DWAIN

The Details:

Photographer: Joshua Dwain Photography / Venue: Ronald Reagan International Trade Center / Event Coordinator: Perfect Planning Events / Florist: BCG Events / Invitations: Taylor and Hov / Caterer: Ronald Reagan International Trade Center / Hair Stylist: Tress Art by Serena / Makeup Artist: Irie Jade Beauty / Bride’s Attire: MillaNova / Groom’s Attire: Jones Select / Bridal Party Attire: Katie May Collection; The Black Tux / Music: Chelsey Green (ceremony); DJ Donx (reception) / Lighting & Dance Floor: The LightSource Company / Pipes & Drape Rentals: Fabrication Events / Table Rentals: DC Rentals / Linen Rentals: BBJ Linens / Love Letter Rentals: Brightly Ever After / Transportation: Reston Limousine / Videographer: The Media Experience Film House

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Natalie Colonna

Natalie is an Editorial Fellow at Washingtonian Weddings. She is a senior Media Studies student at The Catholic University of America in DC.