Alisha and Jordan Brought Springtime In Paris To Columbia, South Carolina

Bridal Bliss: Their First Wedding Got Canceled, So Alisha and Jordan Went All Out This Time
Reem Virgo

Alisha and Jordan Giles went on quite the journey to eventually be husband and wife. The pair met when they were freshmen at Georgia State University in 2009 while at a campus party. Their connection was strong, but it was initially one of friendship. They became best friends, supporting one another through a number of ups and downs. But as college ended and the years passed, they found themselves going in different directions and ended up losing touch for some time. It wasn’t until 2016, after Jordan returned from a mission trip to Ghana, that he realized he wanted and needed to reconnect with Alisha, but in a much different way than before.

The two became an item, an inseparable one at that point, falling in love. Soon after, Jordan proposed to her and the couple, excited to be reunited and start a life together, set their wedding date for March 2020 in their home of Columbia, South Carolina. They certainly couldn’t have foreseen when they set their date for the 21st of that month and year that a global pandemic would send their plans into a tailspin.

“Four days before our big day, the CDC announced there should be no gatherings of more than 10 people,” Alisha tells ESSENCE. “We were forced to cancel our wedding.”

The pair tried to roll with the punches and reschedule for the summer of that year, but Covid restrictions still wouldn’t allow for gatherings of large groups by that time in South Carolina. When it seemed like forces out of their control were indefinitely going to keep them from saying “I do”, Jordan decided to go the unconventional route to make Alisha his wife. He planned a surprise elopement, flying her down to Palm Springs, Florida for nuptials with just the two of them, the officiant and photographer Reem Virgo. It was intimate and a moment to remember.

But that didn’t mean the couple still didn’t find it worth it to celebrate their love with all their family and friends when the time was right. A year after their initial wedding date, on March 20, 2021, they were finally able to marry with the pomp they always wanted—and in front of 135 loved ones. With the opulent theme of “springtime in Paris,” Alisha and her planners, Emore Campbell Events and Jenkins & Co. Weddings, went all out for the big celebration, making the past scheduling snafus, wait and stress all worth it. Check out the stunning images from the couple’s special day, as well as more info on their love story and the behind-the-scenes work of planning their wedding(s).


Planner: Jenkins & Co. Weddings
Venue: 701 Whaley
Catering: Loosh Culinaire
Cake: Bonnie Brunt Cakes
Bartending: Twist Bartending
Photography: Photos By Reem
Videography: Unleashed Vizuals
DJ: Operation Make The Bride

Photo booth: Shutter Booth
Floral Designer: Xpressions Floral Designs
Vintage Rentals: Bees Vintage
Chair Rentals: Illuminations
Designer & Consultant: Emore Campbell Events
MUA for Bridesmaids: Sonya Sims
MUA for Bride: Kianna Blocker
Hair: Roderrica Stirrup

Want to your wedding to be considered for feature in ESSENCE’s Bridal Bliss column? Email us your wedding photos and story at [email protected].