James Willis Photography

Latoya Marshall & Derrick Steele
August 15, 2020
Angelo’s Garden / Mayflower

Latoya Marshall and Derrick Steele met on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas during a summer class in 2010. Derrick decided to pop the question on Christmas Eve 2018 while they were surrounded by friends and family. Latoya was completely surprised. The group was playing a game called “Hearing Things,” where you put on headphones with music playing loudly and you try to read lips. It was Latoya’s turn and she was trying to read Derrick’s lips. He mouthed, “Will you marry me?” It took her a minute to realize what he said and once she repeated it back, he took the ring from her stepdad to officially ask her to marry him.

Latoya says her planning experience was amazing until COVID-19 made its appearance. She was devastated when the couple had to change their wedding date from April 11 to Aug. 15, 2020 (but their spirits lifted when realized that their new date fell on the weekend of their dating anniversary in 2011). The couple also had to cut their guest list and implement safety measures to make sure everyone remained safe. “Despite dealing with COVID, I am glad that we were able to still have our wedding and share it with our close family and friends,” Latoya says. “It is definitely a day I will never forget.”


For her wedding, Latoya always dreamt of an elegant and classy day without overdoing it. She went with a classic white and gold color palette. Her bridesmaids were dressed in white and the groomsmen in black. The couple also asked their guests to wear either all white or all black attire.

Latoya purchased her dream gown at Low’s Bridal & Formal. She fell in love with the fit-and-flare style and the open back that included illusion lace and appliqués. “When I walked out, my dad began to cry and thoughts of my late grandmother came to my mind,” Latoya says. “At that very moment I said ‘yes’ to the dress.”

When it came to blooms, Latoya went with a beautiful bouquet of orchids, hydrangeas and roses. The bridesmaids bouquets were filled with hydrangeas, roses, stock and a little greenery.

James Willis Photography

James Willis Photography


The couple’s reception style was inspired by all things classic and elegant. Latoya worked with Centrina Washington of Eminent Avenue to make her vision come to life. She gave Centrina her inspiration and told her to work her magic.


“Everything was absolutely amazing,” Latoya says. “From the dance floor, large arrangements filled with hydrangeas and roses to the furniture and other accent pieces. I still ask myself, ‘Was this really my wedding?’ Eminent Avenue did an amazing job.”

The couple’s cake featured four tiers of alternating white and strawberry cake flavors. They added an “S” acrylic emblem and roman numerals to give it a little more character. For their first dance, Latoya and Derrick chose “Our Song” by Tank because the words perfectly capture their love and thoughts of one another.

James Willis Photography

James Willis Photography


Cake PattiCakes Bakery, Conway
Wedding dress Low’s Bridal & Formal, Brinkley
Venue Angelo's Garden, Mayflower
Planning, florist and furniture rentals Eminent Avenue
Photography James Willis Photography
Lighting Klassik Entertainment, Little Rock
Wedding cookies Sassy & Co., Cabot
Caterer YGFBFKitchen Restaurant & Catering, Conway
Drink service Jasmine Thomas
Groom's attire Henry Couture Paris
Groomsmen attire Mirror Me
Jeweler Kay Jewelers and JVL Jewelry
Makeup Kayla D Artistry
Bridesmaid dresses Bella Bridesmaids, Little Rock

James Willis Photography

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