Personalizing the Ceremony
Sharon and El incorporate different cultural elements to really make the ceremony their own. First, they cleanse their hands with orchid water as a symbol of purification. Next the couple honors the memory of their departed loved ones by ringing a bell.
Both Sharon's and El's mothers look stunning in their Carmen Marc Valvo dresses, provided by Neiman Marcus. Sharon and El kneel in front of each other's mother and make vows to them.
"I want to thank you for this wonderful gift of a man that you raised," Sharon tells El's mother. "He is kind, generous, understanding, has integrity and holds his head high, and I thank you for that."
"I want to thank you for being the vessel the caregiver, the nurturer of the blessed gift you've given to me," El tells Sharon's mother. " I promise you, mama, from this day forward I will love and protect, honor, and cherish the woman that you've given to me."
And after exchanging their vows and rings, Sharon and El join their life together in a cultural tradition hundreds of years old—jumping the broom!
On Their Reunion
After they say "I do," it's time for the new Mr. and Mrs. Sanders to join their friends and family in the extravagant dinner tent Colin and his team designed!
The atmosphere is exquisite. Colin's elegant candlelit enchanted garden sparkles with romance as the couple's family and friends welcome the newlyweds. After Colin himself introduces the newlywed couple, the fairytale celebration begins with a fabulous feast. Fifteen chefs spent a week preparing this once-in-a-lifetime four-course banquet! The final course included custom-created chocolate truffles and signature beignets by Vosges Haut Chocolate. Delicious!
Later, El and Sharon make the ceremonial slice into their breathtaking—and delicious—cake, created by Sam Godfrey of Perfect Endings. The couple is beaming, and share a few words with their guests.
El: I just don't know what else to say but ain't God good? Ain't He good, you all?
Sharon: And we thank you all for being here and sharing this with us, because this is something we've been wanting for a long time and we didn't know how we were gonna do it. But Oprah made a way.
Oprah: I really do consider it an honor and a privilege as a human being living on the planet at this time to be able to witness such magnificent love.
Chris Botti Performs
But the surprises aren't over yet! To take the evening to another level, Oprah invited one of her favorite new musicians to perform for Sharon and El!
Only a jazz master like Chris Botti could bring this evening to such a romantic and glorious high note. He performed "Someone to Watch Over Me," from his CD When I Fall in Love.
A Dance Party
They've walked down the aisle, they've said "I do," they've cut the cake—but the night is still young!
The fantasy continues for Sharon and El with a rock 'n' roll dance party, in their own private nightclub! This black and red inferno of fun has everything custom built—furniture and a crowning ball of 2,500 fire-red carnations—and of course top-shelf champagne by Perrier Jouet! Soulville, one of Oprah's favorite wedding bands, played their hearts out as the wedding guests boogied on the dance floor!
Shania Twain Performs
Just when El and Sharon think their dream day is complete, there is one final, spectacular surprise—flying in from Nashville to sing one song for the newlyweds, it's Shania Twain!
Shania performs her Grammy award-winning song, "You're Still the One," for the couple. "I just want to say I'm honored to sit here and sing this song for you guys, El and Sharon," Shania says.
It's Sharon's favorite song, and she sings every word along with Shania!
A Dream Honeymoon
You cannot have a dream wedding without sending the newlyweds on the ultimate honeymoon! Our friends at Abercrombie & Kent will fly the newlyweds first class to their choice of a private mansion anywhere on the globe! Each exclusive manor is fully staffed and completely qualified as a fantasy honeymoon resort.
And where did Sharon and El decide to spend 10 glorious days? On the white sand beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!
A Toast to the Newlyweds!
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