After a chance meeting and a three-month whirlwind romance, Ravens tight end Daniel Wilcox got down on one knee and asked Shauna Chin, a former Ms. Belize, to marry him in a tearful proposal. Immediately, the flurry of wedding planning began. “I felt like I had been planning this day since I was a baby,” says Chin, recalling the fantasy journal she kept in anticipation of the big day.
It all came down to location, location, location. Narrowing down where the ceremony was to take place proved to be a frustrating process until family members encouraged Chin to have the wedding at the home of the Ravens, M&T Bank Stadium.
“I didn’t think it was formal enough,” says Chin. “But the only way I’d do it is if it was on the 50-yard line.” Wilcox appealed to team president Dick Cass and was granted access to the stadium, in part because he’s one of the Ravens players who is most active in the community.
On June 28, 2008, the stadium played host to the couple’s wedding, themed “Strickly Destiny,” a play on Daniel’s official last name (his full name is Daniel Wilcox-Strickland), and the couple’s first initials. In a ceremony reminiscent of a fairy tale, Chin arrived by horse-drawn carriage wearing a custom-made silk, beaded Pnina Tornai gown with a 10-foot train. Accompanied by her mother and a candle nestled into her cascading bouquet that symbolized her late father, Chin walked to a platform centered on the 50-yard line where her future husband stood along with a bridal party made up of 10 maids of honor and 10 best men.
“There were so many people so close to us, we couldn’t choose,” says Chin of her and Wilcox’s decision not to have bridesmaids and groomsmen. The couple exchanged their own vows with Wilcox reading his off of a Sidekick. In a special touch, key family members poured bottles of sand into larger bottles and finally into one signifying the importance of family.
Afterward, guests moved to the stadium’s club level for cocktails and a Southern buffet complete with collard greens, macaroni and cheese and corn bread. A giant custom-built storybook, created by R&R Events, with a photo of the couple and short story provided the perfect place for a photo-op. During the reception, guests were asked to create scrapbook pages commemorating the day. “It’s a great, great album that we can always look back at,” says Chin.
At the reception, Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox entered the room as man and wife to Lil’ Boosie’s “Wipe Me Down.” “We put on a real cute show for everyone,” says Chin. Once the couple cut their five-tiered wedding cake, they took to the dance floor with their friends and family to dance the night away to the mixings of DJ Trigga. “Everyone had a blast,” says Chin.
“We’re going to start a generation that’s really family-based, starting with a secure foundation of our union,” she says.
- Planning: Three Sisters Events, 410-236-9231; R&R Events, 410-391-9890
- Cake: SugarBakers, 410-788-9478
- Flowers: Flowers & Fancies, 410-653-0600, http://www.flowersandfancies.com
- Catering: Aramark, 410-230-8080
- Photography: Richard Veytsman, 410-591-2999
- Gown: Kleinfeld, New York City, 646-633-4300
- Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Events Dept., 410-230-8004