When Averi Harper and Kenneth Robinson moved to Oakland, California, both were in pursuit of professional dreams – but they found so much more. Kenneth came to the San Francisco Bay Area chasing culinary aspirations in Michelin-star kitchens and Averi arrived years later to be a morning reporter at a local television station. Their unconventional schedules left little spare time, but when they met, they had the exact same days off. It felt like fate.
The couple met on a BART train. Kenneth thought Averi was beautiful and loved her smile. Averi thought Kenneth was kind but couldn’t see past his unruly beard.
“The newlyweds set off on an 11-day honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize.”
Even so, Averi took up his offer to visit San Francisco’s Mission Delores Park. The pair relocated to New York where, after nearly four years of dating, a very nervous Kenneth proposed to Averi in front of the Brooklyn Bridge in August 2019.
Because Averi was on the road for work as a journalist covering the 2020 presidential election, the pair planned to have a long engagement and wed in October of 2021. In hindsight, the long engagement was a blessing, as the couple avoided any cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Being the planner that Averi is, she found their venue, Flowerfield Celebrations on Long Island’s North Shore, only a month after Kenneth’s proposal. She later employed the services of Ashley Merisier of A. Merisier Events to bring her plans to fruition.
The reception was held in the venue’s atrium space which was complete with tropical plants and a water feature. The vibe for the evening was romantic and organic, playing with neutral tones and the rich greens of the botanical features.
Kenneth is a chef, so the couple made sure the food was plentiful. Cocktail hour had several food stations and well over a dozen hors d’oeuvres. For the plated dinner, guests were first offered a sumptuous crab cake with slaw, then had a choice of filet mignon, Atlantic salmon, or herb roasted chicken.
In celebration of the bride’s Caribbean heritage, a Steel Pan band played at cocktail hour and dancers on stilts joined guests on the dance floor. Guests were also welcomed to take home slices of traditional Caribbean rum cake made by the bride and groom, with the cake being customary at weddings in Caribbean cultures.
After their wedding, the newlyweds set off on an 11-day honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize. They snorkeled with sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and more in the Belizean barrier reef – the second largest reef in the world.
Planner: A. Merisier Events, Dix Hills, NY; Dress: Pnina Tornai; Bridal Salon: Kleinfeld, New York, NY; Photography: Lauren Cowart Photography, New York, NY