The Bridal Party Wore Pink for Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins’s Wedding at Hummingbird Nest Ranch

Actress Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins, who stars as Joelle on the Netflix series Dear White People, met sports agent Darroll Jenkins in the summer of 2010 at a house party in North Hollywood. Ten years later, Darroll took Ashley on an impromptu—or so she thought—horseback riding excursion on the beach, where he popped the question at sunset. “It turned into a mini photoshoot,” Ashley remembers. “We basked in all of the love and excitement while enjoying champagne, just the two of us.”

The couple set their wedding date for September 5th, 2021 at Q Vineyard at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, California—and thankfully, they were able to proceed with everything as planned, despite the pandemic, by implementing COVID-19 protocols to ensure the health and safety of all of their guests. “We asked our guests, regardless of their vaccination status, to provide a negative PCR COVID test within 72 hours of the wedding.”

Even though the pandemic didn’t cause any major complications, the lead up to the wedding weekend still had its fair share of stresses. “There are so many moving parts to a wedding! Darroll and I anticipated it being much more fun than it was,” Ashley admits. “It’s really a ton of budget talk and decision making, but the beautiful part was that it connected us even more as a couple. We had a blast making the big decisions and working on the musical elements of the big day. Music is very important to us both, and we wanted our guests to feel that throughout the wedding.”

The two worked with Tricia Smith Brown of TSB Planning and Design on all facets of the planning process, Avant Garden on florals, and Ashley enlisted Selina Howard of Vainglorious Brides for styling. “Ashley understood my vision from from our very first zoom call!” Ashley says. “The vibe of our wedding was ‘Black Love & Black Excellence,’ and I really wanted to go for clean and timeless yet dramatic looks for the entire wedding weekend.” 

All-white florals against a vineyard backdrop and clear sunny skies set the tone on the wedding day. “All you could say was ‘Wow!’,” Ashley remembers. The bride created her own awe-inspiring fashion moment with a 10-foot-long train. “I knew I wanted to look back on our photos in five, 10, 15 years and see looks that stood the test of time,” she says. To that end, she wore a custom ceremony dress by Vainglorious Brides, hair vines and earrings by La Vie Bridal, and headpieces by Maria Elena Headpieces. “The majority of the designers I wore, the vendors I worked with, and my bridal team was made up of Black women, and I couldn’t be more proud of that,” Ashley says. “There was a time when Black people were told we couldn’t get married, so to have the wedding of my dreams surrounded by Black women supporting and uplifting one another was a moment I shared sacredly with my ancestors.” 

The day Ashley got engaged, she contacted Mali Thomas and Nicole Newland as she knew they were going to be her beauty team for the big weekend. “We always talked about this moment so to see it all come to life with them by my side was a dream come true,” Ashley says. “Nobody glams me like my girls!”

Darroll went with a clean houndstooth look for both the ceremony and reception. His ceremony suit was designed by Davidson Petit-Frère and his reception suit was designed by Eaden Myles. For shoes he wore velvet Gucci loafers and for jewelry, a Gucci crystal lion head pinky ring. 

Ashley asked the bridal party to wear formalwear in a blush-wine color palette. “What I loved about this is that it not only made them stand out because wedding guests were asked to wear formal all black, but their individuality shined through,” Ashley says. “Everyone understood the assignment!” 

During the ceremony, Ashley was overcome with emotion and felt like she was exactly where she was supposed to be. “I imagine that’s how it’s supposed to feel when you are with the person God designed just for you,” she says. “I also was secretly freaking out because I didn’t have my bouquet, my veil was blowing off, and people were on the hunt for my vow book. In life, you’ve got to have balance. In the moment, I was slightly mortified, but in retrospect, I realize it makes for a beautiful story, and it was perfect because it’s our story.”

At the end of the ceremony, just after being pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins, the bride and groom commemorated the happy moment with a shot of tequila. “We were on cloud nine,” she says. “It truly is so thrilling marrying the love of your life!”