A New Jersey Ikea played host to a wedding over the weekend as Shirley Stewart and Berkely "Rashid" Smith tied the knot in the very same framing department where they met eight years earlier.
The Newark couple reportedly made a promise to one other that if they ever were to wed it would be in the Elizabeth IKEA store where they first laid eyes on each other.
On Saturday, June 8, Stewart and Smith, both 46, made good on that promise and exchanged their vows against the backdrop of hanging Ikea sale signs and cases of plastic-sealed picture frames.
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"My daughter had gotten suspended from school so we were in there doing some shopping," Stewart told GoodMorningAmerica.com recalling the first time the two met. "He was in there. I saw him right when he came in, and I checked his finger to make sure he wasn't married.
I followed him for about an hour."
Seeing how smitten her mother was with the mystery man in the framing aisle, Stewart's daughter Jashirele, who was then 14, asked her mom if she wanted her to approach the man to get his number for her.
Jashirele received the go ahead from her mom, who hid in embarrassment as her daughter walked up to Smith.
"He said to her, 'I don’t give my number to little kids,' so she brought him over to me," Shirley Smith said. "I was thinking, 'Oh, my God. I’m going to have a heart attack.' But we’ve been best friends ever since."
Following Smith's proposal to Stewart years later, the couple contacted Ikea in the hopes of incorporating the Swedish furniture store into their nuptials.
"I called and explained we wanted it to be just him and I in that section, and just take a picture and that’s it," said Shirley. "I didn’t want to distract the customers or cause a big fuss, but they said they’ll do it even better."
The couple arrived at the store at 9 a.m. Saturday along with their immediate family where they were greeted by Ikea employees who provided them with breakfast as they waited for the store to finish its special arrangement for the love birds.
The couple was subsequently escorted through the entire store in their suit and bridal gown, until they reached the area where they first met.
There, they were greeted by a large black suitcase with the words "Just Married" written on it, with cans attached to the bottom to trail behind the couple as they walked away, ABC News reports.
Inside the case was an array of wedding gifts donated by Ikea to the couple for being loyal customers.
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The newlyweds even "jumped the broom" – a popular wedding tradition primarily among African-Americans, with a broom provided by the store.
"It came out to be so beautiful," Shirley Smith said. "It was better than I ever hoped."
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