A large crowd gathered to watch Casme Carter’s beach wedding photo shoot in Destin, Florida, on June 1.
“People were staring,” Carter told TODAY. “No one could figure out what was going on.”
It was clear that Carter, in a white bathing suit and veil, was the one getting married. But who were the 34 women standing behind her? Those were her bridesmaids.
Though it may seem excessive, Carter, 38, who tied the knot with her husband, Gary, on June 2, wouldn’t have had it any other way.
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“Every lady was handpicked,” the New Orleans-based performer said. “I traveled for 18 years as a singer and made incredible friends along the way. I felt so loved and blessed to have them by my side.”
Carter was blown away by how quickly the diverse group of women, who ranged in age from 21 to 50, bonded with each other.
“We had doctors and performers and lawyers, just a big assortment of different personalities and it was nothing but love,” she said. “My girls from Atlanta are now talking to my girls from Nashville on social media and it makes me so happy.”
To make things easy for her bridal party, Carter asked the women to wear neutral tones to the 5 a.m. sunrise nuptials. Many picked dresses they already owned, while others grabbed a $25 design that Carter found on Amazon.
“I wanted to keep it simple and affordable,” she said. “I told them that not to give me gifts and that them being there for me was the best present I could receive.”
Carter also chose a destination where no one would have to travel more than six hours by car.
The wedding ceremony went off without a hitch. Twelve of the bridesmaid walked with groomsmen, while the others came down the aisle “fashion show-style” like they were on a runaway.
“We had an acoustic guitar player and a saxophone going,” Carter said. “I think people were worried it was going to take forever, but it didn’t.”
Carter said her nuptials went viral after Essence magazine did a story. She never expected to get so much attention.
“If I would have had more time to plan I would have had 50!” she said.