Oct. 14 at the Aldie Mansion in Doylestown. Maria Odilia Romeau performed the nondenominational Christian ceremony. A reception for 110 guests followed.
May 3, 1993, when Paulette was a 15-year-old employed part-time at a day-care center in East Orange, N.J. Terrence, home from college for the summer, went to the center to pick up his twin sister, Naté, who worked there.
After talking to Paulette at the center, Terrence, then 19, asked her on a date. Paulette's mom persuaded her father, Derrick - a police officer - to let his little girl go. But he insisted on supervision: Paulette rode to the movies in Terrence's car, but they were tailed by Paulette's parents, two brothers, her sister and a cousin, who sat in the row behind them at the theater.
They dated for a year before Paulette broke up with him. They kept in touch as friends. In December 2003, when Paulette was driving from New Jersey to grad school in Connecticut, "I just had this profound thought that if I knew I wasn't going to see tomorrow, I wanted to be in his presence." They began dating again in October 2004.
May 3, 2006, at the day care where they met. It had been sold, and Terrence, a banker, told Paulette the new owner had contacted him for financing.
When the couple went to the center, they were taken on a tour. Partway through, Terrence excused himself. The last room on the tour was the room Paulette had taught in. When the door was opened, out walked Terrence, who handed Paulette roses and took her into the empty classroom.
"Do you know what day today is?" he asked. Paulette did not remember its significance until Terrence told her, "It was 13 years ago today that I first met you." And then he got down on one knee.
9 to 5
Paulette, 30, who was the first African American to earn a doctorate in neurobiology from the Yale University School of Medicine, recently started a postdoctoral fellowship at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She is studying epilepsy. Terrence, 33, is a senior vice president at United Bank of Philadelphia.
Making a home
The two live in Center City.
"More" by Nat King Cole
Doing it their way
Just like that first date, Paulette's trip down the aisle was a family affair. Her first steps were with 12-year-old brother Vernon, who had not yet been born when she and Terrence met. Then she walked with brothers Derrick and Phillip, along with her father and mother. Her sister, Lauren, was maid of honor.
Paulette wore an ivory dress with a fitted bodice and flecks of gold embroidery on the skirt. She and Terrence drank honey water during the ceremony, symbolizing the need to keep a good balance of sweetness and beauty along with all the basic needs of life and marriage.
Not a dry eye
"When he saw me for the first time, it was such a private moment between the two of us," Paulette said. "We both cried, we embraced. It was like no one else was in the world."
"When you're planning the wedding, enjoy every minute of it. Just remember the ultimate goal of it is to be with the person you love, and never lose sight of that."
Terrence surprised Paulette with a week in Fiji.