Vow and Forever

July 2021 View more

Event planner Qiana Turner orchestrates elaborate parties for a living, but when it came to planning her own vow renewal with her husband of 10 years, Kenneth, she wanted to keep the guest list short: just the two of them, their pastor, and God.

“For our generation, it seems like marriage just doesn’t last … so making it to that 10-year mark was so special to me,” Qiana says. Originally, she had envisioned renewing their vows on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. “And COVID put the kibosh on that. I said, ‘Fine, whatever … maybe for our 15th year.’ But my spirit kept saying to me, 10 years is a milestone that needs to be celebrated,” she says. “We wanted to let God know, ‘Hey, we’re in this thing, and because of you, it’s going to be lasting.’ ”

Qiana, 40, grew up in Bellwood and owns Naperville-based Madison Elyse Events. Kenneth, 42, grew up in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood and works in commercial insurance for Zurich North America in Chicago. They now live in Plainfield with their four children, but they actually first met as students at Robert Morris College. “When I saw her, I thought she was the most beautiful person I’d ever saw,” Kenneth says. “But I was getting married then.”

After staying in touch over the years, they reconnected after Kenneth’s marriage ended and their relationship shifted from being just friends to dating. They married June 11, 2011, at Broken Arrow Golf Club in Lockport. “There was no hesitation; there were no second thoughts,” Kenneth says. “We had some challenges—we have a blended family, trying to get the kids on the same page—but I think it’s unfortunate for other people because we make it look easy.”

They decided to renew their vows at the Naperville Riverwalk this spring and immediately knew just the person to officiate: Pastor Dallas Scott from Main Baptist Church in Aurora, who conducted their premarital counseling but didn’t marry them originally because he wasn’t ordained at the time. “He means so much to us and we both call him Dad,” Qiana says. “We just love him to pieces and we were truly honored to have him there to share in our day with us.”

Kenneth donned ruby-hued velvet loafers that matched Qiana’s custom off-the-shoulder gown—and then they changed into matching Air Jordan 35 sneakers for a casual portrait session afterward.

Venue Naperville Riverwalk
Bride’s attire Custom gown by Felicia Hampton of Fe Ma’Le Couture; heels from Jimmy Choo, Rosemont
Bride’s hair and makeup Adodo Robinson of Chez Delali Salon and Day Spa, Matteson
Groom’s attire Alfani suit from Macy’s, Joliet; loafers by Giorgio Brutini
Photography and Videography Jermaine Horton Photography, Naperville