Jeremy Tardy is married!
The 33-year-old actor, known for his roles in 68 Whiskey and Dear White People, tied the knot with Tamika Waye on Oct. 29 at the Park Chateau Estate & Gardens in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
The couple tells PEOPLE their “dream” wedding had originally been scheduled for October 2020, but they had to postpone due to the pandemic. Three years later, they exchanged vows — and it was more than worth the wait.
“Finally being able to have our wedding ceremony and reception was a huge milestone for us,” Tardy says, explaining that Waye’s top priority was for the couple to be surrounded by their friends and family when they said “I do.”
“It was important to us that all of our guests would have a memorable and enjoyable experience at our wedding,” he adds. “Every detail was planned with that in mind.”
Befitting the chateau setting, the event’s theme was “a modern royal affair.” Complementing the venue’s Versailles-like features including French formal gardens and a grand, gilded ballroom, the couple decorated with gold-mirrored estate tables, Baccarat glassware and plenty of candelabras.
Waye was also keen to bring “the garden indoors,” so the space was filled with lush floral arrangements featuring roses, hydrangeas and orchids with greens and amaranthus.
While the bride had a precise vision in mind for the decor, she had a difficult time finding the perfect dress. “I felt like I tried on every good dress that existed in New York City and Los Angeles, and nothing quite felt like ‘the one,'” she says of her shopping quest.
“But once I started working with bridal stylist Selina Howard of Vainglorious Brides, I was able to hone in on my preferred look for the wedding,” she continued.
Waye gravitated toward Inbal Dror’s corset gowns, so she collaborated with the Israeli designer to create a custom, form fitting strapless dress with a sweetheart neckline and a detachable skirt, which she removed for dancing. The bridesmaids wore dresses by Amsale. Waye’s makeup was by MeMa Creations while her hair was styled by Tyra’s Hair Experience.
As the chapel ceremony got underway, a string quartet — led by Colin Brooks, one of Tardy’s friends from his college days at Juilliard — played Juvenile’s “Back That [Thang] Up” when Tardy arrived and made his way to the altar. Waye walked down the aisle to Etta James’ “At Last.”
The couple exchanged traditional vows and in a touching moment, Waye and Tardy’s mothers each lit a candle at the start of the ceremony, and the bride and groom together lit a unity candle following their vows.
As the newlyweds exited the chapel, the quartet serenaded them with a lively rendition of Bruno Mars’ “Finesse.”
For the reception, Tardy, who wore Ralph Lauren Purple Label, and Waye made sure the food was top notch for their their 130 guests. “There was so much food,” the actor says. During the cocktail hour, everyone nibbled on hors d’oeuvres and selections from a series of chef stations offering seafood, steak, lamb, duck, and even chicken and waffles. “Some of our favorites were Oysters Rockefeller, Tomahawk steak, lobster rolls and sashimi,” Tardy says.
A three-course dinner followed, featuring Chateaubriand in a port wine sauce, au poivre or a cabernet sauce, red snapper finished in a red tomato confit, and eggplant Napoleon.
The couple chose a four-tier ivory buttercream frosted vanilla wedding cake decorated with cascading flowers and a lacy texture. The tiers had alternating fillings of lemon mousse, vanilla custard and strawberry.
After dinner, the newlyweds hit the dance floor and celebrated with their guests, including Tardy’s actors friends Harry Lennix (The Blacklist), Brandon Michael Hall (God Friended Me and The Mayor) and Michael James Shaw (The Walking Dead). The bride and groom enjoyed their first dance to “Fortunate” by Maxwell.
As he looks back on his special day, Tardy is grateful for how perfectly the event turned out, from start to finish. “The wedding surpassed anything I had dreamed of. I was in bliss,” he says.
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Waye and Tardy first met in 2018 at an afterparty following the BET Awards. They were introduced by a friend of the actor’s. “It was a very brief interaction and after that we went our separate ways,” Tardy recalls.
However, fate soon brought them back together again. They both happened to find themselves at the same house party in the Hollywood Hills just weeks later. The two exchanged numbers, and it wasn’t long before they were officially dating.
Tardy proposed in December 2019 with a vintage Cartier ring after the pair had enjoyed a quiet dinner together at their downtown Los Angeles apartment.
Now, Tardy feels lucky to have Waye by his side as they build their life together. “I admire Tamika’s intelligence, classiness and work ethic. She’s one of the smartest people I know and she makes my life better,” he raved of his new wife.
For her part, Waye says she appreciates that she and Tardy share the same values. “It was important for me to have a partner who values the importance of family and is grounded in the Christian faith as I am,” she tells PEOPLE, adding, “I love the deep passion that he has for me. These things have provided a great foundation for our relationship.”
The couple is planning a tropical honeymoon with plenty of sun and relaxation. “We’re going to enjoy the beaches of Seychelles off the coast of East Africa,” Tardy says.