Let it glow! Long before her engagement, Nakyia Whitty knew she wanted to wear her hair natural at her wedding — and that she would ask her bridesmaids to do the same. In a new interview with The Knot, Whitty opens up about becoming an inspiration to brides worldwide after her wedding photos recently went viral.
“It was just important for me to be myself… I have big natural hair,” Whitty tells The Knot. “I have been natural for four years. What was I to do? Change it or straighten it because I’m getting married? I love who I am with my hair daily, why wouldn’t it be good enough for my special day?”
The bride, 27, who works in finance for Sysco met her husband, Javonte “Jay” Davis, 26, a microbiologist at a health lab, back in 2007 at Texas Southern University. “We were only friends, nothing more,” Whitty recalls. “We started dating in 2012.” After a four-year relationship, Davis proposed this past February, the day before Valentine’s Day.
“My husband loves my natural hair,” she tells The Knot. “He’s made it clear that he prefers it over my relaxed hair.”
Like Whitty, her inner circle has also embraced their natural hair for years. “I wanted to showcase that,” she says of her bridal party. “The idea had been with me since before my engagement. Just being a girl dreaming about my day … I think it’s beautiful. So instead of leaving styling completely to them, I asked that they ‘fro it out and pin it up uniquely.”
Therefore, the hair wasn’t a surprise to the couple’s guests at their destination wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana. “I imagine people would’ve had more to say if we changed our hair to straight. That would’ve been a shock,” Whitty muses. “It wasn’t much of a change for anyone.”
Except for hundreds of thousands of strangers on Instagram — who went wild for Whitty’s gorgeous photos on the beach with her bridal party.
“Everyone initially didn’t see how it could look beautiful, but I don’t see why not,” Whitty tells The Knot. “If it can look beautiful on a daily basis, why couldn’t it look just as beautiful or even more on a special day? I don’t quite understand the limitations that are put on a black woman or any woman of afro descent’s natural hair. Our hair, just like someone else’s hair, can be beautiful all the time. It’s what God gave us. We all work with what we have. All hair is beautiful and I refused to continue to let anyone make me feel like I should be ashamed of mine for any reason or occasion.”
Whitty says so many brides and women around the world have reached out to thank her for, well, being herself.
“Whatever tidbit they took from my special day leaves me feeling honored. I feel so blessed, it’s unbelievable,” she concludes to The Knot. “I’ve had people reach out to me in different languages, different countries all the way across the world, literally, and hearing that I have inspired so many of these people, brides and just women out there, to embrace, love, and not be afraid to wear their natural hair, all different textures, to their wedding, in public, or to work. That stays with me… Always will.”