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Southfield

March 28, 2007

Northland employees marry at mall

SOUTHFIELD — While brides-to-be are selecting their dresses, cakes and flowers, one place may not cross their minds as they consider where to say their wedding vows — a shopping mall.

But for one couple, Ernst Stevenson and Sheryl Berry, there wasn’t a place more perfect to tie the knot.

Stevenson and Berry were married Saturday, March 24 in the performance court of Northland Center Mall.

Both are mall employees. Stevenson has been a sergeant on the Northland Center Police for 17 years, and Berry has been the office administrator for five years.

“When I found out (they were engaged), I made a joke about the idea of them getting married here,” said Denise Murray, marketing director for Northland Center Mall. “But the general manager got excited about the idea, and we decided to go with it.”

The couple has been dating for eight months, but it seems they were destined to be together — Stevenson was a security guard at Cass Technical High School in Detroit while Berry was a student there.

“I thought he looked familiar,” said Berry. “It was just wild finding out that was him. It’s mind-boggling how God works.”

Stevenson and Berry would occasionally exchange “little hellos” while working at the mall. Then Berry asked him on a date, but he didn’t show up. The next day, she arrived at work and saw his business card on her desk. She called, and later that evening he made her dinner at his home. They’ve been together ever since.

“I actually proposed to him first,” said Berry. She added that Stevenson surprised her with a bouquet of flowers in her office in January, got down on one knee and proposed to her.

 “He’s a romantic and likes to catch me off guard,” said Berry. “I have the biggest smile on my face just thinking about the days that we spend together.”

“I’m excited to share happy times with Sheryl,” said Stevenson. The couple currently does not have honeymoon plans.

Berry said the couple decided to get married at the mall because it has a sentimental value for them.

“It holds a special place in my heart,” said Berry. “Because of this place, I now have my fiancé. It’s a way to give back.”

It seems Berry and Stevenson are well liked at the mall — dozens of merchants provided wedding services for the couple on their big day.

Northland Cleaners donated Berry’s bridal gown, Premier Tuxedo provided the groom and attendants’ attire, and Craftsman’s Jewelers helped re-create rings the couple already owned to fit their style and size.

“It’s truly an honor to have employers who want to do this for you, to share in our happiness,” said Berry. “I’m just happy to be a part of it to know that I’ve made some type of impact with people, and it’s noticed.”

Other merchants who contributed to the wedding include Heavenly Escape Spa, Am Photography, Designer Shoes, Via Roma Shoes, Diva’s, Macy’s, Stepping Out Hair Salon, Manic Shoes, Phalanges Salon, Baskets and Gifts, Blue Kiss Photo, Creative Tee’s and Hi-Line Framing.

“It’s a great way to show off what the mall offers,” said Murray. “The merchants are a very caring community and wanted to help.”