Wedding bells are ringing for Jeannie Mai and rapper Jeezy.
“The Real” host, 42, and the “Soul Survivor” rapper, 43, quietly tied the knot in Jeezy’s hometown of Atlanta on March 27, Vogue revealed Thursday, exactly one year after the couple got engaged during quarantine.
The couple’s intimate “mini-mony” included only “immediate family and a few close friends” who tested negative for COVID-19. It was a far stretch from the wedding they envisioned in Italy or France, but Mai said the past year has taught them tomorrow isn’t promised.
“After Jeezy’s mother unexpectedly passed, we quickly learned that life is too short. And at the end of the day, Jeezy and I really just wanted to become husband and wife,” Mai told the publication. “So we decided to turn our original wedding into a mini-mony.”
She continued: “We were really looking forward to having all of our friends and family there to celebrate, but we had to change all of our wedding plans due to COVID.”
Mai opted for a custom, nude-colored Galia Lahav wedding dress, complete with a matching 15-foot veil. Jezzy, born Jay Wayne Jenkins, wore a champagne blush tuxedo from Teofilo Flor.
“The finished product was everything I envisioned,” Mai told Vogue.
More:Jeannie Mai ‘filled with so much anger’ over rise of attacks on Asian Americans
Although Mai and Jeezy couldn’t host all of their loved ones, there’s still a way for others to celebrate their union and support Asian and Asian American communities.
The couple announced Thursday they created a charity wedding registry in partnership with The Knot to support Stop AAPI Hate, an advocacy group started last year to support members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The registry is set up in the form of a GoFundMe with The Knot Registry to receive donations to go toward the organization.
Last month eight people – most of them women of Asian descent – were killed in three shootings at Atlanta-area spas before police arrested a 21-year-old man suspected of being the gunman. And in New York City, police have arrested a man for allegedly punching, kicking, stomping and hurling anti-Asian insults at an Asian American woman in broad daylight Monday as she walked down the street. The recent incidents sparked public attention about the rise in attacks against Asian Americans amid the spread of coronavirus.
In an interview with The Knot, Mai, who is Asian American and whose parents immigrated from Vietnam, said her relationship with Jeezy, who is Black, is bonded in part by the passion they share to give back to their communities.
“It’s not just the recent events that make me mindful about our distinct cultures, for Jeezy, everything — from his upbringing, experiences, struggles and his position in this white-centric country — is a learning curve for me; and, vice versa,” she said.
Many celebrities like Trevor Noah, Olivia Munn and Ken Jeong have used their platforms to speak out against anti-Asian hate and to donate in support of the Asian community. In February, Mai told USA TODAY about feeling “sickened to (her) stomach” when she thinks about the rise in recent attacks against Asian Americans.
More:Trevor Noah on Atlanta shootings: ‘If that’s not racism then the word has no meaning’
“I’m sickened to my stomach and filled with so much anger and pain, just when we’re already aware of racist attacks and our systemic racism that spawns across the world and especially in our country for our Black brothers and sisters,” Mai said. “What have we not learned from 2020? And now why are we attacking our most vulnerable that are already trying every day just to survive COVID?”
“It’s no longer enough to say, ‘I’m not racist.’ We need to be anti-racist, and that’s harder,” Mai told The Knot.
Contributing: David Oliver, Brett Molina, Cydney Henderson