CNN anchor Isha Sesay tied the knot with Leif Coorlim, executive editor of The CNN Freedom Project, in a gorgeous wedding in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta Saturday. The couple, who described their wedding as "fun, relaxed, romantic, elegant and unconventional," met in 2008 after working on a CNN series together in Atlanta. They were friends for several years and began dating in 2011, after Sesay "brazenly asked [Coorlim] out for a drink," as she described it. Sesay says her favorite thing about Coorlim is his "kindness." She explains: "He has an extraordinarily large heart, and every day he does something that impresses me and makes me want to be a better person. He’s truly a special soul." For Coorlim, the best thing about Sesay is how outgoing she is. "We can’t take 10 steps in the building without her stopping to talk to somebody. She’s best friends with her dry cleaner, waiters in the restaurant down the road, even her dentist. It’s that kind of open-heartedness, that I truly am in awe of and love about her," he told HuffPost Weddings. Below, Sesay describes the Big Day.
We'd been planning this as an outdoor wedding for eight months. It was supposed to be outside in the Mandarin's English Gardens, but thanks to an early heads up about bad weather from CNN meteorologist Jen Delgado, we decided just last Wednesday to move the entire event indoors! She was our guardian angel -- we will forever be grateful to her! Given the quick turnaround, we gave the decorator and florist Britt Wood complete design freedom. So we had no idea what he would do with the ceremony space and were completely blown away by how he transformed the ballroom. It was breathtaking.
Leif had no idea I had planned a surprise performance of his favorite love song at the end of the ceremony. I booked a singer to perform Elton John's "Your Song." Once the officiant told Leif he could kiss me, she started singing from behind the drapery which was framing our altar. Then she suddenly came out from behind the curtain, surprising Leif and all our guests.
We asked CNN's Don Lemon to MC our dinner and he did a fantastic job of bringing everyone into the mix. We had a number of planned speeches but Don did what we in TV call "ad libbing" and went completely off script, calling out people to come up and give impromptu speeches. The result was an evening of great emotion; there was so much love and laughter in that room.
A girl always imagines how her wedding day will be, how it will feel, the dress... Well, our day exceeded my wildest dreams. It was magical. When I saw Leif standing at the end of the aisle, I felt as if my heart would explode. I married the man of my dreams in front of the people we care about the most. And then we partied the night away. Our special day was perfect in each and every way. What more could any girl ask for...
Click through the slideshow below to see photos from wedding, by Mary Beth Tyson.