Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!
Woody & I met on the campus of the University of South Florida during our undergraduate years through a mutual friend. We hit it off right from the start. It started off as a friendship (although I knew Woody was interested in more) and blossomed into a beautiful love story. The phrase “If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever” is definitely about our relationship. After college, we separated for quite a number of years and found our way back to each other in the beginning of 2014.
As for the proposal…due to a near death experience, I had to be airlifted to a hospital to be taken to the intensive care unit. Since that time, I really did not like helicopters and Woody said one day we would go on a helicopter ride to get over my fear. On Sunday March 8th, 2015 – he did just that. We planned to take photos after church for what I thought was his recent birthday.
After service, as he drove, he pulled into a place that offers helicopter rides and I thought, “Oh my God, he’s going to propose.” We got in and they said it was a 2 hour wait, so we decided we couldn’t go because it would interfere with our photo shoot. As we walked out, I thought, “Okay, he’s not going to propose, but I know he wants me to get over my fear.” So I suggested another location further down the street. There was no wait! We went on the ride and there were some flashbacks of what happened to me when I was younger but I was actually enjoying myself. Once we touched down, the assistant opened his door and then mine. I looked up and saw my best friend and her fiancé! I said, “Oh they’re here to take the helicopter ride as well?!” I was so confused! Woody said,“No!” and then he went into how much he loved me and his commitment to love me for the remainder of our lives. He got down on one knee and asked me, “Will you marry me?”
My best friend and her fiancé captured everything on video for us. Even the establishment provided the pictures the assistant took. Then, Woody explained that he knew that one of my favorite photographers was Darryl J and he set up our engagement photos to be taken the same day. Unbeknownst to me, Woody had some of my family preparing our engagement party at one of the local hotels banquet rooms during our engagement session. I was overwhelmed at all he planned for me and how my family came together to support us in making that day a success.
The wedding dress is an amazing gown from Demetrios in Orlando, Florida. It captures the essence of being a modern-day princess. The top of the dress is form-fitted with some bling, and the bottom flares out to a silky bottom. It reminds me of Belle from Beauty & The Beast which is my all time favorite Disney movie.
Wedding shopping was pretty simple for me. My motto is “keep it simple.” I found my wedding dress after trying on three dresses. My fiancé and I within a week of our engagement booked our venue, wedding planner and DJ/Host. Woody is so supportive and on point with things, so it was very easy to mark things off the checklist. By June (three months) we were done with the majority of planning and shopping.
We are both from Haitian decent and very proud of it. At the reception, we plan to have some foods representing the beautiful island of Haiti, as well as drinks and music to capture our beloved heritage.
Help a bride-to-be out!
To anyone who is engaged: If you are a Christian, first and foremost, pray! I can’t stress that enough. Through the entire process, prayer has kept us grounded. We prayed together, separately, with others. It was essential in our dating period, so we were determined to keep that going. I would say make sure you have a well thought out plan and have backup plans just in case. If possible, hire a wedding planner or at least a “Day of Coordinator.”
It is also important to seek wise counsel. At times, we focus on one day and not the lifetime of marriage. So it was important for Woody and I to seek wise counsel, to have a marriage counselor to ensure we had the right foundation.
Also, make sure at the end of the day, you and your groom are happy. There will be so many opinions, thoughts and ideas but ensure you do what makes you happy. You are only doing this once, therefore, make sure you do it your way. Last and certainly not least, make sure you hire an awesome photographer. Ten to fifteen years from now, you want to be able to look back at the day and the beautiful memories that you two had.
Photography: Darryl Joseph of GQ Invites