Jenae is a kind hearted person who everyone seems to fall in love with. If you were to ask anyone about her, they'd all tell you the same thing, "she is a beautiful human being inside and out. She’s loyal, She’s Smart, She’s Special (DJ Khaled voice).”
One thing I absolutely love about her is she allows me to be myself and she laughs at all my crazy antics such as: If I tell a bad joke, she will still smile and tell me I’m funny, or if I’m dancing because Barry White or Future is playing in the background, she will try to catch me on SnapChat, or even when I stop and take photos of flowers or houses I see on our walks, she thinks it’s funny how excited I get.
Before I met Jenae I felt like I wasn't compatible with anyone. I’d had my fair share of failed relationships. Whether it was personality, attraction or religious beliefs, it was hard to find what I was destined to have in a woman. Then comes the girl of my dreams. After just 2 weeks of being with her, I knew there was something special about her and my so called “checklist” didn’t matter because she was and she will always be the perfect one for me. Most people don’t know but Jenae and I actually met in 2002 when she drove to California to see a high school friend. Who would’ve thought that 14 years later I get to see her walk down the aisle into my arms.
She's my sunshine on a cloudy day and I'm so happy to continue life with her.
Never in a million years did I think I would find my perfect match on a dating site or fast forward ten months later, be engaged and planning a wedding. Jamaul and I had our first date in February and as I like to say “it was all downhill from there” or maybe uphill….? For years, like most girls, I imagined having that perfect relationship and marrying your best friend. As cliché as that sounds, I am forever grateful because my dream has become my reality.
When I think of our relationship I immediately think of laughter. For those of you who know Jamaul, you know what I am talking about. From his endless snapchat stories, solo serenades, dance parties in the kitchen, 90’s remix throw downs in the morning or following me in the streets videotaping me while I’m running- he knows how to make me smile and laugh until my stomach hurts. I knew early on in our relationship that Jamaul was a special guy and this was not just a temporary thing. From day one Jamaul has been my sounding board and the most amazing listener. In fact some of our best conversations happen at night while lying in bed. I admire Jamaul’s work ethic, patience with me, his determination to finish school while still making time for me and the loyalty he expresses to those who are close to him. Jamaul really is a one in a million guy and I consider myself truly lucky to be marrying such a special person. There is never a dull moment in our relationship, he is my partner, my companion for adventure, encourager in life, and most of all my best friend.
Jamaul I am forever grateful that you were brought into my life and that we get to continue on this path together!
We met where every young couple meets these days.....a dating site!!
It took us running into each other on two different sites to finally commit to a date but who’s counting!
Jamaul's version: "Babe, I have a confession to make. I don’t even like ice skating."
Those are the words Jenae says to me as we get into the car to go ice skating.
The day before I asked Chet’s permission to marry his daughter and with his blessing we got engaged December 20th 2015. In my head, I’ve already got everything planned out. We would skate around for a few minutes, take a picture, then boom I’d drop to one knee and ask the question. But first, I had to convince her to go. So my response is, ”Babe we don’t have to go for that long.” In my head I’m thinking, “I don’t know what other way I could do it so we were definitely going ice skating.”
Fast forward and we are skating around for a few minutes. Shes actually having fun and doing pretty well. I fell once but did that to make her think I wasn’t a pro. After about 10 minutes I figure the time is right, I’ve built up enough nerves, we were both freezing. Let’s do this!
We skate towards the side and I ask her to take a photo with me. She agrees and I find someone to take the photo. While she is standing ready to pose, I ask one of the guys if he could record my proposal instead of snapping a photo. He’s on board and here I go. I drop to one knee, literally. My skate slipped from under me as I was bending down and I slammed into the ice. I almost lose my balance, but the lord blessed me with the strength to not fall. Jenae has no clue of what’s going on until I reach into my pocket, whip out the small brown box and ask, “Jenae, will you marry me?”
Her response for about 5 seconds. “Are you serious?” “Are you serious?” “Yes, I love you so much!”
Jenae's version: With excitement…. I was in such shock that Jamaul had just proposed to me!! Funny thing is we had booked a vacation to Mexico for April and I thought it would probably happen on our Mexico trip, not in December!! I am actually more shocked that my dad did not give away the surprise. Earlier that day I met with my dad and brother to drop off Seahawks tickets and have a few drinks prior to the game.
I did not notice at the time but now looking back I realized how many texts my dad had sent me throughout the day:
"did I watch the game?"
"what am I doing now?"
"where am I at?"
as he was anticipating it to happen right after I met with him. I ended up back at the house after dropping off the Seahawks tickets where Jamaul had the bright idea of going ice skating. I threw on some yoga pants and a sweatshirt and was ready to go- I clearly did not put much effort into my attire because I literally thought we were only ice-skating.
Jamaul probably asked me at least three times before we left "are you sure you don’t want to put on jeans?" I kept thinking why? for Ice skating? No!!!
I do remember getting in the car and saying that I hated ice skating (sorry babe). It all happened so quickly, we skated around a few times and shortly after Jamaul said let’s ask someone to take our photo. I didn’t think anything of it since we always take photos.
Next thing I knew Jamaul was down on one knee next to me. It took me a solid 30 seconds to figure out what was happening and of course I immediately started crying. It was such a surreal feeling that I can’t begin to describe and still thinking about it makes me tear up and smile from ear to ear.
The best part was getting back to the car and calling our friend and family- my mom definitely screamed the loudest!! As Jamaul and I like to joke: the weight had been lifted off his shoulders and was now onto mine… Let the wedding planning begin!! Ohh and note to all guys: make sure your soon to be fiancé has a manicure before you propose!
Of course everyone asks for a picture of the ring and Jamaul made sure to call out that I should probable schedule an appointment the very next day…
Watch this moment unfold here...
Maid of Honor
Alysha (Love Bug)
Jill // Soraya // Erin // Natalie // Danielle // Lauren
Alysha (Lovebug) is my Maid of Honor. I honestly have no idea how we came up with the nickname “Lovebug” but it started in 2008 and has stuck ever since. Lovebug and I met while working on the floor at Nordstrom and quickly became close friends. We have shared some spontaneous, crazy, fun, and even sad memories together- all of which have helped to shape who we are today. Through Lovebug I met three off my other bridesmaids: Jill, Soraya and Erin. We clicked early on and have been traveling, hanging out, and inseparable since 2010. Natalie, Danielle, and Lauren are my close girlfriends from high school. I have known these ladies since 2004- sixteen years!!! I have also shared so many special memories with them that has allowed for our friendship to grow stronger year over year. I am so honored to have such a solid group of friends. I share unique memories with each and every one of them and could not ask for a more special group to represent me on our wedding day.
Ricky and Jarmaal
Chris // Kenny // Anthony // Vance // Earle
Ricky and Jarmaal and my best men. It was hard for me to choose one as they are both influences I look up to. Ricky has been my friend since 1997 and we've experienced the joys and pains of growing up to be amazing men. Although I've only known Jarmaal since 2006, we’ve clicked since day one and have been rocking with each other ever since. We started as strangers, became roommates, I was granted the honor of being his best man at his wedding and now the God father to his beautiful son Mykel. Chris, Kenny, Anthony, Vance, and Earle have also been major influences in my life. They've showed me how to live life, love life and strive to be a better man each and every day. I'm glad they will stand next to me when I start a new journey with my beautiful wife.
Watch their engagement slideshow here...