Anais and Stevonte

How We Met

Stevonte and I randomly met in the middle of nowhere in a tiny school called Greenville University, located in a super tiny town in Illinois. I was 20 and he was about to turn 21. I was the “new girl” and he was a very social and outgoing basketball player. I recently moved to Illinois after needing a change of pace from life in Florida. I started school a day later than everyone else and Stevonte kindly walked up to me and introduced himself as “Peace”. My immediate response was “that’s not your real name!” A few days later I was at a football game, it recently rained, the grass was wet and there were no more seats left in the bleachers. At this point, I hadn’t realized Stevonte (or Peace as I knew him then) was around.

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My cousin and I were walking around in the grass looking for a spot to sit, we found one that seemed okay. I bent down to feel the grass and Mr. Peace pulls a total Rico Suave move and appears as if from nowhere, taking off his jacket and putting it on the floor for my cousin and me to sit on. Such a romanced! Fast forward a couple more days and he was laughing it up with me in the student union, before I left, in true millennial fashion, he asked me for my Snapchat, and we were consistently messaging back and forth for a few days before he finally asked for my number. We were immediately inseparable and I was in love after month one.

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How They Asked

We were approaching year five in our relationship and getting ready to make a big move from California to Florida. We had been living in California, in his hometown since graduating from college. The stars seemed to align at this point. Very early on into our relationship, about 6-8 months, I accepted an internship 20 minutes from his hometown, I accepted the internship and then accepted a full-time position upon graduating 6 months later. We spent a happy three years there but decided to move back to Florida as a big goal of ours was to buy a house, and everyone knows the cost of living in California is outrageous! We planned to move in with my family until we could afford to buy a house. We made one final visiting trip to Florida before our big move, to celebrate my sister’s high school graduation. That same weekend after graduation, we stayed in a beach house, which I thought was just continued celebrations for my sister’s achievements.

On June 2nd, my mom springs it on me that we were having a family photoshoot, again, in the name of celebrating my sister’s graduation. I begin to panic, trying to coordinate the family’s outfits and get my sisters makeup done (who I thought was the star of the shoot)! We get to the beach, the photographer (the amazing Hernan who made the day even more memorable) is playing along extremely well, coordinating the family and making my sister the center of attention. My now fiancé (gushing) starts pulling me aside to take a private walk with him, I’m freaking out and resisting, wondering why he’s pulling me away while the pictures were going on. I kept looking back and see my mother waving me away, so I go.

He’s walking and telling me about how he’s always been sure about the things he wanted in life, at this point he has me a bit in the ocean, holding me from behind. He tells me to close my eyes, and he says more beautiful sweet nothings and tells me to turn around. I turn around to him on one knee holding out my mother’s ring and asking me to marry him (or I think that’s what’s he said because I was already screaming YES in my head). I say yes, he ALMOST puts the ring on the wrong hand and then Hernan (the photographer) runs up and tells me how this was all actually planned for this moment and we had a beautiful photoshoot! My friends ended up surprising me halfway through the shoot and we ended up getting to end the day with all the people we love!

Special Thanks

Stills by Hernan
Photographer