Jeanine and Joshua

Image 1 of Jeanine and Joshua

How We Met

The two of us both attended Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, IL. Back then it was a cool thing for everyone to post on their Facebook page the classes they were taking and teachers for the year. Joshua and I always knew of each other at school, but simply kept it at hi and bye. I decided I would post my classes on my Facebook wall and he decided he wanted to change his classes to match mine in order to get to know me better. Oh boy! Out of my six classes, four of them were with him. Because my last name is Smith and his is Stapleton, we sat by each other, for every class! That is how it all started… We begin getting to know one another better and found out our common interests that sparked flames. He asked me to Senior Prom and I couldn’t say no! We attended prom together in June 2007. I can’t believe that it’s been almost 10 years! He asked me to be his girlfriend at senior prom with a promise ring. My answer was…no! Simply because I didn’t want him to think he had myself wrapped around his finger. Ha! Safe to say, we became girlfriend and boyfriend one week later. Now, a Howard University college career and almost ten years later, we are more in love than ever and engaged to be HUSBAND and WIFE!

how they asked

April 29, 2017 was the day a dream of mine became reality. Joshua’s cousin and his fiancée flew to Chicago to attend our housewarming and to take care of some last minute wedding planning. Everything appeared to be beyond normal! That Friday night we had dinner and drinks. We laughed over old times and talked about the weekend ahead of us. I went to sleep that night not knowing that would be the last time I would close my eyes as Joshua’s girlfriend. Saturday morning I was ready for my “Bridesmaid Duty” of our trial makeup appointments. Soon after, the four of us met for brunch at one of my favorites restaurants in Chicago, Wildberry Café! This is also the restaurant where Joshua and I celebrated our 9-year anniversary. That morning I was very stressed! I was so worried about everything that needed to be done for a perfect housewarming I completely overlooked what was about to come. While at brunch, we simply enjoyed each other’s company while catching up and eating delicious food. All of a sudden after the bill was paid, Joshua got really anxious and said we needed to go. The four of us left the restaurant, while standing in the rain where the guys covered us. They told us that they needed to blindfold us and they had a HUGE surprise across the street waiting for us!

Image 2 of Jeanine and Joshua

They told us it was simply because they were thankful for us being in their lives. I am the type of woman to ask a ton of questions normally, but because Salimah was also asked, I obliged. Walking arm in arm, while being told “Oh kay, take one step up, stop right here” I listened while one million thoughts ran through my head EXCEPT what was about to happen. Salimah had taken her blindfold off as soon as I had mine on and was following along with the plan the entire time! When he asked me to stop he said, “Take off your blindfold”. I opened my eyes; my mouth dropped as I saw that I was surrounded by over 50 of my close family and friends. That’s when I knew, but was still in denial, of what was about to happen!

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He stated “Jeanine Renee Smith, you are the love of my life” as I am still in complete disbelief! As he continued he said “I know your mom is smiling down from Heaven at the woman you’ve become” I turned around and walked away! No, not because I didn’t want to say yes, but simply because I was overwhelmed! Grabbing my arm, he brought me back to look into his eyes, knelled on one knee and asked me to be his WIFE! My reply as tears streamed down my face and heart beating out of my chest was, “Of course! YES”!

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Friends from all over the country flew in. Our family from all over Chicago clapped and cried tears of joy as they celebrated two souls taking the first step to becoming one. It still feels like a dream to me when I think about it. It’s a dream turned reality! I am taking a journey to marry my best friend and the love of my life.

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I am simply the happiest woman on this Earth! P.S. To top it off he surprised me with a trip to Paris. I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal!

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Special Thanks

Brooklyn Wheeler
 | Photographer
Julia Stapleton
 | Planning
Vicki Stapleton
 | Planning