How We Met – bride
On December 13, 2014, my friends Jasmine & Reginald hosted their 5th Annual Toy Drive and Holiday Party. I always look forward to attending because it gives me a great excuse to catch up with my friends before everyone gets engrossed in the Christmas hoopla and donate presents to children less fortunate than me. I arrived at the party and immediately spotted my girlfriends. We laughed and discussed everything from celebrity gossip to breaking news. I excused myself from the conversation briefly to grab a cocktail from the kitchen.
After grabbing a cocktail, I took a moment to look at my phone to see what was happening in the world of social media. [Enters Royce] A gentleman approached me and told me that I appeared to be bored because I was looking at my phone. We exchanged pleasantries and I asked him what he did for a living. He told me that he worked in the corporate communications department of a local utility. The news just ran a story about this utility company raising their rates. I took the opportunity to express my displeasure with the rate increase. Royce began to rattle off these talking points that he had obviously been trained to tell customers. I stopped him and said he could save his communications spin on the facts! We went our separate ways and I returned to enjoy the company of my girlfriends. A couple hours passed and Royce approached me again. He gave me his card and said he hoped we could keep in touch so I gave him my card as well and he left the party.
On December 15, 2015, I received an email that stated, “Hey Lydia – I met you at Reggie’s house this weekend and wanted to connect with you. I also work in the downtown area and wanted to see if you’d let me take you out for lunch one day when you’re available. Let me know.” From that day on Royce never stopped asking to take me out. I came to the party with a Barbie doll and a football in hopes of bringing some Christmas joy to a little boy and girl. I left with my best friend and the love of my life.
How We Met – groom
In 2014 I was aiming to strengthen my relationship with God so I joined Trinity United Church of Chicago and was baptized in November 2014. I prayed to God during that time for a woman to come into my life who He thought was the one for me but I didn’t expect the prayer to work as fast as it did.
December 13, 2014, I went to a holiday party with one of my fraternity brothers as a tag-a-long. Per usual, I wasn’t feeling like being social that night but I realized the party was at a college and high school friend’s house so I decided to go. Halfway through the party I saw Lydia and knew that I had to talk to her. I didn’t know exactly what to say so I did my best to start conversation. After delivering a corny line to get her attention, we talked briefly and I shared with her that I worked for a utility company and she scolded me for what she thought was my company raising its rates. After giving her the facts about where the rate increase was coming from, which she didn’t buy, we went our separate ways. Before I left, I told my frat brother that I wanted to find her to get her number. While I was standing there trying to figure out how I was going to approach the situation, my frat brother had already made his way over to her, pressuring me to come up with something quick. I told her that she could call me if she ever wanted to get clarity on her rates with a smile, knowing I had other intentions. We exchanged cards and I put it to the side to wait the customary two days before contacting her.
Her card only had her work number, not her personal one. Since I didn’t want to call her office, I sent her an email asking her out to lunch. She agreed and I discovered at lunch that she was a vegan and would be very hard to please with restaurant choices (she’s gonna kill me for that comment). The rest is history. After breaking through the guard she had up and working through some kinks with restaurant choices (I’m still trying to perfect this) we ended up seeing each other almost every day.
how they asked – bride
Little did I know Royce had been planning a surprise proposal and engagement party for six months before he actually got down on one knee. Late April/May, Royce told me that his cousin who has her own catering business was having a pop up catering event, but he didn’t know the details of where and what date it would actually take place. He even went as far as to send me screenshots a couple weeks later of texts between him and his cousin with her asking if we’d be able to make it. I was completely oblivious to what he really had planned. I put it on my calendar as his cousin’s cooking event and everything. A couple of weeks before he asked, he reminded me that he still hadn’t used a gift card for a massage that I gave him for Valentine’s Day. He said he would probably go to get one on the day of the catering event and said he wanted me to go with him, offering to pay for a manicure. I agreed, still completely unaware of his intentions. Since it was hot that day, I planned to do something different to my hair, which Royce freaked out about because he didn’t know if I was challenging him because I knew about the surprise. He also didn’t want me to “try something new” considering I would be the center of attention that night. He picked me up and we went to a housewarming first where his god sister was being proposed to. I wanted to stay to see the proposal but I was rushed to get to his cousin’s catering event so we ended up leaving before the big moment and I couldn’t understand why but we left without me putting up much of a fight about it.
Royce had given me a raffle ticket when I first got in the car. He told me that his cousin was raffling off prizes that night and he bought one ahead of time. When we arrive to the “catering event,” my number is being called and I rush in thinking I was the winner of a gift basket. Royce’s cousin asked me to come on stage and asked Royce to introduce me to all the other guests. I was still completely oblivious as to what was going on until he told me he loved me dearly and quoted Proverbs 18:22, saying “he who finds a wife finds a good thing.”
My heart started racing and I was completely shocked when he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes and looked around the room to see both of our family and friends were all there, including out of town guests who flew in just for the occasion. The rest of the night was filled with love, laughs and a lifetime of memories.