Scarlett and Jamal

Image 1 of Scarlett and Jamal

How We Met

We were both Rattlers on the HIGHEST OF THE SEVEN HILLS at Florida A&M University when we first met. In particular, it was in our Investment Banking class that our paths crossed. Jamal immediately captured my attention as a result of his intelligence and confidence. (Definitely wasn’t your typical graduate student.) However, at the same time I envied him because he was so smart and had no problem letting the world know! Meanwhile I would have to study for weeks just to receive a “B+” while Jamal would study for an hour or less and receive an “A”. As time evolved, we ended up in the same study groups, pulled all-nighters and worked on projects/homework together. Before I knew it, we were always together and he became my best friend.

Image 2 of Scarlett and Jamal

how they asked

In “woman years” it had been long enough but in “man years” it was finally time! I always said when I proposed to a woman I wanted it to be unique and special. I also always vowed to not to propose until it could be done the right way. This is one of the biggest investments in one’s life and the person on the other end of it deserves nothing but your best. Scarlett and I met during my first semester of Grad School (Spring 2011). On the surface you would assume we are polar opposites, yet as we grew to know each other we found to have a lot in common and gradually grew fond of each other. Fast forward 5 years later, we graduated from just friends to a loving couple with a commitment before God being the only thing missing in our lives. To resolve this issue, I met with the Dean of our Business School (with whom I have a great relationship) for breakfast in early December 2015 and spoke to her about my idea of proposing to Scarlett.

Image 3 of Scarlett and Jamal

Initially I wanted to propose around May/ June of 2016. As I verbalized my plan to the Dean she said “Well you can execute your plans during the schools Heritage Day festivities.” She told me that Scarlett would be honored during the Heritage Day Gala and if I wanted to do it there then that would be just fine. She along with the help of her staff would help me put together and execute in my opinion, the greatest proposal ever! The process began with Scarlett receiving her award nomination letter from the school. Per my request the Dean included some items that would be on “paper” sponsored by the school but in reality, a part of her proposal day. Upon receipt Scarlett contacted me stating she received an awards nomination letter from the School and was ecstatic. I expressed my happiness for her and wished her the best.

Image 4 of Scarlett and Jamal

When Scarlett confirmed the dates of the event, I told her I would be unable to attend because of an important meeting I had at work that same day. (Scarlett currently lives in Florida and I am in Ohio so the meeting along with travel made it believable.) The next step was coordinating the daily events and making sure the execution would go over flawlessly. I had a strong desire to keep the proposal a secret because I didn’t want anyone spoiling the surprise/moment. Therefore, I told no one in my family or hers. However, I did sneak down to Atlanta to ask her father for her hand in marriage two weeks prior to proposing. During the visit, I still didn’t reveal my plans to her father. I left him with the impression that I would soon begin to plan a proposal.

Image 5 of Scarlett and Jamal

On the day, I proposed the only people aware were the individuals involved in the execution. The proposal plan was as followed; she would arrive in Tallahassee on Wednesday March 30, 2016 the day before the festivities to relax and get prepared for the next day. Thursday morning March 31, 2016 she would be greeted outside the hotel by a driver and videographer that would capture the entire day. (Scarlett was under the impression that the driver and videographer was furnished by the school and they are working on a project about young professionals.) Next, she would be dropped off at the school for a TV taping obligation which she discussed her accomplishments and life after graduation. From there she was whisked away to the salon to have her hair done for the night.

Image 6 of Scarlett and Jamal

After the hair appointment she was taken back to the school for another speaking engagement and lunch. Once that was completed she was escorted to another appointment to receive a manicure and pedicure. (Other ladies were invited to offset any curiosity she may be incurring as to why the day has been mainly about her.) After the nail salon, she returned to the hotel for what she thought would be some down time before the Heritage Gala.

Image 7 of Scarlett and Jamal

As she arrives to her hotel room, the receptionist called and informed her that there’s a package waiting downstairs. As she opens the package, she realized I ordered her a pair of Christian Louboutin spiked heels for her to wear for this special day as “I was unable to attend.” A make-up appointment followed, in addition to some personal time she had with friends in which she invited in town for her awards reception. The entire time I was calling and checking on her and apologizing for being unable to make it.

Image 8 of Scarlett and Jamal

Image 9 of Scarlett and Jamal

The Gala began about 7:00 pm that evening and I waited anxiously outside the venue for my notice to enter. When she was called to the podium to receive her award from the school, the Dean notified her that since I was unable to attend, I sent a video to suffice. The video consisted of many of our family and friends saying congratulations as well as me letting her know the purpose of the video. Next, I appeared on screen walking as I talked to her about what it means for someone special to be in your life. The video would show me walking into the very building the Gala was being held and turning the door knob of the room in which it was being held in. As I turned the door knob on the screen I actually opened the door at the Gala and to everyone’s surprise I walked in, said a few words and asked Scarlett to marry me. SHE SAID YES!

Image 10 of Scarlett and Jamal

Our Video

Special Thanks

Steven Kopacz
 | Videograhper
James Westray
 | Engagement Photos