A great movie, cheesy bread from Little Caesars or Chalupas from Taco Bell, that’s a typical Saturday night for Nae and Calvin.  The two met at a rental car company while Nae was on a business trip in Maryland.

If you ask Calvin the perfect word to describe their relationship he will reply, “Astonishing… because I am awesome and she is amazing… When you put that together you get Astonishing…”

How they met

Her Side: I had flown to Maryland early for a work trip and I was picking up my car from the rental car place. I was talking to the girl at the front desk and I told her I needed a GPS for the car, however she didn’t have one at the time so she had to call down to get one brought up to her. Well while I was standing there speaking with her, this guy walks up behind the desk with the GPS.  My thoughts were, “MY OH MY HE IS FINE!!!”   The lady behind the counter says, “Calvin, now don’t you put your address in the GPS for this woman.” He smirks and leaves me with one thought, “I need his number!’ As I was walking to get my car Calvin is walking up and I say, “so Calvin are you going to help me with my bags?” He says “yes” and we are off.  We get to the car and after marking off the entire car, showing as if it was covered in scratches and dings, I say “So Calvin are you going to give me your number or what?” He says yes and that is all she wrote!!   6 years later and we are getting married!!!

His Side: I don’t know about HER side of the story because it sounds totally like she initialized everything and got me. The TRUTH is totally different.  Nae came to Baltimore for work and had a reservation for a car rental.  At the time I signed a contract with 40 Acres And A Mule to be the lead actor in the movie “Best Man 1 ½: The Car Rental Attraction”. For me to be the best car rental agent actor, I wanted to get research and really indulge myself in the character, so I obtained a small car rental sales agent job to receive this knowledge. Outside at the time, I looked to my left and immediately felt a level of compassion for this woman coming off the bus that just pulled up to drop off the next customers. She got off of the shuttle bus struggling with her luggage approaching the counter. The heel on her shoe broke and a wheel on her luggage was missing. The missing wheel on her luggage left a trail of black scuff marks on the floor behind her and her hair looked as though she sat in the middle seat next to a mother with a newborn crying baby. I mean she looked like she had the worst plane ride ever. As this struggling woman was renting the car at the front desk, I was outside practicing my lines and smile for my upcoming movie. That’s when I got a call from an agent that they ran out of GPS’s and they needed some more. A few GPS units were returned from prior rentals, so I decided to take those to the front and practice my walk and smile that I gave to the actors in the previous movie. I came up the walkway and around the corner to give the front desk the GPS units that I had. Now I have a confident gait. It’s so confident that it appears that I am the finest person in the area. I had to teach this walk to Morris Chestnut in “The Best Man”. When I turned the corner, I looked and saw the struggling woman at the counter and I said to myself, ‘what better way to make her day better than my smile’. Remember, I was practicing this smile outside, so I licked my lips like LL Cool J and smiled at her so smooth, like lotion on fresh washed skin. The smile was so smooth that she had to take the ring finger on her left hand and move her bangs from right to left to get the hair off of her left eye to catch the full smile. I knew right then that she never seen someone as sexy as me before. I get behind the counter to bring the agent the GPS units and the agent requested for me to assist in programming a GPS for the struggling woman. I agree and proceed to do so. Being seriously engaged in programming the GPS, I look up and the struggling woman in front me has her right elbow on the counter, with her head lying against her fist, looking at me with innocent dreaming eyes as if what she is envisioning couldn’t be real. Imagine Dora the Explorer looking at Idris Alba, but better looking. It was like she had so much to say, but didn’t know what to say. I wanted to take her out of her misery, so with the suave voice of Michael McCary from Boyz II Men, I say ‘Hello’. You can tell the struggling woman was taken aback by the baritone voice because she was faint of breath with her rebuttal of “Hi”. After programming her GPS I go back outside and continue to work on my lines for the movie. I look up from above my script and once I again I see the woman struggling with her luggage. While limping up the walkway with her broken heel the other wheel on her luggage broke. She looked like she wanted to cry and there was no way I was going to let her struggle with her luggage again because I am a gentleman (my mother did raise a fine young man). I swiftly run to her and ask her if she would like my help. A refreshed look came upon her face and she said yes. Her luggage was too heavy to drag, which may have caused the wheels to break, so I effectively put her luggage on my shoulder to carry it to her car. With her luggage on my shoulders leading her to the car in which she rented, I could feel her eyes behind me analyzing my musculature. You can tell that it was very rare for her to see a man with the body of Thor and the strength of Samson. We approach the trunk of the Chrysler 300 in which she was “suckered” into renting and she opens the trunk. Due to its weight, I had to flex my bicep a little to place her luggage into the trunk, but when I flex, you can see detailed artistry of the bicep through my shirt. She proceeds to review the car for any scratches, dings, or dents. But she had a long day and I just did not want her trip to be any more stressful than what it has been, so I marked up the sheet as if the car had dings and dents all over. After the day she seemed to have, I knew she needed a friend while visiting, so I say, “I’m sorry, you know my name, but I never received yours.” That’s when she informed me her name, “Nae”. I continue the conversation, “Now usually I don’t do this, but appears that you may need a friend while visiting. And although I am a very busy man, I would like to check on you to make sure you’re alright. Now I don’t know if you’re in a rush, but I really need to get back to work, but as quickly as you can, put your number in my phone for me and I will call you.” She puts her number in my phone and we exchange farewells and she drives off. Now I have dealt with some “interesting” women before, and although she may look like a Cinderella, I wanted to make sure that Nae wasn’t crazy. I get back to the booth and print out her rental agreement. That’s when I noticed that she rented the car with an American Express card, so she has a good job with benefits. Six years and an increasing credit score later, Cinderella has the pleasure of marrying the man of her dreams.

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The Proposal: Since May 2015 the plan was in motion to propose to Nae before the end of the year. There was a conversation that we had very early in our relationship where she stated that she would not know how I would propose to her. I told her then that it would be so random like “on a Tuesday at a Burger King.” The reason behind that is for the fact that if she can’t say ‘yes’ at a Burger King, then how she can say yes at an expensive restaurant. But the plan changed with a phone conversation between her and me about going to Cleveland for Thanksgiving and staying for the Monday Night Football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. That was perfect!!! We had a bet prior that when the two teams played the loser would have to where the others jersey. So the new plan became going to the game in her hometown, with her team playing my team, while she is wearing my team’s jersey. Oh she would have been so emotional!!! She was going to hate me and love me all at the same time. But when a plan is too perfect something has to go wrong! A little over a month prior to Thanksgiving my brother calls me and informs me that he is getting married and there is a kid on the way. And of course he planned to get married during Thanksgiving. This had Nae upset because she wanted to go home so bad, but she knows that it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t support my brother. What she didn’t know was that I was more upset than her because my plans had just been foiled. So I really had to think and be creative again to come up with a new strategy to propose. I made it a point not to include anyone in my plans because I did not want anyone to give away the surprise, but I was desperate. It was only a week away from Thanksgiving and Nae had to go to New Jersey for work, so I had little time to think. My first idea was to bring Cleveland to Florida for Christmas so she could feel like she was at home for the holidays. I would propose at a Burger King and afterwards take her to a nice lounge where all of her family and friends from Cleveland would be there to surprise her. What a great plan! I text her best friend Kim and ask “What is the likelihood that Nae’s friends and family come to Miami for either Christmas or New Years?” Kim and I text back and forth and she informs me that the tickets were too expensive and would we consider driving from Maryland to Cleveland. We already discussed the difficulty of all that traveling during Thanksgiving and the funds weren’t going to be ready with the changing of locations for Thanksgiving. I informed Kim that that if I had changed what we already discussed she would know something is up. Nae is a detective that way. Now I give Kim props because most of the time she gets really smart. She knew that all of the ideas that she gave I had a response to how Nae would figure out what was happening. So Kim contacted their other best friend and my frat brother Steve to try to assist in finding a way for us to come to Cleveland. All three of us are on the phone discussing different strategies and I was still finding ways in which the proposal would be discovered. The proposal had to be so disguised that Nae’s finger nails and hair could not be done. After all of the deliberation, Steve came with a fantastic idea. Because he was getting married in April, he said that we should say that there was a wedding get together and since Nae is in the wedding, she should be at the get together. And while we are at in Cleveland he’ll say that some of the frat brothers there would love to meet me at a lounge. Once we get to the lounge, they’ll take Nae away and I can set up in a side room with her friends and family to propose. It was a good plan, impromptu, and disguisable. Plus, it was better than one of Kim’s plans of saying her mother had a heart attack and we need to drive to Cleveland. Remember, I said most of the time. Thanksgiving time comes and I travel to New Jersey to pick up my soon to be fiancée and meet her co-workers. While she’s at work, I’m devising a scheme to make the proposal better than just a knee and ring. Why not create a presentation so that I don’t give a long drawn out speech? In the presentation have her friends in Florida say something that they love most about her and her family can say the most memorable moment of her. Yes!!! That’s the new plan. All I needed was a TV screen to hook up my phone and play the presentation. Steve lets me know that the location has a TV and we can definitely do it. So I request her friends to send me a 15 second and her family to send a 30 second video as soon as possible so I can create the presentation while she was at work. I drove around New Jersey to different electronic stores looking for ways to link my phone to the TV in the hotel to test and prepare the videos once received, but that was a big fail. No one sent their videos on time and anything that I bought to link the phone to the TV had to be taken back. We get back to Maryland the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, three days from proposal day, and I didn’t have a presentation ready or a way to show the presentation. Only two people sent a video and I was so frustrated because now I have to annoy her friends and family for a video; plus I had a find a way to secretly put the video together behind the “detective’s” back. I also had to keep bringing up the conversation about going to Cleveland just to increase her want of going home. After the wedding on Wednesday I take her to Best Buy to buy a Google Chrome Cast to project the presentation on the TV. Of course she didn’t know why I was buying this, so I told her it was for a future project of mine. Later that evening and early Thanksgiving morning some of her friends and family begin sending their videos. I had to wake up five o’clock every morning in Maryland to go into the other room to prepare the presentation as well film me to make the presentation flow correctly. It started to look like the whole proposal was going to be real tacky. Friday after Thanksgiving, the Proposal day, was extremely busy. Once again videos came in overnight and I had to wake up early again that morning to prepare the presentation and add the videos, and some were still missing. We pack up, rent the car, and drive up to Cleveland. During the five hour car ride, the last bit of videos came in, but they were not formatting with the presentation the way it should. I had to sit in the passenger seat sneakily formatting and arranging videos while she’s driving singing every song Beyoncé ever made. I was losing my mind constantly looking between her and my phone, making sure she didn’t see any part of the video. I needed this video to work and I am not a Beyoncé fan. We finally get to her mother’s house (where we were staying), she falls asleep and I finalize the presentation. Proposal time comes. Nae wakes up and gets ready for us to go to the lounge which she thought I was going to meet up with some fraternity brothers. We get to the lounge and immediately Kim and Cydney (Nae’s Cousin) take her to the bar and Steve takes me to the room in which I am going to propose. Her family and friends were in the room and I’m going around the room greeting and meeting everyone as Steve is preparing the TV for me to link the phone. We get everything connected and right before we’re ready to bring Nae in the room, her cousin Sheena, who I asked prior send a video but didn’t, said that she wanted to say something before I ask her to marry me. I wanted to say no, but the day was about Nae and not me. We bring Nae in the room and I guide her to her seat in front of the TV. She had a look of surprise and confusion on her face because she had absolutely no clue what was happening. We play the video and everything was going well. She was sitting in the chair listening to all of her friends tell her what they love most about her. After that segment of the video is over, I stopped the video for her cousin to speak about her most memorable moment with Nae. That story was kind of scary because it was about an altercation which Nae was involved with some guy and it ended with her cousin and cousin’s husband “handled” the guy. I just didn’t want them to “handle” me. So after Sheena finishes I thought I could continue, but now four more people wanted to give speeches. I mean they just interrupted the whole flow, but I wasn’t mad. I realized how much people really love Nae. After everyone finished speaking, I continue the video presentation. What was supposed to be a twelve minute presentation, turned into a thirty minute proposal. The video concluded with my parents speaking about how much they love her, her mother speaking about her most memorable moment of Nae, and me telling her what she does to me and I proposed to her through the video. Her eyes opened real wide as she turned and I was on my knee with her ring in my hand. She just threw her hand at me and I put the ring on her finger. ‘Til this day she still hasn’t said “Yes.”

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What I love about him: I LOVE his loyalty, sense of humor and ability to not take himself to seriously all the time. I love that he knows how to make me laugh hysterically, which is hard to do. He is the match to my craziness. I also love his drive to be a better him. But most importantly I love that he sees me as an AMAZING woman, and knows I want nothing but the best for us and I will be his helpmate at every turn.

What I love about her: She fills every stubborn hole in my life. For example, when I procrastinate, she’s proactive. When I’m exhausted, she motivates me. When I am all out of answers, she provides avenues for me to find them. It’s very difficult to change my stubborn ways, but everyday she won’t stop if she knows that it’s going to make me a better man. Now I’m very confident in myself, but she makes me AWESOME, even when I don’t see it in myself.

The Engagement Session: We had a slight theme for one of our outfits. Since we are both Greek, I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta and he is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, we though it would be awesome to show that in our pictures. We both wore our “crossing” shirts with all of our crossing information. We wanted to show our Crimson and Kream (Cream) Connection. The more “Romantic” side of the pictures weren’t really a theme, we just wanted to be kind of dressy and stylish.

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Nae: I am mom’s only child but I have an amazing adopted sister. I am originally from Cleveland, OH and I rep my city any chance I get!! I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and have been since 1999! I have a plethora of sister’s and brothers both step and kids my mom can’t seem to shake. I have worked jobs all across the board but working in higher education is one of my favorite of all them all. I am extrovert and love people but although I can be the life of the party I am never an attention seeker and would rather not be in the spotlight. Sometimes it just happens. I am probably one of the most indecisive people I know and if I didn’t have to be an adult and take care of real bills I would probably be off in some amazing country traveling the world working whatever job paid the bills. My loyalty and love are my strength and weakness. Hobbies: I love to read and watching or going to sporting events. I love to travel and trying anything new. I am a big foodie so I love to try new restaurants and new foods. Fun Fact: I can sing and I am the girl that is singing the 411 Pain Commercial. But music is my life and I am true hip hop head, anything between 1985 and 2002.

The Coordinated Bride and AVD Pics Nae and CalvinImage0004Calvin: I was born in Columbus, OH and raised in Woodstock (Baltimore County), MD. I am the middle son three brothers. I’m currently an Admissions Specialist, Personal Trainer, and UBER driver. I am a charismatic, confident, energetic person who makes it a point to stay away from negativity. I dance everywhere which usually draws the attention of others. I enjoy chilling with my friends, but feel comfortable staying at home watching my favorite TV shows or movies. I am a man of action and not words which is why I really don’t talk much about myself because it sounds like a dating profile. Hobbies: Watching Sports, Eating and Lifting Weights Fun Fact: I prefer listening to Hip Hop and R&B music between 1988 – 2003 and my favorite movie is The Ten Commandments.  The Coordinated Bride and AVD Pics Nae and CalvinImage0007

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After all is said and done Nae and Calvin keep the following in mind: “That no matter what’s happening around us we are always able to depend on each other. We want everyone to know that we are the definition of love. Man… we need to have our on reality show.” (He said that) Haha!

Photography/Videography: AVD Artistic Vision & Design