In the age of dating apps, it’s rare to hear about a love story that blossomed from a grade school crush. Darwin caught Fanta’s eye on the first day of their freshman year of high school. “I surveyed the room of my history class for a seat and noted this boy in the back laughing and talking with his peers. He seemed like someone I would enjoy hanging out with,” Fanta remembers. Over the next couple of years, they kept with the same circle of friends, watched each other’s sports events, and even went on a few dates. “However, it wasn’t until senior year when a friend suggested we dress up as twins for senior ‘twin day’ that we really started to hit it off and break the ice,” Fanta says. “I started to learn more about Darwin’s beliefs, his wittiness, and love for weird hats – he even made me wear a matching one on twin day!’” Just a few months before graduation, Darwin finally asked Fanta to be his girlfriend. They were both accepted to the same college program and the rest is history.
We are excited to introduce Fanta, our Bride & Blossom Featured Bride for August. She and Darwin married on a picture-perfect day at Stonebridge Country Club. Here, she shares the first chapter in their Real BB Wedding story.
Part 1: Proposal & Planning
New York City is not short of luxury yacht tours promising couples a magical date like never before. Darwin and Fanta made plans for such an excursion on the water. She says, “I was told that photography was included and there would be wine and cheese – two of my favorite things!” The morning of the date, Darwin hurried Fanta to get ready, saying they would be late because she was taking so long. “The rush caused me to mess up my makeup – I’ll never forget this,” Fanta looks back and says with a laugh. “Meanwhile, Darwin looked extremely handsome with his nice haircut and suit.”
The day was on the chilly side. The first to arrive for departure, they were told that the other couples had canceled because of the weather. With the entire yacht to themselves, Fanta and Darwin enjoyed their favorite wine, cheese and bread under warm blankets while taking in the city’s monuments. The boat was about to pass by the Brooklyn Bridge when the couple was asked to go to the front for a photo op. Fanta describes what happened next. “In the distance, I saw a sign reading ‘Will you marry me?’ I then turn to Darwin and shouted, ‘Look! Someone is getting engaged!’” The yacht became still and as if on cue, the sun came out. She continues, “Little did I know… that ‘someone’ who was getting engaged was actually me!” Darwin then got down on one knee and asked Fanta to marry him. “It was a perfect proposal – so magical and unexpected! I was absolutely shocked and full of joy!” They relished the moment with champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and pink roses. Upon reaching the dock, Fanta learned that their family and friends were actually holding the proposal sign, and everyone was waiting for them at a nearby restaurant to celebrate. To say Darwin had pulled out all the stops for an epic surprise proposal would be an understatement – he even photoshopped a promotional flier for the boat tour to keep any suspicions at bay.
Once the cloud of excitement lifted, the couple started the process of planning their wedding. “I’m African and Darwin is Haitian. We both have big families that are used to elaborate ceremonies,” Fanta says. “Once we decided to go ‘all in,’ I downloaded the Knot app and signed into Wedding Wire, purchased a wedding planning book and scrapbook, researched Pinterest, and binge watched wedding shows.” Sharing a similar style and taste, the couple’s main goal was to make sure their personalities and love for each other could be sensed throughout their special day. This guided every decision they made together starting with the venue. Stonebridge Country Club ticked all the boxes. Located in Smithtown, New York, Stonebridge Country Club features majestic natural grounds, lavish indoor and outdoor spaces, and a grand ballroom. “We loved the fact that they catered to only one wedding at a time and could accommodate both our ceremony and reception.” Fanta finishes, “The spacious bridal suite was the cherry on top! The staff and service were impeccable.”
Fanta’s signature color is pink. “If you look at our high school prom photos, you’ll see that I made Darwin wear pink to match my gown.” However, she was reluctant to use it in her wedding palette. Darwin was actually the one who pushed for pink, reassuring her that they could make the color look sophisticated. After gathering inspiration, they met with us to start the process of making their dream wedding a reality. Fanta remarks, “Bride & Blossom helped execute our pink and white vision in a way that felt very classic, beautiful, and understated.”
Stay tuned next week for Part 2: Wedding Dress and Personals when Fanta talks about her breathtaking Martina Liana gown.
Couple’s Vendor List
Venue: Stonebridge Country Club
Photographer: Belluci Films
Bride’s Dress: Martina Liana
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Groom’s Tux: Garçon Couture
Groom’s Shoes: Aldo
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Colors
Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Makeup & Hair: Juicy Looks by Abby
Rings: James Allen
Invitations: Elegant Wedding Invites
Music: DJ Spynfo AKA Mr. Matrimony