We first met at a conference in 2010 in New Orleans through mutual friends. At that time, Ja’Nina lived in New York and Whitneé lived in California. It wasn’t until a year later when Ja’Nina moved back home to California, that they began to develop a relationship. After many picnics, concerts, museum dates and late night conversations about books and structural inequality, we fell in love.
After being together for 3.5 years, Ja’Nina proposed to Whitneé on a beach in Carmel, CA and secretly recorded the whole thing! Ja’Nina had made a video telling Whitneé how much she loved her with music and pictures. She had to figure out a way for Whitneé to watch the video, without giving away the secret. So Ja’Nina said, “watch this video I found on youtube.” But Whitneé wanted to ask 101 questions. Whitneé: “did you make it?”. Ja’Nina just looked at Whitneé, lied, and said “No” (and felt so bad for lying after). Ja’Nina recorded Whitneé watching the video and as the video ended, Ja’Nina was on one knee with the ring!
We were engaged for 1.5 years before our wedding day. That would be the one piece of advice that we would give to other couples: have a long engagement (at least a year). Wedding planning is stressful, even more so with a short time frame. Because we gave ourselves plenty of time, planning was not too difficult, nor was it stressful. Ja’Nina was pretty laid back and let Whitneé have almost everything she wanted (Happy Wife, Happy Life)! Ja’Nina only cared about the photographer and the food!
Going into the wedding we knew that we wanted an intimate, formal wedding with our closest friends and family and that we wanted to get married in a circle so that we would be encompassed by our loved ones. Whitneé’s favorite moment from our wedding day was the 1st look. She didn’t have to share Ja’Nina with anyone. Whitneé was impressed by the intimacy of the moment and felt like she didn’t have to do anything but show up and be herself, with Ja’Nina.
Ja’Nina’s favorite moment was an impromptu dance that we did. After the money dance, the DJ played Get Me Bodied (Extended Mix) by Beyoncé. We were supposed to go sit down and rest. But it was Beyoncé! Who can sit down on Beyoncé? We just started dancing and all eyes were on us. And we danced the whole song and even did all of the moves from the music video. “Pose for the camera now, flick flick”. Whitneé posed, Ja’Nina flicked!