Fun-Loving New Orleans Engagement Session: Brianna + Paul

Brianna and Paul have spent most of their life being connected, without truly being  "connected".  For starters, their mothers (who both knew each other) were pregnant at the same time and birthed the two in the same month and year. Likewise, they shared mutual friends, attended the same high-school college tour, both went to Black colleges and moved back to their home state of Indiana after graduation. Yet, in spite of all their commonalities, the pair never officially connected until they were adults.

The two met in 2013 in church, when Brianna convinced Paul to become a Children's Church volunteer. Though Brianna had her eye set on Paul, after finding out that he had a girlfriend, she was no longer interested. Fast forwarding a few months, on the day of their churches picnic, she found out that Paul was single and ready to mingle. But he wouldn't end up single for too long - because following that day, the pair have been inseparable ever since.

This charismatic couple have also decided to practice abstinence throughout their 2-year courtship and have found that their vow to celibacy has strengthened their relationship. In their video submission to be featured on the The Steve Harvey Show for a segment on his '90-Day Challenge', the pair share more on their journey along with valuable tips on how to (as Steve would say it) "keep the cookie in the cookie jar".

Scroll on to view the video along with their love story and photos from their fun-loving engagement session in the "Big Easy", shot by coterie member, Elizabeth Davis of Unique2Chic Photography.

Bride-to-Be: Brianna Cherise Ursery
Groom-to-Be: Paul Ervin Hairlson
Occupations: Brianna: Consultant/Teacher (she also shared with us that she was recently signed to Lily's Talent Agency as Actor/Model/Dancer - congrats!)
Paul: Operations Manager
Wedding date: 10/22/16
Engagement shoot location: New Orleans, Louisiana


Tell us all about the proposal!
Brianna: He proposed on July 23, 2015 and we had been dating for 1 year. We were traveling to Washington D.C. to visit my friends/mentors from Howard University and the area because Paul had yet to meet them. We were also in a contest to win a $50,000 wedding and were asking people to vote for us while in the airport. Little did I know that Paul had been carrying the wedding ring around in a book bag for almost a month, waiting on the perfect time to propose. However, it was taking too long.

So while I was sleep on Paul's shoulder on the flight, he asked the flight attendant if he could propose to me on the flight. He used the contest as a cover up to make it seem like he was announcing for everyone to vote for us. Then he asked and of course I was shocked, half sleep, but very excited to say yes!

Check out video from Paul's mile-high proposal while 41,000 feet in the air - here!

Describe your engagement session. Did you have a theme?
Our engagement session was elegant and classy for our first look. We shot at the Saint Hotel in NewOrleans. For our 2nd look, it shows our fun/party nature. We utilized the trolley, Jackson Square, and other public places around New Orleans.

What did you do on your first date?
Paul: Our first official date was to Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ in Chicago, IL. It was the weekend after hanging together at the church picnic. It was a group date, with Brianna's sister, her fiance, Brianna's best friend and us. We had fun cooking our food on the grill and talking. While everyone went to Brianna's apartment to chill, we walked over to the dog park and held hands for the first time. We sat and talked for hours until the early am.

Brianna: I knew Paul would be my husband. I never enjoyed someone's company that much where I didn't want them to leave, and I barely knew him.

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?
Find new restaurants and travel to new places.

How has wedding planning been so far?
Paul: It's been cool. Not stressful. Brianna is a master planner, Type A personality, so basically everything is done already. The only thing that I've had to do is pay so far - which is not the fun part!

What are you both looking forward to most on wedding day?
We are looking forward to celebrating with everyone. We love to party, so the reception will be the highlight. Not to mention, the wedding night. We have been remaining abstinent and can't wait to fully express our love for one another!

Photographer: Elizabeth Davis, Unique2Chic Photography 
Hair: Tia Mi'quel & Jada
Makeup: Arjia Thomas

Check out this couple's charming submission for Steve Harvey's "90-Day Challenge" -which is also equipped with extremely helpful tips on how they remain abstinent, here!

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  1. Brianna

    Awesome job! I love it.

  2. Star Mayo

    Bri this is so special I love the Love story the photos the video. Wow the choice this magazine picked you both because its so real and it shows.
    Beautiful settings fun and Real Love. I am so proud of you Congratulations and God Continue to Bless you.

    Star Mayo

  3. kaye

    OMG I looooooove this I am from NOLA so to see the essence of romance captured really exuded of the page


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