Hope you had a fun Labor Day Weekend! We’re back and ready to crank out another week of awe-inspiring features on the Munablog.
Up first, we have the edgy engagement session of Shantalé and Roman. The couple originally met when Shantalé was in high school. She was on an HSBC college tour and Roman was her tourguide for the Morehouse leg of the tour. They met, clicked and instantly were drawn to one another and remained friends for the next eight years. It wasn’t until Shantalé left for New York to do her Masters that they lost contact. But once back together again, it didn’t take long for Roman to realize he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Shantalé. Enjoy this Spelhouse couple's risqué photos by Janet Howard Studios and make sure to check out the rest in the gallery here.
Couple: Shantalé Williams + Roman Williams
Occupations: Shantalé - Medical Student // Roman - Client Advisor at Global Imports BMW
Wedding Date: July 2, 2017
Wedding Location: The Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey
Location of Engagement Shoot: Spelman/Morehouse College and 10th St NW
Proposal: "The proposal was a complete surprise planned by my fiancé and entire immediate family. On July 3, 2016, my family and I went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant Ruth Chris, in Westchester, NY. Roman told me that he couldn't make it up to NY because he had a car race in Texas to participate in for that weekend. We had a private room in the restaurant, and there were 15 of my family members in attendance. From my initial understanding, we were taking my grandmother out for her birthday. However, 10 minutes into the event, I heard a familiar voice behind me asking the room, “Did anyone order champagne?” I recognized the voice immediately and turned around but didn't process that Roman was actually standing there, so I turned back to my best friend and continued my prior conversation. After a millisecond, I spun around and screamed, “What are you doing here?!” By that time he was already on one knee asking me to marry him. My family was up and clapping before I got the “Yes” out. I was in such shock and amazement that everyone planned this and I had no idea what was going on. My heart was filled and that day became the best day of my life."
Engagement session details:
Our first engagement scene took place in Midtown Atlanta on 10th street NW at an edgy, abandoned parking lot. Our theme is "The Good Girl Fell in Love with the Car Guy," so we tried to convey a look similar to a scene in "The Fast and the Furious," which is the movie that sparked Romans love for cars. He has a deep passion for racing, so we decided to incorporate this aspect into the theme of our wedding. We had such a blast shooting this scene. Some of the highlights of our session included using Roman’s new BMW M2 as a prop, and forming a love story around the car. We danced, skipped, posed and laughed the entire time, which made the experience irreplaceable. Roman enjoyed trying to act like the “bad guy” even though he is the sweetest guy in the world. Our second scene took place at Spelman/Morehouse College where we first met. We went back to our Alma Mater, which was an extremely nostalgic experience. We took photos under the Spelman arch, which symbolizes the transformation from a Spelman girl into a Spelman woman. We enjoyed shooting in front of Sister's Chapel, which is where young ladies learn the fundamentals of becoming well versed, God-fearing African American women. This location was the highlight of our engagement photo session because we enjoyed painting the picture of where we met, explaining the history of our colleges, and revisiting every step along the way to becoming college sweethearts."
First Date: "Our first official date took place at Spelman and Morehouse’s Homecoming tailgate event on October 18, 2014. It was our first time going back to homecoming since we graduated in 2011, so we decided to go together. There were thousands of alumni at the event, crowding the streets as we made our way through to the familiar faces. There were reunions occurring among everyone, from freshman year dormitories to step teams, and we were able to see old friends whom we had not seen in years. Ironically, as we went back to our comfort zone, reminiscing about old times with old friends, we both realized that we didn't want to make any new memories without each other. As we walked through the crowd, we no longer wanted to walk apart as friends, but as a couple who found each other at that exact place 8 years prior. Roman grabbed my hand, and we were inseparable for the entire day. Although surrounded by a plethora of people, we were in a world of our own. It was such a surreal and sudden realization for the both of us, because we could no longer deny that we were meant for each other. We were friends for years and didn’t realize that God had actually planned and ordained the growth of our friendship. At the end of the tailgate, I whispered in Roman’s ear “Are you ready?” He knew exactly what I was referring to and replied with a smile, “Yes.” By the end of the day we were officially committed to each other. Ultimately, our first date became the day we made our relationship official."
Favorite Thing to do as a Couple: "Our favorite thing to do as a couple is to explore the Atlanta area for it’s vast array of eateries and culturally inspired restaurants that the city has to offer. We’ll admit it, were foodies. From parking lot food trucks to upscale rooftop dining, we thoroughly love to explore Atlanta for next best cuisine. I tend to be more of the picky eater, so Roman tries to pull me out of my shell and expand my palate, however I tend to gravitate back to my Caribbean roots and settle on my homemade curry chicken (which he loves). However, being foodies doesn’t necessarily mean we always go out to dine. We have opened each others worlds to new foods, ranging from Roman’s famous pesto pasta to my ackee and saltfish dish. We even still laugh at some of our cooking disasters, like the Thanksgiving turkey that we had to throw out and the double chocolate brownies that confirmed that baking was not for us."
Wedding Planning: "The wedding planning process has surprisingly gone well thus far. We approach the process by making it fun and picturing the funniest scenarios that could possibly occur during each and every event. Since I am a student and Roman has a full-time job, some months are more hectic than others. Fortunately, Roman has been involved in every aspect of the planning, so it makes it less stressful for the both of us, and we are able to make executive decisions together. In addition, having a wedding planner is such a great investment! My planner does a lot of background research on venues and vendors, which she then presents to us for dissection and decision-making. Rather than starting from scratch, she completes most of the legwork, which removes a lot of stress. She has also coordinated many of my recent events, and works diligently behind the scenes to make sure everything is running smoothly. My advice is to hire a wedding planner!"
What are you looking forward to most? "What I am looking forward to the most on my wedding day is getting walked down the aisle by my father and witnessing him giving his official blessing to my fiancé. I have dreamed of this moment since I was a little girl, and since I grew up as a “daddy’s girl “ it is extremely important for my father to hand me away. I can’t wait to see my fiancé’s face during this encounter because I know he is looking forward to seeing me walk down the aisle. I think we are both going to need a box of tissues! Roman is looking forward to seeing me in my dress and having me at the altar next to him. He is excited to spend the day with our family and friends, but mostly looking forward to the moment when we are able to mark it as the first day of the rest of our lives together."
Wedding Planner: Khiara Cureton of The Fete Loft
Engagement Shoot Photographer: Janet Howard of Janet Howard Studio
Bride's Dress: BCBG
Groom's Tux: Jos A. Bank