From friendship to romance... College sweethearts Shivonne and Chad first entered each other's lives during undergraduate study at Howard University. At first casual friends, their emotional bond continued to grow with every opportunity to share time - often talking for hours. It wouldn't be long until their feelings would turn to love...
Read all about Shivonne and Chad's love story and intimate Valentine's day weekend proposal in this lovely D.C. engagement session, beautifully captured by Edward Underwood Photography.
Bride & Groom-to-be: Shivonne & Chad
Occupations: Communications Consultant & General Dentist
Wedding date: June 3, 2017
Wedding location: Carnegie Institution for Science
Location of Engagement shoot: William Howard Taft Bridge & Malcolm X Park
Tell us how you met and all about the proposal: We met during undergrad at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Our relationship started off with a close friendship, which evolved overtime from connecting in casual group settings to spending time one-on-one. As time went on, we developed a ritual of taking a quick walk from our dormitories every Sunday to grab lunch nearby, where we'd sometimes spend hours talking about our weeks, plans and long-term goals. Eventually, Chad's slow-game won out and we began dating toward the end of our junior year.
Fast forward eight years later, after many life changes and lessons, we'd grown to become two adult versions of our younger selves. Before Chad proposed, we talked a lot about the future -- getting married, having a family and individual career goals -- and both were on the same page that we'd get engaged "soon." Still it came as a great surprise. Chad proposed on Valentine's Day weekend at his home where he had planned an intimate dinner -- knowing that I would appreciate being just the two of us. The first people we called to share the news with were my parents -- who already knew a proposal was coming since Chad had asked for their blessing. We spent the weekend celebrating with close friends at dinners and brunches.
Describe your engagement session. Washington, D.C. is such a special place to the both of us. Not only is it the city in which we met while at Howard, but it is also the place where we grew up so much and fell in love. We wanted to celebrate the city in our engagement shoot, and decided on the Taft Bridge on Connecticut Avenue and Malcolm X Park to highlight everyday parts of D.C. We spent the entire shoot laughing and joking, and were surprisingly much more comfortable behind the camera than we expected to be -- having a great photographer didn't hurt!
What did you do on your first date? Our first date was at a cute restaurant in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of D.C. called New Orleans Cafe. Chad sweetly selected the spot based on my love for creole-style food.
What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? We are both self-proclaimed foodies and love dining out together and with friends. When we're not venturing to the latest D.C. restaurant or bar, we're testing out new brunch or dinner recipes in our home.
How has wedding planning been so far? I'll be completely honest, wedding planning has been a little more stressful than I anticipated. There are so many moving pieces and endless options -- it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the details. Chad's been such a great support throughout, always willing to take part in meetings and help with tasks. The biggest piece of advice that I would give to newly engaged couples is to not lose sight of the union -- that's what lasts beyond a single day. Let go of the notion that you need to follow every tradition or choose the most expensive option to make the day worthwhile. It will be special no matter what -- focus on what feels right to you and your partner.
Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. I'm looking most forward to exchanging vows in front of our loved ones. Our venue has a beautiful rotunda where the ceremony will be held in a 360-seating arrangement. I can't wait to say "I do" literally surrounded by the people who have meant the most to me and Chad in all phases of our lives.
Photography: Edward Underwood Photography