This week's #WCW couple is a couple that I have known for some years now. Eugene and Tanisha, better known to me as 'Gene' and 'Slim', dated while attending NSU with myself and other previously featured Wedding Crush Wednesday couples. I always knew they would get married. These two have always seemed like the perfect couple and talking to them during the interview, I am definitely convinced that they are. They reside in the Northern Virginia area and have an adorable son, Carson, and plan to be moving their family to Japan in the next few weeks. The couple lives by their motto, ‘to live is to travel’ and this is exactly how they began their marriage. Please read on to see how they planned the best moment of their lives with close family and friends.
How and where did you two meet?
"We met at Norfolk State in 2004. He was on his way to a 'Sweat Box' Party and I was just sitting in the square. I think this was like my second week there and I was having a conversation with some people. He kind of joined in on the conversation and I was like 'this guy is definitely from New York'. I was instantly interested because that's where I'm from and then we exchanged numbers" answered Tanisha.
How long were you dating before you got engaged?
Eugene answered, "I don't want to say it's tricky, but from college we went through the immature stage and trying to find ourselves. In college it was an on and off experience. After college we remained committed and faithful and that's kind of when we progressed into having a real steady relationship."
"That was in 2009" added Tanisha.
How did you know she was the one?
"I would say she has a very selfless soul and very nurturing. She has a lot of unique qualities that stood out to me and really attracted me to her. Besides her outside beauty, I really love her inner qualities. I started thinking like 'this is going to be my wife'. The way that she treated me and took care of our house, it really stood out." responded Eugene
March 6, 2014 (Official/Legal Date)
May 16, 2015 (Destination Wedding Date)
Outside Ceremony & Reception (Azul Sensatori in Riviera Maya, Mexico)
Approximate expense: $19K
(This included their photographer and DJs travel accommodations as well as their own.)
Color Scheme: Gold, Blush Pink and Grey
Where did you get inspiration from for your color scheme?
"We were discussing it and went through several different options. We went online and typed in those particular colors and we liked how they went well with each other. I'm not really big on pink. When those colors come together, it's so 'girly', but yet still masculine, depending on how you dress it. We felt like it was the best combination and it stood out the most to us and plus they were 'summer colors' and since it was a summer wedding we just figured it was perfect for us." answered Tanisha.
What made you all choose to have a 'Destination Wedding' instead of having the 'Traditional Wedding'?
"Well we live in the Northern Virginia area and we checked out venues in the area and they were expensive. We wrote out a guest list the day after he proposed and the guest list was like 300 people. We said there's no way we can afford to do that. We even thought about having it in New York, since that's where we're both from, and it was like $150 a plate and we just didn't have that type of money. We talked and thought doing a 'Destination Wedding' was the best choice because 1, after most weddings you're family leaves and that is it, but if you have a Destination Wedding' you get to have fun with them for days and it's not just a one day thing. We're both really big on family and so we chose that because it was a trip for not only Eugene and I, but for our family." answered Tanisha
Did Eugene help with the planning or did he just say 'you do it all and I'll just show up'?
"He pretty much planned everything. I'm not embarrassed to tell people that he planned everything; I'm terrible. I'm the one that kind of pretty much showed up. I mean I had input and we both worked together, but he designed the website. We had a travel agent that was pretty much like our coordinator that took all the payments from our guests and coordinated our travel plans and he was in constant communication with her. I was pretty much under the umbrella of his management." confessed Tanisha.
"To caveat, you have to realize that during that time, we had Carson and Tanisha was focused more on taking care of him and being a new mother. I kind of just took it upon myself to plan as much as possible. As Tanisha mentioned before, I did a lot of planning before we got there, but when we arrived is when we really did the extensive planning and really dug in. We both were actively involved with that. Her main focus was the bridesmaids and looking good" Eugene added.
What caused the most stress while planning?
"Tanisha may have something to interject, but for me the most stressful piece was..." Eugene began and took a moment to think, then continued saying, "With a destination wedding, you have to reserve a certain number of rooms, upfront, so you're pretty much taking a risk that you're going to have a certain amount of guests. You are pretty much financially footing the bill and most people of our culture tend to take a long time and wait until the last minute to reserve things. At a point it started to get stressful because we were putting money down and we didn't know how many guests were going to really confirm up to a certain deadline. Eventually we ended up having 100 guests and it ended up working out in our favor. It's just hard planning a destination wedding because you don't really know if it's going to turn out according to your plan and how many people are going to back out at the last minute, so that was the stressful part." responded Eugene.
"I would definitely agree with that and I also just add that there were family members that I knew could absolutely not travel do to their health and other reasons. Of course I wish that they could have been there, but we made the best choice, as far as venue, for us." added Tanisha
What was your best memory?
"Seeing Tanisha walk down the aisle... I never really get emotional or shed tears, but when she came down the aisle, I actually literally started to shed tears. One, she looked beautiful, but seeing her come down the aisle was symbolic of everything kind of coming together for us. Seeing all our friends and family there and it was kind of like that final feel and, that pretty much sealed the deal for me. It was like seeing all the struggles, obstacles, and hard work that we've been through and to finally get there, it was like everything just came together." answered Eugene.
"I would say reading the note that he gave to me while I was getting my make-up done, in addition to my upgraded necklace. Eugene is a man of few words sometimes, but when it counts the most, he says such thoughtful things. We kind of talked about it and said we were going to exchange notes and say nice things to each other, but what he said was so profound to me. I felt like if he said those words that our written vows were so much more heartfelt. That really meant a lot to me. I knew that at that moment I'm making the right choice; even though we were legally married already, I just knew that no one could break our union. That kind of solidified the reason of my being for that particular day." responded Tanisha.
What was your worst memory?
"We were in a great place with nice scenery. We were on top of a building where we had the ceremony and I had my veil on and the wind blew it like crazy. Unfortunately, the photographer couldn't get a good shot of the first kiss because the veil was blocking it, so we had to recreate that. It just blew the whole time so the audience couldn't see me most of the time because it just blew all over and blocked me. I kind of wish that I would've taken it off and threw it or have my sister hold it. That was just a major irritant for that moment. Out of the whole day that was the only craziness, so it pretty much means that the day went perfect." expressed Tanisha.
"I didn't really have a 'worst moment' of the day. I'm pretty much a perfectionist so up until 30 minutes before the ceremony, I was making sure everything was ok. Because we didn't have a 'Traditional Wedding' we didn't have much time to get with the DJ and so that morning I was doing that to make sure that everything was ok. That wasn't really a 'worst moment' but it was just really hectic and stressful prior to everything starting." responded Eugene.
Do you want or plan to renew your vows?
"We already started talking about this. After the wedding, or the getaway as we call it, we received numerous text messages and calls basically saying, 'When are you'll planning the next trip?' We had already started to talk about it and weren’t really trying to do it for anyone else, but we love to travel, hence the reason we're moving to Japan. Our motto/quote for the wedding was 'To travel is to live' so on our 5 year anniversary, we're actually going to do another destination celebration and do it all over with our friends and family." replied Eugene.
Was your wedding day everything you expected?
"It was more than what I expected. I probably expected 30 to 50 guests and we had over 100 guests travel to Mexico for us. That was so overwhelming to begin with and the fact that for 3 to 4, maybe even 5, we got to see them every day. Our friends and family meshed so well, it was unbelievable. It was absolutely amazing. They were there for us. If you're going to spend your money and travel for us that meant that they supported us and they respect our union. Having that in mind, it just created the scene and everything just went perfect." replied Tanisha.
"It was definitely more than what I expected. We gave ourselves 2 years to plan and during that 2 years of planning, we came to the conclusion that we were going to have a 'Destination Wedding' and we envisioned family being together, but to me it turned our way better than what we hoped for. To see everyone from both sides come together and still to this day communicate with each other without us being around is just crazy. It was one of the best experiences in my lifetime that I've been a part of and I just enjoyed every moment of it." answered Eugene.
What was your favorite wedding gift?
"Because we requested people to come out there and they spent a good amount of money, because it was a five star all-inclusive resort, we didn't really ask or expect any gifts from our guests. The way we put it was 'Your presence would be our present'. We didn't want to put the burden on anyone to travel, spend money to come out and support us and then buy an additional gift." explained Eugene.
What was your most wasteful purchase in regards to planning your wedding?
Tanisha replied, "Eugene says the ‘thank yous’ were a waste. We have them, but just haven't sent them out yet. I think that the ‘thank yous’ are important but he thinks that they were a waste because we said ‘thank you’ in Mexico and gave out ‘thank you gifts’ while we were there."
What is the best advice you would give to someone else planning their wedding?
"My best advice I would give to a future bride would be to just remember that it's not about anyone else except you and your future husband. No matter what decisions you make, you do what is best for you and your future husband because in the end, it's just you two and everyone else will just have to respect your decision. Also, stick to the budget that you create. Eugene and I gave ourselves ample time to create this dream wedding. We didn't put anything on credit, we paid cash for everything and we're not in debt from our wedding. We don't have to worry about going into our marriage with additional debt. Those two main things are good elements to creating a happy marriage." advised Tanisha.
"I would have to agree with Tanisha. We discussed this in depth and I think that preparation is key. Like Tanisha referenced, you want to give yourself ample time to make sure that you're not rushing and trying to please everyone else. You want to do what's right for you and your spouse within your means. You don't really need to impress anyone because at the end of the day it's only about you and your wife. You don't need to spend a whole lot of money buying all types so lavish things because at the end of the day it’s only about your marriage and progressing as a couple. I would say just focus on the preparation piece. Communicate with each other and have fun planning your wedding and don't try to make it more stressful than it has to be. It should be a day, or for us a week, that will be one of the best experiences of your life so have fun doing it" Eugene additionally advised.
I absolutely enjoyed talking with this couple and I'm so happy to see that after all these years they are still together and making strides for success. I wish them and their beautiful family a lifetime of happiness and love. Sending safe travel wishes to them as they embark on a new chapter of their lives and I hope and pray that their experience is far more than what they could ever imagine. I thank you for taking the time to read about how this amazing couple planned their wedding,honeymoon, and family reunion, all in one. Please tune in next Wednesday to see what new couple will be featured.
Happy Planning Folks!
TO ACTUALLY GET A LITTLE TASTE OF THEIR EXPERIENCE, TAKE A MOMENT TO LOOK AT THEIR BEAUTIFUL WEDDING VIDEO THAT THEY GRACIOUSLY SHARED FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! I'M BEYOND HONORED AND EXCITED TO SHARE SO PLEASE ENJOY!!!