Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | 6:00 AM
Bridal Bliss: Love of My Life
Groom: Alex Casillas, 32, Operations Manager
Married Since: April 17, 2010
Wedding Location: Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach
Theme: Miami Beach Peacock Chic
Fill in the Gap
Little did LaTanya know when she applied for a summer job at The Gap while a senior in high school that she'd meet her future husband. When she and Alex met at the retail store for the first time, an instant friendship was formed. Alex had just graduated from high school and moved in with relatives, who, as fate would have it, lived on the same block as LaTanya. After a year of building a friendship, the two made their young love official at LaTanya's prom, where they shared their first kiss to Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing."
After high school, LaTanya and Alex headed to Washington, DC, where they both attended Howard University. In another twist of fate, they were assigned rooms in a co-ed dorm that were on the same floor. Their close proximity allowed them to develop a strong bond that would be tested shortly after graduation when LaTanya headed to Chicago for a 2-year graduate program. "Being in a long-distance relationship had its struggles," says LaTanya. "We would visit each other at least every other month and we always kept the lines of communication open."
South Beach Bound
While LaTanya finished grad school, Alex settled into a new job in Miami. It didn't take LaTanya long after grad school to decide to follow her man south. "I loved Chicago but I had to choose between having my life in Chicago or having my llfe with him. As soon as I graduated, literally the very next week had packed my entire apartment and moved to Florida."
For Alex's 30th birthday, LaTanya hosted a surprise birthday party in his hometown of New York City, but as it turns out the surprise was on her. Alex had an inside informant that tipped him off to the party and immediately he knew this was the perfect opportunity to propose. At the stroke of midnight, after guests sang "Happy Birthday," Alex thanked them for coming and said, "Through the years, LaTanya worked so hard to ensure my utmost happiness, my only birthday wish is that I spend the rest of our lives making her just as happy," LaTanya vividly recalls. He then dropped to one knee and proposed in front of their closest family and friends. "My 30th birthday was a milestone, so what better way to top off a milestone than with another milestone?" says Alex. Eight months later, he and his lady would celebrate an even bigger turning point in becoming husband and wife in a lavish Miami Beach wedding.
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Filed Under: Bridal Bliss