Groom-to-Be: Jareem Cullen Gunter, 29, Mayors Youth Education and Employment Program Coordinator
Wedding Date: November 2, 2012
Wedding Location: Grand Island Mansion, Walnut Grove, California
Mr. Telephone Man
Jenise wasn't looking for love the evening she met up with a few friends for a night out on the town. Little did she know, Jareem, a mutual friend of a friend she’d sometimes see around, was about to enter her life and change it for the better. The group planned to meet at a lounge that wasn’t so easy to find. Jareem offered the ladies his number just in case they got lost. Not thinking much of it, Jenise and her girls thanked him kindly and headed off to the party.
As he predicted, she and her friends did get a little turned around while trying to get there. Frustrated, Jenise called Jareem from her phone asking for help. He did his best, but when their mission to party proved too difficult, the ladies decided to just turn around and go back home. Jenise and Jareem hadn’t connected that night but he wasn’t prepared to give up. Two days later, Jenise received an unexpected message. "I got a mysterious text from an unknown number asking me why I didn't show up at the lounge,” explains Jenise. “Low and behold it was Jareem, who apparently had saved my number from the night I called him for directions." It was at this very moment that sparks really began to fly, leading to a two-hour phone conversation.
Jenise and Jareem shared a memorable first date, and as time passed, the couple's friendship grew stronger, and love blossomed. Together they enjoyed going out to eat, the thrill of amusement parks, going to live music shows, and vacationing. After a few years of exclusive dating, the Cali couple just knew they were ready for the next chapter in their story.
It was the day before Jenise's 26th birthday, and Jareem made plans to take her out. She had no clue where they would be going and that she was in for the surprise of her life. After eating dinner at a lovely Japanese restaurant in Sonoma, he blindfolded her, and drove her to a beach house in Bodega Bay. The house was decorated with a Hawaiian theme and there were lit candles everywhere. As Jenise’s blindfold came off, she heard a group of people yell, “Surprise!” Over 50 friends and family members surrounded them. She thought it was just a surprise birthday party, but Jareem had bigger plans for the evening.
"It was weird because after the big surprise no one bothered to embrace me but instead headed for the back wall and created this huge open space in the middle of the living room,” she says. “It was then that Jareem stood before me and handed me two single red roses, one at time, and said one represented that I was his best friend and the other represented that I was the woman he wanted to marry. He got down on one knee and proposed."
Her answer was yes, of course, and now the lovebirds prepare to head down the aisle next November.
Congratulations Jenise and Jareem. Take a look at their romantic engagement photos now!
Photos by Kay S. Jay Photography