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Bridal Bliss: Twice as Nice

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Ayana and Darren Bridal Bliss

Bride: Anaya Lani Mitchell, 28, Teacher

Groom: Darren Lamont Bryson, Jr., 27, Sales Supervisor

The Big Day: November 19, 2012

Wedding Style: Tropical Vow Renewal

Wedding Location: Sugar Ridge Resort, Antigua

Instant Attraction
Even though Anaya and Darren ran in the same circles throughout their time as students at The University of Georgia, it took three years for them to officially meet. One afternoon, they both wound up accepting invitations to a friend’s crab boil. When Darren arrived, Anaya was standing on the patio frying hush puppies and they locked eyes. “When I first saw him, I thought to myself, hmm, he’s a pretty good looking guy,” she recalls. “But I had just ended a relationship a few months before that, and I didn’t want to rush anything.” Little did she know, the magic was already happening. Eventually, Darren came over to make conversation, and he had Anaya laughing hysterically the entire time. After acknowledging that he had noticed her long before that day, Darren admitted that he was glad to finally make her acquaintance. Anaya couldn’t help but fall for his charm and his huge heart, especially when she saw the way he interacted with her friend’s kids. They exchanged information, and after that, they just couldn’t get enough of each other.

Madly In Love
Things happened fast. Just two months later, after spending some time at Darren’s mother’s house, the happy couple was on their way back to campus feeling young and madly in love; they were on cloud nine. When he dropped her off at her apartment, he asked to come in and talk. Darren distracted Anaya just long enough to get down on bended knee and pull out his high school ring. He asked her to spend the rest of her life with him, and she happily accepted. They made it official a year and a half later.

Marry Me, Again?
In November 2011, Darren and Anaya were making plans to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. With a little help from a good friend, he set up a private viewing of UGA’s Sanford Stadium. “Any Georgia fan would jump at the opportunity to get up close to where all of the DAWG action happens, so of course I was super excited to go,” Anaya tells us. They met up with their friends Kara and Harold and headed on their way. Anaya thought it was odd that Kara insisted she do her hair before they left, but she went along with it anyway. As they walked on the field together snapping photos, Darren told Anaya to look up at the jumbotron scoreboard. The screen read, “Anaya, Will You Marry Me Again?” She turned to find Darren on the 50-yard-line on bended knee with a brand new engagement ring in hand. “I was totally in awe,” she confesses. “I just couldn’t believe it. I had told him in the past that I hated our first wedding and his proposal. He worked so hard to change it all for me!” They chose to renew their vows in an intimate destination ceremony in Antigua. Share their love!

Photos: Keith Cephus Photography

Filed Under: Bridal Bliss
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