Bride: Shakira Denise Owens, 23, Social Worker
Groom: Daryl Xavier Williams Jr., 22, Teacher
Married On: November 23, 2014
Wedding Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Wedding Style: Traditional
In October of 2009, Oakwood University hosted its annual “College Days” tour—a weekend when high school seniors can visit the school and get a feel for it. Shakira came from a high school in Texas, while Daryl traveled to Alabama from North Carolina. Two hours after they arrived, she saw him on campus and recognized him as someone she met years ago when he sang at her church. “I recalled the time I sang at my cousin’s church in ‘03, but I didn’t recognize her as one of the members of the congregation,” he recalls. “I just remember thinking, this girl must really be interested if she remembers me from catching a glimpse of me six years ago.” They had lunch together and made plans to attend a basketball game with a group of mutual friends later that evening. Throughout the remainder of the weekend their relationship began to flourish. Although they went back to their respective states just two days later, they kept in touch throughout their senior year of high school, and then began dating the following year while freshmen at Oakwood University. They were meant to be, and even at the tender age of 17, they were sure they’d found forever in each other.
Part of The Plan
Music is an interest that Daryl and Shakira share. In May 2013, they decided to join forces with a friend who produces music and create an original love song together. “We wanted the song to capture the youthful, happy, bouncy relationship that we share,” says Daryl. “It was a fun project and we love how it turned out.” As their college graduation approached, Daryl knew he wanted to ask Shakira to marry him. The only question was, how? “I wanted it to be original, personal, and once again representative of our relationship,” he adds. “Knowing Shakira, I knew that she didn’t want many people involved. That is when I thought of the idea of recording a music video to our original song.” Daryl knew that he could use the video shoot to distract his love as he snuck in his proposal. They had a magical time singing along to their song in the park and recording the video, and then after the final edit, Daryl told Shakira it needed one more thing – testimonials from them about their love story to put at the end. Without hesitation she agreed, and they set up an appointment to record the one final scene. “I made sure that we practiced our lines in the mirror prior to the recording so that she thought that she knew exactly what was going to happen,” he recalls. As the cameras started rolling, Daryl got down on one knee, gazed into her eyes and said, "Shakira, I don't know exactly what God has planned for my future, but I know one thing, and it's that you're the one for me. Will you marry me?" She accepted, right there on the Oakwood University campus where it all began. “She never saw it coming!” Daryl proudly tells us. See their wedding day unfold