When ESSENCE staffer Rondel paused during a heavenly vacation moment in Turks and Caicos to ask his love Yanique to spend forever with him, a photographer captured every second of their bliss!
Memories In Paradise
"Our trip to The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos was hands down the best vacation we ever took together,” says bride-to-be Yanique, who thought she was just tagging along with Rondel on a business trip until she arrived in Paradise and realized it was all about her. “Nothing can beat being proposed to by the man you love in paradise. The resort is a beautiful, serene and intimate space with amazing access to Grace Bay Beach. Every night, our ocean view villa gave us a clear view of the sun setting into the water. It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before."
“On and off the resort, the Turks & Caicos people were so warm and friendly,” says Rondel. “We were excited to venture out and see the rest of Providenciales Island. We went out to sea with Island Vibes Tours where we saw the amazing turquoise water that Turks & Caicos is known for, snorkeled with exotic fish and the world’s 3rd largest barrier reef and explored smaller uninhabited islands.”
“The photographer decided to shoot solo photos of the two of us and he instructed me to look at the sunset as if I was ‘looking towards my future,” Yanique recalls. “After about 30 seconds, Rondel called my name and I turned around. I looked down and there he was on bended knee with a ring in his hand. I blurted out ‘Rondel, is this a prop for the shoot?’ His lips started moving but I went deaf!”
“As he proposed, I praised God,” says Yanique. “I thought that there was no way that I could be blessed with such an amazing man. I felt unworthy, but God will surpass any of our expectations, and that’s why I had to give Him the glory."
“My parents adore Rondel and they have never seen someone make me so happy,” brags Yanique. “My friends love him too. They are so happy that I found someone to deal with my craziness. They think he’s a saint, but I know the truth.”
“Rondel is the best man for me because he loves me through all of my shortcomings, all of my anger and sadness,” says Yanique. “He is truly my best friend. He is so ambitious and intelligent and most importantly he loves me the way I need to be loved.”
“Yanique always made me feel so welcomed and comfortable,” says Rondel. “She has an outgoing personality and I’m more introverted until I really know someone well, so in general it takes me longer to warm up to people. But from the very beginning, she let me in and made me feel like we’ve been friends forever. It’s a beautiful trait, still one of my favorite things about her.”
“It was hard not to fall in love with Yanique,” Rondel admits. “She is the true definition of beauty inside and out. Her loving heart and excitement about life literally shines through her eyes and bright smile. That was enough to wrap me around her finger. Everything else was icing on the cake.”
“What made Yanique stand out is that she was (and is) the full package – a beautiful, smart, stylish woman who has great morals, an amazing personality and foundation in Christ,” says the proud groom-to-be. “You don’t easily find that all in one person.”
“Our favorite thing to do together is travel,” says Rondel. “We love to see the world together. We have over 40 passport stamps between the two of us, and every time we travel together, I feel like those shared experiences allow us to see new things in one another and also helps build a stronger foundation between us in terms of who we are and how we view the world.”
Rondel admits he was a little nervous about the big moment. “I was basically sick to my stomach. There were random times that I would start shaking or getting chills. I rarely get nervous about anything anymore, so the feeling was so foreign. And I’ve never feared marriage or commitment, but something about asking her to marry me – I just couldn’t shake the nerves for some reason.”
“What I love most is her sense of humor and her big heart,” says Rondel. “We crack jokes and laugh nonstop, literally all day long bouncing off of one another. And she is also one of the most compassionate, caring people I know, which reminds me a lot of my mother.”
“The food in Turks & Caicos is phenomenal,” says Rondel. “Everything was top notch from the Thursday night Fish Fry, to the resort’s food, to restaurants around the island. Our favorite restaurants were Crackpot Kitchen where we enjoyed traditional Turks & Caicos dishes under the stars with live music, and Grace’s Cottage, a fine dining experience that has us dreaming of coming back.”
Join us as we congratulate Rondel and Yanique on their big engagement news and wish them nothing but the best on their road down to the altar. Leave them some comment love below! Want to see your engagement story shared in Just Engaged? Email us now!