The day Lauren, an AKA, met Jamal, an Alpha, at a fraternity event, their lives were forever changed.
The Lucky Lady: Lauren Rae Whitmore, 29, Biotech Sales/Co-Owner of Total Fitness Revolution
Her Leading Man: Jamal Powers, 34, Clinical Research Project Management/Co-Owner of Total Fitness Revolution
The Big Day: June 30, 2012
Wedding Location: Atlanta, GA
How did you meet your man?
Some AKA sorority sisters and frats of ours took a road trip up to Washington D.C. for the 100 Year Centennial celebration of our beloved Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. At the time, I was dating someone else who happened to live in D.C., so we went on a date and then the genius dropped me off at the host hotel for the Alpha convention so I could meet up with my friends. At the hotel I ran into all my friends and my friend Nikk introduced me to his line brother, Jamal. Jamal played the silent role, so I gave him the nickname "Silent Bob."
When we got back to Atlanta, Jamal sent me a friend request on MySpace. At the time I was such a fabulous single vixen that I had to constantly turn away all the numerous male suitors, so since I didn't really recognize Jamal, couldn't remember his name and it was a horrible picture, his friend request was denied. The next week I had a party at my house for all of my frat brothers to continue the centennial celebration, and in strolls Silent Bob. It was at this point that I noticed Silent Bob had a little swagger, he was attractive and actually super talkative.
Was your first date amazing?
Because of our opposing work schedules, we actually talked on the phone for a good 2-3 weeks before we actually went on our first date. When we finally did go on our first date, we decided to do something that we love to do – socialize, have a few cocktails and dance. So we wound up at one of Atlanta’s hottest clubs and partied the night away.
Have you faced any obstacles together?
The most recent obstacle in our relationship was the passing of my mother and dealing with her illness for over two years. It was emotionally taxing and mentally draining. Jamal stood there with me every step of the way – from my mother’s diagnosis to her final days and her funeral, he was with me. Jamal lost his father in 2002 and I drew from his strength to keep me going. He overlooked arguments and discrepancies and uplifted, prayed and supported me, and he still does! It’s made me truly appreciate him as a partner and as a friend.
How did he pop the question?
It was my 29th birthday and I was exhausted after having taught three boot camps and worked a full day at my full-time job. He made me dinner at home (grilled steak, my fave) and then he said we were going to a dessert bar. Jamal knows I hate dessert so I was baffled that he would want to take me there, but I just went with the flow. He blindfolded me and we jumped in his car. The entire time, I was trying to figure out where we were going. We wound up at the gym we own together. Anthony Hamilton’s “I Can’t Let Go” was playing, and he removed my blindfold. He had a table set up in the middle with a carrot cake cupcake (my favorite!) and one individual candle. He sang happy birthday, he paced around for a while and then he came back and said, “Lauren you know I love you, right?” I said “Yes... I love you too.” He said, “Well I don’t know what else to say but…,” then he got down on his knee, opened the ring box and popped the question. I cried and cried! I was overwhelmed with emotion, so excited, and so humbled; it’s a big deal when someone chooses to be with you for the rest of their life!
Photos: liana PHOTOGRAPHY
Planner: ellyB Events