Scrabble junkies Juanita and Charles met while she was on assignment covering a dating game event. The assignment was to get the story but instead she got her man. Now they're headed down the aisle!
The Lucky Lady: Juanita I. Cousins, 28, Public Relations
Her Leading Man: Charles A. Traughber, 33, Real Estate Attorney
The Big Day: 9/14/14
Wedding Location: Atlanta, GA
Where and how did you meet your man?
At the time I was a reporter and pitched my editor a story on the recession’s effect on nightlife with the peg being “PlayDate,” a game night for adults that was new to Nashville. While there, Traughber and his coworker asked my friend and I to play Spades. We had so much fun that my spiral notebook and pen stayed in my purse the entire night. When I got up to leave, Traughber asked for my number and I gave him my business card with my cell phone number scribbled on the back.
Were you looking for love at the time?
Absolutely not! We met four months after I ended a two-year relationship. I told Traughber I just wanted to have fun. Showing me a good time is how he wooed me.
What was your first impression of him?
Traughber didn’t use any corny pickup lines or flattery to get my attention. He seemed genuinely interested in me, and we talked for what felt like an hour. I’m not sure if it was his eyes or the conversation, but I found him captivating.
Best vacation you ever took together?
During a week in Dubai and Abu Dhabi we ate the most expensive meal of our lives at Burj Al Arab, had a serene walk through the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, rode the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrrai World and went to the top of Burj Khalifa. It was a bit awkward since we had to keep a respectful distance from each other but overall a fun and humbling experience.
Who said “I love you” first?
Traughber had a fever and was sick to the point of delirium, and we spent the night in the emergency room. In the early morning I drove him home, and as I tucked him into bed, he said, “I love you, Nita.” I wasn’t sure if it was the medicine or him talking, so I just smiled and closed the door.
How did he pop the question?
The day I took my last exam of graduate school, I came home to find a dozen red roses. Traughber suggested we celebrate over dinner, but I told him I was busy and suggested we go out the next week. That weekend, he said he had a lot on his mind and started to talk about how he had been thinking about his future, life planning, blah, blah, blah. Then he said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” The entire time, I was doing my hair in the mirror, but when I heard him say that I turned to my left and saw him standing next to me with the ring box open in his hand. As if it wasn’t obvious, I yelled, “What are you doing?” Traughber got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I buried my head into his chest so he wouldn’t see me crying, and he asked, “What’s wrong? Do you not like your ring?” I told him I just was overcome with joy because I never thought the day of our engagement would come, and I wasn’t expecting him to propose in the bathroom. When I finally calmed down, Traughber said, “I am sorry you don’t have a more romantic story to tell, but I just couldn’t wait any longer.”
Photos: Steve Herlihy Photography