Ayanna wasn't looking for love when she first met Anthony, but that didn't stop it from creeping up on her. "I am a hopeless romantic, but I don’t think that love is something that you look for," she says. "I was definitely open to falling in love and hoping that it would find me. And, thank God it did!"
For Anthony, he was pretty sure Ayanna was the one from day one. "After our infamous 'First Night Out,' I knew she was the one for me," he says. "At the end of an amazing night on the town with her, I caught a cab back to my car and my first words to the driver were, 'I just spent the last three hours having amazing conversation with the most gorgeous girl.'"
"The first thing that I noticed was his confidence," says Ayanna, "even in a large group of people he stood out and owned the room. I knew right away that he was special."
And even though they felt something for each other, playing hard to get was the way to go. "We didn’t exchange numbers at first, opting instead to follow each other on Twitter and flirt on a public forum," says Ayanna.
In their spare time, this happy couple gets out and about. "We love to travel and explore together," says the soon-to-be bride, Ayanna. "Our trip to Mexico was very romantic -- amazing sunrises, late-night swims and life conversations while walking on the beach."
When Ayanna met Anthony's family, she knew things were right. "I met them at his oldest sister’s house a few months after we began dating. Anthony is Nigerian and it was very intimidating because I thought of all the differences there would be because I’m a southern girl," says Ayanna. "Amazingly, his family is a lot like mine and I fit right in."
Anthony fits right in with Ayanna's friends, too! "My friends love him. He has taken the time to get to know them and developed his own friendships with them," she says. "After three dates, my best friend said, 'Girl, that’s your husband. Just watch.'" And she was right!
Ayanna's family loves Anthony too. "We’re not married yet, but as far as my family is concerned Anthony is already one of us," she says. "My mom says she knows that he makes me happy and that brings her happiness."
Ayanna's relationship with her family is part of what he loves most about her. "Her family values are what made me fall in love with her," says Anthony. "She possesses all the things I’ve ever wanted from a wife and future mother to my children."
Ayanna knew exactly when Anthony was 'The One.' While on a family vacation, with little privacy and tons of stress, Anthony stepped up. "He was amazing with my nieces and nephews and was the calming energy we needed," says the future bride. "I knew then that he was the one and I didn’t want to do another vacation without him."
When Anthony proposed, Ayanna was on top of the world. "It was an out of body experience," she says. "I can’t remember most of what he said but I do remember the feeling of euphoria. It was like I was floating."
When it came down to proposing, Anthony was beyond ready. "I was extremely excited because I’ve been looking forward to that day my whole life," says Anthony. "I was more nervous to talk with her dad!"
Anthony really chose well when he went looking for the perfect ring for Ayanna. "Anthony picked out the ring of my dreams. It's a square emerald cut diamond surrounded by round diamonds," she says.
The best part about the ring? It was a total surprise. "I had no idea that he was looking at rings. We talked about marriage but never the ring," says Ayanna. "But after secretly snooping on my Pinterest page he went to the store and picked it out all on his own."
To cater to both family traditions, the happy couple will be having two ceremonies. The first will embrace Anthony's Nigerian heritage and the second will be a traditional Christian wedding that will fall in line with Ayanna's southern ties.
Before they get married, Ayanna still recognizes the amazing parts of being engaged. "The best part has been the formation of 'Team Otite.' Anthony and I have really worked together to plan our special day," said the soon-to-be Mrs. Otite. "And that teamwork has made us stronger and gives me even more excitement for the days ahead."
"On my wedding day, the feeling I anticipate having is thankfulness," says Anthony. "I believe that a partner like Ayanna is a true gift from God." We believe she is a gift, too!
"I think he chose to marry me because we are the perfect complement to each other," says Ayanna. "We have the same views on family and what it means to be happy. For us, having a beautiful, loving family is the definition of happiness." We can't wait for the wedding! Don't forget to leave them a little comment love below.