The Lucky Lady: Erica Marie Toliver, 32, Global Public Sector Associate, Grant Thornton
Her Leading Man: Emem Akpan, 33, IT Manager
The Big Day: October 25, 2014
Wedding Location: Washington, D.C.
How did you meet your man?
We had our first encounter at a party in 2010, but I wasn’t interested and that was that. We met again in 2011, when I walked by and he yelled, “Yo shawty, your lip gloss is poppin.'” I laughed and walked away, but the next day he sent me a tweet. And, after we saw each other a third time, we exchanged a few words and he tweeted me again. He proceeded to tweet me every day for the next two weeks straight until I agreed to go on a date with him on October 25, 2011.
Describe your most romantic date ever.
It was Valentine’s Day 2013. When he came to pick me up, he said he forgot his wallet and we had to go back to his house. When I opened the door, he had rose petals leading to a candlelit dinner he cooked himself (with help from his sister).
At what moment did you know he was “The One” for you?
I knew Em was the one early on. I felt overwhelming chemistry on our first date, and when he asked to see me every day, I knew this was something different. He just wanted to see me or be around me, even if it was just going to UPS to pick up a package. He called me every morning at 8 a.m. to say good morning and he even checked on me throughout the day to see how my day was and what I ate for lunch. He had a goal and clearly accomplished it. His consistency attracted me more and more. However, his faith is what really intrigued me. We are both saved and that was key in our love story. As we grew together in love, we also grew in Christ.
Best gift he ever got you?
A rice cooker! I use that more than the Louboutin heels he bought me. (Laughs)
Did you have a hunch he was going to propose?
No, I was clueless!
How did he pop the question?
On vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, during dinner the hostess led us to the beach and there was a romantic table setting for two. We had a great conversation, popped a few bottles and enjoyed a delicious meal. Thinking we just had a great beach-side dinner, I got up ready to go back to the room. Em grabbed my hand, and when I turned around, he was on one knee. In complete and total shock, I yelled out, “Is this real life? Is this happening?!” Em took the ring out and said, “Erica will you marry me?” I dropped down to my knees with him and started kissing him, and then he reminded me that I hadn’t said yes yet. I said “yes, yes, yes” and then we went back to our room to call our families with the great news.
Photos: ArtsGroup Photography and Cinema and Damien Carter Photography