The Lucky Lady: Essence Lee, 29, Digital Advertising Account Executive

Her Leading Man: Nicolas Souffrant, 35, FInancial Advisor

The Big Day: November 16, 2013

Wedding Location: New Orleans, LA

How did you meet your man?
We met at a watch party for BET’s The Game season five premiere. At the time, I was the social media manager at the restaurant where the event was held. He came to the event with a mutual friend. At the end of the night he offered me a ride home and I accepted because it was an extremely cold January night for this southern belle. During the ride I found out that he was a local and he said he would show me around the city.

Were you looking for love at the time?
Not at all! I had actually just gave that area of my life to God and was completely done with dating on my own terms.

What was his first impression of you?
He thought I wasn’t interested in him and just wanted to string him along until I finished grad school. He actually had no intentions of going on a third date (miniature golf) but I told him we had to go back to play because they gave us free passes.

Was it love at first sight?
It took a couple months, but our love developed easily. Before we knew it, we were together every day and enjoying each other’s presence.

What made you fall in love with her?
She challenged me intellectually and spiritually.

What do you two do together for fun? 
We’re always doing something active, from rock climbing and kayaking in Maine to F1 racing. I’m still working on getting him to sing karaoke with me.

At that moment did you know he was “The One” for you?
When I graduated from grad school my family and friends came to Boston for the weekend; Nicolas acted as our tour guide and it really separated him from any other guy I’ve ever dated. His patience was amazing and it was a clear reflection of his character. It also helped that my parents loved him too.

Did you have a hunch he was going to propose? 
Yes, I even purchased a new dress and got my nails done earlier that day just in case. 

How did he pop the question? 
We went to a restaurant in Boston’s North End neighborhood. After dinner he started talking about how he didn’t like any of the rings we had seen previously and thought we should wait longer before getting engaged.  Next thing I know, the conversation transitioned to him telling me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend forever with me. He got down on one knee in the restaurant. I couldn’t stop smiling. Even though I had an idea it was going to happen I was still surprised in the moment. 

Were you nervous about proposing, Nicolas?
No, I knew I had this.

What was really going through your mind as he proposed? 
Is this really happening and will someone please jump out with a Spanish guitar and start serenading us?

When we’re (finally!) husband and wife, I can’t wait to_______.
…travel the world with the love of my life.

Photos: Thuy Pham Photography