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Just Engaged: Love Is a Blessing

Chris and Pernilla made an instant connection at church, and now they have their families' blessings to walk down the aisle. Let's celebrate their love!

The Lucky Lady: Pernilla A. Higgins, 29, Founder of Virtuous Star, Inc.

Her Leading Man: Christon E. Turner, 28, Government

The Big Day: September 20, 2013

Wedding Location: Houston, Texas

How did you meet your man?
I met my fiancé at Higher Dimension Church in 2008. After Sunday service, he and I exchanged words regarding the basketball jersey that he was wearing. He introduced himself after a few words of laughter, and I did the same. We parted ways that afternoon and never spoke again until a few weeks later on MySpace.

What was your first impression of him?
I thought, hmm, he is a very handsome guy. Aafter having a conversation with him, I felt that he was also articulate and educated; definitely my type of gentleman.

Did you play hard to get?
I didn’t play hard to get initially. However, after seeing his level of inconsistency in year one, I totally put him on the back burner. The moment that happened, he attempted to be consistent. I thought, let me dig a bit deeper to get to know this guy, because here he is again.

Was it love at first sight?
I wouldn’t say that it was love at first sight, because I don’t believe in that. However, I do think that his initial approach was different — nothing like before.

Describe your most romantic date ever?
The most romantic date ever was the entire weekend that we spent in San Antonio. We went to the Botanical Garden and explored the beautiful plants and flowers followed by a delicious brunch at the bistro. Later, Chris surprised me with a helicopter tour of the city. Wow, I was so excited. Neither of us had flown in a helicopter before, so it was a shared experience. That evening, we went to dinner at the Chart House Restaurant in the Tower of Americas overlooking the city of San Antonio. The following day, Chris and I attended the Spurs playoff game then enjoyed the night on the River Walk under the stars.

Weirdest date you’ve ever been on?
The weirdest date that we have ever been on involved us going out for Valentine’s Day. After we had our meal, we asked our waiter to take a picture of us. After he took the picture, he asked if we were siblings. We laughed and said of course not. The waiter laughed and said that we have similar facial features that say we could pass for being brother and sister. This was definitely awkward because we were sitting extremely close to each other the entire night in a private booth.

How did he pop the question?
While walking near the Water Wall at the Houston Galleria Mall, we talked about a movie that we went to see the previous night and watched some teens take prom pictures on the plaza. Chris decided to walk me to the opposite end, away from the teens, while telling me that he was so happy with me and that he loved things just the way that they were. As he was saying all of this my back was to his chest, and I was now staring at the water wall. He asked me what I thought, and I told him that I was not pleased with remaining his girlfriend for the rest of my life and that I am called to be a wife. Christon turned me around and said, “That’s right. You’re called to be my wife!” He dropped down on one knee on the concrete and asked me if I would marry him. I replied with tears of joy, saying, “Yes!”

What was really going through your mind as he proposed?
Oh my God. Oh my God. It’s happening! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Were you nervous about proposing, Chris?
Yes, I was planning to propose at this beautiful water fall at the Houston Galleria Mall, but when we got there, there were a ton of high school kids and their parents there taking prom pictures for about an hour. I tried to buy extra time by walking around the park and talking, but the kids and parents never moved. So we made several laps around the park until we got to the back of the park, then I faced her toward the waterfall, and got down on one knee and proposed. I was soo nervous that I missed the grass where my knee was supposed to land and hit the concrete side walk instead. OUCH! It hurt but I was in the moment and acted like I never felt it.

Photos: Raheem of RH Photo Arts