The Lucky Lady: Makeda A. Marshall, 27, MCRP Student

Her Leading Man: Eric D. NeSmith Jr., 26, Investment Analyst

The Big Day: August 23, 2014

Where and how did you meet your man?
I met Eric during our freshman year of high school. We were both starting out at The Hill School—a boarding preparatory school in Pottstown, PA. We were 14 at the time and adjusting to our new surroundings when we became friends. We dated briefly freshman year, but the relationship only lasted for about a week. At the time, I felt I needed to focus on my studies more than anything else. We remained friends, and our senior year we started hanging out much more. Before we both headed off to Massachusetts for college—we decided to make it official.

Did you play hard to get?
Ha! I don’t think it was intentional. When I ended our relationship freshman year, I was really just concerned with my academics.  I always thought relationships meant work, and I didn’t have time for work outside of my schoolwork—so it made the most sense for me to not commit at the time. (I’m rational like that.) However, I do think his patience was and is what sustains us.

Were you looking for love at the time?
Not at all. The relationship grew organically, and to steal a title of a song, “Love Fell On Me”.

Describe your most romantic date ever?
It was our fifth anniversary and we were in the Poconos for the weekend.  Eric spent the entire weekend catering to me. He set up a spa day, and when I returned back to the villa, he had cooked so many delicious treats. It was outstanding because I knew he put so much time and effort into it and it was nice to just be in the moment.

Best vacation you ever took together?
My favorite was our “engagement trip” to St. Thomas. It was just such an exciting time for us. We were newly engaged and the Ritz was beautiful!! Again, just time for us to be us, watch movies, go out see art, eat well, swim, kid around and talk about the future. We’ve traveled a bunch of places together, but usually it’s with my family and/or friends, so this was special since the goal of the trip was just time for us to be us.

At what moment did you know he was “The One” for you?
The moment when he saw me totally. Flaws and all, imperfections glaring and still loved me. He showed me that he loved me and had vision for our life; even when I was afraid and couldn’t see it for myself.

How did he pop the question?
It was Christmas morning 2012. He was spending it with my family. So when he had me open my gift (last) he asked my sister to record it. He surprised me with a trip to St. Thomas that we would take over MLK weekend. We would be staying at the Ritz, so as I was looking through the website that he had pulled up with my sister, and he said, “I think it would be a great place to celebrate.” My back was facing him at the time, so I turned and asked, “Celebrate what?” I turned around I realized he was on one knee and he gave a brief speech about what he wanted for our future, and I screamed a lot and then finally said yes.

Photos: O Yes Ma’Am