The Lucky Lady: Marlana D. Hawkins, 27, Pre-K Coordinator

Her Leading Man: Corey L. Burch, 36, Warehouse Specialist

The Big Day: December 15, 2012

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Wedding Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Marlana, how did you meet your man?
One afternoon I pulled into a church parking lot to hear the guy that I was dating sing. As my friend and I parked, there was a SUV pulling in at the same time. As the driver got out of the car, my friend said, “OMG, that’s my friend Corey.” She introduced us, we became friends and the rest is history!

What was your first impression of him?
“OMG, he must play pro ball!” (He is 6’4”, 270+)

Corey, what made you fall in love with Marlana?
We were friends first, so that set a good foundation for the love I have for her.

Share a sweet memory from your love story thus far.
Marlana: One day we were in my favorite vintage store, and I had picked out two dresses to try on. I asked him to zip one up and put it on the hanger for me while I tried the other on. While I was in the fitting room I heard him say, “Oops!” I said, “What happened?” He said, “I ripped it.” I told him hurry up and put it back on the rack and not to draw attention. When I came out of the dressing room and walked away from the counter, the saleswoman said, “Miss, don’t forget your bag!“ The dress he said he ripped, he really didn’t. He paid for it while I was still in the dressing room.

How long did you date before you got engaged?
Five years.

Corey, were you nervous about proposing?
Yes! Truthfully, the hardest part was asking her father for his blessing.

Marlana, how did he pop the question?
We were sitting around with my family on Mother’s Day and my mother stands up and says my cousin wants to sing a song. (My cousin hadn’t sung since 2003, when my grandmother passed away.) When he started to sing, it was a wedding song. I was making a crazy face because it was odd. Right after he hit a high note in his song, he said, “My man Corey is going to help me finish this song.” I thought, Yeah, right. Corey is not about to sing for, like, 30 people. He walked across the room to where I was sitting, took me to the center of the room, and dropped down on one knee.

Marlana, fill in the blank: When we’re (finally!) husband and wife, I can’t wait to ______.
… say, “Let me introduce you to my husband; my foundation.”

Complete this sentence: I love that my future husband is _______.
…God fearing.

Fill in the blank: If you’re spying on us on a Friday night, you’ll probably catch us _______.
… loading the car to go to a club for one of his gigs.

Photos: Aura Marzouk