Shundral and Joseph’s long distance love required hard work on both their parts. “Because we lived two hours away from each other, we spent a lot of time talking over the phone,” she tells us. “After a few months of doing that, I noticed that Joe had a real commitment to making time to talk to me and get to know me. I knew then that he was ‘The One.’ We made our expectations for a relationship clear to each and devoted time to fulfilling those expectations.”
“At the time I met Joe, I had just recently passed the Mississippi Bar Exam, so I was pretty focused on settling into my career as an attorney,” says Shundral. “Meeting and falling in love with Joe was a pleasant surprise.”
“I met Joe’s parents and grandparents about six months after we first met,” says Shundral. “His family was so nice and welcoming. I’m excited to officially become a part of the family.”
“We really enjoy going to concerts, comedy shows and traveling together,” says Shundral. “Joe’s favorite rapper is Jay Z so we’ve been to three of his concerts together. One of my favorite singers is Chrisette Michele and we’ve seen her live four times. We live about an hour away from New Orleans, so we go there often to hang out in the French Quarter.”
“For our first anniversary, we went to Orlando, Florida,” Shundral shares. “We went out to hear live music, spent time at Universal Studios at City Walk and ate at some really nice restaurants. It started our tradition of going on a vacation every year for our anniversary.”
“For my 30th birthday last year, Joe managed to get just about all of my favorite people in one room for a surprise party,” says Shundral. “He rented a club and hired a DJ, Joe went all out! I had a great time.”
“My friends all really like Joe,” shares the bride-to-be. “We get together often with friends and usually Joe turns into the bartender and DJ. He really enjoys making sure everyone around him is having a good time.”
“Joe is the best man for me because he’s honest, thoughtful, caring and patient,” says Shundral. “He’s supportive of me and serves as my sounding board whenever I need that.”
“Joe is genuine in his actions and he’s a true leader,” says Shundral. “I trust Joe with my whole heart and I have no doubt in him as the head of our household.”
“I think he chose to marry me because I don’t just say to him, ‘I love you, I but I show my love for him through my actions,” Shundral tells us.
“I’m most looking forward to having a help mate with whom I will grow, raise a family and support in good and bad times,” says the bride-to-be.
“More than anything I love her realness,” says Joseph. “Shundral is not the type to be fake (my #1 pet peeve) with anyone. She’s a lady and that’s what she portrays around everyone.”
“Shundral will be the first to tell anyone that my heart wasn’t the easiest to get to in the beginning,” says Joseph. “I was of the mindset that I didn’t want a relationship that was a product of infatuation. I wanted to be sure that after all of the flowers and hand holding that there would be love. And, needless to say, in time she softened me up by showing me that she genuinely cared. At the same time, I saw that she was someone that I wanted to see happy, with me involved or not, and I felt like I could be an instrument for her happiness.”
“I think watching her grow into the best woman that she can be personally and professionally be is what I’m most looking forward to,” says Joseph. “And experiencing us grow as a couple and team together.”
“What made me fall in love with Shundral was mainly her adaptability and her intelligence,” says Joseph. “She can hold an intelligent conversation with anyone and carries herself well in any crowd. She really had the ability to go with the flow with me and in any other environment that we may have been in.”
“Our favorite way to communicate is definitely over dinner,” says Shundral. “We try to eat dinner every night together at the dinner table with no distractions. Since getting engaged, we’ve started a weekly ‘talk’ every Sunday night to discuss our books and other materials that we received during our premarital counseling. Our future marriage is way more important than the wedding day, so we’ve made a commitment to communicating with each other about everything.”