The Lucky Lady: Tayler Roby, 25, Broadcast Research Specialist

Her Leading Man: Eric James, 25, Officer in U.S. Navy

The Big Day: July 20, 2013

Wedding Location: Minneapolis, MN

Where and how did you meet your man?
Eric and I met in 2005 during our freshman year at Florida A&M University. For Welcome Week, a campus organization was passing out pizza the day before classes started, which also happened to be his 18th birthday. After my third go-round through the line, Eric finally stopped me to introduce himself. We shared a few minutes of conversation, exchanged numbers and went our separate ways. We developed a really close friendship our freshman year.

Were you looking for love at the time?
No I wasn’t. I was beginning a new chapter in my life, and I only knew one other person at FAMU. I was more interested in meeting new people and developing friendships.

What was your first impression of him?
Well, I thought he was a very nice guy. His approach was much different from the other guys. He was very nice, respectful and such a gentleman. Maybe that’s why we developed a friendship first.

What was his first impression of you?
He always says he thought I was very attractive, loved my long hair and was impressed at the number of times I went back in line for pizza.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that ever happened on a date?
Eric came to visit me last winter and we had a really nice dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. On our way back to my place, we were discussing how cold it is and how slippery it was outside. As we were getting out of the car, I warned him to be careful and not slip on the ice. As we were walking away from the car, I was the one who slipped and fell and tossed all of our leftovers everywhere! I was so embarrassed. Not only because I fell, but because our lunch for the next day was all over the yard.

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How long did you date before you got engaged?
We dated for five years before he proposed.

Best gift he ever got you?
It wasn’t an actual gift but… Eric coordinated with my parents and flew in a few days early to visit me. It caught me off guard because my parents told me they were coming by to bring me something but I never expected them to bring Eric. I was hoping it was dinner! When they told me to come outside and get “something,” he popped out of the car. I was so happy to see him, but so embarrassed because my place was a mess.

What do your parents say about him?
My parents love Eric. Once they met him, they were smitten. They love that he is sweet and a true southern gentleman. Some days I feel my dad likes him more than me.

What made you fall in love with her?
I fell in love with Tayler because we share a great companionship and her cooking is amazing.

How did he pop the question?
The weekend was intended to be a celebration with friends prior to Eric leaving for deployment. All of our friends were supposed to meet up at his house and then go out that night to party. Eric insisted that only he and I get dressed and go to dinner at my favorite hibachi restaurant. I kept asking him if everyone else was joining us, but he assured me that they would be okay and order pizza. While at the restaurant, I noticed Eric was acting extremely weird. He really didn’t eat all of his food, which later I learned was because of his nerves. Also, he kept texting and calling one of our friends asking if they were ready. The drive back to his place was awkward, because we didn’t talk to each other very much. Again, his nerves were getting the best of him. Once we arrived, he opened the door and there were candles and rose petals lining the hallway. Also, my favorite song, “Golden” by Chrisette Michele, was playing in the background. Eric and I walked into the living room and I immediately noticed one of my closest friends. I was not expecting to see her, so I hugged her and started crying. Then, I turned to my left and saw two of my best friends, who I also was not expecting to be there. I looked back and the living room was filled with about 30 people. At this point, I knew for sure something was up. Eric turned me around, took my hand and said, “I love you unconditionally and I appreciate your patience throughout our relationship.” Then, he got down on one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. Without hesitation, I tossed the ring I was wearing to my best friend. This was the day that I had always dreamed of and it was perfect!

What was really going through your mind as he proposed?
I was in shock. Seeing my friends there caught me off guard. He did a really good job keeping everything under wraps because I’m pretty nosey and can piece things together quite well. Kudos to Eric!

Were you nervous about proposing?
I was excited while searching for her ring and planning the engagement party; however it wasn’t until the night of the engagement that I became extremely nervous. I wanted everything to go perfectly for Tayler.

Fill in the Blank: When we’re (finally!) husband and wife, I can’t wait to ______.
…come home to him every night. We’ve been apart for three and a half years and it has been hard. It will be good to come home to an actual body and not a phone convo or video chat via computer.

Complete this sentence: I love that my future husband _____.
….treats me like a queen. He makes sure I’m taken care of before anything else. He is a great leader and I am honored that he will be the head of our home.

Photos: Shinano Katagiri