Make way for this fierce bride-to-be, already making her way toward the aisle in style.
In September, Dear White People star Ashley Blaine Featherson surprised her fans by revealing that she and her longtime love, Darroll Jenkins, were engaged. In addition to sharing that Jenkins popped the question during a romantic sunset proposal (that included horses!) and showing off her dazzling three-carat engagement ring, the actress also shared that she had manifested the beautiful moment in her life by first putting an engagement ring on her 2020 vision board.
As the official “#JenkinsBash” grows closer, the happy couple have begun releasing their sexy engagement photos on Instagram, which are so glamorous, we’re still staring. ESSENCE sat down with Featherson to talk about the making of the fierce photo shoot, her upcoming wedding plans and the importance of finding true partnership in love.
While Featherson would love to take credit for their ultra-glam engagement shoot, she says it was all her photographer’s idea—the actress has enlisted the help of Stanley Babb of Stanlo Photography to capture her road to the altar and the big day. Babb handled the creative concept, location scouting and glam for the couple’s desert-themed engagement shoot. “It was just a special day,” says Featherson of the day-long shoot. “It just was great. We had so much fun!”
The feel-good vibes continue as Featherson and Jenkins prepare to walk down the aisle later this year. The actress tells us she’s enjoying this special time in her life and just taking it all in. “I honestly feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” says Featherson. “I think that’s how it should be. I don’t feel nervous. I don’t feel stressed. I just feel like I’m right in the pocket. I’m right exactly where God wants me to be. It has been really exciting to see things manifest in my life and they’re continuing to do so.”
For Featherson, her relationship with Jenkins to date has been a beautiful exercise in trust and faith. “I’m just so grateful that I understand the power of the tongue and the power of trusting the journey of your life,” she shares. “It’s something that I talk about a lot because I haven’t always been good at trusting. It’s something that definitely is the season of my life. It feels so good to be able to truly let go and let God. Because his plans, I’ve found, have always been better than my own.”
Finding true love and connection with Jenkins has only further fueled the busy actress’ purpose and intention. “Just experiencing the manifestation of God’s love for me through my partner, through the exciting blessings that are happening in my life, makes me say ‘wow’ every day and it just really gives me a lot of drive and even more purpose,” adds Featherson. “I feel like I’m already a really purpose-filled woman, but I feel like it gives me even more purpose. I always say that my life, my career, just the way that I walked in the world is all contributing to my legacy. That’s always been really important to me. I guess it’s just knowing that I’ve been blessed enough to find a partner that I can continue to build a legacy with has been just probably the greatest blessing in my life.”
Featherson and Jenkins have known each other for 11 years and been together romantically for the last three. Despite the many years they’ve already spent together both as friends and lovers, Featherson tells us she couldn’t be more excited for this next chapter in their lives—marriage.
As for the upcoming big day, Featherson reveals that she’s going to be a fall bride and her wedding theme will be “Black tie fly.” Like every bride does during her planning process, Featherson’s already daydreaming about the day they tie the knot and there are some special moments she can’t wait for. “Being announced as Mr. And Mrs. Jenkins, I’m excited about that,” says Featherson. “[I’m also] Really excited about walking down the aisle with my dad. I’m excited about leaving the wedding together, Darryl and I. Something about having this big, joyous celebration and occasion for our love and then being able to say farewell to all our friends and family as we enter into this new chapter with people that have prayed for us and supported us and loved us along the way. I think it will be just symbolic of literally stepping into this next phase of life together.”