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Bridal Bliss: Return to Me

Five years after Nick and Ayanna lost touch, the two were brought back together in the most surprising way. Fate will never let them part again.
Bride: Ayanna L. Banks, 32, High School Administrator, Non-Profit Founder

Groom: Nicholas B. Harris, 32, Marketing

Married On: July 8, 2011

Wedding Location: The Cliff House, San Francisco

Wedding Style: Intimate Beachfront Affair

Slow and Steady
During the winter break of 1999, when Nicholas Harris’ Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brothers asked him to leave his North Carolina State University campus to come visit the University of North Carolina and help out with new members, he assumed his trip would be mostly frat business. But then the lovely Ayanna Banks walked onto the scene. They met only briefly, but he was immediately entranced by her beauty and warmth. Romance didn’t seem like an option at the time, but a friendship was born.  “After coming back from winter break, it didn’t take long for me to realize that she was someone truly special,” Nicholas remembers. “I knew this was a young woman God placed on this Earth for a purpose.” Over the next year and a half the pair developed their friendship while completing their undergraduate studies.

Perfect Timing
Sadly, what once seemed promising came to an unexpected end. Nicholas and Ayanna both became busy with graduation, and by the time school ended, they’d lost contact. But their story was far from over. Five years later, Nicholas was going through an old email account he hadn’t checked in forever and noticed a two-day-old email from Ayanna. What perfect timing, he thought. He immediately responded and asked Ayanna for her phone number. The first time they talked it was as if no time had passed – everything just flowed. “I knew I had found the most important quality in the woman I was to marry,” says Nicholas. “A best friend.”

Expect the Unexpected
The entire time Nicholas and Ayanna dated, she lived in Houston and he lived and worked in Atlanta. Nicholas changed that and negotiated a job offer in Houston so the two could finally be together full-time. To celebrate, they took a romantic road trip to Key West, Florida. Ayanna had a feeling he’d propose on the trip but it never happened. Little did she know that Nicholas still planned to pop the question, but wanted to throw her off-guard. A few weeks later, Ayanna went to Atlanta to help Nicholas relocate to their new home in Houston, and as soon as she walked into his house she got the surprise of her life: a heartfelt proposal. “He sat me down and told me this move was the beginning of us spending the rest of our lives together,” Ayanna says. “He said he’d planned to do it in Key West, but it was more important that I was surprised.” And boy, was she. She accepted, of course, and their new chapter began. Ayanna and Nicholas were married on the beach in San Francisco one year later. Share their love!

Photos: Vida Carson Photography