Bride: Nikisha Riley, 30, School Teacher and Co-Founder of

Groom: Carl Brunson, 33, Senior Visual Designer

Married On: September 18, 2012

Ceremony Location: Big Sur, California

Wedding Style: An Intimate Bohemian Beach Wedding

A Friend of a Friend
Sometimes love has the power to make you see what has always been right under your nose. After Carl’s close friends and former classmates from the University of Miami introduced him to Nikisha, he wound up moving to New York City, and they started making music together. It sounds like the beginning of a beautiful love story, but their romance needed a little more time to blossom. Nikisha was in a relationship at the time, so their bond remained strictly platonic. A year later, everything changed.

Hold On to Love
“I was single and just getting out of a dysfunctional relationship when Carl and I began dating,” Nikisha explains. “For the first year, I made things really complicated because I was dealing with depression. I was holding on to things from my past, and I wasn’t ready for a commitment. I finally got it together by the grace of God.” Only, by then, Carl had moved to Washington D.C. for an amazing job opportunity. Determined not to lose the best man she’d ever known, Nikisha worked hard to keep their long distance relationship intact and healthy. “I traveled there almost every weekend with my son Jaden in tow,” she says. “Carl would come up to New York City on weekends, too. This worked for us for two years.”

Dinner for Two
Since Nikisha and Carl weren’t able to spend Valentine’s Day together, they planned a romantic re-do for two. He reserved the chef’s table at a cozy French bistro where they had their own private booth closed off with red curtains. “He and I had been talking about getting married, but I had no idea when I was going to get the ring,” says Nikisha.  When she opened her gift that night, there was an external hard drive inside. Nikisha had expressed needing one, so although it wasn’t the gift she was hoping for, she was grateful to be in love with such a thoughtful man. Carl told her to open the hard drive so she could use her phone to play a special message he had put on it. But, when she opened the box, there was a smaller box inside. When she opened the hidden box, the beauty of the bling she found waiting inside almost blinded her. “He asked me to marry him, and I started crying,” says Nikisha. “I said, yes, of course!” Seven months later, they made it official on a beautiful beach in Big Sur, California. Share their love and see their fantastic wedding photos.

Photos: Rad+InLove

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