Bride: Nekesa Mumbi Moody, 38

Groom: Malik Raymond Singleton, 36

Homebase: Brooklyn, NY

Wedding Date: October 9, 2009

Location: Terrace on the Park, Queens, NYC

Baby Face: Nekesa met Malik when they both volunteered at a high school journalism workshop for the New York Association of Black Journalists. The first thing she noticed was his smile and his first thought was that Nekesa, with her child-like face, was one of the students.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘Why is this student talking to the adults?’,” Malik said. “Then I realized she was an adult and I thought she was gorgeous and fun with a great personality.”

Vivrant Thing: The night they met, Nekesa and Malik had lots of time to get to know each other when the group of volunteers went out together. Although he chatted to her until three in the morning, Malik still wanted to continue the conversation. He invited Nekesa over to watch a football game the next day and, what do you know, they got together again a few nights later when she asked him to accompany her to a Q-Tip concert. The two had a “Love Movement” and shared their first kiss that night.

Men Are From Mars: When Nekesa was ready to get serious, Malik was still weighing his options. She decided to give him some space, but he chose to close the gap.

“Once I pulled back, that’s when he decided he wanted to be with me exclusively… We’ve been inseparable ever since.”

Do You Believe in Magic?: The couple picked Nekesa’s engagement ring together. Malik made a down payment for the band and told his bride-to-be to expect it in six weeks. Three weeks later he picked up the ring and snuck it under her pillow. Nekesa just so happened to ask about the ring that night and Malik replied, “Did you ever believe in the tooth fairy?” When his confused girlfriend felt under her pillow, she wasn’t short changed. She pulled out a pouch that contained her engagement band. Malik took the ring, got down on bended knee and asked Nekesa to be his wife.

Get to the Good Part: The newlyweds got engaged this summer and decided they wanted to get hitched in three months time. Nekesa says planning your nuptials with short notice is a piece of wedding cake if you take it easy, stay flexible, and go for simplicity over extravagance.

Here are a few of Nekesa’s helpful tips for planning your wedding on the fly:

1. Get That Dress: “That will be the hardest part, since most shops special order bridal gowns about six months in advance. Still, most have sample gowns that you can negotiate to buy off the rack, and if you are flexible, you can get a white formal dress from any store.”

2. Be Flexible On Your Wedding Date, Place and Time: “If you just have to get married in that special church or at that exclusive reception hall, it might not be available, but if you cast your net wide, and look at a variety of places, from restaurants to parks to even museums, something will be available.”

3. Enlist Friends and Family, or Hire a Wedding Planner: “You can’t do everything on your own. My mother-in-law made the broom and the guest book, a friend made my wedding favors, another friend was my wedding coordinator, and still another helped me find the honeymoon hotel. Having someone as point person on your wedding day is key; without Amber Quarles, who coordinated the wedding from rehearsal to the day of, I would have been lost.”

4. Do a Run-Through For Your Hair and Makeup: “While you may be short on time, don’t neglect your hair and makeup. You don’t want to have an error. In hindsight, I should have practiced my makeup–even though my maid-of-honor did a great job, it came off a little too light on some pics; had I done a run-through, I would have known.”

5. Keep it Simple: My floral arrangements were not extravagant, my wedding favors (CDs) took a day to put together and I made a candy station, which just involved getting candy from a candy emporium and glass jars from Target. If it’s a good wedding, people will be talking about being on the dance floor and the great food, not the place settings.

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