Bridal Bliss: Natalie and Dante’s Atlantic City Wedding
Bride: Natalie Johniken, 29, Project Management Analyst
Groom: Dante’ Thomas, 29, Development Officer
The Big Day: May 25, 2014
Wedding Location: One Atlantic, Atlantic City, NJ
Wedding Style: Oceanfront Elegance
High School Romance
Many of the greatest love stories begin inside a high school classroom. Newlyweds Dante’ and Natalie’s story is one of them, which makes it all the sweeter. They first met in 10th grade English class. He says she was always staring at him instead of paying attention, but she insists that hmust have been staring too if he noticed. Building a close friendship came easy after that, and a year later the feelings they shared became more romantic. It was the perfect high school connection, and even attending separate colleges after graduation couldn’t keep the lovebirds apart.
“We kept up a long distance relationship for a about four years while he attended a college in Atlanta and I attended one in New Jersey,” says the bride. As if spending four years apart wasn’t hard enough, they were forced to endure two more years without each other when their post graduate plans still kept them states apart. “After I completed graduate school, we finally made it to the same city at the same time,” says Natalie. “It had been difficult, but we made it through all of that and the distance has made our bond and appreciation for each other much stronger. Although the distance was not ideal, in hindsight, we needed that time to grow as individuals and become better for each other.” We love it when couples make long distance love work and prove that true love really can endure all things.
In 2012 Dante’ and Natalie were getting ready for a planned two-week vacation to Jamaica. She was a little hesitant to splurge on a trip because she was trying to save money for her future endeavors, but Dante’ insisted that they needed a getaway and she couldn’t help but agree. Leading up to the trip, their family and friends seemed a little more concerned about that particular vacation than they normally would have been. When the happy couple finally arrived in Jamaica, Dante’ was noticeably on edge. (Plus, he wouldn’t let his travel backpack out of his sight.) On their second night on the island they had romantic dinner plans at the resort. While Natalie stepped away briefly, Dante’ took advantage of the moment alone to get a little help from another nearby couple who happened to be there on their honeymoon. He asked them to snap a photograph of him and Natalie when she returned. Even though Natalie isn’t a big fan of taking photographs, she decided to enjoy the moment and just go with the flow. “As we stood up to take the picture he dropped to one knee, pretended to tie his shoe, and then he pulled out the ring!” she recalls. Of course, she was on cloud nine! See their gorgeous Atlantic City “I dos” and share their love!
Photos: Love Bug Images