Bride: Shayla Cox, 31, Jewelry/Home Product Designer & Artist

Groom: Sterling Milan, 34, Film/Television Director

The Big Day: June 8, 2014

Wedding Location: Dunaway Gardens, Newnan, GA

Wedding Style: Garden Glam

Instantly Yours
If you’re skeptical about online dating, newlyweds Shayla and Sterling will make you an instant believer. When Shayla decided to start using popular online dating site, she was in a very good place. “I was content with life, my spiritual self, friendships and my work,” she shares. “For the first time, I felt at peace, which was something I prayed for for a long time. I was fine with being single, but marriage and kids were still a part of my goals for my life. I wanted that forever love for myself and to shift generational/societal trends and show the world that Black love is real.” Having grown tired of the typical New York City dating scene, Shayla decided to try something new.  She found Sterling profile and checked it out, but opted not to say anything. “He didn’t really look like he was looking for anything serious and I wasn’t just looking for fun,” she recalls. She was right, Sterling was “chilling,” but he tells us that all changes the minute he clicked on her profile. “I noticed that a girl I liked checked out my page, and a few clicks later, I landed on a gorgeous picture of Shayla’s smile, and some long elegant legs toppled over one another,” he says. “I was very intrigued by this woman right away!”

They exchanged a few getting-to-know-you messages and then Shayla sent Sterling a link to her Tumblr page where she kept collections of her favorite architecture, interior designs, fashion and travel inspiration moments. Sterling loves all of those thing too, so the moment he saw her Tumblr blog, he knew he’d found someone he could talk to. “I began falling for her that very moment,” he admits.

First Date Magic
Sterling wanted their first date to be convenient for Shayla (gentleman alert!), so they planned a Sunday brunch moment in Brookyln near where her studio was at the time. Even though he arrived 30 minutes late due to traffic, Shayla forgave him because they had such a great time together. “When he arrived we sat and talked like old friends, and at moments, long lost loves, gazing into one another’s eyes,” she recalls. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Fake Out
The best proposals always occur when the bride is totally thrown off guard. That was the case when Sterling decided to surprise Shayla with an engagement ring. She had a trunk show in Ohio and he told her that he couldn’t make it because he was working on a production in New York. Little did she know, he was actually lying low in a hotel room nearby with a plan he’d enlisted her best friends to help him execute. That day, Shayla received seven-dozen roses, and each set was delivered separately from different florists. She was impressed by his romantic gesture but just assumed Sterling felt bad for not making her big show. That night she thought she was going to dinner with friends, but instead, Sterling showed up to her dad’s house, where she was staying, wearing a sharp suit and holding her final bouquet of roses. He had one more surprise for her – a beautiful engagement ring. See their romantic garden wedding and share their love.

Photos: Love Like Weddings