Bride: Tiffany Nicole Cannady, 28, Financial Analyst

Groom: Joseph Elton Brickhouse Jr., 28, Software Engineer

Married On: July 14, 2012

Ceremony Location: The Lawn at The American Tobacco Campus, Durham, NC

Reception Location: Bay 7, Durham, NC

Wedding Style: A Modern Outdoor Wedding

The Mysterious Party Guest
Tiffany and Joseph’s love story began on her birthday. Her good friend CoCo threw her a surprise party and Tiffany, who was a college student at the time, was thrilled to see so many people she knew and loved all in the same place in her honor. As she mingled with guests, she noticed her friend Austin walk in with a guy she’d never met before. She’d planned to investigate but the party ended before she ever got the chance to say hello. Lucky for her, she’d have another chance to get to know this mystery man, who unbeknownst to her at that time, was her future husband Joe, who already had a huge crush on her after seeing her at her party.

Second Chances
A few months later, when CoCo was invited by Austin to attend Joseph’s birthday party, the birthday boy requested that sshe bring along his “wife.” He was referring to Tiffany, whom he’d hope to have a chance to officially meet. “Joe catered to me the entire night,” says Tiffany. “He kept checking on me and making sure I had everything I needed. He also introduced me to his father as his wife and later he came to my defense when a party guest attempted to argue with me.”

Try, Try Again
Despite his best efforts, Tiffany didn’t give Joe her phone number that night when he asked. (She wanted him to wait a little longer.) Some time passed by, and eventually she began to notice Joe “just happened” to be hanging around outside quite a few of her classes. One day, he finally got up the nerve to approach her again and asked if he could call her and take her out. This time she happily obliged. Their date was great, but Tiffany was consumed with being a full time student and mother to son Jalen, so she was cautious about giving Joe her heart. “I was determined to fight it until I realized that his persistence with Jalen and I, motivation in life, drive for success and commitment to God and his family, Jalen and I was everything that I prayed for God to send us,” she admits. After Joe surprised her with 21 gifts on her 21st birthday, she caved and decided to (finally!) ask him to be her man. The rest, she says is history.

Giving Thanks
On Thanksgiving morning 2010, Joe woke up feeling quite nervous. He planned to propose to Tiffany and was afraid she might catch on. Before Thanksgiving dinner, everyone had the opportunity to say a few words on what they’re most thankful for. “Of course, I had to go first,” says Joe. “I began to tell my story on how thankful I was for my family, life, health and strength. Then I looked at Tiffany and told her how much she meant to me. With my voice cracking and a few tears falling, I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me.” As you probably guessed by now, she said yes. Their summer wedding was a blast, and oh so beautiful. Check out the photos, now!

Photos: The Captured Life Photography