LATONYA + PETER
Peter and I met in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He worked at a pizza place, and I worked at a store around the corner. There was a girl who would often shop at my store, who also was a regular at the pizza place, that kind of hooked us up. He came to my shop to look for me a few times. One day, I went in the pizza place and he finally asked me out. We’ve been together ever since. Cheesy, I know. He had bright blue eyes and the biggest smile. He was so sweet and so not New York. Just fresh and new, and beautiful. He just genuinely always wanted to be around me, and it felt really good. I never felt like he wanted something else from me. It was refreshing.
We had went on a date to the Bronx Zoo with my nephew (who was a baby at the time) and a friend from work and her nephew. He spent the afternoon tending to the kids. It didn’t seem like he was “trying” to impress me. He just did. I knew then, at that very moment, I loved him. This was like our first official date, date. We had only hung out casually before then. He swooped me in.
We went back to his place and we laid in bed talking about how magical the day was, and he started to act weird and stutter. I sort of felt it coming on, but didn’t want to be a weirdo because it was so new. But I could kind of feel he wanted to say it. I started to kind of get butterflies and sweaty, and I just blurted it out. He calmly responded “I was going to say the same thing. I love you too."
A little before our first year together, I found out I was pregnant. I told Peter I wanted to be married in the future, but no specific time and he agreed. With a baby on the way, our love seemed stronger and marriage just seemed like a part of that. He proposed when I was a few months into my pregnancy. I was totally surprised.
We had our wedding at my childhood church here in Brooklyn. My grandmother had lived across the street from it for like 17 years. My mother and father got married in it, and I grew up in it. It just seemed right. My uncle, who was like a father to me, walked me down the aisle. Beyoncé’s version of Ave Maria played.
Our reception was truly a party. It was at a Vietnamese restaurant in Williamsburg, next to where we met. We rented the location out, and the food seemed endless. Rice, spring rolls, you name it. It was delicious. There was minimal seating, so mostly everyone was dancing. Since Peter and I are an interracial couple, it was really beautiful to me to watch our families just dance together and love one another. It was magical.
Since we had our daughter, we didn’t go far for our honeymoon. I’m really thankful for my in-laws, who were so amazing, and invited us to the Apostle Island in Wisconsin. There they helped with the baby, and we got alone time where we could. It was easy and beautiful. I loved our ceremony. Loved it. But I didn’t do it for me, and it stressed me out. If I could do it again, I’d just keep it to a few of us in a garden or a park, and party hard after. The wedding is just the first part of the journey. Enjoy it. Don’t over plan, and truly make sure the day is for you.