Captivating Destination Engagement – Love in Havana, Cuba

Having initially been introduced byway of mutual friends through work, Danielle and Justin's acquaintanceship would begin to move to new heights when after multiple cancellations to an early afternoon out with friends left it down to just the two of them. Deciding to continue with the scheduled brunch together they ended up having a "great time," so much so that from that day on hardly a weekend went by in which they didn't meet up. Their friendship soon turned to feelings of romance and before long the relationship became official...

Continue reading all about Danielle & Justin's love story, intimate proposal, and wedding aspirations, in their romantic engagement session in Havana, Cuba - perfectly captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Stanlo Photography.

Bride & Groom-to-be: Danielle & Justin
Occupations: Fashion Marketer & Blogger/Staffing Analyst
Wedding date: April 6, 2019
Wedding location: Miami, Florida
Location of Engagement shoot: Havana, Cuba

Tell us how you met. Justin and I met each other at work through mutual friends. A group of us were all supposed to go to brunch together, but one by one, they all canceled on us. We were both set on brunch and we ended up having a great time together. When we parted ways, we decided we should hang out more. That night we started a friendship that turned into a relationship. He lived in Queens and I lived in Harlem but there wasn’t a weekend that passed that we didn’t see each other. After six months of dating, we made it official.

Tell us about the first date. Our first official date was the next day. We went out to dinner at The Smith and it lasted for hours. We laughed and shared all kinds of stories until they kicked us out. The conversation was easy and we had so much in common. After dinner, we continued the conversation while walking around the city until 3 am. From that day forward we couldn’t get enough of each other and I knew he was going to be someone special in my life.

Tell us your proposal story. It was December 24, 2016, at Lincoln Square. It’s a touristy location that we would frequent often because of its beauty and its convenient location, which is across the street from our favorite restaurant. I was pregnant and on bed rest but he convinced me that some fresh air would do the baby and me some good. I was actually miserable but I didn’t have the heart to turn him down. And I’m always down for free food even if I couldn’t keep it down.
The restaurant was packed and they didn’t have my favorite dish on the menu. Justin went out of his way to see if they could make something similar for me and they did. Unfortunately, I started to get a little nauseous with all the smells going on so we cut dinner a little short and decided to take a walk around Lincoln Square. We were holding hands chatting about some movies that were shot in the area and I noticed that he let go of my hand. So naturally, I turn around to see what happened. He was on one knee and smiling. I started crying and he put the ring on my finger before I said yes. It was an intimate and meaningful proposal without all the bells and whistles. It was perfect and the natural beauty of the city took it to the next level.

How did you know they were “The One”? They say when you meet the right person “you just know.’ but I have to admit…I DID NOT! When I met Justin in 2014 I was done with the dating scene and looking forward to exploring New York and connect with some like minds in the process. Justin and I worked together and he was pretty much in the same spot. We worked closely together for a few months and we started building a friendship. We worked on a few projects together so we would meet for lunch and talk for hours on the phone after work. Pretty soon we were hanging out outside of work too, in really large groups. Then suddenly, it was just the two of us. They say “all good things come to an end” but…the crazy thing was the good times just didn’t run out. After two years of dating and a beautiful baby girl, I’m changing my last name to his. Who knew that a friendship in the office could lead to the altar?

What are some of your favorite thing to do as a couple? We love going on mini adventures! NYC has so much to offer and we like to explore different neighborhoods and boroughs on the weekends. We always find something new to do like rock climbing, a new restaurant, food fair, pop-up shops, flea markets or free concerts.

Describe your engagement session. We traveled to Cuba for our engagement session. Since we’re having a tropical themed wedding, Justin and I decided to stick with the tropical vibe and have a vibrant photoshoot in a new environment. Justin and I, along with our vendor team: Stanlo Photography, Bricks Group Media (Cinematography), KeAira Chantell Events (Wedding Planner) and Ty Davis (Hair and Make-up Artist), spent two hot, yet fun, days in Havana capturing the perfect moments. We’re so happy with how the pictures and save-the-date video turned out, and we can’t wait to see the way our wedding day photos and video are captured!

How has wedding planning been so far? Overall planning our wedding has been a fun journey! With planning a destination wedding (neither us nor do our wedding guests live in Miami) we thought it may be stressful but everything has been going well. We hired a great vendor team in Miami so we know that we will be able to relax and enjoy the day while they handle all the tasks.

Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. We are excited to party with our family and friends who took the time to travel for our big day. We are also anxious to see how our daughter, Gabby, will handle her role as a flower girl!

Photography: Stanlo Photography
Cinematography: Bricks Group Media
Hair and Make-Up: Ty Davis
Wedding Planner: KeAira Chantell Events

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