Persistence Pays Off! Charita and Joshua’s Loving Engagement Session, North Carolina

Persistence pays off! Blessed is the one who perseveres, and for Charita and Joshua resolution has blessed them both with the gift of each other. Having first met during church at a Young Adults Ministry meeting, Joshua was immediately drawn to Charita. Unbeknownst to Charita, that initial ember of attraction she sparked within Joshua continued to smolder and grow as they proceeded to get to know each other. Through various interactions Charita would begin to realize Joshua's interest in her went beyond casual friendship.

On June 23rd of 2015 Joshua decided to take the next step and expressed to Charita his feelings for her, "she kindly declined," he admits. For Charita, he didn't fit her preconception of "the man she was supposed to marry." But Joshua's persistence would certainly payoff,  and as he fondly remembers, "the first weekend in August I was able to take Charita on our first date. We’ve talked every day since."

June 24th 2016 was supposed to be a day of epic romance ending with the perfect proposal. A collage video proposal featuring her best friends, a stroll through botanical gardens, a surprise celebratory dinner with family and friends, and completed with a helicopter ride full of breathtaking panoramic views. Life's intervention would rewrite this fairytale script as Charita would return home from a trip feeling unwell and the weather took a turn for the worse. Again, Joshua's persistence would prevail and after a day of rest they continued on to the surprise dinner still awaiting. At the restaurant, in the presence of family and friends, Joshua expressed his love for Charita, got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife...

Bride to be: Charita Montgomery

Groom to be: Joshua Bivens

Wedding Date: June 24, 2017

Wedding Location: Durham, NC

Engagement Shoot Location: Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Tell us how you met:

Her version: We met at church. One of my friends and classmates at the time had invited me to their initial Young Adult Ministry meeting. At the time I had visited the church but was still looking for a new church home. Joshua also attended the meeting that night, as he was a member there, and we spoke to each other but that was it. After that I continued going to the church became actively involved with the young adult’s as did Joshua. I eventually realized that he liked me because he would contact me frequently about random things but I wasn’t interested in him because he didn’t fit my “ideal picture” of the man I was supposed to marry. On June 23, 2015 Joshua sent me a text stating that he was interested in me and I kindly declined but he continued to pursue me by recruiting my friends for help. After some convincing from my friends, I finally decided to go out with him in August of 2015 and the rest is history.

His version: We met at the first Young Adults Ministry meeting at Baptist Grove in February. I came in late that day, saw Charita and thought she was attractive. Fast forward to April, our church had revival and six of us ended up going out to eat at Chili’s that night. Charita sat across from me and we had great conversation. After that, I knew I wanted to get to know her more. Throughout the months I leveraged our mutual friends to help me in my pursuit. I eventually got Charita’s number, that’s another story in itself, and began texting her. I found out when she had tests and wished her luck, asked about how they went and began to pray for her. Fast forward to June 23rd, 2015, I sent Charita a nice text message saying that I was interested in her. She kindly declined. The Young Adults went to Carowinds that following Saturday, the last Saturday in June, and I met her best friend Shawnetta. I began to leverage her as well and the first weekend in August I was able to take Charita on our first date. We’ve talked every day since.

Tell us about the Proposal: Charita constantly talked about the Great 8 (her group of friends from Spelman). I knew one of them and decided to have them all play a part in my proposal. I had each of them make a video using a letter of her name, incorporated some pictures of us and played Musiq Soulchild “Love” in the background. I wanted to do something different so I bought a helicopter ride for the big day as well. There it was, my plan was to pick her up for church, go to the botanical gardens where I’d ask her to marry me, a surprise congratulations dinner with family and friends and then a helicopter ride around Raleigh. Well, the day didn’t go that way. That morning it rained and Charita had just gotten back from Cuba and didn’t feel well. So I had to change the plans! I texted my mom and told her to hide the cake because I wasn’t going to be able to ask her before the restaurant. After church, we went back to Charita’s house, she took some medicine and we watched a little basketball. Then we drove to the restaurant. On our way, the skies cleared and by the time we got there, the sun was out and it had become the perfect day! When we walked in Charita was surprised to see everyone and was very confused as we had agreed that when I proposed it would only be the 2 of us. I said a few words and then got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Her answer was yes!

What did you do on your first date? After some convincing from my friends I finally decided to go out with Joshua. He decided that we would go to a local restaurant that also offered live Jazz music. Since I was still on the fence about Joshua, in my head we were just going to “hang out” but in his head this was “a date.” We met at 7pm and ended up staying at the restaurant talking and laughing until they closed at 2am. Joshua then walked me to my car where we spent another hour talking in the parking lot. At the end of our conversation Joshua kindly asked if the night could be considered as our first date; initially I ignored the question by changing the subject but when he asked the second time, I said yes.

Tell us about your engagement session: For our engagement session we wanted to show our love for each other, the fun that we have together and the key to our relationship which is God. We also wanted to have varying outfit styles thus we did a casual, dressy casual and a business outfit.

What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple? Our favorite thing to do as a couple is cook together. We love getting in the kitchen and cooking a meal together and then sitting down and eating it.

How has the wedding planning been so far? Absolutely GREAT and so much fun!! We’re both planners so we have gotten a lot of things done early and everything has just fallen into place perfectly.

Tell us what you are looking forward to most on the wedding day? To finally being married and being able to start the journey of the rest of our lives together as one.


Photographer: Artije Photography
Hair Stylist: Sweet Curls by LaMonica McDuffie

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