Zandra met Wise amid baked beans while at a cookout in Charlotte. "Wise was serving baked beans to the guests and when it was my turn to be served, the first thing he said to me was, 'I know you want extra'" says Zandra. Although she first responded to his comment with an eye-roll, eventually he got a smile out of her. But as the evening continued, she stood checking him out from the sideline and instantly became smitten.
"Later that evening, we spoke to each other again but neither one of us asked for the other's phone number" shares Zandra. But, Zandra can thank her friend - who kindly stepped in and got Wise's number for her, for changing that! And like all great love stories - the rest was history!
Zandra and Wise are headed to swap "I do's" this September and in preparation have shot this insanely beautiful engagement session with photographer Denise Benson. Scroll on for more visuals and commentary from the bride-to-be!
Bride-to-Be: Zandra Chinae'Newton
Groom-to-Be: Wiseamon "Wise" Vaughan III
Occupations: Zandra: Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) | Wise: Credit Analyst
Wedding date: 9/10/2016
Wedding location: Charlotte, NC
Engagement shoot location: Rock Hill, SC
Tell us about the proposal!
I was anticipating the proposal. I knew it would happen sooner or later but I didn't know exactly when. I was on him like a hawk and any sudden change in his daily routine left me to speculate. Well, Wise knew this so, he was able to catch me off guard in one of our premarital counseling sessions. The pastor didn't know; he was surprised as well. He and the church secretary orchestrated a plan together and it worked because I had no idea that I was going to get in engaged during our counseling session. It was beautiful, I cried, but I was so thankful and grateful he asked me to marry him. My ring is beautiful, he chose it by himself. It is perfect.
Tell us about the engagement session.
Our engagement session took place in an historic wooded area near Brattonsville, SC. We really love nature and it ended up being the perfect backdrop for our session. The earth tone colors from all of the trees really enhanced the colors of our wardrobe. It also gave us the vintage feel we hoped for.
We had two wardrobe changes and each one gave us a totally different feel. Both looks were formal because we love to dress up. I tried to incorporate a few props to add more color and creativity to our session. Wise and I both are creative people so I the engagement shoot fit our personalities.
What did you do on your first date?
Wise took me to dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House and then we took a long walk thru downtown Charlotte. We sat in a park and continued to get to know one another for the rest of the evening. He was a real gentleman; he made me laugh and he was a good listener.
What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?
There is no one favorite thing we like to do together. Anything and everything we do together, we enjoy it and make it fun. It never takes much for us just to enjoy ourselves with whatever we decide to do.
How has wedding planning been so far?
The wedding planning has been easy for the most part. There have been a few moments that caused me to feel stressed but the problems were easily fixed. For me, the key is to keep an open mind; be flexible and to keep it all it in perspective to what is most important and for me that is getting married and staying married. A wedding is just one day but the marriage is for a lifetime. I want to have a beautiful wedding but staying grounded in it's purpose is just as important.
Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day!
I'm looking forward to our reception; seeing our friends and family there will be great. I also look forward to standing at the altar with Wise reciting our vows before God. I believe we are going to write our own vows so that will be a very special moment for us.