Emmanuel was initially made aware of Sonya on Facebook, through recommendations byway of mutual connections. A trip to Uruguay with a group of friends would bring them together for their first meeting. In Emmanuel's words, "I finally got to meet Sonya in Punta Del Este and I was immediately smitten." Though Emmanuel was, at the time, living in Chicago and Sonya in New York, the distance would not deter him from flying to her a few weeks later for their first date. The sparks flew during that evening of a broadway show and fine dining while a connection so natural began to grow - inspiring Emmanuel to fly back for the next two consecutive weekends...
Read all about Sonya & Emmanuel's love story, romantic proposal, and wedding aspirations, in their museum garden engagement in Manhattan - perfectly captured by MunaLuchi Coterie member Nana Annan Photography, and featuring makeup artistry by MunaLuchi Coterie member Brides by Melanie B.
Bride & Groom-to-be: Sonya & Emmanuel
Occupations: Attorney & Electrical Engineer
Wedding date: March 24, 2019
Wedding location: Laguna Niguel, California
Location of Engagement shoot: New York, New York
How They Met: Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy believed that all people are connected by a maximum of 6 degrees of separation, but in our situation we were only 4 degrees apart. Through social engineering, Facebook had recommended to me to add Sonya as a friend by virtue of the fact that I had friend A, who was friends with B, and B happened to be friends with Sonya. Of course I was drawn to her picture and made inquiries about Sonya, but friend A said to me “Manny, you aren’t ready for that.” Fast forward a few months later, friend B was organizing a 2016 New Year’s trip for a group of friends to Punta Del Este, Uruguay and invited friend A to come with his friends. Naturally, Sonya and I were invited. However, friend A decided to drop out of the trip, so I then planned to drop out of the trip also, but when I noticed Sonya’s name as one of the participants on the trip, I decided to go on the trip. So on the trip in Uruguay, I finally got to meet Sonya in Punta Del Este and I was immediately smitten.
The Proposal: After 18 months of a long distance relationship between Chicago and NYC, I was able to get a transfer from Chicago to my company’s corporate headquarters in Northern New Jersey. After 6 months of being in the NYC metro area together, I realized one of the most important decisions I had to make in my life was now upon me. I knew in my heart that Sonya was the one true love for me, and as such, without hesitation, I decided to move ahead and make preparations to propose to Sonya. I worked secretly with a jeweler to design the perfect ring and unbeknownst to Sonya, I had visited her parents to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage. I had initially envisioned taking Sonya on a mini getaway to San Francisco (where we took our first trip together) over Easter Weekend to propose. But, Sonya being the lawyer that she is, was overly inquisitive about the trip and wanted to be close to her family for the holiday, making it impossible for me to surprise her with a trip. So, I decided on Plan B. I made arrangements with one of our favorite restaurants in the city, BONDST. The restaurant arranged a semi-private table for us and during a very romantic dinner, I nervously proposed to Sonya and she said yes.
I was so shocked that Manny proposed to me that evening. He is an extremely private person, so I never expected him to propose at the restaurant. He always teases me about being the more outgoing and super social one in the relationship. He was definitely outside of his comfort zone, which explains why he was acting extremely nervous the entire day and at dinner. But, it was the most romantic moment. I still remember every minute of our conversation leading up to the proposal. Despite being in a public restaurant, we both managed to share a very intimate moment and did not create a scene. So much so, that the waiters missed their cue to bring the champagne and the sparklers. Once they realized, everyone at the restaurant was so congratulatory and excited for us. Manny even arranged for the celebration to continue at The Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental.
Describe your engagement session. Our engagement session was so much fun. We loved the beauty and architecture of The Cloisters at Fort Tryon Park. We knew we wanted to do a sleek formal theme for some photos and a more casual Ghanaian-inspired theme for the other photos. When Sonya first told me that we were having an engagement session, I thought it was unnecessary, but the pictures turned out amazing! I’m so happy I trusted her vision. Nana Annan not only took great photos, she was a tremendous supporter and helped the theme and vision come to life.
What did you do on your first date? Manny was living in Chicago and I was living in New York at the time that we met. Three weeks following the Punte Del Este trip, Manny called me and asked me if he could come to New York the following weekend and take me to dinner and a show. I admired his persistence and was flattered that he would want to fly out to New York just to take me on a date, so naturally I accepted. The date had to be pushed back a week due to a big snowstorm in New York, but two weeks later Manny flew to New York and took me to see The Color Purple on Broadway and then dinner at Buddakan Restaurant. We had such a great evening together that Manny decided to fly back to New York for the next two consecutive weekends to see me, and the rest is history.
What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? We share a love of travel, which we did a lot of while we were dating. We hope to resume after the wedding.
Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. We are most looking forward to becoming husband and wife and sharing the beautiful day with our family and closest friends.