Being students at the same university and sharing mutual circles of friends, Zahna and Derrick began taking their friendship to the next level when during Sophomore year the sparks of romance grew into the embers of love. From that point on they became inseparable, and over the years their love has endured long-distance and separate careers as professional athletes. Always able to rely on the other and knowing in both their hearts they had discovered a true soulmate in each other, Derrick began planning their perfect proposal...
Bride & Groom-to-be: Zahna & Derrick
Venue/Location(s) for Engagement Session: University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio
Engagement Session Date: September 22, 2018
Wedding Date: March 2nd 2019
Location of Wedding: Dallas, Texas
Photographer: Jazzymae Photography
How They Met. Derrick and I both met at Texas Christian University. I played for the Women’s basketball team, and he played for the football team. With us both being student athletes we had mutual friends and began to hang out together even more, but it wasn’t until our sophomore year that we had started dating. We dated for the remainder of College, and after college we were both blessed to play professionally! Derrick went to the NFL and I had played overseas. After deciding to retire from basketball, I returned to the states and was fortunate enough to use my degree in finance from TCU in finding a corporate job. At this point, I was in Dallas and Derrick was in Cleveland playing for the Browns. We maintained a long distance relationship during the NFL season and he would come back to live in Dallas during the off season!
The Proposal. It was the weekend before he was heading back to Cleveland for training camp. He told me he wanted to go out to dinner with one of his former teammates and his fiancé for a nice dinner at Ruth Chris to celebrate the start of another season. When we arrived I walked to the back of the restaurant and entered into a room full of friends and family who have always been a part of our relationship. As I soon as we walked in he immediately got down on one knee and it was a wrap!
Our First Date. Our first date was at a car wash. Derrick loves cars and has an obsession about keeping them clean so as a romantic gesture he offered to wash my car for Valentine’s Day, and then later that night we went to Chili’s and it is now our go-to spot wherever we are!
Favorite thing to do as a couple? Derrick and I are both very active people and in general we love to do different things. We love going to the movies, theme parks, the zoo & aquarium and anything exciting!
The Engagement Session. It was surreal. I feel like at that moment it really hit the both of us that this was happening, the commitment and journey that we have had as a couple was paying off. We wore our wedding colors, which ironically enough, are the same colors as our alumni, TCU. It was really easy to get into it and the pictures turned out better than expected, we wanted to use these pictures for our invitations for our wedding, but we plan to do a second engagement session at our former college because we really feel like TCU was a stepping stone for the both of us to reach our goals. Being people of color, and being able to display the hard work and effort it took in both our career paths and in our relationship to be where we are at now, makes an undeniably beautiful love story that we are looking forward for people to see!
How did you know they were “the one”? People always say that opposites attract, and in this case that stands true! We both have an athletic background and commonalities like work ethic and drive, but when it comes to personality we are polar opposites. I am extroverted, very outgoing, meanwhile derrick is on an entirely different side of the spectrum. He keeps to himself, it may take him a little while to open up, but around each other we are the best of friends! You know you've met your soulmate when you’ve been through thick and thin, through the highs and the lows, and yet somehow no force of any kind can break the bond. We may be opposites, but we both offer what the other person lacks, and that makes us feel complete. We are the perfect balance of sweet and savory! At the moment you realize life doesn't quite taste the same without your other half…that’s when you know in your heart that you've found “the one.”
How has wedding planning been so far? The wedding planning has been awesome! Thankfully we have gotten a lot of the details worked out, and now we are just focusing on the smaller details! A lot of our thanks go to our wedding planner, Hannah Kearny, owner of Wine Cup Events in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. I’d recommend her to anyone! She has honestly made this process seemingly effortless to where all we need to focus on is the day of the wedding and anticipating our big moment!
What are you looking forward to most on the wedding day? Celebrating our love and the start of our lives together as one as we are surrounded by all of our friends and family, and finally sealing the deal by #KissingToKindred!
Photographer: Jazzymae Photography