Latoya and Jacob represented their home state, New York, in their chic and fun engagement session.
In 2011, Latoya and Jacob had their first conversation in a crowded elevator at work. However, they really did not get to know each other until two years later when they struck up a conversation while working late. Latoya reminisces “Jacob didn’t really have to stay, but he pretended like he had more work to do so that he could entertain the conversation and eventually I asked him for his telephone number. To this day Jacob still reminds me that I ‘bagged’ him!”
Well, Jacob made sure to “bag” Latoya for life when he proposed to her on September 17, 2020 at a park in Tampa, Florida. The couple, who will be getting married in New Jersey this year, decided New York would be the perfect backdrop for their engagement photos. Latoya says, “Our theme was ‘From New York with Love.’ The reason for this theme was because we are both from New York and we want to show the kind of love we have for each other, the kind of love we have for God, and the kind of love we have to offer the world.”
Read more about their love story and see the highlights from their amazing engagement session with Sequoyah Daniel Photography below.
- Couple: Latoya Griffith & Jacob Aureus
- Occupations: Public Health Safety Officer (Latoya) & Water Ecologist/Scientist (Jacob)
- Wedding date: June 20, 2021
- Wedding location: Florham Park, NJ
- Location of Engagement shoot: Fort Tryon Park, NY
Tell us how you met
We met in 2010 at work, but did not have our first conversation until 2011- 1 year later in a crowded elevator! It was then that we both had a small thought in our minds that we wanted to get to know each other better. The opportunity presented itself 2 years later in 2013 (yes, what took us so long?!). One day we both stayed late after work and had a nice conversation. Jacob didn’t really have to stay but he pretended like he had more work to do so that he could entertain the conversation and eventually I asked him for his telephone number. To this day Jacob still reminds me that I “bagged” him!
We got engaged on September 17, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. I was visiting my parents and Jacob decided to surprise me by flying to Florida. Prior to the proposal, Jacob informed my parents, my family, and my friends about the surprise engagement. On the day of the proposal, my mom told me that we needed to get dressed up because she scheduled a mommy/daughter photo-shoot in the park. So, I didn’t think very much of it and decided to go along with the idea. It was also raining for the majority of the day so I did not think the photo-shoot was even going to happen.
When we arrived at the park the rain began to subside and from a distance, I saw Jacob surrounded by a beautiful layout that consisted of a blanket, a basket full of sunflowers (my favorite!), and many other flowers and rose petals. During that moment, I was so shocked to see him that all I did was smile and run straight to him with open arms. One of the thoughts that went through my mind was: “I think something big is about to happen!” After we hugged, Jacob took me by the hand, escorted me to a blanket of rose petals, got on one knee, and expressed his love to me. He asked me to marry him in the presence of my parents and virtually with my family and friends via video live-stream. After the proposal, we hugged, prayed, and cried together. The entire proposal was sentimental, thoughtful, and beautiful.
Describe your engagement session.
Our engagement session was amazing! Before the photo shoot, we were both a bit nervous because we had never taken a scheduled professional photoshoot before. We had a professional photographer at our proposal but this was different! Our photographer Sequoyah and her husband Lamar immediately calmed our nerves and made us feel so comfortable and so natural. It was such a beautiful touch to have Sequoyah’s husband play music in the background while she shot our photos. The shoot was filled with sweet smiles, giggles, and whispering in each other’s ears – we started to feel very natural and comfortable in front of the camera.
Our theme was “From New York with Love.” The reason for this theme was because we are both from New York and we want to show the kind of love we have for each other, the kind of love we have for God, and the kind of love we have to offer the world. The clothing we chose for our shoot was inspired by New York.
What did you do on your first date?
Our first date was at a Caribbean restaurant in New York City called Spur Tree. On our first date, we talked, laughed, and enjoyed the comfort of getting to know each other. We still remember what we ate on our first date – I had oxtails with rice and peas while Jacob had jerk lamb with macaroni pie. After dinner, we ended up sitting in his car and talking for hours before he walked me to my door and hugged me good night. It was such a sweet evening.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We have so many! But some of our favorite things to do are praying together, trying new restaurants, playing video games together, road-tripping/traveling together, and cooking together. When we cook together we try to combine dishes from our countries to create new dishes. Jacob’s family is from the Philippines and my family is from Barbados and whenever we combine the dishes it comes out so tasty!
How has wedding planning been so far?
Wedding planning has been surprisingly good so far, but a little stressful trying to adjust to the COVID-19 regulations. We are taking additional steps to keep our guests and ourselves safe. It seems that every step of the way, we have to be creative and adapt to potential challenges. We are trying our best to stay on top of things, think positive, and push through. It’s been a really great way to work on our communication and problem solving as a couple.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.
We are most looking forward to being one with each other, enjoying each other as husband and wife, and seeing some of our family and friends in person. We are so looking forward to putting our love on display for all to see.
- Photographer: Sequoyah Daniel Photography