Sometimes the third time is the charm! Melani and Rakeem had three encounters with each other before finally connecting at a party.
When Rakeem entered his number into Melani’s phone at the end of the night, she wasn’t planning on calling. She simply wasn’t looking to entertain a relationship. But luckily, Rakeem was persistent. He reached out to Melani via Instagram; she liked what she saw and decided to take a chance.
Rakeem proposed on Melani’s birthday this past March. They did not have a theme for their engagement session, but they knew they wanted it to have a natural vibe. Melani shares, “we wanted [our engagement session] to represent us so you could feel our energy in the pictures. We wanted to wear green because it is one of our wedding colors. I also wanted it to be outside in the sun and nature.”
Read more about their charming love story and see their beautiful engagement photos below.
- Couple: Melani Harris and Rakeem Chambers
- Occupations: Human Resources Specialist and Real Estate Broker
- Wedding date: 5.15.2021
- Wedding location: The Rickhouse in Durham, NC
- Location of Engagement shoot: North Carolina Museum of Art
How did you meet?
We actually met 3 times before we “officially met”. First time was at a community event. We set a row apart, and did not even notice each other at all. The second time was 3 months later at a brunch day party. I went with one of my girlfriends and he met one of his friends there. The DJ played a song and Rakeem was leaning against the wall near the speaker by himself just vibing to the music. I was already standing up and noticed him vibing to the music and said, “This ain’t your song is it?” He kindly smiled back and nodded his head to confirm. We did not say anything else to each other at that time.
I guess third times the charm because we met again at a party 8 months later. I ended up saying something to him again at the end of the party. Did not even recognize him from the previous interaction. He ended up asking for my number, but at the time I was not interested in entertaining anyone new. He asked me to take his number and he entered it into my I phone keypad. The next morning when I opened my phone, his number was still in my keypad and I deleted it because I figured I would not see him again. Two days later, I receive an Instagram friend request. Guess who it was. Rakeem. He found me on a mutual friend’s Instagram page. I checked out his page, saw he was about business, and was actually handsome. I followed him back and sent him a message saying, “I see you found me, but good morning.” He replied, “When I see something I want I go after it.” The rest is history.
Tell us your proposal story.
He proposed on my birthday this past March. Due to COVID my original birthday plans had to be canceled. Rakeem still wanted me to be able to celebrate. He arranged for someone to cater for a small birthday gathering at home later in the evening. He paid for me to get my hair done that morning. In the afternoon, we went to go get matching tattoos on our ring fingers. We had already decided that we wanted to do life together with each other. Our tattoos are anchors because we are anchored in God and our commitment to each other. Later that night we had the party. After we ate and played a few games, he wanted me to open my gifts. His gift was the last and it was him asking to marry me.
Describe your engagement session.
We did not have a theme, but we knew we wanted it to represent us and that you could feel our energy in the pictures. We wanted to wear green because it is one of our wedding colors. I also wanted it to be outside in the sun and nature for that natural vibe.
What did you do on your first date?
Our first time officially meeting in person ended up turning into our first date, which was not the plan. In my previous relationship, I never really received flowers a lot. Rakeem thought that was weird. He asked me to meet him after his workout class and before I went to go workout. We decided to meet really quickly at a snow cone place called Pelicans in Durham, NC. Rakeem was late and made me miss my workout class. However, he was late because he had to pick up my flowers that were gorgeous. We ended up talking and it started to rain. I got back in my car so I would not get wet and he stood outside in the rain to keep talking to me for another hour. Since it was getting late and we both were hungry, we decided we could go get something to eat together once we showered and dressed. He picked me up from my house and we went to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We talked there until they closed and he drove me home. We ended up sitting in his car for a few hours talking about life until almost 2:00 am. He walked me to my door and we had our first kiss. It was randomly and surprisingly perfect!
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We love to talk about life! One of our biggest strengths in our relationship is the ability to communicate and be transparent with each other. We also like to lay in bed and watch movies together.
How has wedding planning been so far?
Wedding planning as been fine for the most part. I am pretty organized and we got engaged at the very beginning of COVID. I knew couples who planned to get married this year would reschedule for next year, so I made sure I booked the vendors we wanted as soon as possible. The big issue with planning right now is with COVID we don’t know what next year will look like. Our guest count most definitely will decrease, but we will not know the number of guest we can invite until we get closer. Which is disappointing to know not everyone we wanted there may be able to come due to regulations and guidelines.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.
We are both looking forward to standing before God, our families and most important friends and make a life long commitment to do this journey called life together as partners. No matter what!