Having attended the same high school, Tayyibah and Michael were aware of each other but not close friends. Neither would’ve believed at the time that something as seemingly insignificant as a spilled drink would end up shaping the rest of their lives; when during graduation rehearsal Michael accidentally knocked over Tayyibah’s drink – commenting that he owed her one. Fast forward a few years into college when on social media Tayyibah commented about that drink Michael owed her. A first date was immediately planned and they’ve remained inseparable ever since…
Read all about Tayyibah & Michael’s love story, proposal, and experiences in their intimate outdoor wedding in beautiful Piedmont, California – featuring planning and design by MunaLuchi Coterie member A Monique Affair.
Bride & Groom: Tayyibah & Michael
Occupations: Marriage/Family Therapist & Software Engineer
Wedding date: June 21, 2018
Wedding location: Piedmont Community Hall, Piedmont, CA
Tell us how we met. Tayyibah and Mike both attended Suitland High School in the class of 2008 where we’d known each other as acquaintances. During graduation rehearsal Mike bumped into Tayyibah and knocked over her iced tea. Mike graciously helped her clean it up, with Tayyibah stating that he’d “owe her” another one. Fast forward to their junior year in college, Tayyibah at Temple University and Mike at Norfolk State. Mike responded to a post Tayyibah made on Twitter and she jokingly responded “Don’t you owe me an iced tea?”. Mike then responded with a message asking her to dinner and they’ve been inseparable since.
Tell us all about the proposal. We’d taken a weekend vacation to Vegas for some down time. One night we got dressed up to go out to a nice dinner. After having a fulfilling meal, we headed up an all glass elevator to relax for post dinner drinks. I turned around to record the gorgeous view of the Vegas skyline. When I’d finished Mike was on his knee…
How did you know they were “the one”? Tayyibah: “I know that Mike is “the one” by knowing that we can resolve our conflicts in a healthy way. When you’re going to be committed to someone you want to be sure that they are going to be able to work through the relationship lows, as well as celebrate the highs. Reflecting on our past seven years, I realize that we’ve encouraged and influenced each other to bring out the best aspects of ourselves. We encourage and challenge each other to be our best selves so that we can bring our best selves to our relationship.”
Michael: “The first time Tayyibah and I spoke on the phone we had a pretty long and engaging conversation. We were both in college at the time five hours away from each other. We were in completely different fields; her studying fine art and me studying computer science. The things she liked to do didn’t quite match up with my hobbies. Yet somehow it just worked. She presented this new and fresh perspective and walked through the world with a vulnerability that can only be achieved through confidence. That’s how I knew she was the one.”
What was wedding shopping like for you? I did not want a classic white gown at first. I thought I wanted something more modern and edgy. I tried on about six dresses from different shops and when I put on the last one I did a little dance and the dress concierge said “If it makes you dance then you know that’s the one.” This dress was outside of my comfort zone. I don’t usually go for things that are form fitting or frilly, but I based the decision on how well it accentuated my figure and stature. I didn’t think twice about it because I know I’m indecisive. I also went dress shopping alone because I can be easily swayed by others opinions and I wanted to make sure that this was one thing that was authentically me.
Did you incorporate any culture into your wedding? We incorporated the moon and star Adinkra symbol by having it engraved on both of our rings, it is a symbol of love, faithfulness, and harmony. We also incorporated a sand pouring ceremony, where we both poured different colors of sand into one container to represent our joining and union.
What is your best memory from your wedding? Tayyibah: “My best (and most nerve wrecking) memory was walking down the aisle to meet Mike. I was a nervous wreck all morning and slightly ill, but as soon as I locked eyes with Mike all the nerves melted away and I knew that I’d made one of the best decisions in my life. His sense of ease and confidence made me feel so secure and seen.”
Michael: “My best memory was hearing the wisdom shared by our family members. We opted to have seven of our closest family members come up and share whatever wisdom they had for us on our special day.”
What is the best wedding advice you can give to engaged couples? Take your time, don’t try to rush the planning process. Things will change and potentially go wrong as you go through the process and adjustments will need to be made.
Try to keep things simple, yet elegant, and within your taste. You will discover (If you didn’t already know) what your taste is and it may surprise you. This can sometimes lead to wanting more than you originally thought.
If you happen to attend a wedding before your own, make a list of items that you feel like guests don’t really pay attention to when attending a wedding. At a wedding I attended I noticed that a lot of guests didn’t take the favors home, so we opted not to include favors and save the money. You can save a lot of money on small details that aren’t really important to you or your guests and put it toward something like your honeymoon.
Invest in premarital counseling, the wedding planning process can be overwhelming and it’s good to feel rooted and grounded in your relationship throughout the process. If it’s your first wedding, the planning process can throw many curveballs and new/old emotions into your relationship and you want to make sure that you are prepared to handle them.
If you are not a planner or do not like planning, HIRE ONE! Hiring a planner (Shout out to Chanda/ A Monique Affair!) was the best decision I feel that we made. Neither of us was well versed in planning and our ideas were all over the place. A planner will help you narrow down your ideas and give you the insight and expertise of the wedding industry, which ultimately could save you money in the end. If it doesn’t save you money it’ll save you stress which is just as important.
Hire vendors that reflect a community or cause that you care about. We were adamant about hiring vendors that were people of color or women owned businesses. About 85% our vendors were local, POC or women owned businesses. Whatever causes that are important to you in your everyday life whether it be eco consciousness, supporting small businesses, charity etc., planning your wedding is a great way to show your support for your community.
Planner and Designer: A Monique Affair
Makeup: Makeup by Tre
Beauty: Art of Beauty Hair Studio
Catering: The Pleasure Principle
Florals: Sweetness and Light Floral Design
Grooming: Charles Blades Barber Spa
Grooming: Moods Beauty Bar
Officiant: Olivia King
Photography: Nye Lyn Tho
Rings: Dave Thorp
Transportation: Angel World Wide Service
Venue: Piedmont Community Hall
Stationery: Creative DNA
Tuxedo: Knot Standard
Bride’s Dress: Janene’s Bridal