COUPLE'S SPOTLIGHT: JACKIE AND SHADANTA
When I first met Jackie and ShaDanta, I could truly sense the playful, genuine love between them! Learn more about this lovely July LH Couple below.
1) How did you and your fiancé meet?
ShaDanta and I were both living in Tucson, AZ in 2011. We had both had a very rough year, unbeknownst to each other, of course, because we hadn’t met yet, but it was about to get much better. In July 2011, I was going to visit my friends in Europe on a much-anticipated trip, and I woke up at 5 AM so that I would able sleep on the plane. There isn’t much to do at 5 AM so I was going through my email and found an email of “matches” from OKCupid. I was generally dismissive of them (I swear!) but this time, I gave it a shot.
The first “match” was ShaDanta. She was standing on a boat looking adorable, as she is, and I instantly wanted to know more about her. She was that compelling, even through a computer. So I clicked on her profile. She said cute things like “I love to cook but I hate to measure”. I was drawn to her instantly; I wanted to meet her. So I said, screw it! and sent her a message. I told myself, if she didn’t respond, I’d be in London so it’d be okay. Well, 36 hours later, I checked my email at 10 PM in London and she had responded! I vividly remember the butterflies in my stomach as I opened her first message! We messaged back and forth for the entirety of my trip through London, Brussels and Amsterdam over the next 9 days. We met up 2 days after I arrived back -- on what was both of our first OKCupid dates!
The exact moment we met plays in my mind in slow motion. I saw her across the bar’s parking lot and I walked over to introduce myself. The connection was instantaneous. I bombarded her with “would you rather?” questions and we talked and laughed for 3 hours. As we said goodbye, I knew I wanted to see her again, and we exchanged a quick hug and a kiss. There is much heated debate on who kissed who; I maintain it was her who made the first move, but she maintains it was me. Whatever. After that first date on July 12, 2011, we’ve been together ever since. It’s hard to articulate how much I love ShaDanta. She is so special to me and I am profoundly lucky to love her and be loved by her. I am grateful every single day that I opened that email and found the love of my life!
2) What's the proposal story?
I’m not always patient, but when I am, it’s because I’m proposing to the love of my life - and I wanted it to be perfect! I knew for a long time that I wanted to marry Jackie. I designed the ring and had it for two months, but I just didn’t know when or how to ask her. I figured our union should start as most great ones do, with a little deceptive plotting.
I wanted to plan the most special getaway to propose to Jackie, but I was at a loss for where to go. I realized I’d need her help to ensure it was everything she wanted it to be, but, of course, couldn’t let on what I was up to. So, I told Jackie a little, wittle lie. I told her that in recognition of a job well done on a project, my company wanted to send me on a romantic trip for two. I then enlisted her help in selecting the getaway location; and, ultimately, plan our engagement weekend!
Summer in San Francisco isn’t particularly warm, so we were itching for sunshine. We headed inland to Calistoga (California wine country) to enjoy the natural mineral baths, vineyards and wine afforded by the area. Jackie was so excited, it was all she could talk about the two weeks leading up to our trip! While she was dreaming about spa treatments at the resort, I got busy planning our day.
Jackie once said to me, “I want my nails to be done when we get engaged.” So, our day started with manicures and nail polish that I picked out for her. We then hit a winery for an afternoon picnic and wine tasting. It was already a great day. Now it was time to check-in to the resort. And, it was gorgeous! We headed right for an afternoon splash - more like float - in the pool. After getting nice and pruny, it was time for dinner.
I reserved a table at an adorable restaurant near our resort where we dined under market lights. The meal was delicious and, as Jackie always likes to say, we had two desserts. Coincidently, we spent the entire evening telling each other how happy and in love we are (barf, I know). The evening was prime for what was coming next.
We had so much fun at the pool earlier that Jackie was campaigning for a night swim, but I was insistent, somewhat suspiciously, that we enjoy a bottle of wine on the patio. I had created a playlist of all our songs and waited for the song to play - Sure Thing by Miguel. Miguel started to sing..I fumbled the ring box out of my pocket..then choked up as I told her that I cannot imagine my life without her and asked her to marry me. She quickly said yes, then sobbed for about an hour as we enjoyed the rest of the bottle of wine and celebrated together.
3) What made you decide to book The Lighthouse for your big day?
We loved so many different things about The Lighthouse. We loved how beautiful The Lighthouse and the grounds are. We love how The Lighthouse has many designated zones for our quests to enjoy: the ceremony lawn, the deck, the larger lawn, the inside of the building. We loved the big old white building and how it reminded us of California meets Cape Cod. We loved the succulents and beautiful palm trees on the property and the awesome backdrop of the marina and boats. We loved how it was private but easy to get to, how there was free parking, that we could bring our own booze and caterers and we loved Marie-Danielle, who is like a breath of fresh air to work with! We instantly loved her and knew we were in good hands. The Lighthouse is a rare gem!
4) What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
Besides the most exciting part of getting married to each other and becoming wife & wife, our wedding is going to be a joining of families and friends and a simultaneously reunion. We're bringing our families together for the first time in the 5 years we've been together, because Jackie's family lives in Massachusetts and ShaDanta's family lives in Phoenix, Arizona so we can't wait for them to meet and see our lives in the Bay. We're also inviting friends from the many stages of our lives (that we've shared separately and together): our high school years, college, our time in Arizona, and now our time in the Bay Area. We are excited to finally unite everyone as one.
We are absolutely thrilled these two have chosen The Lighthouse as the venue for their wedding, and can't wait to celebrate the happy couple this July!