Island Wedding in Antigua: Anaya + Darren
What’s better than getting a beautiful engagement ring from the man you love? Getting two!!! Anaya received an awesome proposal from her husband Darren twice! The first time Darren proposed, the couple were students at the University of Georgia (UGA). Years after the couple married, Darren decided to ask Anaya to marry him again! He did so in grand style, surprising Anaya by taking her on a tour of the UGA football stadium, and then projecting “Anaya, Will You Marry Me Again?” on the stadium’s Jumbotron! The couple had a romantic vow renewal ceremony in Antigua, and it is our pleasure to share their wonderful day with you + more images in the wedding gallery here.
• Bride: Anaya Bryson, Teacher
• Groom: Darren Bryson, Jr., Sales and Christian Music Ministry
• Wedding Date: 800-689-3496
• Location: St. Mary’s, Antigua
How They Met
From the Bride: Darren and I ran in the same circle of friends at The University of Georgia, but somehow, after 3 years, we had never met. However, in March of 2005 both of us had unknowingly agreed to attend a crab boil of some mutual friends. I was frying hush puppies on the back patio and he walked out onto the patio with some of our friends. When I first saw him I thought to myself, “Hmm, he’s a pretty good looking guy,” but I had just ended a relationship a few months before and didn’t want to rush anything. While I was still frying away – and making quite a mess of things- Darren made a joke about the hush puppies that sent me spiraling into a fit of laughter. We continued to talk about classes and people we knew and the like. Darren mentioned to me that he had seen me before at our friends’ home and he was glad that he got a moment to speak to me. Our friends had two children and I saw the way he interacted with them. It was then that I knew he had a great heart. It takes that kind of heart to love and engage children, and he did that with such grace and ease that it drew me to him. As the evening came to a close we exchanged numbers and agreed to meet up at a later time.
From the Bride: We had just spent some time at his mother’s house and we were driving back to UGA. Darren dropped me off back at my apartment and asked if he could come in to talk for minute. I had an inkling that something was about to be done in that regard (as we had spent time with each other’s families) and I agreed for him to come in. As soon as we got to my room he asked if he could borrow something that was on a shelf. As I turned around to get it for him, he had dropped to one knee and had his high school ring out. He asked for me to “spend the rest of my life with him”. I, of course, agreed.
For the Vow Renewal
From the Bride: It’s November 2011, and Darren told me that Harold (one of our mutual friends) had gotten a “hookup” to go and view Sanford Stadium at UGA as he works at Georgia. Now any Georgia fan would jump at an opportunity to get up close to where the action of DAWG football happens so of course I was super excited to go. He suggested that we make an anniversary trip out of it. We arrived at Harold and Kara’s house on the evening of our anniversary (Nov. 18) and we all got set to go view Sanford Stadium. I thought it was a bit odd that Kara wanted to do my hair, but I just go with the flow where Kara is concerned (lol) and happily sat down. We arrived at the stadium and some security guys met us at the gate. There was some kind of mix up or something but they were able to get it all squared away. We drove in and walked on the field. We start taking pictures like crazy and we’re laughing and playing and Darren tells me to take a picture of the “Jumbotron/scoreboard”. I turn around to do as he asked and there on the screen it said “Anaya, Will You Marry Me Again?” I turned back around to see him and he was on the 50 yard line, on one knee with a new ring and all.
Description of the Vow Renewal
In the words of their planner, Tanya Wilbon of The Event Group International, “The aisle was lined with white vases filled with cream and green roses, plum rose buds, purple peonies, ivory berries, green ranunculus , and green hydrangeas. Pink and red tropical flowers indigenous to the Antigua region blanketed the aisle. There were white polyform snake chairs for guests on either side and hanging silk cloth lanterns lined the trees on either side of the ceremony site. Additionally, we had a white chiffon draped pergola, with cream and green roses, plum rose buds, purple peonies, ivory berries, green ranunculus , and green hydrangeas floral accents that will be carried over into the reception.”
I wanted to capture the beauty of the island and allow Keith (our photographer) to do what he does best. So I was comfortable allowing my stylists – Derek J (hair) and Markis Allen(makeup) to create their own visions (I trust Derek completely as he has styled me for a while and Markis has so much experience with professional photography). I had no expectations for the day – except to capture “Devil’s Bridge”- a breathtaking landmark in Antigua. My planner- Tanya Wilbon of The Event Group International handled all of the logistics.
Incorporation of Culture
The Bryson’s had a more traditional ceremony. From the Bride…We had unity sand (vs. the unity candle) and we wrote our own vows.
The Most Memorable Part of the Wedding
From the Bride…The small details that made the guests feel treasured.
You Make Loving You So Easy
From the Groom…“She considers me in everything. Always- that never fails.”
From the Bride…“He has the greatest sense of humor. He’s always keeping me smiling.”
Click here to view more images in the gallery.