Love in Little Havana, A Cuban Themed Engagement Shoot

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Crystal & Toochi

Q: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

A: Toochi:I was living in Florida at the time and wanted to come up to Maryland to visit my mother for Easter. During my visit, I decided to hit up The Park at 14th. I usually don’t stay at clubs that long & just when I was about to leave I saw this exquisite, beautiful looking woman & decided right there that I had to introduce myself. Crystal: I had just got back from a quick fun trip to Puerto Rico with my friend Keyi and I didn’t feel like staying home that night, so I headed out to meet some friends at a night club called The Park at 14th. As I was looking for my friends, Toochi came up & said hi to me. I thought he was very attractive, we chatted a little bit and he gave me his phone number. Toochi: I knew that I would be moving back up to MD in August so I decided that I would try to get to know Crystal better by bugging her almost every day. I knew that it would be a difficult task because of the distance however I knew I had to put in the time and effort. Crystal: We started talking, he would call & text me but I only responded like half the time, SMH, LOL! I thought he wasn’t going to be serious because he lived all the way in FL. Toochi: So I wanted to visit my mother again for mother’s day, and during my trip, I wanted to take Crystal out for a memorable date. I had to make sure that our date would be exceptional; this would have probably been the only opportunity that I could take her out until I moved to MD. Crystal: One time that I did pick up the phone, he told me he would like to come up to MD to spend a day with me & I agreed. Toochi planned the entire day, which started with us getting a couples massage, manicures & pedicures, going to lunch, & then meeting up to go dancing later in the night. Wow! After seeing him again in person & spending the day together, I realized how wonderful he was. He also told me he was moving to MD in a few months for his job. He *now* had my attention! And we have been together ever since!!

Q: What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. (example: pushing each other to new limits, love to travel, huge comic book fans, foodies, etc.) What makes your relationship unique?

A: We both love to travel, experiencing different cultures, art and history. Toochi and I love traveling and experiencing new cultures and so for our engagement shoot, we wanted something local that showed that part of our personalities and what we love to do. I chose a tropical romantic theme based on Little Havana, to celebrate our love for travel and culture. Our wedding planner, TUM Socials, sourced the perfect restaurant to set the backdrop for us. Cuba Libre, in Washington DC was fantastic and gave us the perfect setting for our engagement shoot. Our photographer, Tunji Studio, also wanted to give us a modern chic vibe for our pictures, and so he selected the views at the City Center. We extended our shoot to include some city shots and loved the results.

Q: How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship? (these may often be the same moment, but aren’t always)

A: Once we gave our selves the opportunity to date and spend time together, we never truly separated.

Q: Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

A: Toochi proposed to me on Valentine’s Day weekend at our favorite museum in DC, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, which has portraits of Presidents Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama. I thought it would be one of our regular tours of the museum and was completely surprised by his proposal. It was just the two of us and of course I said yes. Afterwards we went to celebrate our engagement at Joe’s Seafood restaurant in Georgetown, DC with family members. We ended the night at Maestro’s Steakhouse. That was my most memorable Valentine’s day to date.

Beauty: Blush by Makki//Restaurant: Cuba Libre//Event Designer: TUM Socials//Photographer: Tunji Studio

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