Q: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?
A: I knew of Raymond before I met him because he was nominated to be an Ivy man for my sorority (an honorary male member). The next semester after he was selected, we had a Java class together and I sat in front of him with a couple of my sorority sisters. I didn’t really know him very well and we only talked a few times. That summer, I went to the Dave Matthews Band Concert in Virginia Beach with my friend Kayla. She told me she wanted to go meet up with her friends in PIKE and I told her that we could but not to leave me because I didn’t know anyone. Of course, she left me to talk to the guy she was talking to and the only person I kind of knew was Raymond and I felt like he had to at least talk to me since he was an Ivy man. We ended up talking the whole night and then exchanged numbers.
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 love being outside with each other–whether at a golf course (him playing, me caddying/drinking/hanging out), watching sports, brewery, dog park with Troy, at a beach/pool, or just in our backyard.
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: Marina: I struggle with anxiety and it was really bad when I started talking to Raymond. He consistently wouldn’t let me depend on him but instead encouraged me and helped me find ways to help myself. My mom always told me to find the person that you can live without, but don’t want to. One day we were walking back to his apartment in Richmond from a bar and he started dancing with me in the streets under the street lights and I remember thinking that I didn’t want to live my life without him. Raymond: I don’t think there’s any single event that I can point back to where I “knew”. But over the years of dating, spending a lot of time together, and just going through different stages of life together I always get internal confirmation that Marina’s the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. In the simplest terms, I’m happier with Marina and wouldn’t want to go through life without her.
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: Earlier in the week, Ray mentioned that we hadn’t had oysters in a while and so he suggested we go to Hank’s Oyster Bar since that is where we usually go for any date night throughout the year. He asked me to make the reservation which was typical. The day of, he was so obsessed with the rain and even drove to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get a nice golf umbrella, which I thought was really extra of him considering there was a 10% chance of rain but I didn’t think anything else of it. After dinner, Ray kept saying he didn’t want to see our friends yet, who also happened to be going to the Wharf (really, he just lucked into that haha), and suggested we walk around the pier. We were looking at the water and he mentioned that my cousin had asked him to take pictures of the Wharf (which sounds weird but if you knew my cousin, it definitely isn’t) but he was being a pain about it and refused to take them. So I got out my camera and took them instead. As I was taking pictures of the Wharf, he said, why don’t we take a picture together since we look nice. Again, not a huge picture guy, so I was pleasantly surprised and excited for him to suggest it. He handed my phone to a stranger and then when he walked back he turned my toward him and started talking and all I remember saying is, “This is it?!?” and he laughed and I can’t remember the rest haha. I was in complete shock. He got us a night at the Wharf which is why he was so concerned about the rain because he had already paid for it and had to propose that night so he wanted to be prepared. Another part that he planned that I hadn’t thought of was that our major milestones in our relationship happened near water, our first date and when I asked him to date me, so he wanted this to be near water too–another reason we love Kingsmill 🙂
Q: We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!
A: It is beyond my wildest dreams! I always wanted a solitaire ring, and Raymond went by himself to pick out the diamond. He went with a 2.3 carat diamond with a white gold narrow band, which is more than I ever thought I would get. I feel SO lucky!