After initially meeting at a dance club meeting at Howard Community College in the fall of 2009, Janine and Giancarlo thought that would be the end of their story but it was only the beginning. Once they became Facebook friends, Giancarlo noticed a Facebook post from Janine stating that she was giving away leftover Halloween candy. He jumped at the opportunity to speak with her again and get some free candy! The two exchanged numbers to keep in touch and have been together ever since. Check out their breathtakingly gorgeous engagement session captured by Kareem Virgo of Reem Photography.
Bride: Janine Ross, 30, Clinical Research Associate
Groom: Giancarlo Simpson, Instructor, Therapist, Program Director
Place of residence: Deerfield Beach, FL
Engagement Shoot Location: Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada
Wedding date: December 12, 2020
Janine and Giancarlo share a passion for travel, but with very busy schedules they often have to plan shorter, weekend trips. On one such trip to Atlanta, the couple were visiting friends and decided to go to the Botanical Gardens. Giancarlo was taking pictures while Janine and her friend, Shekinah chit-chatted. They arrived at this beautiful exhibition called "Earth Goddess." Janine was entranced by the display and proceeded to read the description of the exhibit. The "Earth Goddess" looks a lot like Te Fiti from Moana which is one of Janine's favorite movies. Suddenly, she I heard someone singing "Turn Your Lights Down Low," by Bob Marley and Lauren Hill which is one of her favorite songs! When she felt Giancarlo tugging at her arm, she knew that this was the moment he was going to propose. Giancarlo got down on one knee and asked her to marry him and she wholeheartedly said "Yes."
For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day
After purchasing the ring, I showed it to our dog, Benjamin Buju Button, who gave me his blessing. I bought tickets to go to Curlfest, which was the decoy event. Also, I coordinated a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with a friend, and organized a meeting with my frat brother, who is also a photographer. Then, I hired a singer to sing one of her favorite songs, "Turn the Lights Down Low". We went to the garden and walked over to an exhibit of a woman pouring water. Being Janine, she wanted to read about the exhibit as the music began. As we danced together with the music playing, I asked her to marry me. We celebrated our engagement by turning up at Curlfest shortly thereafter. It was truly a surreal moment that will always make us smile.
What makes your love special?
Him: The ability for us continue to find new things to love in each other. The journey to experience this unified peace is something I love about us and makes our love special.
Her: Our love is special because we don't give up on each other. Giancarlo's love for me feels unconditional. He loves me at my best and he continues to love and support me at my worst. He is my biggest cheerleader in both my career and personal ambitions.
What was the theme of your shoot?
I wanted our engagement shoot to capture us doing something we truly enjoy while looking fly. Shortly after Giancarlo proposed, Beyoncé dropped the video for "Spirit." I fell in love with the visuals of the desert and I wanted to incorporate that into our engagement shoot. While searching for locations, I came across Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas. I shared the idea with Giancarlo, he loved the location and was even more excited to make a trip out of it.
Were there any memorable moments during the shoot?
We froze. We did not do our due diligence with researching the weather because you know, "It's Vegas, it's hot!" How wrong we were. However, our amazing photographer, Kareem, and his lovely wife, Sandy, kept encouraging us the entire time.
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
COVID has completely wreaked havoc on our wedding plans. Originally, we were planning a destination wedding in our homeland of Jamaica. That wedding was going to be a party with our close family and friends however, we had to cancel those plans for 2020. The one good thing about this pandemic is that I have never been more certain that I want Giancarlo to be my husband. What we are really looking forward to is being husband and wife and free from the stressors of planning a wedding during a pandemic.
Have you started planning your wedding?
Yes, we've gotten a lot of the planning done.
Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish you a fruitful marriage and many years of wedded bliss!