Leisa and Antonio’s mothers were childhood friends who were intentional about their plans to introduce Antonio to Leisa when he moved to Maryland in 2016. The two ended up spending a lot of time together at several family functions. However, Leisa would leave for her post-doctoral internship in Florida in 2018. After returning a year later, they picked up where they left off. What started as a casual friendship blossomed into so much more. Maybe mothers really do know best! Check out their gorgeous engagement session captured by Judah Avenue Photography and previously featured in the Summer 2022 Issue of Black Bride magazine.
Bride: Leisa Small, 33, Clinical Psychologist
Groom: Antonio Palmer, 35, IT Consultant
Place of Residence: Laurel, MD
Engagement Shoot Location: Washington, D.C.
Wedding Date: April 9, 2022
I proposed to Leisa on September 26, 2020 after a month of planning with the help of Leisa’s sister and close friends. Leisa was under the impression that we were attending a private charity dinner, but instead she walked into a beautifully decorated private space with her parents and close friends in attendance. While she was still in shock, I got down on one knee and asked her permission to let me love her forever. She said YES!
For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.
Once I secured the ring and a location, I recruited Leisa’s sister and closest friends to help me plan the special day. There were many secret video conference calls, and I even enlisted a close friend of mine to invite us to the “charity dinner” at the King Contrivance Mansion. Leisa tried her best to figure out when the proposal was coming, but her friends did an excellent job of keeping her in the dark.
Were there any memorable moments during the shoot?
Antonio: While our photographer was doing a few close-up headshots, I started crying, because at that moment I thought to myself, “This is the most beautiful woman in the world. This is my future wife…and I will give her all the love she deserves in this life.”
Leisa: Our photographer helped us get out of our comfort zones and focus on each other, which resulted in breathtaking pictures that captured our love.
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
Antonio: Seeing Leisa walk down the aisle, surrounded by our family and closest friends, will be the happiest moment of my life.
Leisa: I can’t wait to exchange our vows in front of the Caribbean sunset and pledge my love to Antonio forever.