Love in Central Park: Engagement Session in NYC

Shea and Jebari first crossed paths in Brooklyn, at the party of a mutual friend.

Very much aware of each other, it wasn’t long before their paths crossed on the dance floor, with an introduction following shortly after. “…it was something about our organic conversations and our uniqueness, me being a girl from Harlem and him being a boy from Brooklyn that captivated us with each other in a way we didn’t expect.” Seven years of memories later and Jebari asked for Shea’s hand in marriage, surrounded by family and friends during an unforgettable Thanksgiving. Read all about their love story in this romantic Central Park engagement session – with wedding design by MunaLuchi Coterie member ILE Events.

Bride & Groom-to-be: Shea & Jebari
Occupations: Studio Operations Manager & Sports Entertainment Videographer/Editor
Engagement Session Date: 09/17/2019
Engagement Session Location: Central Park, New York
Wedding Date: July 17th, 2020

Tell us how you met. It was about 10 summers ago when our love story began, at a backyard party in a mutual friend’s brownstone in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. We were two 24 year-olds enjoying the kinetic summer vibe of beautiful folk with friends when the DJ brought us to the dance floor turning one dance into another and another. Jebari decided to hop into my picture with my girls as his official introduction to me technically, but what he didn’t know was I peeped him early on in the night when he arrived with his boys. I thought he was cute immediately, but I also thought he was mysterious with a different type of confidence. Without knowing, we would each spark a connection that would manifest into a lifetime partnership as friends, lovers, business partners, and so much more.

Our love is that deep love found between the spaces beyond friendship. It is a sacred bond between two young minds that saw something so special in one another we could not be in each other’s lives. From day one neither one of us was looking for love, so to speak, fresh out of relationships when we met. But it was something about our organic conversations and our uniqueness, me being a girl from Harlem and him being a boy from Brooklyn that captivated us with each other in a way we didn’t expect. So we took our time dating each other with lots of park dates and free concerts and just had fun getting to know each other. Realizing one of our favorite classic movies was “Cornbread, Earl, & Me,” and that I am a multifaceted artist and Jebari is also a multiverse creative in media, that both our families each celebrated our Black & African culture proudly throughout our childhoods solidified that not only did we have a special connection with each other intimately but our passion for our culture is something you pray for in a partner.

Tell us about the proposal. Seven years’ worth of memories later and Jebari popped the big question at Thanksgiving dinner on November 23, 2017, at his parent’s house with a curated video filled with well-wishes from our closest family and friends. After looking at the video and finally figuring out that the Thanksgiving dinner I thought I planned was really a surprise proposal dinner that Jebari had been planning for months, gasping, and then regaining my composure, I said “Yes!”

When did you realize they were “the one”? Shea: “I really fell in love with Jebari the first time I stayed overnight at his house. I know, I know! But I always tell this story because it was about experiencing his home life come alive that morning that spoke to my spirit. As he was asleep I combed every inch of his room and it was literally a library of books beyond the usual Black authors, Black art covered the walls, old speeches from our leaders were stacked by date recorded by his dad. It was like I had stepped into their own personal Schomburg library right here in his Flatbush home. Our conversations had always stimulated me and intrigued me but now I knew why. His home was literally the epitome of pure and proud Blackness. It inspired me in a way that tugged at my heart and my future. Our years together have grown my womanhood in a way I never knew was possible. I am so grateful for his gentle spirit to my fire because he showed me beauty in a Black man that I never truly knew. He is my calm and my protection, my joy and my light, most of all he truly is my King.”

When did you realize they were “the one”? Jebari: “For me, there wasn’t a particular occasion but more of a plethora of moments that made me aware that I was falling in love with Shea. There were times and still are, where I have simply enjoyed Shea’s mentality & her intellect. We would just talk while analyzing the depths of life and offer each other fresh perspectives which always seem to guide us in the path we were looking for. Each day we embraced and opened up to each other, I recognized the wealth of her spirit and heart. She is my catalyst without a doubt. She reinforces my dreams and makes the future shine brighter. I was lucky to have met Shea that night. For a divine reason, we connected and haven’t been able to let go since.”

Photographer: Ilene Squires Photography
Hair Stylist: Helen Marie
MakeUp: Zèphir Artistry
Clothing: (Bride-to-be) Pants ,Top; (Groom-to-be) Pants, Sneakers
Wedding Designer: ILE Events


Samuel Naumick Headshot

About Samuel

Bookworm with degrees in English, Psychology, and Fine Art. Interests include cycling, rock climbing, hiking, Tabla, Violin, hoarding books, and poorly identifying birds.

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