As many of you know we met on the dating app Tinder when I was visiting NYC on a weekend trip! There was an instant connection after Keegan messaged me “she got money” in response to me working at 3M (he’s def with me for my paper). After a couple of months of texting, we went on our first date at Corner Social in Harlem which for lack of a better word was BLAH! The sense of humor I showed via text was not my in-person vibe and all of his jokes failed drastically. But Keegan being Keegan was determined to be liked (he thinks he’s the greatest thing on earth and everyone likes him) he asked me to another spot after dinner called Red Rooster. There we salsa danced and laughed until tears rolled down our eyes at very dark humorous jokes, that we should probably not share. That night we quickly learned there was no romantic attraction but it was the beginning of a fruitful friendship…we hung out, talked about people we were dating, spent hours venting about life in the park and became each other’s go-to. The friendship was beautiful and innocent until one day during Winter 2015 something shifted and the person we once saw as only a friend started to become really attractive (like damn gina) and then feelings began to arise. During this time Keegan tried to have his cake and eat it too because he wasn’t ready to retire his bachelor card, but I was not down for the Okie-Doke. So we decided to continue keeping our options open and remained friends. Which didn’t last long because we both don’t like sharing and are low-key-crazy. So after we both stated that we love each other during our Valentine’s Day date…Keegan got some sense and asked me to officially be his girlfriend on leap day, February 29, 2016 (to avoid celebrating every year) …and the rest is history!
It was May of 2019 when we woke up. Keegan tried to make me look basic in these streets but I got cute anyways. We went on a surprise date at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. He was taking photos of me in the Japanese garden in front of the Torii gate (because he speaks Japanese & it’s my name). I looked down and he was on one knee. Random children tried to sit behind me and they finally got out of our way. Keegan put the ring on the wrong finger (he was shaking nervously)… and I was like “babe wrong finger” and he was like “sorry, I’ve never done this before”. He finally put the ring on my finger and asked me to marry him. Of course I said YES! When I looked up the “very nice black man” who I thought was a stranger was actually our close friend Mario recording the entire moment. The day was truly thoughtful and he finally surprised me after 3+ years of trying.
We are now 29 days away from becoming ONE in the beautiful setting of Marrakech, surrounded by 75 of some of our closest family & friends on our four year anniversary (February 29, 2020).
We are excited for this next step as marriage is important to us for different reasons. Our upbringing has a lot to do with it:
Keegan a Trinidadian immigrant (now American Citizen), the only child and comes from parents married for 36 years.
Me (Tori) the youngest of two from my mother & the fourth eldest of nineteen on my fathers side. Raised by divorced parents in two different countries (America & Grand Cayman Islands)
Whew chile that’s a lot to unpack! We will discuss more about us and how our differences balances us out in a later blog!
Photographer: Michelle Scott Photography
Stylist: Tori Elizabeth Phillip
MUA: Lily Morales Makeup
Grooming: Hare Club
Bride Attire (Neon Dress): Elizabeth Dye
Boots: Lilly’s Kloset
Flower Crown: Brooklyn Blooms NYC
Green Velvet Suit: Asos
Heels: Tiannia Barnes
Nude Pearl Dress & Duster: Designing Africa Collective
Groom Attire (Denim Look): Nordstrom
Boots: Cole Haan
Wine Suit: Top Shop
Turtle Neck: Nordstrom
Neutral Look: Nordstrom
Boots: Handmade in Morocco
Engagement Ring Designed by: Tori & Crystal Streets Jewelry
Founder of women’s empowerment community The Colored Girl & Co-Founder of The 20Ninth a community centered around travel and connections for couples. Tori’s interest in luxury travel, lifestyle and design stems from her background as a celebrity wardrobe stylist, event planner and novice interior designer.