Apphia and Kerrick met at a pool party on August 10, 2014. Apphia and her best friend had committed to a workout challenge six months prior and there were actually real-life results. She was so nervous about going to an event where my body could be judged or even criticized. But she was also internally excited about putting on her bathing suit and conquering a fear that she never shared with anyone. Kerrick, who knew Apphia's best friend, approached her when they were leaving the pool party. He said he did not speak out earlier because he thought Apphia was in a relationship. But once he found out that she was single, he told her best friend to tell Apphia, "I love her." Unknowingly, Kerrick and Apphia were already following each other on Instagram and began direct messaging each other that night because Apphia was apprehensive about giving out her phone number if he was not really serious about getting to know her. They direct messaged each other for over a month before she gave Kerrick her number. The irony of Apphia meeting the love of her life that day was that for the first time in her life, she was in a place where she truly loved being single. Four years later and now these stylish city lovers are ready to walk down the aisle hand-in-hand. Check out their alternative engagement session in Crescent Park, New Orleans, captured by Calvin Gavion Jr.
Bride's full name, age and occupation: Apphia Hope Franklin, 32, Nurse
Groom's full name, age and occupation: Kerrick Jimond Adams, 32, Central Supply Clerk at a Nursing Facility & Funeral Director
Place of residence: Shreveport, Louisiana
Engagement Shoot Location: Crescent Park, New Orleans, Louisiana
Wedding date: June 15, 2019
I literally had no idea that Kerrick was going to propose to me on Mardi Gras Day. We had made plans to visit New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras and his birthday, which is on Valentine's Day. We were up early to catch the Zulu parade, which began rolling at 8:00 a.m. I was dressed for the festivities with some knee-high tube socks, a tutu, and a personalized t-shirt that said, "Pour Me Something, Mister." To top off the hot mess that I physically looked on this day, by its end when Kerrick proposed to me, I had logged in over 30,000 steps for the day, so my feet were tired. Our final stop for the day was Congo Square, which houses Mahalia Jackson Theater. I was most excited because I could see the empty park benches and knew I could rest my feet if only for a few minutes before we started the dreaded three-mile trek back to my sister's house.
As Kerrick walked with me over the bridge in the park, I did not even realize what was happening as I was eyeing the park bench on the other side of the bridge and was praying that no one got it before we did. Next thing I know, Kerrick was down on one knee proposing to me. I just remember becoming weightless; my tired feet were forgotten and the 20 pounds of beads around my neck were playing a sort of tribal beat with my body literally trembling. It was as if Kerrick was talking in a foreign language until the words, "Will you marry me," came out his mouth.
For the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.
The hardest part of preparing the proposal was not being able to tell Apphia. It was solidified in my head and heart that she was truly the one for me. I kept finding myself talking to her and wanting to say, "Guess what I did today?" It was literal torture not being able to have her be a part of what I felt was one of the happiest moments in my life. Making it through the holidays was very difficult as well. The ring was burning a proverbial hole in my pocket, but I wanted the moment I proposed to be special and not overshadowed by other celebratory days. I chose February 13, 2018, to be the day that I finally proposed to my future wife because I did not want to celebrate making another Valentine's Day without making a commitment towards marriage.
I did not know exactly where I wanted to propose to Apphia because New Orleans was our special place where we had so many relationship-defining moments and sentimental spots. When we got to Congo Square, I had peace and knew it was the place and the time. I finally put out all the fears that most guys are too macho to admit. Like what if she says no or what if she hates the ring, or what if she thinks my proposal was weak? I don't even remember everything I said when I proposed to her, but what I do remember is that she yelled, "Yes," and jumped up into my arms with the tightest bear hug ever. Even with carrying her in my arms, I felt like a hundred-pound weight had been lifted off me.
What makes your love special?
Apphia: I feel that our love is special because I can wholeheartedly trust Kerrick. There is no such thing as TMI (too much information) with Kerrick. He is so honest about everything, which is refreshing. I never feel like I have to ask the right question to get the right answer with him.
Kerrick: I feel that our love is special because my relationship is my safe space; it is the place that I go and feel the most protected and safe. I never feel like there are unreasonable expectations of who I need to be because who I am right now is who she loves.
What was the theme of your shoot?
The theme of our photoshoot was simply "Diamond in the Rough." It was shot in New Orleans, which has been my favorite place since I was very young. It is a place that smells horrible, has potholes that can eat an SUV, and feral cats that will chase you and your dog up the street. But if you get lost in the bad, you will miss out on the true gem that is New Orleans. That is how I see my relationship. It is not perfect but it is perfect to me. I wanted the backdrop of my photoshoot to portray those aspects.
Were there any memorable moments during the shoot?
On the day of the shoot, it stormed all day and I was concerned that we wasted a trip to New Orleans and wouldn't get our engagement photos. But right before the time we were set to have the shoot, the sun came out. There was also a group of skateboarders that continued to be in the backdrop of our pictures and slowed us down. Before I could even say a word of prayer to God for the skateboarders to go elsewhere, the park's security came and had them removed. It was a small thing that could have added stress to a moment we wanted to be perfect, but it just came together without any thought or effort on our part.
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
The thing that I am most looking forward to with our wedding is having everyone we love the most come together to celebrate our union. It will be the only time in our relationship where everyone from both sides of our family will be together in one room. Family and friends are such an important part of both our lives since they reflect a lot about our personalities. We will finally have documented proof of why we both turned out so crazy.
Have you started planning your wedding?
I started planning my wedding when I was eight years old. But truly, since our engagement, we have both been actively planning. We have a timeline that gives us accomplishable deadlines to meet and a strict budget to keep.
Congratulations to the happy couple! We wish you a fruitful marriage and many years of wedded bliss.