The Proposal

We got engaged on March 20, 2011 during one of our quarterly weekend getaways. That weekend we stayed in Serenbe, a charming community located south of the city in Palmetto, GA.

We spent our first two days relaxing, eating, sight-seeing, shopping and enjoying the on site spa. On Sunday, the day before we were scheduled to leave, we had an amazing breakfast, then went on a fun hay ride to tour the grounds and feed the farm animals. We took lots of pictures! Check out a few here:


After a wonderful dinner at The Farmhouse, we hung out on the balcony of our condo to watch the sun go down, share a few laughs and reflect on the day.


Chinnette’s version: The evening was so perfect! We had had a fun, but relaxing day and our bellies were full.  Much like many of our evenings, we sat outside with a glass of wine and laughed about the people and sights we observed throughout the day.  In true DJ ToNy SaYsO fashion, he played music from his laptop in the background while he fumbled with his camera on the tripod – taking more pictures and trying to download the pictures from the day (or so I thought). After some silly conversation and a few sips of wine, things instantly turned serious. One minute we’re laughing about the cute family we met on the hayride, the next minute, I’m saying “yes” to Tony’s marriage proposal all the while my “ugly Oprah Winfrey cry” ensued! On top of it all, if you know Tony, you know that the seemingly ordinary/laidback proposal, wasn’t so ordinary.  Seconds later, I found out that he wasn’t actually downloading pictures, he was recording the proposal! It was so natural, so intimate, so personal, so us! :-)

Tony’s (extended) version: Take 1! No Testin’! Coming up with the date and place was a little difficult at first. All I knew was that I wanted to do something different and creative, but meaningful. So, with a little thought I originally I came up with March 21, 2011, the date my nephew (Jabren) was born but the date fell on a Monday. Unfortunately, that Monday was the date of departure of our stay at Serenbe so I made Sunday, March 20th, my day to propose. Everyone knows how close I am to my nephew and how him being our family’s first grandchild/nephew/newest family member was so meaningful to me. I thought about all the things I learned from this new little person over the years and how much love he has brought to the lives of my family members. So, in like manner, I thought about Chinnette and how she has brought so much love and happiness to my life and how excited I am at the thought of her joining our family. Then I thought about the place—I wanted a place where it would be just her and I just enjoying our time together like we usually do, basically nothing to give her any hints. I initially asked myself, “How am I going to propose?”  In front of a bunch people, on bended knee, ring in the champagne glass? Nope! LOL! That wouldn’t represent me, but more importantly, that wouldn’t represent us!

After our long day out and about, I decided to go out on the balcony to relax and have a drink while enjoying the balcony view from the condo.  I grabbed my laptop and camera to download my pictures to create more space on my camera. I thought, “Let me not forget the music. I’ll just pull up iTunes.” Later, I was thinking the balcony would be a cool view to take some pictures, so I pulled out my trusty tripod. There I was, feeling comfortable in deep thought, with my music, my drink, a scenic view and my girl…chilling!

Realizing this was our last day at Serenbe, I knew I needed to figure out when and how I would propose. I was looking over to check on the pictures being downloaded then I suddenly remembered I had the recording feature on my camera. Perfect! That’s when I set up the camera to point in our direction. I know you all are wondering how I was able to manage this whole production and set up, but I had Chinnette go inside to make us drinks, and I think she was also on her phone telling someone about our day.

Action! Finally, it’s she and I just talking about our time at Serenbe over the past day and a half. I went on asking about if she was happy, and about the good and the bad of our stay thus far. Suddenly, I heard this verse: “Girl you know that I love you…girl let’s put it on the line,” with this heavy bass line beat in the background. That’s when I flipped open the box while singing along with the verse, her mouth dropped and I proposed! Then came the “Oprah cry”. Please note, the song was not a score or theme for my footage. The song has a totally different meaning but it got the job done. LOL!

A sneak peek into our special moment:


The players were real but the moment was surreal. Press rewind. (Melodee N’Mynor by SA-RA– check the snippet:


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