Congratulations and Best Wishes on your future! I wish you two the very best. Joyce Staples
This is a beautiful registry. Congratulations on a job well done. Ulysses and I look forward to sharing this important and precious occasion with you and wish you much happiness, peace, joy, prosperity and above all, love. Peace and blessings, Shirley
Wishing you guys a lifetime of happiness. He who findeth a wife, findeth a good thing. I’m truly blessed and honored to be apart of your big day. Love you always. God bless.
Please add Lillian Ward as my guess. Thank you
Kareem and Jessica I am so very proud on your decision to Marry, I have been waiting patiently for 12 year for this union to happen. Marriage brings into being the family unit and the family circle, Marriage is designed to be a permanent bond of union, not to be taking lightly, to live together in love, confidence and communication(very important). Some helpful reminder: Never take each other for granted, Don't stop noticing each other, Notice and acknowledge each other good qualities (complement are always great to hear from the one you Love) when time get stressful look for all the good traits in each other(there are usually more good then bad, Remember Love Never Fails(Never fail to show love through appreciation). Jehovah is the designer of Marriage and I have never read in his written word that Marriage is 50/50 but that "A man would leave his father and mother and he will stick to his wife and they will become ONE Flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Love Ya both and very PROUD
Jebbie, Kareem I just wanted to let you know how much I love both of you. Seeing the two of you together always warms my heart, and you never take a bad picture! Looking forward to your special day, Wishing you much happiness and all of God's blessings!!!
Aw snaps now !! "Married Club!!" I love LOVE and you two are so blessed to have each other God Bless you both! Thank you for inviting us we appreciate it!
Jessica & Kareem My prayer is that God will bless your union And your love continue to grow May your joy and laughter be fast And your anger and tears be slow Keep God ever present And in the center of your life Be a caring and giving husband Be a caring and giving wife Love is such a beautiful thing To treasure until the end It's even better when the one you love Is also a dear and special friend So enjoy your lives together As your memories form in your heart Love, smile and be happy And you will never fall apart! I Love You! Aunt Lynette
Wow, I'm so late, but I must leave my blessings with you two. I will leave some powerful words from R.C. Sproul: Love has come to mean many things. It’s used to describe emotions. It’s the glue for relationships. It frames countless stories. And the greatest of these stories opens before time began and echoes throughout eternity. It’s the story of God’s unrelenting, overwhelming love for His people. Yet the truth of love is even more majestic, more staggering, and more extraordinary than we can understand: God doesn’t just love us. He "is" love. I'm not married, but it don't take a genius to know that if you hold on to God, He will hold you together through any test or trial you could ever face. I pray that God will open up the heavens and poor out countless blessings on the two of you and that He will keep you in His perfect peace in the name of Jesus. Love Tara...
Tried and true, unwavering, selfless, and unconditional are the words I'd use without hesitation to describe my friendship with you, Jess. But it is also without a doubt that I'd say the same and MORE about Kareem's love for you. I am so blessed by the bond I share with you guys as a couple and your love and adoration for each other gives me so much hope! Jessica, thank you for choosing me to stand with you on your special day! My heart's joy is seeing those I love happy, and there's no one more deserving of a fairy tale ending with a hint of Def Comedy Jam mixed in! LOL! Savannah will never be the same after we turn it out because #Itsabaxterthang! Congratulations again on finding your forever in each other.
Whoop whoop!! We're so excited to celebrate the union of you and my dear Nephew Reemo! You've always been family to us Jebby and we're so happy that it will be made official this Sept! With God as the head, you both will have a beautiful and long lasting union. We love you both so much and could not be more happy for you!!
We love you guys and are thrilled to share in your blessed day.
Thank you Jess for allowing me to be a part of your wedding. love you Justice
To My godmother. I am so looking forward to this special day for you. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of it. I love you Jess ..from Harmony
Cornelius and I are planning on attending.
I"ve waited on this day for a long time. I'm so proud of you. yes I am honored to be a guest at this beautiful wedding. The count down starts now. Love you Jess and Kareem, may God bless this union
I can't wait to TURN UP lol... No seriously, I've watched you grow from a feisty toddler to a beautiful feisty woman and honestly it's in our blood. Love you both and I'm looking forward to celebrating and throwing back the tequila shots after LOL MUAH
Me and Rocky (2) will be there ;)
Jess, I am so happy for you and Kareem! It is a blessing to be invited to witness this beautiful union. I love you!
Congrats! Thank you for inviting my husband and I.
love it and love you both thank you so much inviting me, I am actually in tears .
I am soooooo happy for you both!! I'm so glad you both found your perfect match! I can't wait to witness your big day!! *wipes tears* Jebby is getting married! I'm glad you asked me to be a part of the beginning of your next chapter of life. Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness. Love you guys! #ItsaBaxterThing
I love you both dearly and to see you taking things to the next step is so amazing. Also, for you both to think about me being in the wedding was such a heart warming moment. Can’t wait to see things fall into place! #ItsABaxterThing
Can't wait! <3
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Jess has known Dion all her life! Ever since she was a little girl, she always remember him coming out to the house just about everyday just to hang out. She doesn't know if he knows it or not but he has always been more of a mentor/big brother to her. She can vividly remember sitting in Sunday School listening to him teach passionately about giving glory to God so it was no surprise that he was called into ministry.
Kareem met Dion around 2006 when he came to Martinsville for Jess' graduation cookout. So when it came time to pick their officiant, Dion was the first person they thought of to bless their union. They are so grateful that he will be there for such a special moment. Love you "D"!
Jess met Keisha in high school and they have been cool ever since. They were on the cheerleading squad together and also tried to start a cheerleading camp with Sierra called "Just Stomp and Kick" (J-Jess, S-Sierra, and K-Keisha lol) and although it never officially launched, Jess always admired Keisha's spirit. She is an amazing teacher, dancer/diva, cheerleader and friend. She will tell you like it is with a smile on her face which is one of the many reasons we are so excited that she will be a part of our day! :)
Jess and Tiara have been close since they were itty bitty. They both spent just about every day/night at their grandma's house when they were little. Tiara is by far one of the most down to earth people you will ever meet. No matter what, Jess can always count on her to make her laugh and make her day much better. She is an amazing mom and we truly appreciate her being there for us on this special day.
Dante is Jess' little big brother. He has grown into a loving, caring, crazy smart, over protective young man. We are so proud of him and super happy that he will be there on such a special day.
Tahj - man on man.. he has grown up fast! He is Jess' Godbrother (Brie's son and Jess' ma and pops Godson). Jess remembers the day Brie told her that she was pregnant. She was soooo excited to have a new baby cousin on the way. Tahj was the most adorable little baby. It is crazy to know that he will turn 18 the day before the wedding! We are so proud of the athletic, Godfearing young man that he is growing into.
Daisy is so full of life! She is Brienna's daughter and boy are they alike... 2 peas in a pod for sure!! She is a joy to be around and will brighten your day as soon as she says hello! She loves to sing, dance, read, and even at such a young age, she makes sure you know that she loves God. We are so excited that she will be a part of our big day!
Joelle is such a cutie patootie lol... definitely a little princess. We recently found out that she is very particular about her food... it has to be "clean" or she won't touch it lol... and you better believe that she is going to tell you if it isn't lol... but we are so excited that she is going to be a part of our special day.
Justice has such a big personality and we love it! She is such a sweet kid and we look forward to seeing her grow into an amazing young woman. She is Jessica's little cousin and we are so happy that she will introduce the Bride before Jessica makes her entrance.
My best man, my uncle... as far back as I can remember, my summers always included my uncle Aaron. Being only a few years older, naturally I looked up to him. He could draw better than anyone I knew, he put me on to hip hop and he knew the train system in New York by heart. He was and is definitely someone I could talk to and I'm honored to make him a part of this special day.
My partner in crime... I've never had a doubt if Mike had my back. Since we met in high school and started hanging soon after, he always been loyal and honest wit me. From life conversations to long nights, I can count on Mike to wake up and say "Lets do it again." I'm glad I could count on him to be a part of this special day.
Dominique once told me that he wouldn't change any decision he made because they all led him to the person he is today. He told me that probably over 10 years ago sitting in front of Ms. C crib where we all used to chill, but those words stuck with me. Nique is the epitome of no regrets, give it your all and stay positive. He's definitely one of the most enthusiastic people I know and I'm glad he here to share this event with me.
Since high school, Mo has been the same person just more mature. He is one of the most understanding and caring people I grew into manhood with. He's always loved having family and friends around and treats friends like family just the same. A dedicated husband and father and genuine friend. He is the kind of influence I am lucky to have around on my wedding day.
Cooler than the other side of the pillow. Some things can't be explained. The bond me and T Ro have had is just organic... maybe it's because we both skinny, I don't know but we think a lot alike. From borrowing shoes, to debating T.I. vs Lil Wayne, ever since we started kickin' it, we been tight so I was thrilled he agreed to be a groomsman.
If I ever need an ear to just listen and give me some positive feedback, I can call Bob. I'm probably gonna end up lending an ear to him as well but I think he values my opinion whether he takes heed or not. Just like a bigger lil brother, Bob wears his emotions on his sleeve and I wouldn't have it any other way. He said he didn't care what he had to do, he was gonna be there for my wedding and I believed him and I'm grateful for it.
Remember the game, "the floor is lava"? Well when me and Martin played, the floor was the ocean and it was filled with sharks. You form an unbreakable bond with someone when you've escaped shark infested waters with them. One of the first friends I made when we moved to Norfolk. Even if we don't speak daily, it's always been love every time we do link up and I know this time will be no different.
Joy and I were roommates at VCU for about 2 years. We hit it off as soon as we met! We may go months without talking but when we speak, it feels like we haven't missed a beat. Joy is one of those people who has such an amazing spirit. She is very ambitious, determined, and just pure "joy" to be around. She is my favorite lawyer and I don't know what I would do without her. No matter the distance, she has always held me down and had my back. I'm ecstatic that she agreed to be my Matron of Honor.
Brie is the older sister I never had! It is actually pretty scary how much we are alike. Ever since we were kids, she has been someone that I looked up to. My relationship with her is like no other. Watching her with her kids and how supportive she is of our family as a whole, amazes me. She is crazy smart, hilarious and will tell you like it is. Her strength and determination are a few of a gazillion traits that I admire about her. She is a "Super Mom" for sure and there is no way I could say "I do" without her by my side. I'm honored that she agreed to be my Maid of Honor!
Lo, Lola, Elle Aye Gee - my boujie, big hearted, ultra sensitive, over-the-top, bestie lol... We actually grew up 30 minutes apart from each other but met around 2009 through a mutual friend. From that day forward, she has always looked out for me. We fight like sisters but I can always count on her to be one of my biggest cheerleaders. God knows who and what you need, when you need it so I'm forever grateful for her friendship. Thank you so much for agreeing to be by my side on such an amazing day. Love ya girl!
Sierra is one of the funniest, most encouraging, creative, understanding people I know. I admire her strength through all the challenges life has thrown her way. No matter the day or time that I call her, she always picks up. We been hanging together since we were praise dancing at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. She was actually my inspiration to take the natural hair journey. I couldn't ask for a more supportive and uplifting cousin/Soror/friend. Big hugs!!
Mimi - "Why didn't we meet sooner!??" Mimi and I met while working together at my first job in Atlanta. We randomly started hanging about a year ago but it feels like I've known her all my life. She is one of the most creative, straight forward, God fearing women that I've ever met. One day she told me "There's no reason to stress, God's got you Jess" and for whatever reason that always pops in my head every time life throws a curve ball my way. Her smile will light up a room and I'm so glad we crossed paths!
Sis!! -- Reese is the little sister I never had. She may be Kareem's biological sister but she is definitely my little big sister now lol. I met her around the same time I met Kareem in 2002 and have watched her grow into an amazing woman, trainer and entrepreneur. Her work ethic is undoubtedly one of the best I've ever seen. No matter the challenge, she always sees things from a positive perspective which makes me appreciate her that much more. I admire the relationship that she has with Kareem and I'm so excited to officially become part of the family.
"B" and I have been rocking since highschool. We started hanging and were inseperable for years! She is one person who has always kept it real so I can depend on her to tell me like it is. When we get around each other, we literally talk until the sun comes up about everything and everybody lol. We have been best friends for almost 20 years which is crazy to even think about! She is my other "Super Mom" and I can only strive to be half of the mom/daughter/friend that she is. I just love her lol
My Godbaby isn't a baby anymore!! Harmony is my ball playing, video game loving godchild. She is growing into a beautiful and talented young lady. No matter what, she will always be my "baby" lol Time please slow down!
Below are additional hotel options that are driving distance to the museum. We do not have room blocks at these hotels, however, they offer affordable rates.
Hampton Inn and Suites - Savannah/Midtown (4.6 miles away)
Click here -> Hampton Inn and Suites Website
Homewood Suites by Hilton Savannah (4.2 miles away)
Click here -> Homewood Suites Website
La Quinta Inn Savannah Midtown (4.6 miles away)
Click here -> LaQuinta Inn and Suites Website
Fairfield Inn and Suites is also very nice and super convenient. It is in the heart of downtown Savannah so it is walking distance to Ships of the Sea (wedding venue), River Street, City Market, and Broughton Street shopping.
Below is the reservation link for Fairfield Inn and Suites. The cost is $189 per night. We only blocked 10 rooms for Saturday night so make sure you book your room ASAP because the deadline for this rate is August 8th. If you book your room via the reservation link below, it will only let you secure your room for Saturday night. You can extend your stay, however, you will need to call to make your reservation. Please make sure you mention the Gravely-Baxter room block for Saturday night to get the discounted rate!
Click here --> Book your group rate for Gravely-Baxter Wedding
Hotel Indigo is beautiful! This is where we will be staying. We have blocked 25 rooms for Friday and Saturday night so first come, first serve. This is a boutique style hotel with modern amenities. The cost is $249 per night for either a King room or 2 Queen beds. For a King Suite it is $289 per night.
You may book your reservation by calling the Central Reservation at 912-236-4440 and mention Gravely Wedding or group code GRA.
You may also book your reservation by using the reservation link below. Select “Book Online” at the top right of the page and the group code GRA will automatically filter in; however, make sure to change the arrival and departure date to receive the group rate.
Click here --> Gravely Wedding Block
FYI - This hotel is walking distance (about 2 blocks) to Ships of the Sea (the wedding venue), 1 block from City Market, 1 block from River Street, and 2 blocks from Broughton Street shopping. So in a nutshell... the location is super convenient and this is the place to be!
This venue is special to us because it is symbolic of Kareem's career as a Merchant Seaman and Jessica's love for gardens and nature.
The ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception will be held outside, in different parts of the same venue but it is a one stop shop so bring your dancing shoes! Make sure you RSVP by May 4th by clicking "RSVP" in the top left corner of this page.
We will only send formal invitations to those who RSVP via this site. You will have an opportunity to confirm your reservation when you receive your formal invitation.
**ADULTS ONLY RECEPTION**
When I was just a little girl, my Pops said to me one day "Jess, how do we live?" At the time, I had no clue what he meant. He said "Always remember, we live day by day". As I grew up, he would randomly ask me "how do we live" and I would shout "day by day!" and to this very day, those words still resonate with me especially when life throws a curve ball. My pops is the epitome of a hard working, jack of all trades, "country" man lol... he made sure I knew how to do the basics (cut the grass, take out the trash, keep the oil changed in the car, how to work in the garden, etc) whether I had a "man around the house" or not... I can talk to him about ANYTHING and he always has my back, whether I've made the best decision or not. He met Kareem my freshman year when it was time to move out of the dorm. Kareem "came to the rescue" and helped him carry a bunch of stuff so from that day forward, Pops said "that's a good kid. I like him" lol
My mama on the other hand, is more of the "tell it like it is" parent lol... Everyone that meets her loves her. She has always made sure that I knew right from wrong and challenged me to always make the "right" decisions. Now she wasn't as "easy" on me as Pops if I got in some trouble but she always made sure I could stand my ground and think for myself. As long as I did "what I was supposed to do", she made sure I could experience the best that life had to offer. I'll never forget all the long nights that she spent working for the Booster Club at the bingo hall to make sure I could go on a trip to Australia with the People to People Student Ambassador program.
Man, when I say they are both my best friends, I truly mean that. They are both "cool" in their own special way, I don't know what I would do without them. I truly appreciate everything that they have blessed me with. They have been married for 35+ years and I can only pray that Kareem and I are blessed to provide the same love and care to each other and to our children as they have for me and Dante. I love you to life and can't thank you enough!!
My parents are my foundation. I don't know where I would be without them. Every day I appreciate their entire existence more and more. They raised Reese and I with care, structure, love, and discipline in ways I could never understand growing up. My dad's motto is "always have a plan". I've heard it more than I could possibly remember... but these days I always have a plan. He taught me not to be a follower and to do what I wanted because it was what I wanted to do not because it may just be what was expected. I always value his input when I think I'm ready to make an important decision in my life... even not so important decisions... I feel like if my dad agrees with my thought pattern then I'm on the right track... and he is excited about this big day so I feel good.
My mom... my mom IS unconditional love, the nurturer, the comforter, super emotional... she wears her emotion on her sleeve so you gotta handle her with care but she is far from soft. If she feels a way about something you will find out sooner than later. She is also where I get my adventurous/curious side from... especially when it comes to food... one of the greatest cooks I know... I don't even want anyone to know about her cajun catfish because i want it all to myself. Probably the most relevant example they have set for me is how to be married... all by action not so much verbal lessons but I've watched, noticed, and took heed to how they act toward each other, treat each other and show love through whatever. Without trying, they've given me the confidence in my own marriage before it has even been made official. Thanks guys, love yall!
Dante is a man of very few words but you best believe that when he speaks, people listen lol... He has been holding me down since he was 5. He is a very affectionate, loving, overprotective, witty, and super intelligent young man. Even when the going gets a little tough, I admire his strength to let it roll off his back and move on. We are so much alike but yet so different. I am truly blessed to have him as my brother and I'm so happy that he will be there with me on one of the most special days of my life. I love you Dones!
My lil sister Reese. The dopest lil sister anyone could have. I am proud to be her big brother and I am even more proud that SHE is my lil sister. I always say "lil" when referring to her but I look up to her in probably every aspect of life. I aspire to have her drive and commitment and I admire her confidence and dedication to what she believes in. The number one thing would be health. I don't know exactly when health and fitness became her main focus but she has pretty much made her life about her and those around her "getting better together". From coaching track to personal training to meal prep to teaching classes to giving lectures, her life is centered in the betterment of herself and those associated with her. I strive for greatness just to make her proud and I know she is proud of me taking this step in life.
From as far back as I can remember, my grandma was a hardworking provider for her family. I'm sure thats where some of my work ethic comes from. She is 92 years young and to this day, she still talks about finding her another job and going back to work lol! I can only pray to live to witness the things she has seen in over 9 decades! I love her very much and I am extremely blessed that she will be a part of our special day!
RIP to my Grandpa Clay. He is my dad's father (if you can't tell lol). Him and Grandma Lou were married for quite a few years before he passed away. I never had a chance to meet him but I know in my heart that he is here with us on our special day!
It was a given... every time we went to see my granddad, his cookie jar was full... and it stayed full the whole time we were there. We always ate good, took trips around New York and the cookie jar was full. I always felt like "man, this guy has got it all together", it didn't take much to impress me back then. But he still impresses me. He doesn't get too worked up, he takes life as it comes, one day at a time. He travels and enjoys life and keeps a positive outlook. Even when I was learning a life lesson,, he told me "this too shall pass". I know he wasn't the originator of the quote, but its good to be reminded by someone I'm sure has gotten past his own lessons. So now I am proud to have him at my wedding to share this part of our lives with him and look forward to lookin back on this as one more of the great times we've spent together.
RIP to my Granny Inez and Papa TJ! They are my mama's parents. Growing up, I was over to their house just about every day. So although they couldn't be with us on our special day, I know they are with me always!!
Grandad Joe gave me my first job. I was helping him clean offices when I was twelve. He just knew I wanted to get some money and I was willing to work... so there I was, I appreciated that. He was excited about me going to sea... he couldn't wait to use his sea references for me. He was always willing to help and look out. I'm glad that he could be here to share in this moment. Cheers Grandad "Hello!".
I was in elementary school, writing a letter to my grandma, or it may have been a card for her birthday but I couldn't spell grandmother so however I looked it up, I found grammy somewhere and ever since, that's my grammy! Whatever you could imagine a grandmother could be and should be, that's my Grammy! Plus a whole lot more. We can talk about anything... and sometimes we do funny, sometimes serious, sometimes just out of left field convos and she never skips a beat. Can't pull a fast one on my Grammy. I know she is gonna have a ball on our wedding day and I can't wait to see it and talk about it for years to come. Love you guys and glad you are here with us.
Grandma Mae is my father's mother. She passed when I was young but I did have the honor and privilege of getting to know her and feeling her love. My cherished memories are filled with lookin out her windows (she lived up near the top of her building....it seemed), eating her fried chicken, and her letting me eat the olives out the jar in the living room. I was greedy and she loved it and me. All of my memories of grandma Mae are surrounded by love, and I know that with all the love surrounding Jessica and I on our wedding day I will feel my Grandma there too.
I could go on and on about how wonderful my "Doe" has been to me. She is the best Godmother anyone could hope for. Thank you for literally... EVERYTHING! She has always made sure I didn't have to "ask" for anything. I'm so happy she can be there to celebrate with us on our special day.
September 26, 2017
Kareem had gone down to Jacksonville, FL to handle some stuff for his job. He took the bus down there the night before and asked me to pick him up the next day around 5:00 pm. Well for those of you who understand Atlanta traffic on a Tuesday evening at 5 pm, then you understand my level of frustration. Earlier that morning I had a dr.'s appointment so after the appointment, I just threw on some clothes and headed downtown to pick him up. Literally, I had on a tshirt, some jeans and raggedy shoes. As soon as I got there, I was heated! I said "I JUST WANNA GO HOME...THIS TRAFFIC IS RIDICULOUS" Kareem quietly said, you wanna go get some food? (He knows a way to a girl's heart lol) so of course I said sure! He said, we can just do that until traffic die down. I said ok, so where we going? He said, want sushi? (Yall already know what I said lol) so we head to O-ku - the sushi spot that we had gone to for my birthday the year before. When we got there, they weren't open yet so we headed over to Barcelona (a restaurant next door) to have a few drinks until O-ku opened. We sat at the bar and did what we always do - laugh, joke, and people watch. Well we came up with a whole scenario about this one particular couple. The lady had her kids at the bar so we were laughing and saying that she brought her kids because it was her husband's work outing but she was NOT staying in that house any longer with those kids. Well that sparked a convo about trust and I went on a rant about how I'm glad we don't have to worry about trust in our relationship and blah blah blah. Well we paid our tab and headed over to O-ku. We get there, order some sake and sushi and I head to the restroom. When I got back, Kareem went to the restroom too. At some point the food arrived. Well Kareem comes back and starts to say (in this low tone) that he had something to tell me. How he didn't want to stress me out anymore than I already was and how he hopes I stay with him after he tells me this. My heart immediately starts POUNDING. I JUST told him that I was happy we didn't have to worry about trust SO WHAT YOU GOTTA TELL ME!?? So I'm sitting there like, ok what is it... my mind was RACING. So he starts to stand up, take his hat off and place it on my head and at that moment I knew what was happening!! He gets on one knee and says "I want you to marry me"... tears immediately rolled down my face. He's looking at me like sooo?? I said OH MY GOODNESS - YES NI**A! Now let me see that ring LOL I was super loud in the restaurant! lol I apologized to everyone around and said sorry yall but this really just happened!! So we hugged and kissed and I was ready to tell the world. I told him we might as well box up that food cause I was ready to go lol... It was definitely a surprise - he got me good!!
First of all, things didn't go to plan whatsoever. I wanted to propose on the cruise but I got off the ship later than I had planned and I ain't have time to order the ring and get it before the cruise in July. So I ordered it after the cruise and picked it up from the rental office while we were leaving to go see The Hitman's Bodyguard. I had some other things coming from Amazon so it was nothing out of the ordinary. I just hoped they didn't leave the package at the front door in case she saw it before me. That was August 18th but I didn't propose until September 26th. I just couldn't find the perfect moment... or at least what I thought would be the perfect moment. So I decided, any moment would be perfect as long as it was a surprise and she said yes- not necessarily in that order. So on the day in question, I went down to Jacksonville to get my shipping papers so she definitely wouldn't be expecting anything when I get back. I took the ring down to Jacksonville with me so that when I got back, I wouldn't have to go back home to get it. So when she picked me up that evening, I was depending on Atlanta traffic to be backed up and for Jebby to be hungry... JACKPOT ... 2 FOR 2!! So since traffic was slow, I casually suggested going to O-ku - the sushi place we had only been to once before for her birthday... she was down! Now they open at 5:30 and I think we got there at 5 so just like for her birthday, we went to Barcelona, the restaurant next door to chill at the bar until O-ku opened. We relaxed and had one of our legendary convos - they're always familiar and still new every time. So boom, now we go to O-ku as soon as they open. I was kinda hoping for the balcony but no one was up there yet so we settled for the seats they gave us... it didn't matter... I'm getting anxious now... she goes to the bathroom, then I go to the bathroom - threw some water on my face and took a deep breath. So I get back to the table and in a moment between conversing, I put on a real somber look... like I could've been in Hollywood. I say "I have something to tell you. I don't wanna put any extra stress on you and I still wanna be with you but it's just something I want you to know"... see what I did there?... I was telling the truth but I said it in a way that made her think it was something devastating that I was going to tell her... but it wasn't... it was something marvelous actually... BRILLIANT!... So I'm talking slow and I can see her mood changing and she says "you got me nervous now, so just tell me..." Moment of truth - I get up, take my hat off and then I can see her facial expression change and she says "No you not... no... noooo..." by this time I'm getting on one knee... then I say "I want you to marry me". (Sidenote: I got down in my Jordans so you know its real...I was careful... no scuff marks of course... but just know) By this time she is having her reactions... she gasp pretty deep, kind of paused a little bit, lets out a scream, got the attention of the restaurant. Remember they just opened so its about 7 customers total and it's pretty quiet in there anyway. While she is having her moment, I'm still on bended knee (in my Js...) cause she hasn't answered me yet! Then she notices I'm still down and says yes and says "gimme my ring!" And I did with pleasure. Then we reenacted the moment for the gram (...Js...) and the restaurant brought us free champagne. I took the pic and posted it and within minutes our phones were blowing up and the food was getting cold so I said lets go cuz we woudn't have ever finished our food cuz of all the phone calls. Bong... that was pretty much it. Perfect!
I always remember it as me being 19 so it must have been late first semester of my freshman year at VCU. The Commons was the place to get food after dinner and Hibbs (the cafeteria) was closed so that's where my roommate -Jermaine- and I went. I don't remember what Jermaine went to get but I went to the pizza line. It seemed like the lady cutting the pizza was having a bad day cuz she wasn't cutting the pizza with the sense of urgency that my stomach was demanding at the time. It was only myself and one other person in front of me waiting on a slice of pepperoni, hot out the oven. Well while I was waiting for an hour (slight exaggeration) for my slice of pizza, I made a comment about my feelings for the lady cutting the pizza. Right on cue, the other person waiting replied to my comment with the same enthusiasm. It was like we were having the exact same thought for the same hour (exaggeration). Her comment complimented my own so well that it made me laugh. I looked over and I just remember seeing some tight cornrows and a pale scalp - it wasn't dry though... just super tight ... but fresh though. I never saw the girl's face because we were both staring at the lady cutting the pizza still... we wanted her to know that we saw her see us and we weren't leaving until we got our pizza. Right before the Commons closed (exaggeration), we finally got our pizza and walking to the line, I saw the clever pizza enthusiast was wearing a light blue pullover... but I finally got my pizza so I just wanted to eat before I died of starvation (no exaggeration). Well of course when I went to sit down, Jermaine had already ate and he was sitting with a girl from one of his classes. Her name was Jamila (RIP) and Jamila was suitemates with the girl standing in line with me waiting on pizza. Her name turned out to be Jessica. So we sat down, ATE FIRST, then we had the energy to talk and laugh about our ordeal in line. At the time we exchanged IM names... I was k1ngreem0 and she was sexygirljebbica. We spoke casually. We were both freshmen so we attended a lot of the same functions. It was a genuine friendship that we had... in time, I learned that she actually loved pizza ALOT more than I did but just like the first night, we are still like minded (most of the time) and the conversations still flow just as easily as they did back in the fall in 2002.
Now imagine a silhouette- I had a silhouette of my perfect girl in mind... nothing too specific but in general how we would get along, our interests, outlook on life, a couple of physical features but like I said, nothing too specific cuz I was 19... I wasn't looking for a girlfriend... well you know how Alfred Hitchcock walks into his silhouette on his show? Well Jessica De'Vina walked into my silhouette of my perfect mate. She was my ideal, perfect partner before we ever met and now we have a 5+ years relationship based on a 10+ year friendship. And it all started from some smart remarks in a pizza line... thank you to that lady who took her sweet time cutting our pizza. If I could remember her face, I would buy her a slice of pizza myself... then make her wait for it hahahaha... (slight exaggeration)... it worked out well for me!
So it was my freshman year of college - circa 2002. Me and my suitemate (RIP Jamila) went to the Commons one night in our pjs to get some food. Back then you could use your meal card after hours to get pizza, burgers, etc. So we get there and of course I hop in the pizza line. The lady manning that station was taking FOREVER to cut the pizza. It was just sitting there but she wasn't cutting it. I was thinking to myself that I wish she would hurry up. A male's voice behind me literally said everything I was thinking lol so we started laughing, joking and talking about how nobody made her take the job and how we wished she would hurry up and cut the pizza. Although we were joking, I never turned around to see who I was talking to. Well after I got my food, I proceeded to the table where Jamila and another guy was sitting. As soon as I sat down, I introduced myself to that guy (his name was Jermaine) and started complaining about how the lady was taking forever with the food. Jamila starts telling me how her and Jermaine were in Art class together and right around that time a tall, skinny, super hyper guy comes running to the table snapping about the same thing I was complaining about. He introduced himself as Reemo and immediately asked what we were doing when we left. Come to find out, Reemo and Jermaine were roommates. He then invited himself and Jermaine to our room lol. Me and Jamila looked at each other and said "umm ok" lol... As we headed over to the dorm, Jermaine was actually trying to holla at me lol ... I WAS NOT interested in the least little bit lol... so after we all hung out that night, Kareem started downloading a ton of music on my computer and also added his AOL Instant Messenger (AIM for those of you that remember) screen name to my friends list. After they left, I told Jamila that Jermaine was trying to holla but I thought his friend was cute.
What Kareem didn't know at that time is that I had seen him before and for me, it felt like I had known him forever...I just didn't know his name. I found out that him and Jermaine went to Hibbs (the cafeteria) around the same time everyday so me and Jamila literally went to Hibbs at that time cuz I wanted to see him... For some reason I had this weird attraction to him. After that night in the pizza line, we became best friends and stayed that way for about 10 years. Valentine's Day 2012 Kareem FINALLY came around and expressed how he felt about me and we have been together ever since :)
I was born in Brooklyn to Wallace and Lisa Baxter. Shortly after my dad joined the Navy, we moved to San Diego where my little sister was born. Then we settled in Norfolk, Virginia where I grew up.
Growing up, I was a pretty carefree child and grew into a carefree adult, maybe to a fault but I don't care. Haha just kidding. After I graduated high school, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University and at the age of 19, I met the young lady that would turn into the woman I couldn't live without. I started talking to her in the pizza line. Instantly we started a conversation that sounded like we had been good friends forever. Years later we still have those same type of conversations and I can't wait for the conversations to continue.
I was born and raised in good ole Martinsville, VA to Constance (Connie) and Clay (Buddy) Gravely. Since then, I have definitely moved my fair share of times. To be quite frank - I've moved 8 times and lived in 7 different cities. As a kid, I always wanted to get involved in EVERYTHING and try as many different things as possible so naturally I was eager to go to college to see what was in store. After I graduated from high school (Go Lancers!), I attended Virginia Commonwealth University which is where I met Kareem. Never would I have imagined that I would meet my best friend and soul mate my freshman year in a pizza line. After graduating, I enrolled in Capella University and received my MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I started my career in the restaurant industry and transitioned to HR about 5 years ago. To this day, I still love a new adventure and have been blessed to meet some amazing people along the way.
My favorite motto (and movie) is "Just Go With It" (oh and definitely "Jurassic Park" lol)... I love God... everything "natural" (I was born on Earth Day)... the beach... traveling... PIZZA!... yoga... roller coasters... Delta Sigma Theta... animals... Kareem... and tequila :)
Hey yall! We have added a few hotel blocks so head over to the Hotel Option 1 and 2 tabs to book your room. If you want the discount at either hotel, it has to be booked by August 8th!
Make sure you go to the Events Section and RSVP to the ceremony and reception by May 4th! You will ONLY receive a formal invitation if you RSVP via this site!!
Quite a few of you have reached out about our registry - it is now updated!! Please head over to the "Our Registry" tab and browse through our honeymoon wish list. As always, we love you and can't wait to see you in Savannah!
Whats up yall!
Welcome to our wedsite! We created this space as a special way for you to participate and celebrate with us - anytime, from anywhere.
As you scroll through, make sure you pay attention to the "photos" tab under each person/place and the "arrows" at the bottom right side of most photos. Also, if you are viewing from your phone and want to hear the music, click on the music tab in the bottom left corner of the screen :)
We hope you enjoy checking out some of our photos and stories about us and our future plans as we venture into this next chapter of our lives. We love each and every one of you so much and can't wait for you to spend time with us on our special day!
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Jessica & Kareem