Yani is from West New York, New Jersey and is first generation Cuban American. She has performed in multiple Broadway shows including West Side Story and Wicked. Divinity is from Atlanta, Georgia and is a world-renowned bass player, songwriter and performing artist. She has toured with Victor Wooten and was Beyonce’s bass player and Musical Director for five years.

We met in 2007 on a world tour where we were both working for the Queen Beyonce. Yeah, for real. Divinity was the bass player and musical director and Yani was one of the backup dancers. We enjoyed travelling the world together as our relationship blossomed. The morning after our first date in Osaka, Japan, there was a small earthquake – you could say we’d rocked the world together.

The Proposal, words by Divinity

Our proposal didn’t quite go according to plan. Yani is usually the planner in the relationship, but, on the day of our seventh anniversary, I planned a nice picnic on Matador Beach in Malibu, California. While our favourite album was playing in the background, I fumbled around in the bag for the engagement ring I had packed, and pulled it out and opened the box. Then I just stared at Yani. I couldn’t say anything. Ridiculous! After a moment of surprise and silence, Yani said: “Are you gonna ask me anything?”, my reply; “awww man, I messed up the video!” [I had secretly started filming the proposal]. Next, all I could manage to say was, “well, is the answer yes?”!

What a terrible, terrible proposal!

Thankfully Yani thought it was funny and of course, said yes and now we’re planning an amazing wedding. We laugh at this story because it’s ours and it’s also pretty typical of me. I shake my head every time I think about it because it’s certainly not how I had planned it in my head.

For our engagement photos, we were inspired by the beginnings of our relationship, which began to take shape in Japan. We loved Japan and had so much fun there. The Japanese garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens takes us right back to where we were when we first fell in love, and since we can’t get to Japan as regularly as we’d like, we appreciate the authenticity of this place.

We chose Adena, Studio A Images to take the photos because, out of all the photographers we researched, she had the most diverse clientele. She shot mixed-race couples, same-sex couples, couples of all ages and she did so in a very colourful and beautiful way. She was the only person we met with, and we liked her immediately. She invited us into her home to talk a bit more, and we had a good vibe with her. She’s been great through this entire process!

Photography by Studio A Images