From Bowling to Bells
Phillip Baker, 32, is a Metro Bus operator in Washington DC; his new wife Vanessa Emmanuel-Baker, 28, is a Clinical Research Associate in DC, working mainly with OB-GYN studies and rheumatoid arthritis.
The couple met six years ago, as Vanessa explained: “My sister was working with Phillip’s friend and I had just graduated from university in 2008. I hadn’t got a job yet and a group of them used to go bowling during the week so I joined in, and I thought he was kind of cute. We went bowling every Wednesday and I developed a real crush on him, but when I got I job I stopped going and we lost touch. In 2010 we reconnected and started dating in 2011.”
Phillip admits he was intrigued by this sister of a friend of a work colleague: “I thought she was cute and kind of goofy when I first met her, and she seemed like fun. When we reconnected in 2011 we got closer as friends.”
So was it love at first sight? Not necessarily, although Vanessa knew early on that Phil was her man.
“Well at one point she told me ‘one day you’re gonna marry me!’ but I wasn’t in that mindset at the time. We weren’t even seriously dating at the time she said it, but over the period she became my best friend and when I proposed I told her I could see myself living with her but not without her. That was a remarkable day.”
When the time was right, Phillip looked around for just the right way to pop the question to Vanessa.
“I had lots of crazy ideas, some of them involving horse-riding and a trail, but in the end I decided to do it at Baltimore Inner Harbor, which is a really cool place; her sister and best friend helped me out taking the pictures and celebrating with us. Vanessa’s pretty smart though, and she worked out which day I was planning. I saw this great spot on a bridge and that was it. During the proposal had to tell her “let me finish talking!” but the whole thing was a very memorable evening. We both kinda cried– t was awesome!”
So the rest, as they say, is history and the couple decided on Saint Lucia as the only place they would like to get married. According to Vanessa: “My family is from Saint Lucia and I come here every year. I love it and I would love to move here one day. It was awesome because I got to meet some of my mother’s family who I hadn’t met until then. The wedding was great, and I cried during my vows–I’m not much of a crier but somehow Phil makes me emotional. The ceremony was great, even though there was a bit of a problem with the music–the DJ fixed it in the end though.”
Phillip added: “We didn’t get much time to rehearse, but we had a very big group of 120 people, which is huge for a destination wedding. Sandals had to provide two wedding planners because of the size. We were really blessed to be able to celebrate it with our friends and family from all over.”