You may remember this couple from the surprise engagement that went down at the BMWK 7 year anniversary celebration a couple of weekends ago! We wanted to find out the real story behind this soon-to-be married couple, so we recently sat down with them. This interview and the insight they shared are powerful. So grab a seat and maybe a tissue, and be prepared to be inspired. They share a powerful message about the importance of unpacking your baggage and letting go so you can find hope in love again.
BWMK: Can you share a little bit of background on what the planning process was like for the surprise engagement?
Taye: I just reached out to Lamar [Tyler] and said, ‘Hey, I’m getting ready to propose to my girl!’ I just wanted to see if they could help me out. Kindred is one of our favorite groups and the first song that was ever shared to me by Keri was a song by Kindred called Stars. I was like ‘Wow! I really like this song.’ She (Keri) said ‘Every time I hear this song, I think about you, Taye.’
Everything just seemed so perfect because I was originally planning on doing it on New Years’ night, but this came about so I said, “OK, I hear you God. This is it!” I honestly didn’t think when I sent that email to Lamar that they were going to respond. I actually figured that they get about 1,000 emails a day or something!
BMWK: [Laughs] No, they are some of the coolest people. I’m sure you know that by now.
Taye: Yes, yes, yes! They’re invited to the wedding!
BMWK: So, tell me a little bit about your background, how you met and how long you’ve been dating…we want all the juicy details.
Keri: We met at church. We met May 12th of this year, 2014. And there are two Pastors (well, ministers) at our church who we both know. The wife approached me and told me that someone at the church had been observing me for a while. She wanted to know if I was ready to date and I said, “Well I don’t know. Who is it?” So she pointed him out to me and I turned very slowly.
Taye: Yeah, that little creep turn like she didn’t want me to know that she was looking at me. That’s what it was!
Keri: Yes, I turned very slowly.
Taye: I saw the whole thing. I was like “Wow. I’m being pointed out!”
Keri: Yes, yes you were! So I turned around and I turned back around and two seconds later he walks up and introduces himself. He had a tambourine in his hand and he was shaking.
Taye: Not literally! I didn’t have a real tambourine in my hand, but I was shaking. [Laughs]
Keri: His hands were shaking. He was stuttering a little bit. I said, “Are you OK?” He’s like “Yes, I’m fine. My name is Octavais and I apologize for asking everyone in the church about you but you.” I said “That’s OK.”
He asked if he could take me out for lunch so I said OK. He asked for my number and I kind of gave him a hard time. I told the minister to give it to him.
Taye: I was like ‘what is that? Is that a diss?’ [Laughs]
Keri: That was that! He called me, or he texted me about an hour later; maybe 30 minutes.
Taye: I was scared!
Keri: And I didn’t respond back. Later that night I responded back.
Taye: I know the game. She was playing hard to get!
Keri: Oh, whatever!
Taye: She had nothing but time go by, but she couldn’t seem anxious. Being in corporate America, you’re taught to follow up so I wanted to follow up with her. I didn’t want her to think I was a Pro at getting numbers, stats, you know.
Just to fill in the pieces on my perspective of it, I’d been watching her for a while. We have a lot of people that go to our church and everybody was trying to fix me up with their cousin, their sister or their mom. Everybody was like, “Hey Taye, I got somebody for you!” And I’d say, ‘I’m good’ or ‘I’m chillin’’. But she always stood out. She would come, get her praise on and everything by herself and leave. Besides being attractive, she just seemed like she really loved the Lord.
I’m going to be real with you: I was married for six years. I don’t have any game!
Keri: No! [Laughs]
Taye: I don’t. Even back in the day, I mean, I didn’t really have to come up with anything. I didn’t have to work, you know. So when I saw her talking to the Minister Head, and when she turned around and looked at me, I was like, “God, I’m being pointed out!” I acted like I didn’t see her. I was using my peripheral vision, but I had to make a decision in my head: OK, either be that dude that’s known to walk around and whisper behind her back or go be a man and just go and talk to her. So in my mind, I was like Don Juan walking over there!
Keri: No, you weren’t!
Taye: I had a mission’s trip I was going to go on the following week, so I wanted to make sure that I had a chance to at least have that icebreaker meeting; Dinner or lunch to talk through the week coming up because you know how it is: you get somebody’s number then you don’t call them for like a week. You know it’s crazy in the dating world now, so I just wanted to let her know that I was interested in her and genuine, so I said, “Hey, can I see you this week?” She said ‘yeah’ so we met that Tuesday and went to lunch.
Keri: We did. Church on Wednesday.
Taye: Yes. We actually went to Bible Study. I came and sat by her that Wednesday. That lunch started everything, that was our launching pad. That was it.