Bride: Starrene Rhett, 30
Groom: Anslem Samuel Rocque, 35
Occupations: writers and bloggers
Homebase: Chicago, Illinois
Wedding Date: January 14, 2012
Wedding Location: ceremony and brunch reception: Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast; Brooklyn, New York
Office Romance “We met over the phone,” explains Starrene when asked how she met her husband Anslem. “I worked in public relations and he ran a magazine, so I’d call him to pitch my clients. She continues, “I was impressed with his phone demeanor.” Anslem reflects, “We eventually met face-to-face at a mutual friend’s birthday party months after building a good rapport over the phone.” What was Anslem’s first impression of Starrene after finally meeting her? “She was hot!” he quips. He adds, “I had an idea based on her MySpace photos, but she was even more striking in person. Since we had a work relationship—and she had a boyfriend—I tried to keep it [professional].” Starrene agrees her then boyfriend raised a red flag once meeting Anslem but admits, “I had never been that attracted to anyone before.”
Timing is Everything “Our courtship was a rollercoaster ride,” shares Starrene. Eventually her and said boyfriend broke up and she and Anslem started dating. Anslem recalls, “Once her relationship dissolved we started to hang out and evolved into something more than friends.” However, Anslem was also dating other people. “He ended up falling in love with someone else and breaking it off with me,” Starrene says. “I moved on but as fate would have it, I got a job at the magazine where he worked.” Working together meant they had to get back on speaking terms (Starrene was understandably livid with Anslem.) and the pair over time became cool again. Things didn’t work out with Anslem and the other woman. Their romance was rekindled but Anslem had reservations about dating a coworker. Starrene says, “We ended up getting laid off on the same day and the rest is history.”
[Photography by Kalalea, excluding honeymoon pic.]
I See the Future in Your Eyes It took some time to get on the same page but when they did, Anslem realized Starrene was much more than just another woman he wanted to date. “She is my favorite person and oftentimes in relationships, when you’re really honest with yourself, you can see an end to it. With Starr I don’t see an end to this story so I want to keep on writing new chapters of our life together.” The couple took annual vacations together and last year considered a trip to St. Lucia. “My family is from there,” says Anslem. He continues, “When St. Lucia was suggested it all clicked. I said, ‘Book the ticket.’ I was on the fence about progressing forward as most men are, but had come to the realization that Starr might be “the one”. Once St. Lucia came up, I had the location [to propose] and all doubt went away. I had always loved her but it was in that moment I [wanted to ask her to be my wife].” A surprised Starrene happily accepted (“I wasn’t expecting a proposal!” she says.) and the couple returned home to Brooklyn engaged.
A Great Day in Brooklyn The creative couple wed before 60 guests in an intimate bed and breakfast after seeing it featured on Triple B. The bride did her own hair and makeup and wore subtle accessories from Forever 21. “We wanted our day to be low key; a reflection of us. Honestly, I didn’t want a wedding for a long time but when the thought of marriage became real, I decided I did want some kind of ceremony. We kept it simple and had a morning ceremony followed by brunch,” Starrene shares. The New York natives who honeymooned in Japan have already experienced an unexpected twist since marriage as they now reside in Chicago. “We didn’t plan to leave NYC but here we are, in a new city. Anslem has a new job and my career is at a standstill,” reports Starrene. Anslem reveals, “Marriage is a challenge but it feels great having a partner to walk alongside me. I’m excited about exploring our new city together and making a new home for ourselves.”
Starrene’s Money-Saving Tips for Future Brides
Let Them Eat Cupcakes Starrene warns, “Consider a cupcake tree instead of a full cake. It cuts food waste in a lot of cases and they can be considerably less expensive.”
Gifts Come in Various Forms “Our best man is a professional graphic designer and we asked him to create invitations pro-bono as a wedding gift. He agreed, delivered excellent product that typically costs at least a few hundred dollars, and still gave us an additional wedding gift anyway, shares Starrene.
Shhh…Keep It a Secret (!) “Don’t always tell vendors that you’re planning a wedding, because they will hike prices up 75% in many cases. It might be hard to fudge the truth, but gauge where and with whom you can get around talking about doing a wedding. Just say you’re planning a formal event; that’s still kind of the truth,” Starrene advises.
View the couple’s creative Coney Island e-session here.
Take a look at past Tie the Knot Tuesday features here.
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