These college sweethearts made their love official in a classy winter affair!

Today’s Tie the Knot Tuesday is from writer Nicole Marie Melton. Please look out for future contributions to Triple B from the talented scribe in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out some of her work over at

Bride: Karimah Stallworth, 26
Jeremy McFarlane, 27
Occupations: Stallworh, human resources manager; McFarlane, desktop support technician
Homebase: New Jersey
Wedding Date: January 15, 2011
Wedding Location: Ceremony & Reception: George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia

Secret Setup Jeremy and Karimah were introduced their senior year in college through a mutual friend who thought the two would be a good match. However, Karmiah was not impressed. “I thought Jeremy was the biggest nerd. He was totally not my type,” says Karimah. Despite Karimah’s initial lack of interest, Jeremy was attracted to her playing hard-to-get and remained persistent. “She was a challenge and I liked that,” recalls Jeremy. By the fall of 2005 Karimah’s feelings had changed. “When I was stressed, Jeremy would bring me food and help me with homework. He would wake up early even when he didn’t have class to walk me to campus,” Karimah remembers. Jeremy is fond of all the conversations the two shared during the early days. “I can’t even tell you how we got to talking so much. We just fell for each other,” says Jeremy.

Sudden Separation After two years of happily dating, their relationship endured a major test when Jeremy enrolled in the United States Navy in 2007. The twosome had just moved to Philadelphia together where Karimah was starting a new job when she was given the news about Jeremy’s departure. “Initially he was only going to be away for 8 weeks, but he ended up having to go away for 6 months. He was all the way in California and during that time we weren’t even allowed to talk to each other on the phone. We only could write letters,” recalls Karimah. “I had moved to Philadelphia to be with him and he was gone. I was in a new town with no family, no friends and he was all the way across the country. I had to rely on our letters so I knew we were still in a good place.” Jeremy remembers their time apart as confirmation that Karimah was the one. “When I was in boot camp, she was the only person who really supported me. After camp was over, she rounded up my parents and made a trip out to Chicago for graduation. That’s when I knew that she was the one,” says Jeremy.

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[All images provided by Jessica Schmitt Photography.]

High-Tech Proposal In the fall of 2009, Jeremy decided it was time to pop the question. As a computer whiz, he thought it would be clever to design a Web site to assist with the proposal. “I snuck onto Karimah’s computer and made a Web site so when she turned it on, all she would see is the Web page. She didn’t realize what it was and starting fussing at first, “I can’t get this stupid screen off the computer!”  Karimah’s frustrations fizzled once she realized that the unknown computer glitch was the work of Jeremy. “I looked closer and there were pictures of us and all of these places that we had been together. There were sweet phrases to explain why he loved me.  The last screen asked ‘Will you marry me?’ with two options to click yes or no. I clicked yes, and then the screen said ‘Look up.’ I looked up, and on the shelf above the monitor was a ring.”

DMV Destination Wedding The couple immediately knew they wanted to wed in the same area where their loved first bloomed while they were students at Howard University. “D.C. is where our relationship started and grew,” says Karimah. The venue for their wedding is also a place where the two used to go to escape the stress of college. “When we were dating, we would have picnics there,” she explains. They both agree their favorite part of their wedding day was when the bride bogeyed down with her uncle on the dance floor during a high-energy routine. “My uncle has been instrumental to me. I didn’t grow up with my father so he’s been my father figure. I don’t get a chance to see him often and I wanted us to have some fun,” says Karimah. Jeremy was also moved the first time he laid eyes on his future wife on their big day. “My favorite part of the ceremony was when she walked down the aisle. She just looked gorgeous. I thought to myself ‘Wow, I’m about to be married to her.’ It was a great feeling.”

Karimah’s Money Saving Tips for Future Brides:

Coupon Queen: “The day I bought my dress, there was a storewide sale and I had a coupon. I also bought the dress off a mannequin, so I ended up saving about $2,000 in total,” shares the savvy bride.

DIY Diva: “I did the flowers myself. I saw a picture of what I wanted and I ordered bulk flowers on I also made my own invitations using high quality cardstock and ribbon I purchased for a steal. For the aisle runner, I printed out letters on a printer and traced them onto the runner. I got all the supplies for this from Michael’s for $24,” she explains.

Reuse, Recycle: “My cousin got married last summer and she allowed me to use the vases from her wedding. I just used them in a different way. During the ceremony I had vases with candles and rose petals along the center aisle on the floor. Those were the vases that she had on her reception tables,” says Karimah.

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