Love Couple: Marissa and Ernest Fenton
Bride’s Name: Marissa Fenton
Bride’s Occupation: Elementary School Teacher
Groom’s Name: Ernest B. Fenton
Groom’s Occupation: Attorney
Wedding Date & Location: March 12th, 2016—Willis Tower, Chicago, Illinois
Honeymoon: Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Cape Town, South Africa
Tell us your love story: Groom: Our love story evolved over 30 years. Our first encounter was in 1985 when she was a freshman and I was a sophomore in high school. I recall seeing her in the hallway as we changed classes. I thought of saying “hello,” but never did. Our first “hello” happened 15 years later in 2000. I owned an African jewelry store in a local mall, and Marissa was one of my good customers. Although I certainly took notice, the timing wasn’t right for either of us. Our frequent encounters were disrupted when my store closed in 2002. It wasn’t until 2014 that our paths crossed again, coincidentally in another mall. This time, a simple “hello” was not enough. I sent Marissa a message on Facebook saying “It was nice to see you. We’ve been crossing paths for a long time. I think we should get to know one another. Let’s do lunch.” Lunch led to marriage two years later…or 30 years later, depending on how you count.
When did you know that your partner was the one? Both: Fourth of July weekend 2014, we spent the entire weekend together. Our hearts and spirit came into alignment in those moments. As a matter of the heart, we experienced for the first time the inspiration and excitement of love. And it was euphoric to both be able to witness and share love. It was the first time we said, “I Love You.”
How did he propose? Bride: Bouquets of red, yellow and white roses were placed throughout our home. Three cameras were set in place to capture the proposal. My husband had written and framed a poem he secretly was working on for six months titled, “Ode to Sunshine.”
What’s the key to the success of your relationship? Both: Laughter, friendship, communication, putting each other first, respect, honesty, recognizing our individual strengths and weaknesses, teamwork, setting life goals and taking care of home first.
Why do you want to be included in JET love? Both: We found each other later in life, and we want others to be inspired not to give up on love.