In 2017, event planner and stylist DeYandré Thaxton asked Vishal Reniguntala out on OkCupid, but he refused. Because of our mutual enthusiasm for the game of basketball, we became fast friends. She recalls, “I invited him to Ice Cube’s BIG3 Tournament but he had to help his older sister relocate that weekend.”
As an alternative, their first date was to the Takashi Murakami display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and Vishal showed yet another favourable sign by caring about his family. “When he walked there, his pants were a flaming red colour, and I liked it! “, DeYandré remarks. As funny as it may sound, “Vishal loves colour,” despite his colourblindness.
According to Vishal, “I asked for a second date on our first date,” which is the only time he has ever done so on a first date. I knew the emotion was mutual because she seemed happy to see me, too.
It was in the month of July at the time. In September of 2017, everything was finalized. Sometime in early 2020, Vishal was certain that DeYandré was the one. “I knew I was going to ask her to marry me for most of 2020,” he recalls. After a year apart, we finally made it to Boston for Thanksgiving, where I stayed for three weeks and DeYandré for six.
Early in the trip, he asked her mother for her hand in marriage, saying, “I planned to hunt for a ring when I came back to Chicago, and I was going to propose after Christmas, but after knowing each other for about a year, I realized I didn’t want to wait. “Before I left, I wanted to pop the question,” he explained. He said, “All that was lacking was an engagement ring,” so he took DeYandré’s mother’s car and drove to the nearest mall to purchase a plain silver band.
I was really anxious, wondering whether or not my plan was sound, whether or not the time was appropriate, and whether or not she would object to the “placeholder” engagement ring I had purchased.
Indeed, she did. After Vishal got down on one knee, DeYandré happily said “yes” and popped a bottle of champagne. Her whole family was there, so “it was such a great event,” she says now. As expected, Vishal left the following day, and the two of them “spent the next few weeks chuckling through FaceTime long distance.”
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Photography by: Emily Melissa Photo
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