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‘There Was a Glow Around Her as She Came Down the Aisle’

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BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY

Special to the Birmingham Times

“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Barnett Wright bwright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.

VERNON AND ANEESA BONE

Live: Gardendale

Married: June 29, 2019

Met: Summer 2015, through Vernon’s cousins, Erin and Jada, who are sisters, and in Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. sorority with Aneesa. Vernon asked to be set up with one of their friends, and the sisters introduced them. Two weeks later Vernon FaceTimed Aneesa.

“I was at UAB doing an internship that summer and studying for the dental school admissions test, and he kept texting trying to set up a time to talk in between studying . . .” Aneesa said.

Vernon, who was also a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said that Aneesa was very inconsistent with texting him back “so I FaceTime’d her because I wanted to see her face,” Vernon said. “I thought she was pretty… The conversation was ok, it gradually got better.”

Aneesa said she wasn’t very impressed during that first conversation. “He had these glasses on that you could tell weren’t prescription glasses, and he was trying to prop himself trying to look cool and cute,” she laughed. “He was open and honest, our first conversation was very transparent and he was doing a lot of talking for a first conversation, I was like ‘okay, let’s dial it back some.’”

A month later Aneesa agreed to meet for their first date.

First date: August 2015, at Buffalo Wild Wings in Hoover.  Aneesa said she became nervous about their date as the time approached, and at the last minute decided to bring a friend.

“I didn’t want to surprise him with my friend, so an hour before the date I called him and told him that I was bringing someone and he should bring a friend too,” Aneesa recalled. “I sat in my car waiting for my friend to get there, and I saw him pull up and thought [he was cute]… It ended up being fun.”

“I was kinda surprised [that she wanted to bring friends along], it was like ‘am I that bad that you can’t go on a date with me by yourself,” Vernon laughed. “… I actually thought the date went well; from my view, she laughed at all my jokes. When the date was over and we were headed out [the restaurant], I told her I was going to another spot with some friends and at first, she said she’d call me tomorrow, but then five minutes later she called and said, ‘me and my friend want to go out with you guys.’ So we met up again at a hookah lounge on the south side.”

The turn: For Vernon, it was December 2015, when he asked Aneesa to be exclusive. The pair had both been in Birmingham that summer, but in the fall Aneesa returned to Tuskegee University to complete undergrad. That December, Aneesa went on a mission trip to Peru, and when she returned had received her acceptance letter to UAB’s School of Dentistry. Now that they were now going to be in the same city that made Vernon ask to make the relationship official.

“When she got back from Peru, she came up to Birmingham to spend Christmas break at her mom’s place in Hoover… We went on a date downtown and I took her to this spot that overlooked the city and told her I wanted to take things to the next level,” Vernon recalled.

Although Aneesa had already agreed to an exclusive relationship, it wasn’t until spring 2016 that things became more serious for her.

“We went to a Bryson Tiller concert at Iron City, and it was so much fun. We were singing all the lyrics, we felt like VIP in the balcony, it was a whole vibe,” Aneesa said. “I really felt the connection with him, I felt like we could be ourselves and have fun together, and that was the turn for me.”

The proposal: Oct. 6, 2018, outside Aneesa’s mother’s home in Birmingham.

“I had a set up planned at Botanical Gardens, but Aneesa had found out the day before so I had to change the location to her mother’s [place] to throw her off,” Vernon said. “I had a fake photoshoot planned with her friends at the garden and was going to pop out and propose and the photographer [would’ve captured the moment].”

Since Aneesa had ruined the element of surprise, Vernon coordinated with his soon-to-be mother-in-law to pull off the engagement. Aneesa and friends had gone through with the photo shoot, and that evening her mother and aunt kept her busy.

“I had invited [mine and Aneesa’s] family and friends, and we all decorated the inside of the house for [the celebration] we had afterward… When [Aneesa and her mom and aunt] pulled up to the house coming back from the movies I was already outside in position, and as Aneesa walked to the front door I came up behind her and called her name, and when she turned around I got down on one knee,” Vernon said. “She was in shock, I was nervous, but I asked her will she marry me, and she said ‘yes’. Then everybody started coming outside, and the same photographer from earlier came out and started taking pictures as we started kissing and hugging.”

“I was excited, I had been anticipating it all day waiting for him to jump out from somewhere. I was like is he gonna be here and jump out at the Botanical Gardens? Is he here at the restaurant? is he gonna be here at the movies and gonna jump out in the theater?” Aneesa laughed, “I knew it was going to happen, and when it finally did I was so excited. The ring was real beautiful, we had tried on rings before so I was happy that he got [one she had chosen].”

The wedding: At the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, officiated by Vernon’s cousin, the late Dwayne Breckenridge of New Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis Tennessee. Their colors were black and white with gold accents.

Aneesa’s father is Indian, and the night before the wedding they hosted a traditional Indian ‘Sangeet’ [a welcome party] at the Haven downtown, Birmingham, and wore traditional Indian attire.

Most memorable for the bride was the reception. “It was cool seeing everyone dancing and both of our families out there having a good time together,” Aneesa said.

Most memorable for the groom was setting eyes on his bride for the first time. “Once they started playing the music I started crying. There was a glow around her as she came down the aisle and it got real, and saying my vows, it was like this is the person that I’m going to spend the rest of my life with and I was happy with that,” Vernon said.

The couple honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico. “We had a photo shoot on the beach and got some good shots out of it… It was real peaceful, I enjoyed those moments,” Vernon said.

Words of wisdom: “Be spontaneous and adventurous in your marriage, find things to have fun and keep the spark alive, take day trips. Keep the friendship alive and keep that at the base of your love and marriage because it’s a part of how y’all fell in love,” Aneesa said.

Vernon agreed with his wife and added – “Be honest!”

Happily ever after: The Bone’s have one daughter, Lennox, 2-years-old.

Aneesa, 27, is a Jackson, Tenn. native and Madison Academic Magnet High School grad [Jackson, Tenn.]. She attended Tuskegee University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB], where she obtained a doctorate in dentistry [DMD]. Aneesa is a member of Alpha Kapa Alpha Sorority Inc., and a general dentist at Capstone Rural Health, in Parish, Ala.

Vernon, 29, is a Hunstville, Ala. native, and High Point Preparatory High School grad [Arlington, TX]. He attended UAB, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, where he obtained a master’s degree in kinesiology. Vernon is an entrepreneur and runs his clothing line ‘Scenik Route’ full-time, and coaches middle school basketball at John Carroll Catholic Middle School.

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