Wedding Wednesday: Tonya and Alex’s Engagement Story

Alex x Tonya 23

One of the best parts of the whole wedding process is hearing peoples’ engagement stories! There is so much love and happiness when brides and grooms share their story that you can’t help but feel what they’re feeing- it is that palpable! For today’s Wedding Wednesday, we want to share Tonya and Alex’s engagement story with you- is it so sweet!

1. How did you and your partner meet?

Alex and I met while doing our MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, which is just outside of Chicago. Funny enough, we were in an accounting class together during our first quarter at Kellogg but didn’t really interact, but knew each other (he volunteered to be the class liaison… who does that for accounting??). As our time at Kellogg rolled on, our social circles overlapped a ton as some of my closest friends were very close with him as well. It wasn’t until a group of us were planning on going to Ghana over the holidays during our second year of school that we started becoming friendlier.

2. How long have you been together?

This is a hotly debated topic between us!  “Officially” we’ve been together for a year and a half. But unofficially it’s more like just under two years.

3. When did you know your partner was “the one”?

Excellent question. I don’t remember a defining moment of knowing, but more that throughout all of our experiences together knowing that it felt right. From meeting his childhood friends, to travelling around the world together, jumping up at Caribana, having an unfortunate bathroom incident in India after a street food tour and even just running boring errands on a Saturday, it all just felt right.


4. How did the proposal happen?

Over the holidays I was in a wedding (two of our business school friends who had also met at Kellogg!) that was taking place in Nigeria and in Ghana. Over this time Alex and his family were on a trip for his mother’s 60th birthday that had him travelling to Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The plan was for him to meet me in Ghana on January 3rd in time to attend the Welcome Dinner and then the wedding a few days later.

I was a part of the wedding party and one day the wedding planner came to me and mentioned that on the day of the Rehearsal Dinner (January 2nd) she needed my help to go and pick up a cake and bring it to the dinner. I LOVE having tasks and was super happy to be the “chosen bridesmaid” to help with this task.

After the church rehearsal, the wedding planner said I had to sneak off and not let the bride know that I was leaving to go pick up this surprise. I thought I was being SUPER sneaky but of course the bride saw me and I had to cover my tracks. We had the driver take the wedding planner and I to the house where all of the bridesmaids were staying to pick up the cake. We had some trouble getting into the house but when I opened the door there was Alex on one knee surrounded by candles in the shape of a heart.

I was super confused and concerned about picking up the cake to really ask too many questions but then he launched into the proposal. It took me a while to figure out what was happening and when I did, I couldn’t stop giggling. When he finally popped the question my answer was “duh”. My next question was inquiring about the cake and telling him that I had to go to the rehearsal dinner… not realizing that he had gotten all of these people involved along the way to trick me!

5. How did you tell your friends and family that you were engaged?

As it turned out I was pretty much the ONLY person who didn’t know this was happening. The bride and groom were in on the planning. A lot of my close friends were in Ghana for the wedding as well and knew ahead of time as they met us after the proposal to celebrate. During our little “after party” Alex showed pre-recorded video messages from some of my best friends wishing us congratulations. He had already pre-called my mom so that was covered. So really, after it happened all I had to do was confirm that it DID happen (although my favourite game was telling me that I said no) and then coming up with something somewhat clever to post on Facebook and Instagram.


Tonya and Alex’s story has given me all types of butterflies and this is why we love love stories!

Are you newly engaged and want to share your story!?
Email karenmichelle@cocoandcowe

We would love to hear your love story!
Karen Michelle//.



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