Analissa Johnson and William Gaskins met in 2008 as they were both shopping for luggage in Washington DC. William was immediately smitten as he saw her enter the store. He was nervous and had no idea how to approach her.
But he was confident he would pursue her and hopefully get a date. As he followed her around the store, checking if she was alone, he noticed that she walked to the same aisle in which he was standing. As she reached for a piece of Samsonite luggage in front of him, his first words to her were, "That's a good one right there." He was so nervous he could think of nothing else to say.
Unknown to him, he had also attracted her attention and she had intentionally wandered into his aisle, hoping he would notice her.
They walked around the store talking and laughing as if they had known each other for a long time instead of just meeting.
They exchanged numbers, and as soon as William returned from his business trip, he called her on his way home from the airport and invited her out. She declined noting that it was too late but William was not deterred. They spoke on the phone frequently and he figured he would ask her out again. He bought a dozen red roses and invited her to see Tyler Perry's Marriage Counselor at the Warner Theatre.
That night turned out to be a special one from the moment she answered the door. Analissa was touched when she saw William standing there with a dozen red roses on their first date. After the play, they had dinner at one of their now-favourite seafood restaurants, Old Ebbit Grill.
For a couple who met while shopping for luggage, travelling has become a highlight of their relationship. So far, they have travelled together to Paris, Dubai, Dominican Republic, Mexico, The Bahamas with a scheduled trip for Greece and Italy in November. They told Flair their excitement and love for travelling the world has made their relationship stronger, as they explore different cultures and countries together.
After dinner and a comedy show, William took Analissa up the steps of Federal Hill - a scenic view overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It was cold in December and a four-minute climb. Analissa complained about the walk but when she finally got to the top and saw the breathtaking view with the lights over the water, and snow-covered treetops, and realised what William had planned, she said she would walk up those steps a thousand times. Down on one knee, William asked her to spend the rest of her life with his as Mrs Gaskins.
The two journeyed to Analissa's homeland and exchanged vows at Iberostar Suites in August.
The ceremony was officiated by the Rev Kenroy Salter. The bride was walked down the aisle by her mother and then her bother Keneek with a photo of her father, Dwight, in her bouquet.
Her father passed away recently but Analissa was able to pay an emotional tribute to the most important person in her life.
"I wish my father was here to walk me down the aisle and have this father-daughter dance with me today, but even though he is not here in flesh, I feel his loving presence." She did her father-daughter dance with her brother to A Song For My Daughter by Ray Allaire.