He Brought Two Toothbrush Kits on Their First Date


“I was playing it cool,” she said, but was taken aback.

A few days later, while she was in the Poconos with her brother and his friends, he texted asking if she wanted to continue seeing him.

“If not, then that’s OK,” he added when there was a pause. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know you.”

She called him as soon as she saw that message, and cleared the air. The delays were “due to bad cell service,” she said.

They began dating seriously, and after Christmas she visited him in Denver, where she worked remotely for about a month and a half.

In January 2022, as she was about to move to Colorado, Mr. Braswell got a job in New York. So instead, they moved into a Harlem brownstone. They fell into a rhythm of visiting museums and galleries, and he ran in Central Park and along the Hudson River.

On April 1, 2022, with her father’s blessing, he proposed during her mother’s 70th surprise birthday party. “Bryan gets up to speak,” she recalled. “I see this line of people coming in. I see his cousin from Atlanta. His mom. Oh my gosh!”

After he got down on one knee, she said, “I do,” followed quickly by “Yes.”

On May 3, Jor-El Caraballo, a Universal Life minister and an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity brother of the groom, officiated their wedding before 160 guests at Pleasantdale Château, an events venue in West Orange, N.J. The couple, both 37, jumped the broom in the African-American tradition, and their first dance was to the Isley Brothers’ “Voyage to Atlantis.”

“All my groomsmen got a travel toothbrush kit in their gift bags,” Mr. Braswell said.



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