WEDDED Wednesdays: The Bibangas' Story
Each week we share our friends' stories of love and marriage with you!
Real LOVE stories.
This week meet - The Bibangas!!
THE BIBANGAS' STORY
How long have you been married? 1 year 1 month and 20 days...but who's counting? Lol.
How did you meet? We met in 2010
"I think it was inevitable that I’d meet Marc one day. I know it’s a little corny, but I really do believe it was meant to be. There were six degrees of separation between us and too many coincidences for it to be a 'random' meeting.
It all started back in 2010. I was invited to Destiny Metro Church by my coworker Patrice Graves, (Fact: Patrice and I worked at the same school when she was a member at Destiny Metro Church. This happens to be the same church where Marc was also a member. At that same school where Patrice and I worked, I had another coworker, Charisse Gilbert. Charisse and her husband Will Gilbert are close friends with Marc, they all attended college together. All of this before I even met my husband. Hmmm, coincidence? [I think not.]).
Anyhow, shortly after being invited to the church, I decided to become a member at Destiny. The church at the time was really big on joining small groups to build deeper friendships and have accountability partners. I felt that this was something I needed at the time. I wanted to be connected with a group of people that was heading in the same direction. So I ended up attending their small group connections party.
I was placed with a group that was led by a guy named Mike Bowers (who happens to be my husband’s best friend, former roommate, and [who ended up being] best-man). After joining his small group, I didn’t show up to any of the meetings due to my schedule.
After a month of missing meetings, I made it my mission to show up to at least one, and I did. Unfortunately, the day I show up the meeting was the same day I found out the group would be split up. Mike would no longer lead the group. I thought 'man this sucks, I really wanted to be in a small group!'
So another month goes by, and by now, it’s summer break for me and my schedule is really flexible. With that in mind, I really wanted to join a small group again. So I emailed Mike a few times hoping that he’d find me another group to join, lol. He finally responds back to my emails and tells me about his small group that was held at his apartment every Sunday. He invited me to check it out that upcoming Sunday.
Once again, after the invitation was extended to me, I actually did not show up until a month later. So one Sunday, I decided I’d just show up. I drove all the way to their apartment where the bible study was held and knocked on the door.
I could hear people talking inside but no one came to answer the door. I knocked a few more times. Then I heard a voice say “come in”, but I didn’t go in. See, where I’m from (Miami, Florida) you do not walk into someone’s house if you don’t know them like that lol. So I just stood there until the door was answered.
Marc answered the door with a big smile and asked me who I was. I told him my name is Martine. He kept asking me questions and had a puzzling look on his face. Again, he had no idea who I was, plus I couldn’t remember Mike’s name to tell Marc who invited me.
I kept saying 'This guy invited me here. He’s light skin, but I can’t remember his name.' After going back and forth we finally figured out it was Mike, his roommate that invited me to the small group meeting.
Marc is a big jokester. Right off the bat, he started cracking jokes on me at the bible study. When I walked in, he introduced me to the rest of the members of the group and told them, 'She was once lost and now she's found, thanks to me.' I remember saying to myself, 'Wow this guy is pretty bold. He doesn’t know me yet, however he is very comfortable with cracking jokes about me (in a friendly way of course).'
Throughout the meeting, I’d notice him staring at me awkwardly the entire time. He even approached me and said, “You have my grandmother’s name.” (Fact: Marc’s grandparent’s names are Marc and Martine. Coincidence?) Till this day he denies this part of our first time meeting, but I have plenty of witnesses.
Long story short, we started off as great friends with a lot in common. Initially we weren’t interested in each other at all.
Slowly but surely, our friendship grew even more. We started praying together, hanging out a lot, talking for hours on the phone, meeting at the bookstore to check out books etc, and before we knew it feelings started developing.
I wasn’t sure Marc felt the same way until the infamous Atlanta snowpocalypse part 1 in 2011. During one of our small group meetings, it started to snow a lot. The whole city shut down, and the 10 of us from small group were stuck at his apartment for a few days until the snow melted.
Being stuck with the guy for a few days made it clear that he had feelings for me; although, he never expressed it yet. I guess a woman just knows.
I knew that Marc was special and I fought my feelings for him. He came into my life when I wasn’t expecting to find love. Somehow I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship even though I was single for some years before meeting him. It was more fear than anything else.
After months of continuing to build our friendship, Marc decided to take me out on a date to a Sushi/Japanese spot near downtown Atlanta. Afterwards, we decided to catch a movie. At this point I was very exhausted and fighting the sleep.
I do remember him being very quiet and nervous, and then he turned to me and started professing his love…lol..Kidding, not really. He shared how he felt. I shared how I felt. He made his attentions clear about our relationship and where he wanted to go with it and then asked me to be his girl, to which I said 'YES!'" - Martine
How long did you date? We dated for 3 years.
How would you describe your wedding? We had two wedding ceremonies.
"We had a Cameroonian wedding to honor my husband's African culture and a traditional American ceremony. Wedding #1 involved more family, invoked traditional Cameroonian customs such as African garments, tasty exotic foods and drinks, and traditional dances.
Wedding #2 started off a little bumpy but ultimately ended beautifully. Our summer wedding was soft and romantic with our family, friends, delicious foods and lots of laughter and dancing! There were a few mishaps at the start of that day. But despite that, everything fell into place fantastically!" - Martine
Marriage Mission Statement: To honor JESUS Christ in our relationship by loving God with all our hearts and might. We strive to read our word, pray, and meditate daily. In our home we will laugh till the Lord calls us home. We're committed to becoming vessels for God and to serve humanity. We also strive to love one another, our families, friends, and our neighbors. We hereby vow to communicate with one another, support each other in every possible area of our lives, and to remain truthful and faithful to one another. We choose to practice forgiveness, give frequently, have empathy, provide to those in need, and have social responsibility.
Best advice you received before marriage: We are a team. We're not each other's enemy. We are a unit! A fortress! No matter what comes our way, never forget we are a TEAM!
Favorite Activity to do together:
"There's so many to choose from, my husband would probably say traveling.
However, our favorite activity to do together is watch movies. We watch lots of movies!! We are movie heads.
I'm into action, drama, suspense and could care less about a plot as long as the elements of the film involves some great action scenes. I also like a good mystery too. Marc on the other hand, believe it or not, loves chick flicks, sappy movies, mysteries, and documentaries...any movie with a great plot and invokes dialogue, regardless of the genre. He'll pretty much watch it." - Martine
Advice for engaged couples: The wedding day is just that...A Day! Your marriage is a lifetime. While we all want the perfect day and everything to go how we want it, don't stress over the minor details of a ceremony that will last only a few hours. Rather, focus on the actual days after the wedding. That's the most important thing. When the dust settles, after the attention, the spotlight, the planning is over, who are you in your marriage? What will be the foundation of your marriage? Don't focus on the glamorization of a wedding day. Focus on your marriage!
Link(s): [Check out Martine's AWESOME Blog - on Fashion and Life!] www.blessedandchic.com