A (Not So) Surprise Proposal

In a fancy cocktail bar, Patent Pending, in Manhattan, Onadek Winan, 27, and Kyle Johnson, 29, met for the first time, on Sept. 15, 2018. It was a week after matching on the dating app Bumble.

“It was immediate for me,” said Mr. Johnson of his feelings for Ms. Winan after their first date.

Ms. Winan, who was born and raised in Paris, was drawn to Mr. Johnson by his intelligence. Upon meeting Ms. Winan and finding out that she is French, Mr. Johnson brought up President Emmanuel Macron of France and the Yellow Vest protests there. Ms. Winan, who graduated from Juilliard with a master’s degree in music and now works as a singer and actress in New York, was quite impressed and smitten (so was Mr. Johnson).

After their first date, Mr. Johnson, who grew up in Fairview, N.C., and graduated from M.I.T. and works as an executive director at Process Driven Trading Partners, an asset management firm in Manhattan, spent the next morning talking about Ms. Winan to a friend.

By April 2019 their relationship had grown stronger and a proposal was on the horizon, but Ms. Winan, who had grown accustomed to Mr. Johnson taking his time with his romantic overtures, would have to wait.

“He made me wait,” Ms. Winan said jokingly referring to their first “I love you.” Back in 2018, Mr. Johnson waited until midnight, Oct. 12, to announce that he wanted Ms. Winan to be his girlfriend.

Eventually, on April, 15, 2019, after a work dinner, Mr. Johnson decided it was time, “it was a really special night, so it felt right.” When they got home, at around 11 p.m., he proposed just as Ms. Winan was getting ready for bed.

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In a comedic twist, Ms. Winan had found the ring a week earlier and “had already shown her mom on FaceTime,” Mr. Johnson said. “It’s exactly why I love her,” he added. During the proposal, the ring did not fit on her finger, as Ms. Winan had secretly worn it throughout the week, causing her finger to bruise and swell.

Later that month, Ms. Winan moved into Mr. Johnson’s apartment in Manhattan. In May, the couple visited Ms. Winan’s family in Paris, where they spent a week exploring the city and celebrating their engagement.

The wedding originally planned for September 2020 was postponed because of the coronavirus lockdowns. The couple were married Sep. 4, 2021, at the Omni Grove Park Inn, in Asheville, N.C., before 68 vaccinated guests. Spencer Hardaway, the pastor of Rock Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Asheville, N.C., officiated.

The surge of the Delta variant wrought many challenges on the wedding — several guests canceled at the last minute — and Ms. Winan’s family struggled to circumvent the travel ban on Europeans by traveling via the Dominican Republic. But, through all the obstacles — including driving down from New York, during Hurricane Ida, to pick up Ms. Winan’s family at the airport in Charlotte, N.C. — the wedding was a success.

Ms. Winan decided on a Parisian theme for the festivities. “It was a lot of drapes and white and gold,” she said. As an extra element of surprise and an “homage to her family,” Mr. Johnson read half of his vows in French.