Moshe Hawthorne and Michele Viverette met during their freshman year of college in 2003. Moshe, known as Jabbar to most people, had heard several of his friends talking about Michele and couldn’t wait to meet her.
“Although we didn’t share one class together, we quickly became acquainted with each other at school and hung out often in between classes,” Michele recalls. “I remember going home telling my mom all about Jabbar — particularly about his sense of humor how he had such an ‘old soul.’”
She says Jabbar would never admit it, but she was a pursuer when it came to who would make the first move. “I got his number from a friend and randomly called him one night and we talked for hours, which turned into all night! Our first date was the usual dinner and a movie.”
Jabbar, of Gulfport, helped to introduce more of the Coast to Michele. “He exposed me to so much culture and lifestyle of a Southern Mississippian! It was very refreshing to be in the company of someone whom you mesh well with and feel extremely comfortable and secure with at the same time. Whenever meeting someone new, he introduced me as his ‘fiancé’ every time! It never failed. Guess when you know... you just know!”
The actual proposal came during the holiday season. “Sitting at home one day, Jabbar came up with an idea to have a holiday gathering/brunch at a local restaurant with family and friends annually,” Michele shares. “Of course, I supported his idea immediately! Family and friends are very important and who wouldn’t love some holiday cheer over amazing food and spirits! He quickly compiled a list of invites and the project was underway!"
Michele woke up the day of the gathering feeling slightly discouraged. “It had been raining overnight and on and off throughout the morning. I tried to convince Jabbar several times that we should reschedule and that it wouldn’t take much for me to send a friendly text to everyone. He disagreed, saying that some have already confirmed that the weather wasn’t a factor. So now I had no choice but to go — great! I finally gathered myself and got in a better mood and we were off to the restaurant. We arrived at Frenchies of Ocean Springs. Everyone started to pile in with smiles despite the gloomy day.”
Of course, Jabbar had a secret plan that he was determined would not be derailed by the weather. “Jabbar thought it would be a great idea for the both of us to stand in front of all our guests and thank them for coming out,” Michele recalls. “So after being told by a family member and close friend to ‘shut up and get your butt up there’ — obviously they were in on the plan — I joined his side and just kind of sweetly smiled as he spoke. Next thing I know he was on one knee asking for my hand in marriage in front of family, friends and the entire restaurant!
“I was excited, nervous and timid at the same time. I remember yanking on his hand telling him to get up! Most say they knew the entire time from the moment he planned the gathering. I was completely blindsided!
“And to think I thought life was good before! At that moment, he made our lives complete! Now he could really call me his fiancé!”
Jabbar is an admissions specialist at Virginia College and owner of Hawthorne Enterprises, and Michele works part-time at Hancock Bank and is pursuing a second degree at William Carey University. The couple took a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, for their honeymoon and they are looking forward to celebrating their one-year anniversary in St. Lucia.
- Photographer: Grace Photography, Bay St. Louis
- Florist: Kristy Troung, JKL Weddings and Designs, Gulfport
- Reception venue: Slavonian Lodge, Biloxi
- Ceremony venue: Nativity Cathedral BVM, Biloxi
- Caterer: Southern Flavor Catering
- Makeup: Lashonda Rupert
- Hair: Narquita Bridges at Ravish Hair Salon, Gulfport
- Videographer: Lifehouse Films
- Gown: Bridal & Formal Boutique
- Tux: Tuxedos to Geaux, Metairie, La.
- Music: Dj Mixx Maestro
- Offi ant: The Rev. Dennis Carver
- Rentals: JLK Designs and Rentals
- Planner: Shavonne Williams
- Cake: Melissa’s Bakery, Gulfport
- Transportation: Hot Wheels Party Bus Rentals
- Invitations: Scriptura, Metairie, La.
- Rehearsal dinner venue: The Dock Bar and Grill, Gulfport