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Music brought Tanell and Arderrick together four years ago. After first meeting during a Kirk Franklin concert at Ovens Auditorium, the couple will return to the east Charlotte venue this fall for their wedding day.
Bride-to-be: Tanell Martin, 49, business initiatives consultant
Groom-to-be: Arderrick Fant, 48, park ranger
Wedding date: Nov. 21, 2021
Wedding venue: Starlight Lounge at Ovens Auditorium
Engagement session location: Midtown Park
How they met
Arderrick spotted Tanell at a Kirk Franklin concert in November 2017. She was admiring lights outside of Ovens Auditorium in east Charlotte when he walked up to her and started a conversation.
“I said, this is my opportunity. I wanted to see if she was by herself,” Arderrick recalled.
Both had attended the concert solo, and Tanell said Arderrick didn’t waste any time before asking her out.
“When I met Tanell, she was approachable and confident. I knew right then and there she was the one,” he said.
Although the two had met up several times since the concert, their official first date wasn’t until the following March.
“I was trying to feel him out to see what kind of guy he was,” Tanell laughed.
Among the things that impressed her about Arderrick was how “this meat-and-potatoes guy” accommodated her plant-based lifestyle. To find a happy medium for their date, they dined on Italian cuisine in uptown Charlotte at now-closed Vapiano. To add something special to the night, Arderrick bought her a bouquet of a dozen roses.
At some point during dinner, they solidified the relationship when Arderrick asked her to be his girlfriend.
“And the rest is history,” he said.
Arderrick proposed to Tanell on Jan. 21, 2020, during dinner at Napa on Providence.
“The day I met her, it was Nov. 21, 2017. It was a Tuesday,” he said. “I wanted to propose to her on Feb. 21 , but I couldn’t wait.”
They were surrounded by family that night. Two of Tanell’s daughters and one of Arderrick’s brothers had joined them for dinner.
Tanell shared how it went down:
“He faked like he had a stomach ache and then came back to the table. Next thing I know, the wait staff came out holding a platter that had ‘Will you marry me?’ written in chocolate with strawberries. Then he turned to me, took off his jacket and showed me his t-shirt that said, ‘Will you marry me?’ He got down on one knee and proposed.”
He also had the perfect wedding date: Nov. 21, 2021. Four years since the day they met.
How wedding planning has been so far
It’s a second marriage for both Tanell and Arderrick. She says neither of them had a wedding the first time around.
“I never had an engagement ring or a wedding dress,” Tanell explained. “This experience is new to both of us. It is exciting and stressful at the same time.
Originally, their guest list included 150 people. That is until Covid-19 arrived in March 2020. Their wedding plans were at the mercy of North Carolina’s restrictions for mass gatherings under the governor’s executive orders.
“We had Plan A, B and C,” Tanell said.
They went through three venues before Arderrick suggested they return to the place they met, Ovens Auditorium. They worked with the team at Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority to secure the Starlight Lounge.
“It was so overwhelming to find out that we can actually get married in the place we met,” he said.
What they’re looking forward to on their wedding day
Tanell says she’s looking forward to wearing a wedding dress as she marries the man of her dreams. Arderrick is excited to kiss his bride with their families joining them for the special occasion.
And if Kirk Franklin wants to make a cameo, they’ll take that too.
Tanell and Arderrick’s Black Business Vendors
- Makeup: Artistry By Deevamonroe
- Decor: Tabor Unique Wedding Designs
- Wedding cake: Chef Kendra Alexander
- Photographer: Photography from Sue