Model Afiya Bennett is strutting into married life. The Fenty Beauty model and Fiji water brand ambassador got a memorable holiday proposal from her model/actor boyfriend, Lloyd Dickenson, on Christmas Eve.
Bennett was anticipating a big dinner party for both of their families in Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park, but the night was even bigger than anticipated. According to People, her father called everyone out to the deck for a family photo, which was all just a sneaky set-up for her love to pop the question!
“Little did I know that there were never any dinner reservations. The family photo was just a way to get us all on the deck to lead Lloyd into his proposal,” Bennett explained to the entertainment mag. “Next thing I know, Lloyd is on his knees in front of all of our family. I said yes with nothing but excitement in my heart and my eyes. As fireworks started to go off after the proposal, all I could think is that things couldn’t be more perfect.”
No, Bennett—who got her start as Naomi Campbell’s mentee on the modeling competition show, The Face—isn’t talking about the sparks flying between her and her boo, but actual fireworks that were set off to celebrate the occasion. And the Best Proposal award officially goes to this guy!
But even without the fireworks, the ring Dickenson had chosen for his fiancée had enough sparkle to light up the night sky. The Under Armour model admittedly had some difficulty picking an engagement ring, but he landed on the perfect pear-shaped diamond from Lauren B Jewelry. The chic center stone was set on a double-strand diamond band for some extra shine.
“At first, I thought it was going to be easy and I had it under control, but boy was I wrong,” Dickenson said of his ring-shopping ordeal. “I knew she wanted a marquise-style diamond, but when I saw the tear-drop style I knew that was the one.”
Luckily, when Bennett laid eyes on the beautiful bauble, she wasn’t thinking about that marquise style at all! “When I first saw the ring in the box when Lloyd was down on one knee, my first initial reaction was 'OMG that ring! It’s incredible,’” Bennett said. “It finally hit me that I was going to be engaged and then someday married; everything was perfect.” Ring shopping wasn’t the only thing that had Dickenson nervous. When it came down to the proposal, he almost lost his cool.
“I was Mr. Cool up until 15 minutes before the proposal,” he confessed. “Then I couldn’t think straight and felt anxious. My nerves took over. Not nervous about my decision, but it really set in that I was about to ask the woman of my dreams and reality for her hand in marriage.”
Ultimately, a quick conversation with Mom and Dad and a shot of tequila from Bennett’s dad gave him the courage to move forward—and the ball hasn’t stopped rolling since. This newly engaged couple, who met on the set of a Nike campaign, has already started wedding planning.
“We know how much planning goes into a wedding, so we figured that it’s probably a good idea to start as soon as possible,” Bennett said. “We are working on our wedding list and location at the moment.”
The bride-to-be has also already settled on a wedding dress designer: Vera Wang! We can’t wait to see this model rock one of the classic bridal designer's gorgeous gowns.