Recently Ringed: Together At Last

Photos by Lia Cecaci

This past weekend, Adrian Walker and Morgan Hickman collaborated on an art installation titled “The Living Room” at an exhibition opening, The Black Mail show, in San Francisco. To commemorate a successful opening, Morgan posted a photo on her Instagram page of the two of them inside of the installation—Morgan sitting in a large chair and Adrian standing by her side. The caption underneath the photo read: “It’s a really great feeling to see two visions come together in ways you didn’t expect. All the fussing and eye rolling was so worth it. All the trips to San Francisco were worth it. All the debates about what this should and shouldn’t be were worth it. I love you and look forward to all the other things that will most definitely be worth it […].”

The caption read as somewhat of a prelude to the couple’s vows at their soon-to-be fall wedding. It also summarizes how the two St. Louis natives, who now call Oakland home, have challenged each other creatively not only through their most recent installation, but also their five-year relationship. From planning group trips to music festivals, such as BUKU and AfroPunk, to maintaining Instagram pages that are simply unmatched when it comes to creativity, innovation and humor, Adrian and Morgan are a dynamic duo that just get better with time.

After spending the past couple of years living in separate cities—Adrian in Colorado Springs, Morgan in St. Louis, Adrian in Oakland, Morgan in New Orleans—the two have finally come together in Oakland, where they are already making an impact via their collaborative and innovative concepts (re: The Living Room). Keep reading to learn about their hilarious first date, how they interpret each other’s amazing style and tastes, and how maintaining their distance relationship changed them for the better.

The Couple/ Adrian Walker + Morgan Hickman

Current Age/ Adrian – 28; Morgan – 30

Occupations/ Adrian – VSCO Curator and Photographer; Morgan – Non-Profit Manager and Event Curator

Wedding Date/ Oct. 15, 2016

Engagement Date/ Christmas Eve 2015

Length of Relationship/ 5 years

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When and where was the engagement? Was it a complete surprise?

Adrian mentioned he wanted to take photos of me on Christmas Eve of 2015. We went to a spot in St. Louis where he frequently takes portraits. He asked if I wanted to see my gift early. I opened the gift to find a sweatshirt. I thanked him and he prompted me to keep looking. I had totally missed the ring box! I opened the box and I guess I was still in shock because I STILL didn’t realize what was going on until I looked up at the huge grin on Adrian’s face.

What was the most special or unique thing about the engagement?

It was just us! We followed it up with a trip to Imos for a medium deluxe pizza and ate in silence like you’re supposed to. Pure bliss.

How did you all meet? What was the first encounter like?

We met through Morgan’s cousin at an event. Morgan was working the door and Adrian left his HTC phone at the counter. He came back in to get it. We think Morgan cracked a corny joke about going through his phone.

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What did you do on your first date?

I wouldn’t call it a date but we went to Kolache Factory. Morgan mistook it for a fine dining restaurant after getting a recommendation from a friend. Adrian was disappointed and refused to eat. It still ended up being a really funny and awkward first outing.

Quirkiest thing about your relationship, or something people would be surprised to know

We make fun of each other a lot. We have this ongoing debate about whose teeth are bigger. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously.

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How do you keep each other inspired?

We push each other to our limits. We always want to see each other be better. We’re constantly sharing visions and  inspiration with each other. Morgan is the planner. Adrian is the doer. We balance each other out.

You all have been living in different cities for a couple of years, Adrian in Colorado, Morgan in New Orleans, now you’re both in Oakland, California. Is it finally a relief?

YES. It was rough but we committed to not going longer than a month without seeing each other. It was nice to always have something to look forward to. We talked every day. Adrian is the best at the good ol’ good morning texts. Long distance definitely changed our relationship for the better, but we know our limits. We knew it was time for us to be together again. This past summer, Morgan sold all of her stuff after deciding to move to Oakland to be with Adrian. Ten days after the 36-hour drive to Oakland, she found work and we couldn’t be happier about how everything is working out.

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Both of you are really into music, clothing, traveling. Can each of you describe each other’s tastes in the three?

We’re both fairly open in our preferences. We’re able to influence each other’s choices and have seen a lot more similarities as our relationship has matured.

Morgan on Adrian’s music taste, style, traveling preferences:

Adrian is a lot more open when it comes to travel and music. He is more particular about his clothing choices and has a more classic style. I really like how he puts things together so effortlessly, and being able to share clothes is a plus for me!

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Adrian on Morgan’s music taste, style, traveling preferences:

Morgan is the exact opposite. She’s more particular about travel destinations and music. She’s more likely to take risks in her clothing choices. Her style choice tends to depend on her mood. She switches up her look a lot more than I do.

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