Jaci Velasquez reveals why she married a man who makes her laugh.

Jaci Velasquez met her new husband and funny man, Darren Potuck, on a blind date. Set up by a mutual friend, Potuck and Velasquez decided to make their first meeting a group date at a pool hall in Nashville, Tenn. It was September 2002.

The couple gave the saying “love is blind” real meaning as they garnered their first impressions of each other over a game of pool with friends.

“The first night we hung out, I thought he didn’t like me and he didn’t think I liked him,” explains Velasquez. “I thought he was really cute.”

The next day, Potuck decided, as Velasquez puts it, “to throw all caution to the wind” and call her. Because he was leaving to go back to his hometown of Goshen, Ind., he asked the singer to watch a video with him, “Bottle Rocket,” a comedy starring Luke and Owen Wilson. That night, Velasquez knew Potuck was different from any other guy she had ever met.

“We laughed and laughed and laughed and talked forever,” says Velasquez of her second date with Potuck. “He is the only guy who has ever been able to make me laugh. I fell in love with him because he is just so funny!”

Velasquez says she knew Potuck was “Mr. Right” when they spent her birthday together on Oct. 15, a month after they met. Not quite a year after they first laid eyes one each other, Velasquez and Potuck wed on Aug. 16, 2003 at the historic Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tenn.

Wearing a striking Vera Wang dress and carrying a bouquet of “Black Magic” roses, Velasquez entered the church that day and repeated traditional wedding vows before a church packed with family and friends. The wedding party wore black, with the bridesmaids in black satin asymmetrical dresses and the groomsmen in tailored suits with black shirts, sans ties.

The private, hush-hush ceremony, especially the exchange of vows, was tender and full of sentiment, reveals Velasquez. “Darren is not an emotional person at all. Watching him trying to get those vows out, and him not being able to, was, to me, the most loving experience. He got really emotional. That’s not like him at all.”

Later, bubbles filled the reception hall as the bride and groom danced to their song, “Everybody Here Wants You,” by the late Jeff Buckley. Guests were treated to slices of a red velvet wedding cake decorated with antique broaches.

Following the wedding, the couple honeymooned in Paris, France for a week before parting to fulfill separate work obligations. Later, they met up to fly to Peru for a mission trip and to visit the child they sponsor together through Compassion International.

Like Velasquez, Potuck is in the music business. He plays in the mainstream group, a.m.DRIVE, which is currently in the process of signing a record contract with an unnamed record label. According to Velasquez, when the all-Christian band members of a.m.DRIVE perform, they sound like Pearl Jam meets Third Eye Blind.

To make their busy work schedules work together, the couple plans to travel with one another when they go on the road. In January, Velasquez is taking some time off so that she can go on tour with her new husband and his band.

Now settled in Velasquez’s home in Tennessee, the newlyweds love to spend their off time at home together watching movies, goofing around or talking. She and Potuck enjoy humor and spend much of their time laughing. Velasquez says, “Every day is a new discovery.”

In a letter posted on Velasquez’s Web site, Potuck describes his faith and his marriage to Velasquez this way: “Yes, I am a Christian. Christ is the most important figure in my life. It would take far too long for me to go into my personal philosophy, so please know that our marriage is and will always be a Christ-centered marriage.”

Of Potuck, Velasquez says, “He embodies every characteristic that I never knew I always wanted.” She jokes that she has always been attracted to bad boys — dark featured men who look ultra cool and have the attitude to match. Potuck, she admits, is the total opposite of the males to whom she normally gravitates.

“I fell in love with a blonde, all-American, blue-eyed boy,” Velasquez explains. “And I don’t think I would ever want anyone else. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He keeps me sane. He is the most patient man I have ever met. Think about it. The guy who would have to put up with my lifestyle and my work would have to be patient.”

So, how did he propose? Potuck told Velasquez he was going on tour. Instead, he traveled from his home in Indiana to Velasquez’s house in Tennessee. While the singer’s mother kept her out for a day of shopping and visiting relatives, Potuck was at Velasquez’s house lighting dozens of candles and picking out music. When she arrived home with her mom, he was there to surprise her and ask the big question, “Will you marry me?”

On his knee, Potuck proposed. The engagement ring — which also serves as Velasquez’s wedding ring — is an antique art deco ring, circa 1920s, made of platinum and set with a large sapphire circled by diamonds.

“He knows I love sapphires,” Velasquez says. “He picked it out all by himself.”

Now that the couple is married, the next logical question is are they planning to have children? Velasquez says her mother is already bugging her to have a child. But she wants to spend some time to get to know her new husband and settle into married life. So the answer is someday, but not now.

In the interim, Potuck assures Velasquez’s fans that he will cherish their Jaci.

“I understand Jaci means a lot to all of you ? My reason for writing this is simple. Not only do I want to introduce myself into your world, but I want all of you to know that I will take care of your little girl. I give you my word.”

Copyright © 2004 Christian Music Planet, used with permission.

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