Meet The Verkest Family

By Nastasha and Adam Verkest

How Did You and Adam Meet?

Adam and I met serving in the US Army while stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. Shortly after I arrived in Germany, we were deployed to Ferizaj, Kosovo where Adam and I were able to spend lots of time together. I was a Food Service Specialist and prepared all the meals. While Adam was a Supply Specialist and secured the water and food I needed to prepare meals. You could say we were destined to be a team from the start. When he would come through the breakfast line in the morning, I would serve him banana pancakes that I specially prepared for him from my personal stash of ingredients.

None of the other Soldiers were served banana pancakes; they were given plain ones. He would share his banana pancakes with the other Soldiers secretly because he didn’t want to tell me he didn’t like bananas! Every morning, he would smile at me sweetly accepting my pancakes knowing he had no intention of eating them just so I would feel appreciated. He would bring me dandelions and random weeds that he would pick around our campsite so I decorate my tented sleeping area. It wasn’t the ideal romantic setting, but it worked because we are still going strong 22 years later! By the way, Adam eventually told me after our deployment about his disliking bananas. In an ironic twist, since I enjoy bananas, he started liking them too over the years.

Where and when were you married? What is your best memory together?

We were married in Edgefield, South Carolina on April 21, 2001. We had a small intimate Wedding Ceremony at a Victorian Mansion surrounded by our Parents, my Sister-in-Law and just a few friends. We were a young couple with only a $500 Wedding Budget, so we didn’t have all the elaborate décor elements that we now create for our clients. We renewed our Vows in Ocho Rios, Jamaica in 2011 with 40 of our closest friends and family in a weeklong celebration of festivities.

We have created a multitude of memories together. One of our fondest memories is traveling with our entire family internationally for the first time to renew our Vows in Jamaica. It was the first time our children got to experience traveling abroad and everyone in attendance had the most amazing time experiencing a new adventure together.

What are the names of your children? What schools are they attending and what are they majoring in?

We have two incredible children. Our daughter Trinity is in her final year at Birmingham Southern College (BCS). She will be studying the Civil Rights Movement abroad in Ireland during her January Term and is majoring in English with a minor in Sociology. She will also be playing her final season at BSC Women’s Lacrosse as a Mid Fielder and Attack this spring.

Our son, Isaiah completed his first year at the University Of North Alabama (UNA) studying Fine Arts in Graphic Design and 3D Modeling. He is also exploring International Study Abroad programs. These were monumental steps for our son as he has experienced many challenges being Autistic.

Tell us about your education and careers.

Adam has a background in Logistics and Talent Acquisitions. He recently received his Bachelor’s Degree during the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2021. After each college assignment he completed, he would let our kids know that he was bound and determined to receive his Degree before any of them did! It was really fun watching all of my college students treat it as a friendly competition because it pushed each of them to do their best. Of course, Adam was the victor, but it motivated our kids to pursue their passions despite the challenges.

I have a Culinary Arts Diploma and began my Career as a Chef. I worked as a Pastry Chef and used to make Wedding Cakes. As I would gather information from my couples for design inspiration, I found myself doing more and more Wedding Designing and Consulting and less baking as time went on. I decided to pursue Wedding Planning and made the career transition after earning my Diploma as a Professional Wedding Consultant from Penn Foster in 2007. I am also a Certified and Accredited Autism Travel Specialist, Sandals Brand Resorts Specialist and Caribbean Destination Wedding Expert. I continuously earn Professional Certificates in various areas of the Wedding Industry.

How did your Army careers shape you into who you both are today?

The opportunities and experiences we gained while serving in the US Army has impacted our lives with the many attributes that we credit our work ethics with. The military molds each member to be disciplined, detail oriented, flexible, and resilient and a professional multitasker. No matter the complexity of a situation, we have developed the ability to adapt to challenging environments.

Tell us about your hobbies, volunteer work that your family participates in.

Our family loves to travel and wanted our children to grow up with not only the knowledge of cultural diversities, but able to experience it firsthand. When possible, we visit the local communities to volunteer and bring school supplies to local schools and always try the local delicacies. We also love our Football! We are a house divided though. While I cheer on my San Francisco 49ers (Go Niners!), Adam devotes his loyalty to the Buffalo Bills. It’s always a fun time when our teams face off (a lot of trash talking to be had on those game days!). We eventually agreed to a “Family Team” so we could have some civility in the house during Football Season. I was born in Philly and Adam was born in New York. We figured what’s more fitting than the Philadelphia Eagles; a Team that’s in the City of Brotherly Love? Go Eagles (when the Niners and Bills aren’t the rivals of course!)!

Nastasha, How did TAVÉ Weddings & Events come to be?

I started my business in 2008 while Adam was stationed in Sacramento, CA. After fulfilling my Military obligation, I wanted a career that would afford me time to be present in my children’s active lives and showcase my artistic talents in a field that can move with Military Relocation Orders. I knew an Entrepreneurial career would do just that. My inspiration to create my business came from my love of entertaining and design. I decided to start a Wedding and Event Planning/Design business that can be both mobile (as my husband was still Active Duty Army at the time) and recession proof as Weddings will always happen no matter what’s happening in the economy. While serving in the US Army as a Food Service Specialist and as a Logistics Specialist, I had many opportunities to plan formal Military Balls and functions, design wedding cakes and menus, and gained a lot of experience in the logistics involved in creating events. Fun fact how I came up with the name: I took the first two letters of my nickname (Tash) and the first two letters of my last name because in the Army I was called “V” for Verkest to create TAVÉ.
Adam, Besides helping Nastasha, what else are you doing?

My current field of work is a Logistics Analyst Government Contractor supporting the Missile Defense Agency. When I am not working my day job, I am building whatever elaborate custom décor Nastasha creates in her head for me to figure out how to execute.

If your family had a motto, what would it be?

Broken crayons still color. It doesn’t matter what setbacks or obstacles occur while creating your masterpiece, you still have value, worth and purpose. New ideas rarely go according to original plans, so keep experimenting.

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