Playful Engagement Session at the Minnesota State Fair: Amber + Marcus

Marcus Coleman, a public administrator, and Amber a U.S. Senate staffer   thoroughly enjoys empowering women to express their political voice with confidence and improving women's access to healthcare. Marcus had found his calling as a public administrator working to build partnerships between faith-based and community organizations and government to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. This fun couple made a team and because they gave back to society their ultimate reward was finding each other.

The Proposal:

The proposal was set to the magnificent and wondrous flowers and floral sculptures of the gardens of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Amber was co-chairing a big fundraiser in the morning there. She was not expecting anything other than a regular day. Plus Marcus told her that he was on call and had to return to DC that day. Amber was saddened but she prepared herself for her big event. The night before her and Marcus spent and enjoyed the evening with close friends.

The day of the event it had seemed that the boss was in on something that Amber was not aware of. After getting manicures before the event, Amber and her boss arrived to the fundraiser...."I walked into the gardens on what seemed like a pretty uneventful day. There was an photographer taking pictures of people as they arrived to the fundraiser but I didn't think anything of it as we walked...and walked...and walked, until we were lost in lilies and foliage from across the globe."

At this point something unexpected was about to happen to Amber. She did not know that there was to be a surprise waiting for her soon...

"My boss decided it would make sense to split up to find the fundraiser and I turned left, walked into a gazebo and to my surprise Marcus popped up in my favorite blue suit...I was shocked. I don't remember what he was saying, but I do remember that his face went from ecstatic to glum, then I noticed myself repeating, "" and I finished my sentence, "'re not supposed to be here." But he was on one knee; he proposed with the ring in a yellow rose (my favorite flower) and of course I said yes!"


How They Met: 

They met as summer interns in the summer of 2006 in Washington DC on Capital Hill. Barack Obama (a senator at the time) was supposed to speak on a particular day that summer.  An excited Amber was on her way to see the speech until she met Marcus near the room.  " need to go any further..." he said, "'s cancelled."  Amber was saddened by the news but was fortunate to meet Marcus. They happened to be both from Howard University, which Marcus did not believe right away "His look bewildered, he gathered himself and responded, "I don't believe you, I go to Howard and I've never seen you before, besides you don't even look like you'd go to Howard..." I felt a lot of things at that moment, but butterflies in my stomach from being in love was not one of them, I wittingly responded, "well what does a Howard woman look like Mr. Coleman?".   They decided to walk back to the metro together and exchanged pleasantries.

Weeks later they had the opportunity to work together on a civic engagement called the "Project Voice". It was a way to help empower their fellow students and Amber claimed that it was through working with Marcus on this project that he found a way to her heart.  They got to know one another better and formed a relationship.

But their relationship was not without challenges. They spent time apart from 2008 to 2010. It was 2010 that they began to slowly reconnect as friends with a new level of maturity and wisdom.  They felt they have grown throughout their time apart and decided to give their relationship another try, "Our re-connection happened from a distance, he moved back to DC and I lived in Atlanta, GA. We made the effort and it was worth every minute, for three years we traveled back and forth growing closer with each trip."

Their First Date

"He took me to a gala and afterwards we went out for Margaritas. While on the way for margaritas he shared that he wanted 14 kids... of course this has now been negotiated down significantly"

Favorite Thing to Do As a Couple

"We like to try new things together: restaurants, activities, travel to new destinations that we've never been to or find new things to do in places we've traveled to often."

 The Engagement Session: 

Amber and Marcus actually had two engagement sessions. The one they had in Washington DC was more urban chic and formal. When they thought of doing a more informal session they wanted it to be something playful and different...

They agreed that it would be a great idea to have it at the Minnesota State Fair! They had two objectives to focus on during the session. First to have a good time while letting their love shine through the photos!


On Wedding Planning...

"Wedding planning has been a breeze, thanks in large part to our amazing wedding planner, Faith. We would both recommend a wedding planner or coordinator to couples planning from a distance. Having a longer engagement has given us the opportunity to take our time, find bargains where we can, and save money since we are contributing"

Amber and Marcus look forward to be surrounded by loved ones on their big day and of course the reception party. They love to dance!

Their wedding is this year on July 18th. We wish them all the best and a successful, enjoyable wedding!



Photographer: Cadence & Eli Photography
Wedding Planner: Faith Folayan of This Love Weddings


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  1. Susan Noble

    Beautiful Couple Beautiful Post

  2. Linda leatherman

    Charming, sweet, fun. Beautiful people destined for a lifetime of accomplishment and love. So happy for this union! May your blessings continue and grow.


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