Intimate engagement stroll in Washington DC celebrates love and culture with multiple outfit changes, beautiful backdrops, and more!
Carl and Martine announced their love in an intimate engagement stroll around Washington DC. The photo shoot incorporated their intercultural Haitian and Ghanaian roots and featured 3 outfit changes!
Each outfit represented a different facet of their life together. Outfit 1 paid homage to their ancestral roots, the second showcased their adoration for books and reading together, and outfit 3 was the “show stopping moment” giving us a glimpse into what we can expect for their wedding day in September 2022!
Keep reading below for more on their love story and details from their engagement shoot.
- Couple: Carllistus Obeng & Martine Balthazar
- Date of shoot: September 2, 2022
- Location: Washington DC
How they met…
On June 1st of 2018, Martine was in the DMV complaining about the lack of “good” men to an old coworker named Wesley.
Martine recalls, “After politely listening to [my] rant, my old coworker, Wesley, mentioned a friend of his named Carl who was awkward but sweet and spent most of his time advocating for black women and children.”
Of course, she was intrigued. Could this stranger be one of the good ones?
“After a quick Instagram check to verify all of the above-named characteristics, I asked Wesley to send Carl my number. To my surprise, Carl texted me that same night and we’ve spoken every day since!”
When they knew they found “the one”…
Although she admits its cliche, for Martine, she thinks she knew early on.
“I had been feeling down after a trip home the week prior and had said my version of a Ciara prayer. After the first couple of conversations with Carl, something felt like it was falling into place. Those feelings were confirmed when he curated and sent me a playlist on Apple Music to help with my anxiety at work. One of the songs was “Beyond” by Leon Bridges, and at that point, I knew what it meant to date someone with intention.”
Carl knew Martine was his person “somewhere between the 3rd and 50th flight he took to visit [Martine] in Orlando when [they] were long distance for 2 years.”
As a couple, the pair are very big on supporting Black-owned businesses whenever they can.
“In that spirit, Carl booked us a weekend at the Salamander Resort, a black-owned hotel in Virginia, for Valentine’s Day. That Sunday we spent the day enjoying a Boozy Brunch (the only proper way to brunch) and then took a nap.”
Little did she know, Carl had a suprise planned for her! While she slept and eventually started getting ready for dinner, Carl was in the living room area redecorating.
“When I walked out, the living room had been redecorated with roses, candles, and pictures of our relationship journey. He had also hired an amazing photographer, Lola, who gave us a mini photo-shoot.”
As the shoot began winding down, Carl got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife! Of course she said yes! And, even better, the ring was designed bu Sheryl Jones, one of the only Black woman jewelers in the world.
“After the proposal, we opted out of our dinner reservations and danced in our PJ’s and ordered room service.”
What makes their love special…
“We are unapologetically us.”
Even in their awkwardness, they are always authentic and upfront about things.
“For example,” Carl says, “Martine has a knack for accidentally walking into people and I will naturally trip up all the stairs. We can be serious but for the most part, we are silly.”
Martine adds, “We love to nerd out in our Harry Potter robes and Carl forces me to watch Christmas movies in July. We are complex and simple but overall we are genuine. Hence our hashtag #ItsKindOfAnAwkwardStory.”
Memorable engagement shoot moments…
The main theme of their photo session was to “incorporate the spirit of [their] relationship” – and photographers Lola Snaps Photography and Wale helped them bring their vision to life!
Martine recalls: “We took the first set of pictures in the traditional fabric while holding up our home flags, Ghana and Haiti. We’ve also always bonded over books by black authors. So our second set of pictures was all about displaying some of our favorite books throughout the years.”
“Through 3 outfit changes, the cold, some unique photo concepts and 2 different locations, Lola and Wale were super positive and hyped us up the entire time, and that truly made all the difference.”
What they’re most looking forward to on their wedding day…
First and foremost, Martine and Carl are “looking forward to the vibes!”
“We think weddings are a celebration so that’s all we want,” she says.
“Overall, we have 3 non-negotiable for our day: 1. Fire Afro-Caribbean food to go with our Haitian and Ghanaian roots 2. Flowing alcohol & 3. A bomb DJ. With those 3 things, we know everything else will fall into place.”
Looking for more inspiration like this intimate engagement stroll?
- Photographer: Lola Snaps Photography @lolasnapsphoto
- MUA: Kendra Bliss Beauty
- Barber: Chase the Barber @chasethebarber
- Hair Stylist: Chibella Natural Hair Boutique
- Wedding Planner: Lavish Creations by Tiffany
- DJ: DJ Black Wizard @djblackwizard
- Engagement Ring: Sheryl Jones Jewelry
- Skin: Mango Moi
- Traditional Print Dress & Shirt: Tufafii @Tufafii