When Nicole and Shamar met there were no periods to end their love story. They met in Shamar’s classroom where he taught 8th grade English. “I had just been offered a spot in the 2012 Teach For America Charlotte Corps and had to decide whether or not to accept the position. TFA invited me to come up and see a teacher in action. Someone from the office set up communication between myself and an 8th grade English teacher named Shamar Knight-Justice,” Nicole shares. She’d sat in on two of his lesson plans in which he connected Sojourner Truth and Talib Kweli in a riveting poetry lesson. “I saw her in the back smiling, and giggling, and at that time I knew I could make a subtle (but still professional) move on her before she left my room. I gave her my personal number, and told her to give me a call if she wanted to peruse the city,” Shamar quips. Nicole sent him a text that evening and they made plans to go out the following night. They toured the city and had dinner at Mellow Mushroom where they began to write their own poetry.
Nicole and Shamar wanted their engagement session to embody style, elegance, and literature. The two were brought together by the power of reading so they wanted to incorporate their mutual love for books in this fun and modern shoot. Coterie member Natarsha Wright Photography captured the beautiful images of this D.C. engagement session.
Bride-to-be: Nicole John
Groom-to-be: Shamar Knight-Justice
Wedding location: The George Peabody Library in Baltimore, MD
The proposal was a 7-month process. I ultimately proposed in July, but by the December before, I was confident in my decision to ask Nicole to marry me. I just needed a few opportunities to align with my plans: to get a summer gig as a School Director with Teach For America; for Nicole to also get a summer position with Teach For America; to not get on Nicole’s nerves too much before the summer, so that I would get a definite “yes.” I was offered the School Director position in January, and everything else started to fall into place. The summer job paid well enough for me to purchase the ring, and it also opened a unique opportunity to propose in a city where we’d first started to spend time together: Tulsa, Oklahoma. Two years prior, I spent that summer in Tulsa actively trying to gain Nicole’s attention, and playfully courting her. By my first work conference in Houston, I knew where and when I wanted to propose. Houston was the location for the first TFA Institute leadership conference of the year. School directors were there, but so was the coordinator for Special Events. I told her my plans, and she ecstatically agreed. Summer Institute is a grueling, 6-week process that pushes and works educators to their breaking points. At the end, the staff has a closing dinner, where we celebrate each other, enjoy laughs, and eat delicious food. This is where I proposed. There was so much nervousness and excitement building up with in me the entire summer, and it was the big secret that everyone, except Nicole, knew about. I arranged for one of our favorite songs to be the cue for when I was to get up and make my speech. The song played, and she didn’t even realize what was going on until I stood up and started speaking. As I started talking, she unsuccessfully tried to hold back an ugly-cry, and I got on one knee. “Nicole John, will you marry me?”- Shamar
What did you do on your first date?
Our first date took place in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shamar wanted to impress me by taking me to an upscale steakhouse, but the most meaningful pieces of the night happened while exploring uptown Charlotte.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a couple?
We love anything involving brunch, books, and exploring new neighborhoods in D.C.
Tell us what you’re looking forward to most on the wedding day.
We are most looking forward to becoming one. We can’t wait to read and listen to one another’s vows as we walk with Jesus into this next phase of life.
Nicole and Shamar recently got married at the stunning George Peabody Library in Baltimore, MD. We’re so happy for the beautiful couple and can’t wait to see the photos from their wedding!
Photography – Natarsha Wright Photography