Marnel and Matthew met as graduate students. They were both students at Howard University’s Department of Communication and Culture, studying organizational communication. They started to notice each other around campus, and after a flirty encounter at a neighborhood Starbucks their relationship was born. Before long, the adventurous couple were doing everything together; dates to Coldstone, APA formatting parties, and even salsa dancing lessons — and falling hard for one another along the way.

After graduation, Marnel moved to California for a new job while Matthew stayed behind to finish his program. This was before Facebook (B.F., as they like to call it) so the pair had to rely on techie apps like Skype and iChat to keep their love alive. Their long distance relationship was tough but they made it work; Marnel making sure to hop on a plane to the east coast every chance she got. Matthew moved to Oregon, which was a little closer, but still not where he hoped to be. Determined to seal their love connection forever, Matthew got down on one knee last Christmas night and asked his darling Marnel for her hand in marriage. Her entire family was present to witness the magic.

Now the two are preparing to walk down the aisle this fall and truly become one.

Photos: Joshua Dwain Photography

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