Planning to propose to your special woman?

ESSENCE wants to help you make the moment even more memorable. Just tell us why your beautiful romance deserves a storybook ending, and you could become one of six finalists to be flown to Walt Disney World® Resort, near Orlando, Florida, to surprise your lady with a magical proposal, and have your love story featured exclusively in the pages of ESSENCE. Readers who log on to will vote for their favorite couple and help plan aspects of the winning couple’s wedding. You and your beloved could be our lucky winners!

ENTER TODAY! HERE’S HOW: Tell us about the beginning of your relationship and why you and your lady deserve a storybook wedding. Submit in English to no later than 11:59 P.M. ET March 15, 2012. Include your full name, address, daytime and evening phone numbers, an e-mail address, and a photo of you and your boo.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY: Open to legal male residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 19 years or older at time of entry. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


1. HOW TO ENTER:  This contest begins 12:01 A.M. EST on February 9, 2012 and ends 11:59 P.M. EST on March 15, 2012.  To enter online, email MarryMe@essence.comand submit your original essay of 250 words or less, explaining why you and your lady deserve a storybook wedding, and no more than two digital photographs no larger than 2MB-4MB each. Limit one entry per person or email account.  Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, or incomplete entries or entries not received for any reason. Entries become sole property of Sponsor and none will be acknowledged or returned.  By entering, Entrant warrants that his or her entry is original and does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party, has not been published in any medium or has not won an award. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entry for any reason including, but not limited to, fraud.


2. JUDGING:  All entries will be judged by the Essence editorial team, based on the following criteria: Romantic Element (25%); Originality (25%); Appropriateness to contest theme (25%); and Artistic Merit (25%).  Using the above criteria, the Essence editorial team will select six semi-finalists. In the event of a tie, an additional “tie-breaker” judge will determine the Winners from among all such tied entries using the judging criteria above. Incomplete and/or inaccurate entries and entries not complying with all rules are subject to disqualification.  Decisions of judges are final and binding. The Semi-Finalists must be available to claim their prize package as described in Paragraph 4 no later than April 8, 2012. The submissions of the Semi-Finalists will be posted on from May 10, 2012 to June 10, 2012. At which time readers will be invited to vote. By entering this contest, each Semi-Finalist agrees to undergo a background check prior to their submission being posted on for the final round of voting. Semi-Finalists will be notified beginning March 16, 2012, by telephone and email.

All Semi-Finalists’ entries will be judged by the Essence editorial team based on the following criteria: Voter Response (50%), and Creativity (50%).  The Grand Prize Winner will be notified by June 14, 2012 by telephone and email.

3. ELIGIBILITY:  Open to male legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are 19 years or older at time of entry.  Void where prohibited by law.  Employees of Sponsor and its promotional partners and their respective parents, affiliates and subsidiaries, participating advertising and promotion agencies (and members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same of household of each such employee) are not eligible. 

4. PRIZES AND APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE: Six Semi-Final Winners will each receive a vacation package for two (2) persons for two (2) nights and three (3) days at the Walt Disney World® Resort near Orlando, Florida consisting of: Two (2) round trip coach air fares between the major United States gateway airport closest to winner’s residence and the Orlando International Airport; provided, however, if winner resides within 250 miles of the Walt Disney World® Resort, air fare will not be provided; Four (4) round trip ground transfers between the Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World® Resort; provided, however, if winner resides within 250 miles of the Walt Disney World® Resort, transfers will not be provided; Room accommodations consisting of two (2) standard rooms (with a maximum of four (4) persons per room) for two (2) nights at a hotel at the Walt Disney World® Resort selected by Disney in its sole discretion; Two (2) 3-Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper® Option; and Two (2) Disney Gift Cards with a value of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) each.  (Approximate retail value of each vacation package is $3,711.32.)


Winning vacation rules include, but are not limited to:

o    Vacation must be taken during April 2012 on dates selected by Essence and Disney in their sole discretion.

o    Departure date and accommodations are subject to availability; certain restrictions and block-out dates may apply.

o    Each vacation is for a Semi-Final Winner of the contest and one (1) guest of his choosing.

o    Vacation and vacation components may not be sold, traded, transferred, rescheduled to dates not within the fulfillment period set forth above, or refunded.  Vacations are not redeemable for cash.


NOTE:  Items that are not included as part of the winning vacation packages are:


Hotel room service

Laundry service

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Alcoholic beverages

Merchandise, souvenirs, etc.

Local and long distance telephone calls

Tips, gratuities, service charges or taxes

Transportation between winner’s residence and the departure airport

All other charges and items not otherwise described above

The Grand Prize Winner will also receive a deluxe wedding package. The Grand Prize Winner’s wedding must take place no later than October 7, 2012 within the 50 United States or the District of Columbia as dictated by the Sponsor.

Approximate Retail Value of all prizes: $42, 267.92.  All other expenses not specified herein are the responsibility of the Winners.  ALL TAXES ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WINNERS.  All of the prizes are to be awarded without warranty, express or implied, of any kind.

5. CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION:  No transfer, assignment, or substitution of a prize permitted, except Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prize (or prize component) for an item of equal or greater value at Sponsor’s sole discretion.  Nothing in these official contest rules shall obligate Sponsor to publish or otherwise use any entry submitted in connection with this Contest.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.  Entrants agree to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and by the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Contest.  By entering, Entrant represents that any essay and photos, and other materials submitted as part of Entrant’s Contest entry are original and will not constitute defamation or an invasion of privacy or otherwise infringe upon the rights of any third party, and that the Entrant owns or has the rights to convey any and all right and title in such photos, essay, etc. and other materials.  In addition, by entering, Entrant grants to Sponsor a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use Entrant’s submitted essay and photos, along with Entrant’s name, likeness, biographical information, and any other information provided by Entrant, in any and all media for possible editorial, promotional or advertising purposes, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law).  Potential Winner, as a condition of receiving any prize, also may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release and where legally permissible a Publicity Release and confirmation of a license as set forth above within three (3) calendar days following the date of first attempted notification, certifying, among other things, the following: (a) entry does not defame or invade the privacy of any party; (b) entry does not infringe upon the rights of any third party; and (c) the essay and photos and other materials submitted are original and have never been published and entry has never won an award.  Failure to comply with this deadline may result in forfeiture of the prize and selection of an alternate winner.  Return of any prize/prize notification as undeliverable may result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner.  Acceptance of the prize constitutes permission for Sponsor and its agencies to use Winner’s name and/or likeness, biographical information, and essay and photos and other materials submitted for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law.  By entering and/or accepting prize, Entrants and Winners agree to hold harmless Sponsor and its promotional partners, including but not limited to Disney Destinations, and their parent, related, affiliated and subsidiary entities and their respective directors, officers, employees and assigns for liability, damages or claims for injury or loss to any person or property, including death, relating to, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, participation in this Contest, the acceptance and/or subsequent use or misuse, or condition of any of the prizes awarded, or claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion or privacy.  False or deceptive entries or acts will render the Entrant ineligible.  Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the immediate and unrestricted right to disqualify any entrant or prize winner, if either commits or has committed any act, or has been involved or becomes involved in any situation or occurrence which the Sponsor deems likely to subject the Sponsor, entrant or winner to ridicule, scandal or contempt or which reflects unfavorably upon the Sponsor in any way.  If such information is discovered by Sponsor after a winner has received notice of his prize and before the prize is awarded, Sponsor may rescind the prize in its entirety.  If a portion of his/her prize has already been awarded, Sponsor may withdraw the remainder of the prize that has been fulfilled.  Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding in all matters related to this paragraph.  Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the contest, or in the announcement of the prize.


6. INTERNET:  Sponsor is not responsible for lost or late entries nor for electronic transmission errors resulting in omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operations or transmission, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials, or for technical, network, telephone equipment, electronic, computer, hardware or software malfunctions or limitations of any kind, or inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by Sponsor or presenter on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site or any combination thereof.  If for any reason the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest.  Sponsor reserves the right to select winners from eligible entries received as of the termination date.  CAUTION: Any attempt by a contestant to deliberately damage any Web site or undermine the legitimate operation of the game is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such contestant to the fullest extent of the law.  If there is a dispute as to the identity of the Entrant, the prize will be awarded to the authorized account holder of the email address.  The “authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person to whom the email address is assigned.

7. GOVERNING LAW:  This Contest is governed by the internal laws of the state of New York without regard to principles of conflict of laws.  All cases and claims pertaining to this Contest (excluding, for this purpose, any and all cases and claims pertaining to the Walt Disney World® vacations) must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the City of New York, without recourse to class action suits.  All cases and claims pertaining to the Walt Disney World® vacations must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of Florida, without recourse to class action suits.

8. SEVERABILITY:  If any provision of these Rules is found to be invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction or appointed arbitrator, such determination shall in no way affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision herein.


9. WINNER’S LIST:  For name of Winners, log onto after July 30, 2012, available for a period of 30 days. 10. SPONSOR:  The Sponsor of this Contest is ESSENCE MAGAZINE, 135 WEST 50TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK.