Real Engagements {Pittsburgh}: Marisa & Eugene! –

Serving their community together has been a constant within their relationship over the past four years. Marisa and Eugene met while they were both serving on the executive board for the Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh. Marisa was the Vice President and Eugene served as the Treasurer.  It was during this time that the two developed a friendship, and then soon after a relationship, that was rooted in service to the community and each other. Marisa and Eugene will celebrate their union with modern, elegant nuptials at the Pittsburgh Opera House next Spring. Check out their fun and flirty outdoor engagement session shot by Mecca Gamble Photography!

Bride: Marisa C Bartley, 30, Business Development Officer

Groom: Eugene D Williams III, 30, Sr. Clinical Specialist

Engagement Shoot Location: Hill District/ Pittsburgh, PA

Place of residence: Pittsburgh, PA

Wedding date: 4/24/15


Engagement story {Her Story}: 

Christmas Eve was a busy day…Eugene’s parents had already been with us for four days; I was preparing for my parents to arrive later that evening. I started my day running errands; the gym, grocery shopping, etc. My family arrived, and everyone prepared to eat dinner. Eugene wanted to make a toast, which I thought would be normal, as this was the first time our parents were meeting. What felt like 5 minutes into the toast, Gene turned and said he wanted to toast the lady of the house, and Tyrese’s song, Sweet Lady came on. I looked at him, like what’s going on? He asked me to come to the front of the room, and said “There’s only one thing left to do!” He pulled the eggshell colored box out of his pocket (YES, he went to Jared!) I walked away, balling trying to get myself together (I was completely blindsided). His dad says, “Marisa, please come back, we have limited battery life in this camera.” Then it happened, all I remember was him saying, Marisa Catherine Bartley, will you marry me? I shook my head up and down feverishly and eventually eeked out a “YES!” It was by far one of THE most cherished and special moments of my life to date.


Engagement story {His Story}: 

I wanted to make the engagement special for Marisa by including our families, because I know how important family is to both of us. Prior to the special day, I called her father to ask for his blessing; then I went a step further, and called both of her brothers as well. I have a little sister and I thought that was important to do. On Christmas Eve everyone but Marisa knew what was going to take place. I asked my sister to capture the moment with my iPhone. Before the family sat down to dinner, I made a toast to thank both families for traveling to spend Christmas in snowy Pittsburgh. During the toast I took a moment to thank Marisa for making the past 6 months that we have been living together special. At that point, I took a few moments to explain how you know you’ve met “The One.” “You know you’ve met the one, when everything you have and everything you are, you want to share with that person.” I raised my glass and turned to Marisa and said, “Babe, everything I have and everything I am I want to share with you.” I called her up to the front of the room, to have her stand next to me. I used my remote to turn on the stereo, and while our song “Sweet Lady” played in the background I said, “There’s only one thing left to do.” I reached in my pocket, pulled out the ring. Got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.

E-Session Theme:

The hill district is a historic place within the city of Pittsburgh. Many of our special moments have happened in this neighborhood; first date, first kiss, and ultimately their engagement surrounded by family. Both of us are transplants to the city of Pittsburgh, and are very involved in the community. The hill district is considered a neighborhood on the rise, and both of us wanted to showcase the beauty of the place we call home. The view from the hill truly rivals, Mt. Washington, a classic engagement/wedding photography destination.

A special love:

We were friends first, which has helped us to get through the rough patches in our relationship. We can be silly together, being goofy and letting loose helps keep things light and fun! The first day that we ever hung out one- on-one, Eugene needed an ear to work through some issues. I was able to be there for him as a friend, and now five years later we are getting married on that very date.

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

I love this man past the moon, and beyond the stars, I just want to be his wife! I am looking forward to the moment immediately following the ceremony, when Eugene and I get a brief moment alone to celebrate being husband and wife.


Congratulations to Marisa and Eugene on your engagement! We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage!


Photographer: Mecca Gamble Photography

Curated by our Wedding Features Editor, C.K. Alexander. C.K. is the owner and founder of  Love Ink and Brownstone Bridal. Keep up with C.K. on Twitter here: @Love_Ink


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