Ima and Marc met at church and have known each other for eight years. "In the time that we knew each other we had only been out together once in 2007. We remained cool with each other but went our separate ways romantically. Every year we made sure to wish each other a Happy Birthday and checked in occasionally via social media networks," recalls Ima. In the Summer of 2013 Ima and Marc would have the opportunity give love a second chance. "We were exchanging comments via Instagram which led to a 6 hour conversation via Facebook! The timing couldn't have been more perfect considering we were both single and open to love. Our first date was pretty casual and I really didn’t expect much, I just went with the flow. Shortly after, Marc began to court me and show me that he was serious about being in a committed relationship," said Ima. On July 20, 2014 the couple celebrated being together for a year with a surprise engagement! Check out their beach themed engagement session, captured by Drenaka Williams Photography!
Bride: Ima Denise Uko, 28, Production Manager & Business Owner of Hooked by Ima
Groom: Marcus Brandon Carnelus, 33, Business Owner of Brand Ave. Clothing
Place of residence: Los Angeles, CA
Engagement Shoot Location: Dockweiler Beach (Playa Del Rey)
Wedding date: 4/11/15
We were celebrating our one year anniversary over the weekend in beautiful Newport Beach, CA and to finish it off we went to Six Flags Magic Mountain the next day. As we arrived to the amusement park, there was a photographer at the front gate, yes the photographer who always takes your picture when you get there. So, we were getting ready to pose and I turned slightly so that Marc could get on the side of me and as I'm turning to get ready to pose, he was behind me and got down on one knee! I was in total shock! Ring box in hand and all! It was almost like time slowed down for a moment and he asked me if I wanted to be Mrs. Carnelus for life. I was saying, "OMG OMG are you serious babe?" He just smiled so brightly and of course I said YES! People who were near by applauded and it was truly a special moment. This was such an amazing way to start our day! The photographer captured some really great shots of our special moment and we had a blast at Magic Mountain and were literally on cloud 9 the entire day!
For the Groom: How did you decide that you wanted to propose in such a grand way? Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.
I knew that there would be photographers located at the amusement park entrance and it was important for Ima and myself to have our special moment captured so that we could share with our family and friends. So as we were walking to the gate I knew I had a small window to do what I needed. Ima wasn’t expecting it to happen at that moment- I think she was more surprised because of the setting and that’s exactly what I wanted.
What makes your love special?
I remember Marc telling me one day, "I prayed for you and God answered my prayers." In that moment, I sat there in amazement because I too had been praying for the right man to enter my life and he had been there all along. Once I started to let my heart open God showed me that Marc was the man I had always dreamed about and hoped for. We take care of each other, listen to each and have the most fun together. Marc is my greatest blessing from God and I love the way he loves me. We have been together for a little over a year and EVERYDAY, he sends me a beautiful good morning text! Talk about consistency. Through our commitment to each other, we inspire, encourage and grow together. He often says that he hit the jackpot with me, but I feel as equally blessed to be with someone who is genuine, loyal, caring, consistent and so much more.
What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?
I am most excited to see the church doors open and see my handsome fiance waiting at the front for me. I have dreamed about that moment for a long time and really look forward to exchanging our personal vows in front of our loved ones and becoming one!
Have you started planning your wedding?
We have started planning our wedding and are enjoying the process. The church has been booked, save the dates are ordered and we are moving along nicely. Both Marc and I are thoroughly involved in all facets of the planning process.
Congratulations to Ima and Marcus! We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage.
Photographer: Drenaka Williams Photography