Real Engagements {Washington, D.C.}: Brittney & Mark!

From a follow request on Instagram to planning forever, Mark and Brittney's love was truly meant to be. The couple met on Instagram in August 2013, (yes it really does go down in DM’s). Mark had commented on a picture, asking her to plan an event at his church. "After a few exchanged e-mails, we exchanged numbers and began to casually converse, forgetting all about the church event," recalled Brittney. Over time, their casual phone calls grew to a more personal level, as they both began learning more and more about each other. Unexpectedly, after weeks of talking on the phone they became fast friends. A couple of weeks after meeting Mark, Brittney's colleague asked her if she was seeing anyone. Brittney was shocked by this question, and didn't consider Mark as someone she was actually “seeing,” so she responded no.  "My colleague informed me that she had this guy she wanted me to meet. I wasn’t really interested in dating anyone, but the she said the young man she wanted me to meet was a Minister at her church, and she referenced him as Boaz in the Bible. When I asked what’s his name; what came next had to have been predestined by God. Mrs. Kathryn told me that the young man’s name was— Mark McKinnon!," recalled Brittney. From that moment on, the happy couple has been inseparable. After three years of dating, Mark and Brittney are planning a spring wedding next year. Check out their elegant engagement session, captured by Iris Mannings Photography.

Bride: Brittney Shardae Carter, 27, CEO of B. Carter Solutions

Groom: Mark Anthony McKinnon, 29, CEO of McKinnon Acting Studios

Place of residence: Hyattsvile, MD

Engagement Shoot Location: Washington, DC

Wedding date: 5/27/17

Engagement story:

On Thursday afternoon, February 4th, 2016, Brittney and Mark each received an email from someone named Lindsey. The subject of the email was "CONGRATS! We Want to Feature You in Our Magazine". In the email, Lindsey gave some information about the magazine company and included links to the magazine's website and social media pages. The email also explained that they were doing an article on abstinence and wanted to interview them for their journey practicing abstinence.  A section of the email read:

"We are a leading magazine on faith, culture and intentional living, reaching 5 million Christian young adults and professionals with influential, passionate content.  Our publication has featured top artists, preachers, and other noteworthy figures in the Christian community. We are producing an article on abstinence to inspire Christians to wait until marriage, and found your names in our Washington, DC search for interview subjects to share their personal stories.  We're covering four types of relationships for this article, and think you both are a great fit for Couple #4:

[1] married couple who practiced abstinence while dating
[2] a single man and woman (not in a relationship) practicing abstinence
[3] An engaged couple practicing abstinence
[4] A couple in a purpose-driven courtship

Brittney was the first to see this email. After reading it, with excitement she called Mark right away asking if he saw the email. He said he hasn't yet. Brittney begins reading out loud to Mark the email that Lindsey has sent. Mark's response matched Brittney's excitement. They both quickly agreed to do the interview and responded to Lindsey's email. Little did Brittney know, that Mark was behind this entire email. He created Lindsey, the email, and set up this entire {fake} interview.

For an entire week, Brittney was going back and forth with Lindsey, via email, to get more details, yet she still didn't catch on that this was Mark responding as Lindsey. Mark wanted to have a private dinner party with friends and family that same night to celebrate the engagement at a restaurant near the proposal site. Mark hired a professional videographer and photographer for this interview. He got in touch with one of his friends, who is a professional actress, to play the role of Lindsey at the interview. He also got in touch with a mutual friend, who is a real producer, to play the role of the producer. His main job on the night of the proposal was to secretly record a live video feed for the dinner party of friends and family to watch the proposal happen.

After much practice and preparation, Mark and Brittney were now ready for this interview. Lindsey greeted them both in the lobby of the interview location and escorted them onto set for the interview. The final question of the interview was, "What's in the future for Mark and Brittney"? Brittney begins to answer, but then Mark takes over with his answer. His answer led to him setting up the proposal and Mark gets down on one knee. Brittney breaks down in tears as Mark shared his feelings about her and that he wanted to make her his wife. SHE SAID YES!

Brittney still did not know that this interview was fake. Lindsey tells them, that her crew had to leave because they had another couple to meet for the interview. The crew were really leaving to set up at dinner party. Once Lindsey and her crew leaves, Mark tells Brittney they he was hungry and that they should go to dinner to celebrate their engagement. Once they arrived to the restaurant, the hostess proceeds to escort them to a private room, and when Brittney walked in……"SURPRISE"!! A room full of their friends and family scream. Brittney was completely surprised. She then sees Lindsey from the magazine interview and she's confused as to why her and the crew are there. Lindsey then breaks the news to Brittney and told her that she was not Lindsey, and that Mark set up this entire fake interview. Brittney is shocked! Check out their proposal interview here.



From the Groom: Walk us through the behind the scenes of creating this special day.

I was NERVOUS because Brittney is a detective, she knows everything, she finds out everything and I just knew my plan would fail because she is Type-A and nearly impossible to trick, but I got her. I held conference calls all week with my team leading up to this day, ever
ything was going perfectly. It was time for me to pick up Brittney and take her to the “interview.” My heart was beating out of my chest because the fake host “Lindsey” was actually a colleague of mine and I wasn’t sure if Brittney remembered her or not. THANK GOD she didn’t recognize her and from there on out, the entire proposal went PERFECT!

What makes your love special?

That we live our lives setting the example of being an abstinent couple of 1 year and 10 months, and we made a commitment to Christ that we would honor Him with our temples until we are one flesh. Mark pledged to me that he would honor my body until I am his wife, and even when it’s hard for him, he knows that protecting my purity until I am his is more important than anything. We live our life scripture on 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”.

What was the theme of your shoot?

Only a King Can Attract a Queen & Only a Queen Can Keep a King Focused.

Were there any memorable moments during the shoot?

All of them were incredible but the last shot at the Kennedy Center when I lifted Brittney up and you saw in our eyes the true authentic relationship that we have, that was the perfect most memorable moment.

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

That night at 10pm after the reception LOL (Jk but we’re serious) On a serious note, we are looking forward to experiencing the greatest love and support from our family and friends, and to finally profess our unconditional love for each other in front of God.

Have you started planning your wedding?

Brittney being the Type-A, OCD planner that she is, she’s almost done. In fact she was done in February honestly. –(Mark)

Congratulations to the happy couple Brittney and Mark! We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage.


MasterPlan Events (Wedding Planner)

Iris Mannings Photography

Nicely Faces Makeup Artistry

Wedding Paper Divas

Creatively Expressions

Events & Catering by RondaB.


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