Real Engagements {Washington D.C.}: LeAmber & Christopher! –

LeAmber and Christopher met at a hospitality and entertainment career expo in October of 2012. Little did they know, a typical work day would change the course of their lives forever. "I was serving as a greeter at the expo and Chris was scheduled to represent his community college at the same expo. Although he ran into some challenges that morning – ended up with a dead car battery and had to call roadside assistance – he pressed his way to the expo and I’m so glad he did," said LeAmber. Upon greeting Chris, the two struck up a conversation and chatted briefly about the education and hospitality industries. Chris asked LeAmber for her contact information and she gave him her business card. "I had no clue he was checking me out and wanted my number for more personal reasons. Later that evening, Chris sent me an email saying he thought I was beautiful and hoped we could get to know one another better," said LeAmber. The perfect strangers went on their  first date a couple days later on Halloween and have been inseparable ever since. The happy couple, who have been together for almost 3 years, is planning a classic elegant wedding at the The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, in Washington D.C. Check out their chic engagement session, captured by Tunji Sarumi.

Bride: LeAmber Howell, 39, Communications Professional/Adjunct Professor

Groom: Christopher Malcolm, 30, Community College Administrator/Adjunct Professor

Place of residence: Upper Marlboro, MD

Engagement Shoot Location: Washington, DC – The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel; National Portrait Gallery; and Tidal Basin DC

Wedding date: 10/11/15

Wedding location: The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC

Wedding theme: Classic Glamour Elegance – Dark Purple & Silver

Engagement story from the bride-to-be:

Although we had taken premarital classes at my church earlier in the year, I honestly had no clue Chris was planning to propose on my birthday, June 28, 2014. The day started off great. We made plans to take a sightseeing cruise on the Potomac River and later had dinner in Georgetown. From there we went to see Fantasia in concert at the legendary Howard Theater. I must note that Chris normally doesn’t drink. During the concert, he ordered a beer. I didn’t think much of it initially since it was my birthday. He then ordered another beer and after the third beer I asked him if he was OK. The concert ended around 11 p.m. and I thought it was odd that Christopher kept mentioning it was still my birthday. We arrived at my house shortly before midnight. Once inside, I started preparing my birthday flowers near the kitchen sink. I had another ring on my ring finger and Chris began to take it off. Still clueless and somewhat annoyed I said, “What are you doing?!” The next thing I knew, Chris was down on one knee and proceeded to say, “LeAmber you are my best friend and you mean the world to me.” I don’t recall the rest of his speech because I was in TOTAL SHOCK. I finally said “YES” and proceeded to call my parents to share the good news! Little did I know he had already asked for my hand in marriage back in November 2013 and planned to propose on my birthday all along, which is why he kept saying, “It’s still your birthday.”

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

I decided in February 2014 that I was going to propose to LeAmber on her birthday. I knew her birthday would be a day full of activities and she wouldn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary. I started looking at rings in April and after getting approval from my mother and her mother, I purchased the ring in June. Since we had so much planned for her birthday, I was trying to figure out the perfect time to propose. Initially, I wanted to propose on stage during the Fantasia concert. I tried to get in contact with Fantasia’s management team, but that proved to be a lot more challenging than I anticipated. I also contemplated proposing during our cruise on the Potomac River, but I couldn’t find the right time. Towards the end of the night, I decided to propose the way our relationship started – sweet and simple. With only minutes left on her birthday, I got down on one knee and proposed to LeAmber in her kitchen.

What was the theme of your Engagement session?

The theme for our engagement sessions was “Love In The City.” With the first engagement shoot, we wanted to give our guests a sneak peek at our gorgeous wedding venue, The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, and some of the details about the wedding, like our wedding colors – dark purple and silver – and theme – classic glamour elegance. We loved playing dress up to display our love for one another. Our second engagement photo shoot was more playful and allowed us to showcase our fun personalities and the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.

What makes your love special?

We truly are best friends. We enjoy one another’s company and have a lot of the same interests. Whether we’re at home watching our favorite TV shows or out and about in the city, as long as we’re together, we’re happy.

What are you most looking forward to about your wedding?

We are looking forward to our extended families meeting one another for the first time and having a good ole fashion party. We want everyone on the dance floor during the reception. I’m also looking forward to seeing all of the details come to life on the big day.

Have you started planning your wedding?

Yes, I’ve been in full planning mode for almost eight months now. I have a terrific planner, Yodit Gebreyes of Favored by Yodit Events, and she’s helping me bring my dream wedding to life. In fact, Tunji Sarumi was on her list of recommended photographers. I’m thankful that all of our major vendors are booked. We’re focusing on the little details now. From the venue, to the food, music and décor, I really want our guests to have an incredible experience.


Congrats to the happy couple LeAmber and Christopher! We wish you a wonderful wedding and marriage.


Photographer: Tunji Sarumi

Wedding Planner: Favored by Yodit Events, LLC

Hair Stylist: Hair by JDS

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

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