ESSENCE Announces Its First Storybook Wedding Contest! SIX FUTURE GROOMS COMPETE FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A MAGICAL STORYBOOK WEDDING

LOG ON TO ESSENCE.COM NOW TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE COUPLE!

NEW YORK, May 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The road to happily ever after starts right here as ESSENCE announces its first Storybook Wedding Contest! The preeminent lifestyle publication for African-American women asked male readers to write in for a chance to surprise the women of their dreams with a proposal at the place where dreams come true, Walt Disney World® Resort. Now, watch the romance and excitement unfold as six princes -- chosen from more than 200 entries -- compete for a romantic storybook wedding. Log on to ESSENCE.com/storybook to watch exclusive videos and photos of each surprise proposal and to vote for your favorite couple to win an ESSENCE Storybook Wedding prize package.  Voting kicks off May 10th and continues through June 10th.

Each of the six future grooms tricked their unsuspecting girlfriends into traveling to Walt Disney World by telling them they won the trip as a prize from a radio station contest. Once there, each of the men eventually revealed the real reason behind the trip -- and all of the couples sealed their love with a kiss (and a ring!) at six different magical locations throughout the resort, including: Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground; IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Epcot®; Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village; Epcot® Theme Park - France Pavilion; Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts; and Victoria & Albert's Restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

The couples, hailing from across the country, are:

  • DeCarlos Hill and Astride Bellavoix [WINTER PARK, FLA]
  • David Winston and Shannon Paige [MEMPHIS, TN]
  • Kurtis Watkins and Jennifer Mack [HOBOKEN, NJ]
  • Michael Logan and Kimberly Hinnant [EAST LANSING, MI]
  • Sammy Carolina and Natalie Shaw [DALLAS, TX]
  • Aaron Maupin and Kyla Clark [ATLANTA, GA]

"Everyone loves a great love story, and ESSENCE readers especially love it when we showcase great examples of Black love," said Constance C.R. White, editor-in-chief of ESSENCE. "We challenge anyone who logs on to ESSENCE.com to watch these surprise proposals not to be moved by these touching demonstrations of love from each of our couples. Walt Disney World provided amazingly romantic and memorable locations for these moments. We wish all of them great success in their future together."

Pick up the June 2012 issue of ESSENCE, which features each of the couple's touching surprise proposals -- as well as a stunning photo of the bachelors photo shoot taken in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Also log on to ESSENCE.com/storybook now to view exclusive videos and photos of these enchanted engagements!

ABOUT ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS INC.:

Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) is the number one media company dedicated to African-American women, with a multi-platform presence in publishing, live events, and online.  The company's flagship publication, ESSENCE magazine, is the preeminent lifestyle magazine for African-American women; generating brand extensions such as the Essence Music Festival, ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood and Black Women in Music, Window on Our Women and Smart Beauty consumer insights series, the Essence Book Club, Essence.com, and ventures in digital media (mobile, television and VOD). For 42 years, ESSENCE, which has a brand reach of over 8 million, has been the leading source of cutting-edge information and specific solutions relating to every area of African-American women's lives.  Additional information about ECI and ESSENCE is available at www.essence.com.

SOURCE ESSENCE magazine



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