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National Harbor MD Meet Shani & Marvin's engagement experience

So apparently I was out of the loop and didn't know how hard it was to get a hold of Shani and Marvin in the same place at the same time. We've kicked dates back n forth for months trying to make this engagement session happen. I guess the saying good things come to those who wait was once again on time. I received a quite random email asking can i squeeze them on my books this weekend, and of course I just happened to not be. However, God had another plan, as with me not being available at that time, I had a cancellation that worked out perfectly for them.

Shani and Marvin said we have to do this shoot, and whom am I to say no. Then I'm later informed that it was Shani's birthday weekend. So now this has become my gift to her. Happy Birthday Shani!!! I hope you enjoyed your engagement session.

Now back to business, less about what happened, and onto what will happen. Let's meet this beautiful couple.

Name of Bride/Bride-to-be:

  • Shani Stitt

Name of Groom/Groom-to-be:

  • Marvin Banks


  • Shani- Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Marvin-Executive Officer - CIA

Wedding Date:

  • Saturday June 4, 2016

Wedding Location:

  • The Capitol View at 400

How You Met:

It was the night before Shani’s 27th birthday. Shani and her friend Isha were having a girl’s night on the town in D.C. Shani spoke with her friend Ikhide who was also out with one his friend, Marvin, and they decided to all meet up at a bar nearby. Ikhide introduced Shani and her friend to Marvin. Shani asked Isha and Ikhide for change for a 5 but neither of them had it. Shani asked Marvin for change for 5 dollars and he gave her the five. She insisted he take her five dollar bill but he refused, he jokingly said, “It’s a birthday present.” Neither Shani nor Marvin exchanged many words with each other that evening. A few days later, Shani’s friend, Ikhide, texted Shani and said that his friend Marvin was interested in her and would like to have her number. Shani said it was okay for Ikhide to give out her number and the rest is history.

The Proposal!:

It was Shani’s 29th birthday. Marvin had a full day planned. It started with brunch at the National Harbor at Bond 45. Following brunch Marvin took Shani on a catamaran to see the Cherry Blossoms. Afterwards, Shani and Marvin went home to rest before their dinner reservations. When they arrived at home, Shani noticed that the neighborhood was full of cars and commented “I guess someone’s having a party.” She walked into the house, and was greeted by the biggest “Surprise” and a sea of faces of their friends and family. Shani was in utter shock at how Marvin managed to pull off a surprise birthday party. Marvin then started showering her with gifts, shoes to be exact, and then he grabbed her hand and started saying how much he loved her, her friends, her family and then someone yelled "get on your knee". Marvin got down on his knee and pulled out a box behind his back and said, “Will you marry me?” Shani was speechless, and softly said, “Yes!” Marvin got up from his knee and picked Shani up in a deep hug. Everyone cheered …

Describe The Engagement Session Experience:

The engagement session was wonderful. Marcus had a great eye for staging wonderful scenes and making Shani and Marvin feel comfortable.

What did you do on your first date?

Our first date was in downtown Silver Spring. We met for lunch and neither one of us wanting the date to end, turned lunch into dinner.

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple?

We love being competitively active together, whether it’s going for a bike ride, playing basketball or just taking an evening hike.

How has wedding planning been so far?

Wedding planning has been an interestingly delightful experience. We have laughed argued and cried but ultimately have grown closer and built a bond that has really allowed us to see firsthand what marriage is all about, love, forgiveness, compromise, communication and growth.

Your Vendors

Venue: National Harbor - Photographer- Images by MadeyeImaging Wedding Website:

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