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    ESSENCE’s Fourth Annual ‘Will You Marry Me?’ Contest Will Give One Couple the Chance to Win the Wedding of their Dreams With Spectacular Wedding Gifts From WE tv

    Tiffany & Co. returns as a sponsor for the fourth year Viewers can visit Essence.com to watch videos of the surprise romantic proposals and to vote online for their favorite couple to win

    NEW YORK, Jan. 4 — Today, ESSENCE kicks off its fourth annual “Will You Marry Me?” contest and will once again give one couple the wedding of their dreams! ESSENCE’s annual contest offers gentlemen across the country the chance of a lifetime — to surprise the love of their life with a proposal featured in the pages of the magazine. Four extraordinary men were selected out of hundreds of entries. Now, four happy couples will share their love story with more than 8 million ESSENCE readers — and will anxiously wait as fans vote for the winning couple on Essence.com. Tiffany & Co., a sponsor of ESSENCE’s Will You Marry Me? since its inception in 2007, will return for the fourth year in a row. This year, WE tv has also joined ESSENCE’s celebration of love and will give spectacular wedding gifts to the winning couple.

    The four chosen couples for this year’s contest are: Andre and Genine of Yonkers, NY; Gabriel and Jasmine of Manassas Park, VA; Cleveland of Clarksville, TN, and Maya of Chicago, IL; and Irving of Boise, ID, and DeWain of New Orleans, LA. Log on to Essence.com now to see each couple’s charming story — from one duo who dated while being 2,000 miles away from each other, to another who met in the eighth grade, reconnected and found love ten years later.

    “Everyone loves a good love story! As ESSENCE celebrates its 40th anniversary, our stories on love and relationships have always served to inspire real people and Will You Marry Me? continues in that tradition,” said Angela Burt-Murray, editor-in-chief, ESSENCE. “I encourage everyone to visit Essence.com right now to support these wonderful young couples and join in this touching celebration of love with ESSENCE, WE tv and Tiffany & Co. by voting for your favorite proposal.”

    Viewers can log on now to Essence.com to watch videos of each of the surprise romantic proposals captured by ESSENCE’s hidden cameras, see each woman’s shocked response and vote for their favorite duo. Visitors will find creative and endearing wedding proposals–along with photo galleries, pictures of the engagement rings, guest books and a space to leave special messages for each couple. Also featured will be post-proposal interviews, video trivia questions featuring each couple, letters from each of the grooms-to-be that are featured in ESSENCE’s upcoming February 2010 issue, as well as the moving responses from the future brides.

    Visitors to Essence.com will also will find wedding and honeymoon tips, and can upload their own proposal stories via a branded YouTube page and Ning (Essence Community). In addition, the online audience will have access to voting for their favorite couple online and via a virtual widget that will appear on numerous cross-promotion web sites such as WEtv.com. Users will also be eligible to win fabulous prizes — such as MasterCard gift certificates and a luxurious four-night stay for two in Maui, Hawaii (not including airfare) sponsored by the Maui Visitors Bureau — by engaging in give-away promotions running on ESSENCE Online, Twitter, Facebook and Ning.

    On February 12th, the announcement of the winning couple will be nationally televised for a pre-Valentine’s Day special. The couple to receive the most votes by February 11th will win.

      The winning duo will receive these wedding gifts courtesy of WE tv:

    -- A wedding consultation with renowned wedding producer and designer
    Diann Valentine, who will provide the winning couple with key tips on
    how to make their day extra special and invitations from her new
    collection, Wedding Paper Divas
    -- A wedding dress from the David Tutera by Faviana Collection -- a dress
    designed collaboratively by design house Faviana and celebrity wedding
    planner and host of WE tv's My Fair Wedding with David Tutera
    -- An amazing cake courtesy of one of the bakers featured on the WE tv
    hit show, Amazing Wedding Cakes
    -- $10,000 in cash for wedding day essentials

    In addition, the winning couple will fly away to a fantasy honeymoon in Maui, courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau, for six nights in two luxurious resorts, romantic dinners, traditional luau, couple spa treatments and more.

    ESSENCE, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, has a long history of chronicling love and relationships. Over the course of three years, it has helped 17 special men across the country to create unforgettable surprise marriage proposals in the pages of the magazine and online at Essence.com.

    ESSENCE’s first Will You Marry Me? feature, which showcased innovative acts of romance, made magazine history in 2007 with the first-ever magazine marriage proposals and catapulted a multimedia, interactive experience that drove millions to the online home of the pre-eminent magazine for African-American women, Essence.com. Find photo galleries on all of the couples on Essence.com.

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