It all began when the magazine asked male readers to write in for a chance to surprise the women of their dreams with a proposal at Walt Disney World Resort.
Maupin, of Avondale Estates, and Clark, of Sandy Springs, are both former DeKalb County high school students, as well as alumni of Georgia Southern University. They met while in college, but did not start dating until after they graduated in 2007.
Maupin got wind of the contest through friends and decided to take a chance on entering.
“I figured I’d go ahead and try my luck and enter,” he said. “It actually felt good knowing that I was chosen because I didn’t know the chances of it happening.”
He was one of six men chosen out of more than 200 entries to win the storybook wedding contest, which began with a magical proposal at Walt Disney World Resort the weekend of April 1.
Maupin, along with the other contestants, had to find a way to disguise the proposal trip to their soon-to-be fiancs.
“He told me that we were going down as part of a promotional contest he had won for Essence and that we were part of some new promotional stuff,” said Clark. “And I just didn’t ask any questions I just said ‘Sure.’ I was happy to go on the free trip and get off work for a few days, so I just went along with it.”
Having also been emailed about the contest from her friends, Clark had an inkling about the contest, but admitted she just brushed it off and did not ask any questions.
Each of the couples were filmed getting engaged in a different part of the resort, and for Clark and Maupin that was at Victoria & Albert’s Restaurant. The couple enjoyed champagne and dessert, with a harpist playing in the background and right before the proposal the waiter brought out a small silver platter containeding the ring.
Maupin, who admitted he was not all that calm during the proposal, said the reason voters should choose them is that Clark deserves her dream wedding. Clark added their firm spiritual foundation and confidence in knowing they were brought together for a greater purpose and reason as why they should receive favorable votes.
“We’re a fun-loving couple and we enjoy our city and we love to do things,” said Clark. “And I think people can relate to us because we don’t take ourselves too seriously and being from Atlanta we obviously hope that the area will rally behind us and helps us win this wedding.”
And while having an all-expense paid wedding would be ideal, Clark said they are appreciative of whatever happens.
The contest is open through June 10 and voters can visit www.essence.com/storybook to vote once per day.