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Matthew Downer & Amber Wesley

By Rachel B Nolan, Crimson Staff Writer

For Matthew P. Downer ’07 and Amber J. Wesley ’06 from North Central University, it was a White House romance.

The pair worked as interns across the hallway from one another—he at the Office of Communications and she at the Office of Media Affairs—during the summer of 2005.

“We started going out to lunches,” says Downer, “and it progressed from there.”

Wesley remained in Washington, D.C., to work in the Department of Commerce while Downer completed his degree in government this year. On November 9, the couple became engaged after what Downer calls a “surprise proposal on the banks of the Potomac.”

“Her family and friends knew beforehand,” says Downer, who hails from Chattanooga. “That’s how we do it in Tennessee.”

Wesley was born in Nashville—a mere hour and a half from Downer’s home. She grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the wedding will take place this July 7.

“It is what I’ve always wanted,” says the bride-to-be. “A traditional wedding in a big white church with a steeple.”

The couple plan to move to Quantico, Va., where Wesley will find a new job and Downer will attend the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidate School.

“He’s wonderful and I can’t wait to marry him in 30 days,” Wesley says of Downer. “It is hard not to count the days.”

“I feel like a very blessed guy,” Downer says.

—Staff writer Rachel Nolan can be reached at

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