Thomas and Loretta Maher of Lawrenceville announce the engagement of their daughter, Mary Maher of Lawrenceville, to Brian Nelson of Athens, son of Art and Judy Nelson of Bella Vista, Ark.

The bride-elect is a 1998 graduate of Berkmar High School, a 2001 graduate of Gordon College, a 2003 graduate of Georgia State University, where she received a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations, and a 2007 graduate of Gwinnett Technical College, where she received a certificate in marketing.

The future groom is the grandson of Sophia Nelson of West Frankfort, Ill., the late Earnest Nelson and the late Mary Gautreaux. He is a 1996 graduate of South Gwinnett High School and a 2000 graduate of the University of Georgia, where he received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He is employed by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

The wedding is planned for Oct. 17 at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville.