Castle at Skylands Manor Engagement Caitlin and Charlie


Caitlin and Charlie met at a friend’s house back when they were still in high school. Caitlin was a freshman and Charlie was a sophomore. The swim team was having a pasta party and a friend of Caitlin’s who was on the team invited her to go with her. While she was there, she remembers seeing Charlie, a member of the swim team, sitting on a couch. She went over to sit by him and they began talking and playing a “25 Questions” handheld game. Before they knew it, they had spent the entire time talking and laughing. Over the next couple of days, Charlie got Caitlin’s number from a friend and sent her a memorable and romantic text soon after. It said something like, “Hi, it’s Charlie. I’m at Coldstone; what are you doing?” Of course, 14 year old Caitlin swooned over their silly messages back and forth and they decided to hang out again. It was about a month before he officially asked her to be his girlfriend.

From the moment we met Caitlin and Charlie, we knew these two were perfect together. They can’t help but smile when they’re together and genuine laughter always seems to ensue. It seems so fitting that they first connected while enjoying each other’s company during a game. They’re the kind of couple that is eternally optimistic and will be able to take on any of life’s challenges, and come out smiling in the end. The kind of couple that we just love to work with!

I met up with Caitlin and Charlie last month at The Castle at Skylands Manor on what ended up being the most perfect spring day. We had actually planned to do the session on a different day but when we saw the weather was going to be so nice, we moved the session up and it was the best decision. Charlie may have scrambled a bit to make sure his suit was ready in time but it was well worth his few minutes of stress, ha! Enjoy getting to know these two by reading their love story below and get excited for their wedding at Park Chateau Estate next spring!

Castle at Skylands Manor Engagement

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Their first date

“Our VERY first date was at my house. I had invited him over and we planned to watch a movie. He had brought Wedding Crashers but I believe we ended up watching Mean Girls that night and he knew more lines to the movie than I did, which he blamed on the fact that he has a sister and has seen the movie before ;) I remember feeling so at ease and comfortable almost like hanging out with my best friend.”

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When they knew they had found the one

Caitlin: “I knew it was forever from the first time we hung out. Nothing felt to natural and right. I knew he was the one years ago. ”

Charlie: “I knew it was forever when I felt like I was hanging out with my best friend”

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The proposal

“I was completely surprised! I was under the impression that we were going out to eat at a new restaurant. We started driving towards Lavallette & I’m very familiar with the area so I thought to myself ‘I must know the restaurant’. He assured me I have never been there before. While we were on our way down, he called Beth (my former boss from Lavallette) to see if he can stop by and look at this “bookcase” she wanted built (which was all part of the plan).  She claimed to be up at the beach and not home at the moment because there were whales really close to shore! We drove straight up to the beach block and I was so excited I started running onto the beach to see these whales. Charlie says to me ‘slow down, come hold my hand’ and I remember being confused, thinking to myself ‘You want to hold hands right now when there’s whales up there?!’ We rushed up together and as I got closer I saw these people clapping and cheering, a man with a camera taking our picture and then to the far left, a beautiful table set up by the water with big balloons in the shape of a ring that said ‘I Do’. That’s when I knew what was going on! He led me over to the table and got down on one knee and I held back my tears. It was such an amazing moment. We shared dinner up on the beach and then took some photos. The surprises didn’t stop coming though. Then, I asked to take  a picture in a gazebo, and little did I know, as we were walking towards it, my whole family and his were hiding in there the whole time. They all popped out one by one and the tears finally came barreling out. Seeing my grandparents there is what really got me! My Pappy said ‘We wouldn’t have missed this for the world!’ Then, I thought it would be a good idea for us to celebrate with some ice cream at my old workplace. We walked down to only be surprised once again with the outside patio decorated for us! The whole evening was so magical, I couldn’t have planned it better myself!”

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One thing they love about each other

Charlie: ” I love that she’s affectionate, easygoing, her sense of humor and her love for football and beer.”

Caitlin: “I love that he’s hardworking, his infectious personality, the way he looks at me and how he gets along with everyone.”

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All about the ring

“The ring is gorgeous! It’s a 2 carat round shaped diamond. It’s set lower than usual because I prefer it that way. There are smaller diamonds around the band. I didn’t want anything too gaudy looking or anything too overwhelming. Something timeless and classic looking that will never go out of style. I mean, do diamonds ever go out of style? ;)”

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Their wedding vision

“Our vision for our wedding is to have a very classic and timeless day surrounded by the people we love the most. We are both so excited for that moment the Church doors open and we see each other for the first moment. We want everyone to just have an amazing time celebrating that feeling of love and new beginnings as we cherish and honor our families who have set those values for us. As far as style, we’re going for a romantic feel. Our venue, The Park Chateau, has everything romantic and timeless about it. From the beautiful grounds to the elegant ballroom, we can’t wait to have one of the most important days of our lives at such a perfect location.”

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Learn More

Are you considering Skylands Manor for your own engagement session? Click here for more images from this location: Skylands Manor engagements and weddings.

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If we haven't met yet, I'm Alex! I'm passionate about discovering beautiful stories, documenting genuine moments, and capturing timeless images along the way. Here I share my latest work, a peek at the heirlooms we create, and helpful resources. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!







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