Engagement Session at Bear Mountain State Park

Engagement Session at Bear Mountain State Park Raquel and Chuck


December 18, 2017

Last month, I had the pleasure of heading up to Bear Mountain to photograph Raquel and Chuck’s engagement session! These two got engaged just this past September but they already have their venue booked (for this coming June!!) and they quickly reserved a date in my calendar for their engagement session while the fall colors were still vibrant tones of yellows and burnt orange. When we were working together to choose a location for their engagement photos, we threw some ideas out there, including Bear Mountain State Park. I had been wanting to shoot there for a while and it seemed like it would be a perfect place for Raquel and Chuck’s session. I’m SO glad they loved the idea, too, because it ended up being quite an epic location for a shoot!! I’m not going to lie – it is quite a hike to get up there but it is SO worth the effort!! Wait until you see the views we had!

I have to say that this engagement session was quite an adventure! It included doing some research on the best spots, finding a poorly marked trail (that Chuck managed to find!), and hiking out to a spot that seemed completely off the beaten path. It was so fun getting to know Raquel and Chuck as we hiked through the woods! They are planning a beautiful wedding at Lake Valhalla Club this coming summer and I already know it’s going to be perfect! For one, these two are super organized so I know their day will go smoothly. Second, they are having a lakefront ceremony – you can’t go wrong with that! And third, Raquel and Chuck truly value photography. I mean, they were willing to do some HIKING for epic engagement photos – need I say more? We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect couple for us =) Get to know them below!!

Engagement Session at Bear Mountain State Park

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How they met

Raquel and Chuck met like many couples do these days… through the world wide web.. Thanks Match.com! It was late December 2013 when Raquel had just about had enough with the online dating scene. The day she went to cancel her membership she received a message from Chuck. He wrote her a lengthy email introducing himself and sealed the deal when he ended the email by referencing her favorite TV Show, Arrested Development. “With Club Sauuuuuce,” Chuck said… and Raquel’s heart skipped a beat.

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Their first date

Raquel and Chuck lived a few blocks away from each other in Hoboken, NJ, so the next part was easy. In true gentleman fashion, Chuck arranged a nice dinner at the Brass Rail. The ambiance there was perfect to ignite a flame between these two love birds. They talked for hours over good food and wine…. about their past, and present, as well as their hopes and dreams. At some points Raquel may have overshared (typical), but that didn’t scare Chuck away (obviously).  “He’s perfect” she thought, but that information she kept to herself.

During dinner, Raquel had mentioned that she wanted to try all the churches in Hoboken. Chuck was definitely listening; on the walk home, he secured a second date and asked to join her that following Sunday. The rest is history.

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When they knew they had found the one

Raquel: “I knew on the second date there was a high probability that he was the one… Our second date consisted of going to church because I was going through a phase of finding the right church to attend in Hoboken…and I told him this.. and he asked if he could come along….. I mean what kind of guy would offer to go to church with a girl he just met? Plus the stories he told me on the first date about his family helped seal the deal.. I could tell from those conversations he had a great upbringing and I would love his family if i ever met them.. turns out I do.. they are wonderful… glad i am inheriting them!”

Chuck: “For me it was a little more gradual, and over time. Obviously meeting her family and watching her with her nephews were a big part, but it’s hard to pinpoint single moment when I knew. Maybe it was in 2015 when the Mets were in the World Series…Raquel and I couldn’t be together to watch one of the games, and I was more concerned about her making her way over before the end of the game, than how the Mets were actually doing. Something I never thought I would be thinking!”

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The proposal

Raquel and Chuck love to travel and earlier this year, they headed to the U.K. to visit London, The English Countryside, and Edinburgh, with a bonus stop in Amsterdam. Chuck knew it would be the perfect time to propose so he began the month long process of designing Raquel’s engagement ring. He then somehow made it through airport security and a week of travels as well without Raquel finding out about the ring he was carrying in his jean pocket! It was on September 5th, 2017, a week into their trip, when Raquel and Chuck arrived at Arthur’s seat in Edinburgh. It was a beautiful location and Chuck knew it was the perfect time and place to propose. He popped the question at sunset, taking Raquel completely by surprise!

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One thing they love about each other

Raquel: “I love so many things about Chuck it is hard to pick… I think most of all.. I love how good his heart is. He always does the right thing… and he makes me a better person by doing so. I also love how much he cares about making me laugh. I could be having the worse day and he can still manage to put a smile on my face.”

Chuck: “Raquel is so full of love, sometimes so much she that doesn’t know what to do with it all! I love that about her, how it’s so natural for her to be such a loving person. She has and continues to teach me so much about love and about myself, too, as we continue to grow together.”

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All about the ring

Earlier in the year Raquel went to a jeweler and tried on a few settings by herself. Afterwards, She sent Chuck a lengthy email of what she hoped her ring would look like in hopes that he would someday propose… but he never acknowledged the email. 7 months later, he brought that email with him to the jeweler the day he started designing the ring.

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Besides getting married, one thing they’re looking forward to on the wedding day

Being surrounded by all of our loved ones… and hosting them to a nice event to thank them for their support throughout our relationship and lives.

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To read more love stories, click here.

About the Photographers

Idalia Photography is a team of husband and wife wedding photographers serving NJ, NY, PA, and beyond. We specialize in romantic, timeless, and classic weddings. Are you planning a wedding? Click here to view our wedding portfolio or contact us for availability and pricing. Happy wedding planning!


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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 our latest work, a peek into my life, and helpful resources. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!







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