Happy Friday, friends! The crisp temps outside this morning are a clear reminder that fall is right around the corner and with that our fall weddings are quickly approaching, including Nicole and Joel’s! These two are getting married in less than two months and I can hardly wait. They’ll be tying the knot at The Palace at Somerset Park in November and I already know it’s going to be perfectly elegant and romantic.
With Nicole and Joel’s wedding day on the horizon, I wanted to share their engagement session from last fall. I met up with these two in Princeton almost a year ago last October when I was twenty-four weeks pregnant. I remember feeling so out of breath as we walked around the campus, trying to pretend that my breathing was just fine as Livie girl was getting bigger and bigger every day back then, ha! I was thankful for the fall temps that day – it was in the mid-60’s and it was a gorgeous day in Princeton, at one of my favorite locations for engagement sessions. It was a busy day on campus but we managed to find several quiet spots for some romantic portraits. I love highlighting these two in such a beautiful setting and using the gorgeous architecture of the university buildings. Here is a peek at what we created that day along with Nicole and Joel’s love story sprinkled throughout – including their epic proposal story!
Makeup | Tatiana R
Disney Wedding Wreath | DisneyDudeStudio on Etsy
“Joel and I have gone to school together since elementary school! We always knew each other but we never had any classes together until high school. In high school, we danced at the same dance studio and we had study hall together junior year. Junior year of high school is when we really started to become friends and we started dating in December!”
“I remember going to the movies with Joel & watching Paranormal activity! It was a very sweet and friendly date. Soon after, we started going to Friday’s together for dinner dates. Friday’s was right across from the movie theatre and it was where most high school couples went on dates in our town, haha.”
“I knew that Joel was the one when I realized how excited I would be to see him, every single time I saw him. That excitement came from how much Joel always makes me laugh, and how thoughtful he is. Still, eight years later, that excitement and special feeling has not died down.”
“Wow, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a day as special as the day that Joel proposed to me. Every year, Joel and I take a trip to Disney World. Disney is our favorite place ever! Last August, we went to Disney for our annual trip. On our first day in Magic Kingdom, Joel and I were walking up to the castle for a picture. As we’re walking up, Joel told me that he had an important question to ask me, but that he needed some help. He turned his head towards the castle and I followed his gaze to see what he was looking at. That’s one I saw TWELVE of our family members standing there holding up letters that read “MARRY ME”. Keep in mind, these were our parents, siblings and family from New Jersey. I could not believe that they were standing there in front of me, in Florida, in the Magic Kingdom. I looked back at Joel who was now down on one knee, with a ring, saying “Will you marry me baby?” All I could do was cry uncontrollably with happiness and say “YES!”. It was such a magical moment that I relive in my mind, every single day. The amount of planning, timing and coordination that went into this absolutely blows my mind. I felt so unbelievably lucky and blessed. Overwhelmed with love and happiness that I was saying YES to marry the love of my life!
The magic of the day did not stop there. After taking an infinite amount of pictures in front of the castle, our families told us that they wanted to do what ever we wanted to do in the Magic Kingdom. We look them on our favorite rides. Experiencing Disney with our family was also such an incredible time for us.
After an afternoon of fun in Magic Kingdom, we went back to our hotel room where the surprises continued. When I opened the door to our room I was shocked to see a completely decorated room with “Bride To Be” and “I said Yes” banners, streamers and decor EVERYWHERE. To top it off, laid out on the bed were THREE choices of dresses that I had never seen before, shoes & jewelry. Again, when we had left the room that morning…none of these things were there! *mind blown and forever grateful for the efforts that Joel and our family put into making this day so unforgettable*.
Joel told me to pick which dress was my favorite, get dressed and that he would be leaving and coming back in about 2 hours. Without having any idea of what was to come, I got dressed and ready with Camila (my future sister-in-law). Two hours later, Joel knocked on the door wearing a suit & bearing beautiful red roses. He looked so handsome! We left with our families to a beautiful restaurant in Disney called the California Grille. We watched the fireworks form the rooftop there and had a beautiful engagement party complete with a Beauty & The Beast cake baked by Disney.
The night ended with a surprise stay in the Princess Suite at the Polynesian Resort, my favorite hotel in Disney. Thanks to Joel, our engagement was a true fairytale, a day that we will remember and cherish for the rest of our lives.”
“The ring is absolutely PERFECT! It is everything I could have ever envisioned for my ring. The thing is, I NEVER told Joel what I wanted my ring to be like! A few days after proposing to me, Joel showed me a picture that he had on his phone. The picture looked vaguely familiar to me. It was a screenshot of a ring that he saw on Instagram about 7 years ago, in our first years of dating. 7 year ago Joel had casually asked me if I thought it was a pretty ring and I said yes. I didn’t know that he had saved that photo all of these years and used it to design the ring that he gave to me.”
Nicole: “It is very hard to choose just one thing. I would say my top things that I love about Joel are the way he makes me laugh and his giving and generous heart.”
Joel: “Just one thing??? Your heart.”