Rachel and Joe found us thanks to their amazing wedding planner, Jacquelyn from EVJ Wedding Co and we’re so glad they did! We’ve worked with Jacquelyn several times before so when she connected us with Rachel and Joe, I knew they’d be wonderful to work with. Rachel and Joe just booked us a few short weeks ago but they wanted to squeeze in an engagement session this fall so they arranged their schedule to make it happen and it did! We met up on a beautiful September day in Hoboken, where they currently reside, and split our session into three parts: Stevens Institute, Court Street, and Pier A Park.
I’ve shot in Hoboken several times before but it was my first time at Stevens Institute! I’m so glad they suggested it because the campus is full of scenic spots that are perfect for an engagement session. We had the perfect mix of greenery, urban settings, and the NYC skyline, of course! But my favorite part of the session was just chatting with Rachel and Joe and getting to know them a bit. They are planning a beautiful June wedding at the Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial and I have a feeling that it’s going to be here in no time because time is going to just fly by! We’re so excited to be back at this NJ venue where Rachel and Joe will be tying the knot right on site and then enjoying their full cocktail hour with family and friends before celebrating on the dance floor. Such a wonderfully relaxed day they are planning!
Below are just a few of my favorite images from Rachel and Joe’s engagement session. Enjoy this recap and stay tuned for another engagement tomorrow – ’tis the season!!
After graduating Villanova (Rachel) and Penn state (Joe), we both moved to Hoboken in preparation for our new job. We were in the same starting class (of about 12 people) at a financial firm in Jersey City on June 20th, 2011- and caught each other’s eye on day one. I was a psychology major and never thought I’d end up in finance (never took a finance or economics class) so in that way, I think it was serendipity.
How they knew they had found the one
In 2013, Joe got a promotion that would require he move to Pittsburgh, PA- a vey bittersweet moment for both of us. At that point, there was no doubt in our minds about staying together. We couldn’t imagine not being part of each other’s lives. Despite my severe fear of flying, we promised to see each other at least once a month which required me to fly to Pittsburgh frequently. That kind of commitment, especially given how scared I was to get on an airplane, is when Joe knew. We managed to do this back and forth for a year. I knew Joe was the one when he made the difficult decision to take another job back in NYC so we could finally live together and I knew that I would never live alone, without him, again.
Every morning, Joe and I commute to NYC together on the bus to port authority. On that Friday morning, it was business as usual. Little did I know, Joe kissed me goodbye and went back to hoboken on a bus, instead of going to work. I got off work early around 3pm, went home to find a card on my pillow, inviting me to a long overdue date night at the W hotel – instructing me to not get too dressed up (I always dress up) because the restaurant was not very fancy. The odd part was, he left a room key- and we live half a mile from the W, so I was a little confused. I started to panic, and when I panic, I call my Mom. Sure enough, Joe knows me so well, he called my parents ahead of time so that they wouldn’t answer when I called so that I would be entirely in suspense. I met him at the hotel room at 7pm and opened the door to hundreds of rose petals leading me into the room with Joe dressed up, looking so handsome, and a gorgeous balcony view of the city skyline. He got down on one knee and said “I love you Rachel – I can’t imagine my life without you. Will you marry me?” I then cried for about 3 hours, so much so that we couldn’t go to our dinner reservation so we walked to get burgers instead. It was the most incredible feeling and I was, and still am, on cloud 9.
Joe knows my taste, and he has great taste, so he designed it himself. He took a day off from work and went to Long Island to pick it out. What I love about it is that I had never mentioned what I would want in a ring and despite that, he somehow knew exactly what I wanted. I also love the diamonds on the band – a small touch but really makes it so breathtaking
I love Joe’s sense of humor, and how he truly cares for me – he is my perfect compliment. He’s loyal, supportive and my best friend. From Joe: “I love how you know what I am thinking even before I do. You are so genuine and the most beautiful girl in the world.”
Seeing all of the people in our lives that have contributed to our fairytale and have shaped us, as people, come together to celebrate our love … and the dance party!
Congratulations to our sweet couple!! Your wedding day will be here in no time and we can’t wait!
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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