Riverside Gardens Park Engagement Nicole and Matthew


There’s something so special about engagement sessions! I just love meeting our couples for the first time when they are just so excited about their upcoming wedding that they can’t stop smiling. Nicole and Matt’s engagement session was no exception!

Nicole and Matt met when Nicole was in graduate school studying speech-language pathology. The program arranged for her to interview for her clinical fieldwork placement about an hour away from where she had been living and working so naturally, she was bummed. Before the meeting, she even got in touch with a few friends in Human Resources to ask them for tips on how to professionally mess up an interview so that she could be matched with a different program. Luckily, her plan backfired, because it was thanks to that placement that she ended up meeting Matt!

Meanwhile, Matt’s boss had told him that he’d soon have the opportunity to supervise a graduate student. The student first had to attend an in-person interview before being considered for the program and that person ended up being, of course, Nicole! On the day of the interview and before Nicole had even said one word, Matt knew he had to convince his boss that Nicole was a perfect match for the program. Once she was accepted, he quickly realized that she was also a perfect match for him… and that about sums up the sweetest “How they met” story, doesn’t it?

I met up with Nicole and Matt a few weeks ago at Riverside Gardens Park in Red Bank when they had been engaged for just a little over four months. They were off from work that week so they were super relaxed and just happy to be enjoying each other’s company. We started out the session in the park gardens and then their pups joined us for a few photos. Wait until you see their two dogs – they had the cutest outfits on! Enjoy this recap of my time with them! Congrats to Nicole and Matt on their engagement as well as their upcoming wedding at the Stone House at Stirling Ridge. We can’t wait for the big day!

Riverside Gardens Park Engagement

When I asked Nicole and Matt about what they remembered about their first date, I got the best responses:

Nicole: “We chatted for over 7 hours.”

Matt: “We started it with a shot of Patron.”

When they knew they had found the one

Matt: “I hoped right away that Nicole was the one because she’s the most beautiful person.  I knew that she was the one when I quickly realized her qualities of being trustworthy, loving, loyal, and fun.”

Nicole: “As soon as we met, it felt like we had known each other for years.  I instantly felt so comfortable around Matt and the good times have never stopped! We are able to have so much fun together – even in the most mundane circumstances.”

The proposal

“Because we are both speech therapists, I had created a communication board on an iPad that revolved around our relationship.  There were six pictures that relayed different messages when touched.  Each icon on the communication board highlighted qualities that I love about us. It was a rare beautiful day in February so we took our dogs on a long walk. After we got back to our apartment, I asked Nicole if she could give me feedback on something I had made on an iPad ‘for a student.’ As she was looking at it, she turned around looking very confused and I was waiting on one knee.”

One thing they love about each other

Matt: “I love Nicole’s honesty and her ability to always communicate with me, no matter how difficult the conversation may be.  Our relationship is constantly growing stronger and I am very grateful for that.”

Nicole: “I love Matt’s spunky personality – he lights up every room that he walks into.  I also love how Matt takes such great care of our pups – he is a very loving dog-dad!”

All about the ring

Early into the relationship, Matt asked Nicole to pick out a ring.  When the time came to ask, he didn’t want Nicole to be expecting it but wanted her to have exactly what she wanted.  Her favorite feature is how it represents their relationship – simple but perfect.

Vendor Credits:

Nicole’s hair:  @brittany_vpsalon

Nicole’s lace shirt/pink skirt: @shopmorninglavender

Matt’s watch: @danielwellington

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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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