Nicole & Stephan Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

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February 17, 2021

Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

As much as I hate the cold, I absolutely love winter sessions! ESPECIALLY when there is snow on the ground! Nicole and Stephan’s Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens was beautiful, luxurious, and a lot of fun! I met Nicole and Stephan from a free engagement session contest that I ran for December. I love their personality, and you can tell how much Stephan loves Nicole. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her, and whenever I had them getting all snuggly, he kept kissing her on the forehead. It was the cutest thing.

The amount of snow we trekked through was over 2 feet, and a ton of it got in my boots! This winter has been unpredictable, so many sessions have been postponed, but I am so excited that we finally got to shoot. Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

We started in front of the manor, which is commonplace to start for photographers at Skylands Manor. One of my favorite prompts to start with are some walking prompts. Nicole and Stephan had so many laughs with the hip-bumping walk. They were the best at it compared to all of my other shoots I have done that with. Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

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The white blanket of snow that we had to work with added so much to the session. However, it took a lot to walk through the snow, every minute of our snow trek around the grounds.

Winter sessions have such a neutral palette that we rely on the outfit colors, snow, and green pine trees to add color to the images. The surrounding areas can be bland and dreary, so it’s important to have pops of color in the images.

We were cold and wet, but they made an outfit change into something more formal, and the choice was cohesive, fancy and the images we took in this outfit are my favorite from the session.

One of the new things I am incorporating is props that are adding elegance to my sessions. The clear umbrellas worked out so well yesterday. I had Nicole and Stephan start with one each, and then after taking some photos with them, we moved over to one. The one umbrella was PERFECT. Nicole got the Mary Poppins bug in her when she picked up the umbrellas and started making some of the dance moves from the original movie. Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

The place was fairly empty yesterday, so we pretty much had a free run of the grounds without any disturbances from other people. We finished up at the most famous spot at the NJ Botanical Gardens, the Mall. The line of trees that has the Manor in the distance. It is my favorite part of the grounds. Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

Shannon ended the interview with a little Q&A video we do at the end of all our sessions. I truly enjoyed working with these two lovely people. They are tying the knot in November 2021 at The Barn at the Villa Venezia. Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

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A LITTLE Q&A FOR THE BRIDE & GROOM

HOW DID YOU MEET?!

“We met at college. He was a freshman, and I was a senior. We were both admissions ambassadors, and he was randomly paired with me (as the veteran) to learn how to give a tour. Then he claimed he learned so much from his first tour that he asked the boss if he could be paired with me again for the second open house of the season.” Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

“Our first meal together, the first day we met, was grilled cheese and soup made by our campus cafeteria, after giving our tour on a chilly fall day.”

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST DATE!

“He picked me up from my college dorm, and we went to Brios for dinner. We were both so nervous. They brought us bread, and when I went to grab mine, crumbs dropped everywhere on the nice tablecloth, and I was so embarrassed that I made a mess. He decided to take his bread and do the same to make me feel less good, and so his side was messy too. So then we got to laugh it off instead. After dinner, we went for a drive to where he called “The View” of his hometown, which was this area that overlooked the whole town with all the building lights at night, etc.

“We sat on the edge of a fence overlooking the town, and that is where he asked me. I was hesitant to say yes because I was a senior and I was about to graduate a week later, so I didn’t know what my plans were post-college or how far away I would be living, and I felt bad. But he insisted that it would all work out, and he didn’t mind if we had to do long distance for a while or anything.” Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

“So then I said yes. We then went out for dessert at Friendly’s, where his good friend also worked so that he could introduce me. After that, he took me to his parent’s house (since we were in his hometown), and I met his parents that night as well. After a quick meeting with them, we were heading back to campus. When he dropped me back off at my college apartment/dorm, the 9 other girls were sitting there in the living room waiting to hear all about it, haha.”

HOW DID YOU FALL IN LOVE?

“We were friends first for about a school year before we actually started dating. He attended campus events with me like bingo, comedians, etc., and would eat lunch with my friends and me every day in the cafeteria. We started hanging out and became closer throughout the year.”

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HOW DID HE PROPOSE?

“So he had been planning it for months, and it was supposed to take place on Long Island with all my friends and family at a restaurant overlooking the water. He had it planned out to the T on how I would get there, and each family member would hand me a rose as I walked down to where he was standing.” Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

“A few days before his well-thought-out plans, flights were getting canceled, places were shutting down, and people were more hesitant to do things out and about. My family would no longer be able to fly in or attend, and we could no longer go to Long Island. He ended up taking me that morning to get my nails done (which wasn’t unusual because he has gone with me before), and then we met up with another couple in a park. He was supposed to be working that night, so our friends were about to head out, and he was going to “leave” for work.”

“He had my whole family on FaceTimes so that when I got to where he was standing, they were all still there in spirit and able to watch and such” Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED FOR ABOUT YOUR WEDDING?

“We are excited for the next step in our relationship and this new journey together. Since we also got engaged during a pandemic, we have yet to be able to celebrate with our friends and family, so we are just super excited to be able to see everyone as well.”

YOUR LOVE STORY IS MADE INTO A MOVIE; WHAT IS THE TITLE?

“Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup”

DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP IN 5 WORDS

“Fun, Exploring, Food, Puppy”

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT MEANS THE MOST TO BOTH OF YOU?

“Each other, our family, and our puppy.”

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT EACH OTHER?!

Nicole: “His big heart and how much he cares about people. Also, even though he is younger, he loves oldies and always opens doors for me.”

Stephan: “Nicole truly is the best person to have a family with. She respects me and treats me like a king. I wouldn’t be able to function in my life without her in it. She has truly shown me what love and family really mean.”

HOW HAVE YOU GROWN AS A COUPLE SINCE YOU STARTED DATING?

“Yes. We haven’t through many ups and downs, and I think each one has brought us closer. We have been there for many mild stones in life, and we have watched each other grow as individuals, as professionals, and as a couple.”

FAVORITE QUIRK ABOUT EACH OTHER?!

Stephan: “She’s very organized with things, but I like it because it keeps everything need and tidy, and I can actually find things when I need them.”

Nicole: “He does not like to sit on things inside the house with clothes that have been outside the house. So if we need to eat something at our kitchen table, he will switch the chairs around so the chair he sits on is different than the chair he will sit on once he showers. He sits in a different chair in the living room instead of the main couch, too, until he showers, but I love it and totally feel the same way, haha.” Engagement Session NJ Botanical Gardens

IF YOU COULD SPEND 24 HOURS WITH YOUR PARTNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING

Stephan: “I would go to downtown Disney and walk around.”

Nicole: “We would be exploring somewhere whether it’s our own town, a new town, or a mini-vacation.. trying tons of different food spots and sights to see.”

WHEN DO YOU FEEL MOST LOVED BY YOUR PARTNER?!

“When we get to spend time together.”

Stephan: “When I get home from work in the middle of the night and give you a goodnight kiss.”

Nicole: “When he helps around the house and when he lets me sleep in and takes care of the puppy’s morning routine so that I can get some rest. Also, when he comes in from work and kisses me on the forehead while I’m sleeping.”

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IF YOU COULD BE INSANELY TALENTED AT ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?!

Stephan: “Play Guitar”

Nicole: “Sing”

FIRST IMPRESSION OF EACH OTHER

Stephan: “Wow, I need to meet that girl, pretty blonde and an older lady.”

Nicole: “He has a great smile.”

VENDORS

Kay Jewelers – Ring, Necklace, Earrings

Kohl’s, Old Navy, DSW, Target, – Clothes and Shoes


If you’re engaged or know anyone who is engaged and is looking for an Engagement Photographer Ringwood NJ or a Wedding Photographer Ringwood NJ, please CONTACT ME.

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NJ Wedding Photographer Tom Russo Photography

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