On a peaceful Friday afternoon in November, I met up with lovebirds Julie & Rick to take their engagement photos. We ventured around to several New Jersey locations to capture the couples’ laid-back personalities and shared hobbies – from a high school football field, to Point Pleasant Beach, to a horse farm (more on this later).
Throughout the evening, I was able to witness the amazing connection that Julie & Rick have, even after being together for over a decade. These two were introduced in 2009 by some friends on a night that neither one of them planned on going out, let alone meeting anyone.
Julie had just finished her senior year of college, and decided that she wanted to go out after work rather than spending a night in. She met up with a friend in a dive bar in Carteret, sitting at a table with several other people, one of them being Rick.
Taking the only open seat, which just so happened to be next to Rick, these two began talking and hit it off. Several days later, Julie & Rick shared their first kiss in Julie’s driveway at her college graduation party.
As the saying goes, the rest is history.
Fast forward ten years, and Julie & Rick still make the perfect couple. They compliment each other very well, sharing interests like football and animals.
Speaking of animals, one of their favorite date night activities is bringing their dogs to one of our engagement locations, Point Pleasant Beach. I loved being able to capture photos of this couple in a place that is so special to them.
After some stunning beach photos, we headed to a local horse farm, where Julie & Rick have been volunteering once a week since November of 2018. This farm holds a special place in their hearts, as Julie explains:
“We went there once a week and found it to be our self-care, a place to break away from the stress of everyday life and just focus on each other and the animals. We are both huge animal lovers and we just fell head over heels for these magnificent horses the moment we met them.
In March 2019 Rick reached out to Loree & Tom (owners of the farm) and asked if he could propose at the farm. He then reached out to his parents & brother, my parents & sister, & my grandmother and invited them to the farm on March 22nd which was when he had planned to propose. He had the perfect ring made, emerald cut with baguettes on the side to match my grandmother’s wedding band. He gave my sister the ring ahead of time and had her tie the ring to a braid in Beauty’s mane (Beauty is all black & part of the Clydesdale family… she’s also my favorite horse) with a pink ribbon and heart note that read “Marry Me”.
We arrived at the farm on a Friday morning, like we always do, and as soon as we arrived, Loree told me to put the harness and lead line on Beauty and to bring her out to the field because she had a lesson coming in. As I was getting the harness, I noticed it became really quiet with some whispering. I turned around and saw Rick standing there with a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, roses, and hydrangeas. I started laughing and crying because I was pretty sure I knew what was happening – even though I had not noticed the ring at this point. I was nervous so I went back to putting the harness on Beauty as a way to distract myself and gather myself and that’s when I saw the ring in her mane. I couldn’t even untie the ribbon because my hands were shaking.
As soon as I was able to untie the ring I handed it to Rick and he handed me the bouquet of flowers as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The horses all had their heads hanging out from their stalls which made for great video and photos. Just as he’s finished asking me to marry him I hear clapping from behind and our song began to play. It was then that I realized he had invited both of our families to watch our special moment and celebrate with us. After I said yes there were personalized champagne buckets, glasses, and balloons and even a few gifts from my family and we gathered together with champagne to celebrate.”
See, I told you they are perfect! Isn’t that story so sweet?!
Reliving those special memories during the engagement session is one of the many reasons why I love what I do. Getting a few photos with the beautiful horses was an added bonus!
The history that was captured at the multiple locations, paired with the promise of a future between the engaged couple was remarkable, and such an honor to witness!
Julie & Rick, thank you so much for allowing me to capture your love and excitement during this incredible engagement session! I can’t wait to continue having fun with you two on your wedding day!
Myra Roman is a New Jersey wedding photographer and destination wedding photographer who loves capturing beautiful moments and turning them into lasting memories. Myra is now interviewing couples for weddings in 2020 and 2021! View her website for more information or follow her on Instagram!