engagement ideas

Downtown Red Bank Engagement Photographer| Red Bank, New Jersey

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Once in awhile, you come across an incredibly special couple. A couple that has so much energy between them, you don't need to be told that they're in love, you just know. That couple, for me, was Kyle and Gabriella.

Gabriella is the best friend of my assistant and I was honored that she chose me to capture her engagement announcement with her fiance, Kyle. They both decided to have their engagement shoot in downtown Red Bank, New Jersey since Kyle was living their while they were dating and they would frequent the amazing restaurants, shops and night life. It was the perfect location to encapsulate this new chapter of their lives together.

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I had so much fun photographing Kyle and Gabriella because they were both so laid back, excited and laughing the entire time. I have so many photos of the two of them laughing at one another, I couldn't possibly share them all. They had such a natural comfort in front of my lens and a natural comfort with each other, as well-which makes the photographing much more simple.

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Kyle and Gabriella's style is also another element I loved so much during our afternoon in Red Bank. They have this classic style that looks like something out of a magazine, a J. Crew catalog-every piece complimenting one another the way Gabriella and Kyle compliment one another. Their style paired with the exposed brick, cobblestone, colorful murals and water enveloping Red Bank, made for a successful engagement shoot!

Here's to forever, Gabriella and Kyle-

Meghan Leigh

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Engagement Session: Danielle & Ray| Double Trouble State Park

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Engagement sessions are so much fun, as a photographer, and I'll tell you why. You really get to photograph a couple in their purest stage of love and happiness. Two people have decided to make a lifelong commitment to one another and I get the amazing opportunity to capture that in a series of blissfully happy and romantic photographs.

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I must admit that I'm partial to Danielle and Ray because...Ray's my cousin. Of course I was ecstatic when I was asked to shoot their engagement session (as well as their wedding) and I absolutely loved the location they chose. What I loved even more though, beyond the location and the act of taking the photos, was that I was encapsulating how much in love my cousin is with his fiance, Danielle.

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Danielle is probably one of the nicest people I have met. She's the type of person who would do anything for you, she has a huge heart, a beaming personality. Completely understandable why Ray asked her to marry him, I wonder how he got so lucky and I mean that in the best possible way. Ever since the day Danielle said "yes", Ray has been completely different-on cloud 9, the happiest he's ever been and that makes my heart practically explode.

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Engagement Session: Angelli & Chris| Longwood Gardens

Back in October of 2015, I had a couple session with Angelli and her then boyfriend, Chris. The moment I met them both, I adored them. They are so loving and funny with one another, you can't help but feel warm and amazing when you are around them.

In October of 2016 I was contacted by one of my favorite couples; for their wedding and engagement session. Once Angelli said "yes!", she contacted me immediately to schedule their engagement shoot AND to book their wedding date.

On January 28th, 2017, the location of Angelli and Chris' engagement shoot was at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I have never been to anything so beautiful before and Angelli and Chris adore this place. It consists of 1,077 acres of the most beautiful and rare flowers, trees and exotic plants; the design of the outdoor quarters were Versailles inspired. If you need an amazing day trip experience, Longwood Gardens is where you want to go. I can only imagine how breathtaking it is during the warmer months!

Angelli and Chris are more than just clients to me, they are my friends. When we first met back in 2015. we instantly clicked and when you look at their sessions, you can see why. They are just light hearted, charismatic, beautiful people.

It was a cold day. And not like a "Oh, it's just a little chilly"...it was going through your bones, kind of cold and they were amazing sports. We walked around for hours because I couldn't get enough of photos. Everywhere I turned there was water to photograph in front of, unique trees and even a tree house! I was beyond giddy. I had brought my assistant, Michele, along for an extra pair of hands and she wound up being the comedic relief. Any picture you see from that day, of Angelli and Chris laughing, it was because of Michele. All 4 of us definitely had a great day together.

I cannot wait for their wedding, come October. I am going to turn into a puddle of tears because I am such a mush-- Angelli is going to make one gorgeous bride and Chris, a dashing groom. I am so honored to not only be their photographer for their memories, but also to call them my friends.

{links below for venue + vendor info}

Make Up: Perfect Bridals By Christina www.perfectbridalsbychristina.com

Location: Longwood Gardens www.longwoodgardens.org

Assistant: The Michele Collective www.themichelecollective.com

Engagement Session: Kristin & Scott| Red Bank Riverside Park & Pazzo

On January 14th, I photographed an engagement session for a cool couple, named Kristin and Scott. Kristin had mentioned to me that their first date was at this amazing Italian restaurant in Red Bank, New Jersey called Pazzo. I contacted Pazzo and asked that if we all had lunch there, would they be willing to let us capture a few moments and the people of Pazzo were all about it!

Kristin and Scott had met while Scott was here on a work visa from Ireland. They hit it off right away and you can see how loving and silly they are with one another. Scott had me cracking up the entire day, once I composed myself--I could focus on their session!

It was great getting to know Kristin and Scott better as we walked through Red Bank, ate some pizza and talked about their wedding day in August. It's going to be an amazing party and I can already tell that Scott will be the life of the party. I loved how Kristin looked at Scott throughout the day, so much love and comfort in her eyes. 

Engagement Session: Samantha & Dan| Brick Memorial High School

Oh, how I love these cuties! Sam and Dan (HOW CUTE IS THAT?) are high school sweethearts. They began dating Freshman year and wound up remaining friends, once Senior year came around, they decided to take another chance dating and 8 years later...

On January 8th, one day after a pretty impressive snow storm, we originally made plans to shoot at the Brick Reservoir in New Jersey and at the high school they had met at. Thanks to the weather conditions, the reservoir was closed *eye roll* BUT, I didn't panic. I can make Brick Memorial High School look like a park! And I did!

Sam and Dan's (I LOVE the rhyming!) chemistry is remarkable. I adore high school sweethearts--they have a history together longer than most. They've grown together, shared experiences with one another that other couples haven't and there's such a sweetness to that.

I cannot wait for their wedding, come September! Our let it snow engagement shoot was such a great time. I love photographing in the snow and Sam and Dan definitely enjoyed themselves even though they were a bit chilly! I look forward to seeing their love blossom into a marriage and a beautiful future.

Engagement Session: Christina & Johnny| Seaside Heights, New Jersey

I had so much fun shooting Christina and Johnny's engagement. Currently, Christina lives in Ohio so she can work her residency and Johnny lives in New Jersey. We all know long distance relationships can be hard, but for them--they make it work.

It's difficult for them to coordinate schedules, but they both knew that they wanted an engagement shoot. While Christina was in New Jersey, we all went to Seaside Heights and had an amazing day! Even Stella, their fur baby had a great time! For a "supposed to be" cold day in January, we were greeted with beautiful skies and 60 degree weather.

FUN FACT ABOUT STELLA: This pups eats glazed donut holes.

I already felt like her and I were soulmates. Christina and Johnny brought a box of 25 with them and I'm pretty sure I ate more than Stella. They're so good, I can't even apologize. Stella was very interested in my camera and kept wanted to check it out and she was very much excited about the people who kept passing us by. She's the cutest pup ever!

During their shoot, I felt like I knew them for years and I absolutely love that feeling. I've been so fortunate to feel so connected to each and every one of my clients throughout my career. It makes the photography process fun and makes my clients relax when in front of the lens. I cannot WAIT for their wedding in June. It's going to be so much fun and such a sweet day!

Engagement Session: Ashley & Bryan

This couple, right here; Ashley and Bryan-were too sweet for words. Bryan is in the Coast Guard and he had to go back to Virginia for a couple of weeks the very day of the engagement session, so Ashley found me and we put together a last minute shoot, that was the absolute cutest.

The session took place at the Manasquan inlet which is THE place to have amazing sessions, if you're a lover of the Jersey Shore. When I was driving to the location, I was wondering if Bryan would be wearing his uniform, and he was! I was so excited.

During the shoot, Bryan had contacted his fellow Coast Guard buddies to see if they could bring the Coast Guard boat around so we can get it in a few photographs, and they did! It was amazing to see his friends come together and support this session. It gave me butterflies and the boat looked amazing in the background.

Ashley and Bryan had a sweet sense of humor. They were always giggling and making jokes and kissing one another. It really made them relaxed during the shoot, because it can feel awkward for a photographer to tell you to be natural and you wind up questioning how natural you look. Haha.

Ashley and Bryan are definitely a beautifully happy couple. They have so much adoration for one another and you can see it when they look at one another. There is a simple happiness, a friendship, an organic love.

Here's to forever, Ashley & Bryan-

Meghan Leigh