I'm Tori, a portrait and wedding photographer based in central New Jersey. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet; I'm so happy you're here. Come check out the full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts, helpful tips and more. Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if there is anything special you'd love to see in a future post. I hope to hear from you soon!
WOWOWOW no exaggeration, I’ve been waiting for this engagement session since the moment these babes inquired with me, like HOLY MOLY I was so pumped when Julia reached out!!! They have the cutest freaking love story, and I could just tell that these were my people. Alllll the praise hand emojis to Julia and Jadaen (and Moo, of course)!!! We met up at Julia’s parents’ house to snap a few shots with the cutest little mushy furbaby, Mufasa (Moo for short), and then headed down the street to downtown Clinton to explore the area!
We had no idea that there would be a parade going on, but these two were still up for all of the photos even will tons of people around. They were such troopers by ignoring the crowds and just being in the moment and so in love!! We hopped over to the bridge that overlooked the Red Mill, which is where Jae had popped the question back in December – I’ll tell you all about that!!
After downtown Clinton, we headed back to the house and ran through golden fields at sunset until the moon came out. I know I get crazy excited about my couples and photos, but this is on another level. I have a crush on these two, sorry not sorry!!! 😂 I hope you agree as you start scrolling through all of the sweetest laughs and goofiness. Okay okay, obsessed is an understatement! Read on for their story! <3
I’m going to let you just read what Julia said to me, it’s so much better than me trying to recap. Here’s how they met:
“So we actually have known each other for a LONG time, we grew up 5 miles (I think less actually) away from each other our whole lives. We went to rival high schools and then both went our directions and played sports in college. I played lacrosse at the University of Louisville and he went to the Naval Academy to wrestle, which is what really brought us together. Every year my team would travel to Navy to play in a tournament, and meanwhile, he is this like stud top-ranked wrestler (also sorry, I can’t help but brag about this man because is literally the most amazing human ever). So we ended up “talking” and then all of a sudden like 2 dates in we were dating. Everything happened so fast, but it was so natural and it felt like we had been together for years.
The “I knew he was the one story” was when he slept over on CHRISTMAS and the next day is my birthday! We woke up and every year my dad fills the entire house with a hundred balloons, signs and makes me wear a tiara or “birthday hat” and they have my presents out on the kitchen table…they always went above and beyond to make my day so special because it was the day after Christmas. So, instead of him being freaked out being with my entire family, he literally wore a robe and shorts to the table and had his feet up and holding my hand like he had been there for like my whole life… which was like so hilarious to me.”
And here’s how he proposed!
“The town we grew up in, Clinton, is super gorgeous around Christmas time. It is a historic town and it has this rod-iron bridge that crosses over to the Red Mill which is iconic for Hunterdon County now. Home is a very special place to me, especially downtown Clinton. SO, the week he proposed, I hadn’t really talked to him because he was on a field exercise for military training and he doesn’t have his phone. He does all kinds of crazy things like dig and sleep in holes and stuff like that for a week straight in like 15-degree weather. So when he finally called me on December 21st, he said “Babe, I’m on the way home” for winter break. I didn’t think he would want to go out because he would be tired and I kind of wanted to stay in and cuddle and watch a movie with MOO and him. He insisted he wanted a steak from the Clinton House (my FAVORITE restaurant at home), so I said ‘okay I’ll be ready to go when you get back!’ When we pulled up to town and parked, it was actually a really warm night in NJ for December – it was probably in the 50s, and he said, “Why don’t we walk to the restaurant from here, it’s such a nice night and the whole bridge is lit up in Christmas lights, we can take a cute picture,” so I was obviously like ‘WOW YOU WANT TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH ME YOU’RE ACTUALLY THE ONE SUGGESTING IT?!’ Lol, so we ended up walking and I had turned around and when I turned back he was on his knee! It was absolutely perfect. Then we walked over to the Clinton house where both of our families were and celebrated!”
FRIK, like is this an actual Christmas movie?!?! Jae, you killed it on that one! <3 So dang cute!
You know what I really love about these two?! How truly connected they are and how much they appreciate every bit of each other. Julia says, “He brings me an inner peace and calmness I have never had before him. When I am feeling too crazy, Jae always knows how to recenter me because I stress very easily,” and Jae adores “Her sweetness and willingness to do anything for me. She always makes sure I am taken care of and makes me want to be a better person by doing all the little things.”
Julia said that every time she looks down at her hand and sees her ring, she legit refreaks out on the daily. She said, “I have always known I would marry him but being engaged solidifies us and our journey to getting married!!!!!” I love that Jae said he just loves being able to see Jul smile every time she calls me “fiancé” or looks at her ring!
ALRIGHT, let me stop obsessing and let you just get to all the cuteness! Jul and Jae, you two move like one and the same – I am in awe of your love and how beautifully and easily it radiates from you. You two are strong and your love for one another seems to grow every day you get closer to marriage. I’m so happy you have each other and that Moo has the sweetest parents in the world. I can’t wait for your big day and to celebrate all of the years that have led you to here. Congratulations!!! XOXO Love you two bunches and bunches!!