Ashley and Rene

How We Met

Ashley- We met at Orientation for work where I was a brand new teacher and Rene had been teaching 4 years prior. We both taught at a private school in Jersey City.

Ashley- Our first date was like a movie, so unbelievably perfect. We were in NYC for a teaching seminar. When it was over, we decided to spend the day in the city. We picked up Shake Shack and had a picnic in a park alongside the Hudson River where we talked for hours and got to know each other. We realized we had so much in common. We went for a walk around NYC and eventually stumbled upon Chelsea Pier. At sunset by the dock, we spoke about our future dreams. I said my dream is to one day own a boat, Rene said he was the same, then he kissed me for the first time and it truly felt like sparks were flying. From that one kiss, we both knew we had found the one!

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Ashley- I realized Rene was “the one” over and over again in our relationship. The first kiss was so romantic and perfect, that I thought “ this could be the one.” A week later, at a Halloween party, Rene wore a Princess Peach dress. I thought he was hilarious, confident, so much fun, and completely different than anyone I’d ever met. Throughout the early stages of our relationship, he routinely checked in to make sure I was comfortable with everything. I thought “Wow! He’s a sweet guy. Definitely a keeper!” Even recently he just knows what I need even before I do. He surprises me and makes me smile every day. Every night I think how lucky I am to have found my true person.

Rene- I knew Ashley was the one as the days passed by. From the beginning, I knew she was someone I wanted to be with all the time, and introduce her to my family. It has never been a question for me. I wake up every morning thinking about what we will be like when we are older, and that always makes me feel good knowing I’d still love her and she’s right there next to me.

How They Asked

Ashley- I was not expecting the proposal! I knew it was coming soon since we were dating for almost 3 years and living together for 2, but I did not know it would happen then. I thought we were just going on a dinner cruise to celebrate my birthday. Rene surprised me with the proposal on Friday and a small engagement celebration on Saturday. He planned the whole thing himself and I could not have asked for anymore!

Rene- The proposal took months of planning. I had to buy tickets for the dinner cruise, I told my family I was planning to propose and asked my father to help me pick out a ring. Then I asked for Ashley’s parents’ blessing when we went out for dinner. Then I had to look for a photographer because I knew the event would be timeless and I couldn’t leave it up to a stranger with a cellphone. This was all still at least two months before the actual proposal.

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Ashley- The location was extremely special to us! I told Rene what I wanted more than anything for my birthday was to be on a boat. He took me on a dinner cruise on the Hudson that passed by NYC, Jersey City, and Hoboken. We met in Jersey City where we were working together for 2 years, we passed by Chelsea Pier where we had our first kiss, Hudson Yards and Liberty State Park where we had MANY dates, and more. Before even knowing he was going to propose, I told Rene, “This is so amazing. It’s like a tour of our relationship.”I wanted the dinner cruise on the Hudson River because it was where our relationship began. We met in Jersey City, where we lived and worked together. We spent many dates in NYC, and many of those dates were along the west side of New York. We had our first kiss at Chelsea Pier. I knew I wanted our proposal at the center of it all, and it was.

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Rene-I knew nothing about engagement rings, so I asked my family for help. My dad agreed to take off work to go shopping with me and my older sister gave me details since she had just gotten engaged a year before. I had emailed Ashley’s mother for tips and preferences on a ring, knowing her mom would know best. I told Ashley since I was on spring break, I would spend the day helping my dad at the office.

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Special Thanks

Jenna Perfette
 | Photographer