Maria and Stephen

Image 1 of Maria and Stephen

How We Met: He lives in Milwaukee. I live in NYC. Our relationship has been long distance since we started dating, but that has always made it more adventurous. However, we often don’t see our own families because we spend so much time traveling to visit one another. So for Labor Day weekend, we agreed we would spend the long weekend with our own families in our respective cities. My family always heads down the shore to Avalon, NJ for the weekend, so I decided to take some extra time off and spend quality time with my mom. After two days of relaxation, my dad was suppose to head down to join us. My mom had informed me the week prior that we were finally going to get family portraits taken on the beach – the ones where the family all matches in beautiful white outfits with the sprawling dunes or ocean behind them. So, naturally, I packed a nice white dress to wear for the occasion. I thought it was strange that we had waited until now to do them, but my mom convinced me she wanted one last nice shot of the family before we started having our own and such (this was not something weird for my mom to say). Friday morning rolls around after my father arrived late the previous night, and we all head down to the beach. We meet the photographers and start taking the family portraits. They all seemed to know each other so I didn’t think anything of it. After several family shots, they decided to take some individual portraits of the “children” (aka me). I’m standing there having my photo taken when I suddenly feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around to see my soon-to-be fiancé, Stephen, standing behind me. The shock kicks in as I’m freaking out and the world becomes a blur, I see his parents walking down the path to meet up with mine. I immediately know what’s happening and start crying. Stephen immediately says “Stop crying. I haven’t even said anything yet”. I stop crying instantly but the world is still a blur. He says a bunch of nice things (all of which I make him repeat later when i’m no longer in shock), gets down on one knee and I finally get to say “YES!” Once the shock has calmed down a bit, I’m informed that I am off to take engagement photos with the wonderful RingShot Photography who was in on the whole plan (and not there to take family portraits). While the day was a blur, I could not have asked for a better way to kick off my adventure with Stephen and spending the rest of the weekend with the people who have made us who we are.

Image 2 of Maria and Stephen

I would love to thank my family, my love, and RingShot Photography for making it the surprise of a lifetime.

Photos by Ringshot Photography