Shaunae and Matt

How We Met

I met Matt in Spring of 2017. We talked and texted the entire month of May and finally had our first date in June. He took me mini-golfing and I kept joking it felt like a middle school date (it had been years since I went mini golfing.) I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk to him. I didn’t want the date to end so I suggested we head to a local amusement park, Bay Beach. But all the rides seemed too small and I was wearing a dress (not a good idea to wear a dress and ride a rollercoaster haha.) So we headed to a local brewery for a few beers and even more conversation. We stayed out way too late talking and I had to work the next day! But I didn’t care! I loved being around him.

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Shaunae's Proposal in Peninsula State Park, Door County, WI

Spring and Summer are the busiest seasons for me, being a wedding photographer so it was hard to keep seeing each other during this time. But we made time! We would get together once a week for dinner or to binge Netflix shows. We both felt like we had spent years and years just dating other people and we both knew we were looking for “the one.” Because of that, we were both our authentic selves right away. So much of our time hanging out those first few months I was rocking yoga pants and a messy bun! I was already SO comfortable with him.

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Where to Propose in Peninsula State Park, Door County, WI

Matt works for the Green Bay Packers so when we first started dating he gave me tickets to the home games!

Over the fourth of July, we enjoyed dinner at an awesome Indian restaurant then sat right under the fireworks. That night, he kissed me for the first time and it felt like more than just the fireworks were sparking. :)


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On July 30th, we went down to Milwaukee, WI for a Brewers/Cubs game. We had a great time just eating cheese curds and laughing about everything. I’m not a huge baseball fan but I’m up for any event, especially if it’s with Matt. When he dropped me off at home that night, he asked me to officially be his girlfriend. I was so impressed. I feel like so many guys nowadays just gradually go from “hanging out” to “I guess we’re dating,” but not Matt. He’s always been a gentleman and puts me first.

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On New Year’s Eve at midnight we told each other that we loved each other and in January, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.

Since then we’ve enjoyed amazing dates, trips to Chicago, California, and Nashville, and done as much as possible. We love going on dates to get ice cream or just sit outside at a patio. He indulges my love for Beyoncé and I watch college football games with him. We balance each other in the best possible ways. We are always up for adventure!

Shaunae and Matt's Engagement in Peninsula State Park, Door County, WI

Matt has been by my side through amazing times and not so great times. During our first Christmas last year my grandmother passed away while my other grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and had to spend the holidays in the hospital. Matt was my rock during that time even though we had only been dating a few months. I knew I could count on him and lean on him in good times and in bad. He’s the perfect partner for me.

And as they say, the rest is history. :)

How They Asked

Even now, it feels a little crazy to write this. For almost a decade, I have been documenting love stories as a wedding photographer for so many amazing couples. It’s been a thrilling ride but now, I get to share the beginning of our story.

Matt and I have been dating for a little over a year now and honestly, it’s been one of the best years of my life. Our year together has been full of amazing adventures and so much joy. We’ve had to be by each other’s side through a few hard times and have grown stronger together with each passing day. It feels like we’ve known each other our whole lives and he’s become my best friend. I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

We love going on trips, even if it’s just a day trip to one of our favorite places. On October 19, we drove up to Door County to look at all the beautiful Fall colors, hike around outside, and stop by our favorite restaurants. We started at Base Camp for a chai latte then took photos along the Windy Road. Gray clouds hung in the sky which made the colors pop even more in contrast. It was misting for most of the day, so everything felt so calm and peaceful.

In the afternoon, we entered Peninsula State Park so we could experience the amazing views of the Bay. After exploring a few areas, we stopped at Eagle Terrace to take a few photos and enjoy a little quiet time away from the other hikers. We sat on a bench next to each other in serene tranquility, soaking up the moment. Well, at least I was serene, little did I know Matt was super nervous about what he was planning next.

As we got up to leave, Matt turned to me and said, “I have one more thing to say.” He held my hand in his and got down on one knee. I stared at him, completely stunned, as he told me how much he loved me and how he wanted us to spend the rest of our lives together. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I was so excited! He pulled out a gorgeous ring box from his pocket and opened it to reveal an even more gorgeous ring! Shaking, surprised, and completely ecstatic, I said “YES!” and he slipped the ring on my finger.

After that, we hugged for what seemed like forever as I took in what had just happened. I kept asking if this was real. I was standing in the middle of my own proposal story and didn’t even believe it! It was the most beautiful moment, exactly how I had hoped it would happen. No crazy surprise parties or hidden photographer waiting to capture my reaction, it was just us. Just myself and my best friend taking the next step in our journey of life together. So perfect!

Once I finally realized this was real, I couldn’t help but start crying. I hoped one day to find someone I could share my life with and when I met Matt, everything changed for the better. Once I pulled myself together and stopped crying for a little while, we left Eagle Terrace and went to enjoy a wine tasting at Stone’s Throw Winery so Matt could tell me all about how he planned this. Once we finished our wine and called our parents to share the big news, we went to dinner to celebrate at my favorite restaurant in Door County, Parador. Matt planned that all too! He emailed the owner ahead of time to set it all up! We drank champagne and toasted to our next adventure!