May 12, 2023
Last weekend, I photographed Sharon and Justin’s Palace at Somerset Park Wedding in Somerset, NJ. Sharon and Justin had a classic and elegant wedding that began with a traditional Catholic ceremony at Packer Memorial Church on the campus of their alma mater, Lehigh University. Their sun filled Spring wedding had a color palette of lavender, white, and gold with photo stops at their favorite spots on campus for photos. Their reception was filled with great food, lots of laughs and tons of dancing thanks to my happy couple never leaving the dance floor!
Justin and Sharon first met during their undergraduate studies at Lehigh University. The first week of his sophomore year, Justin attended an info session for the Baja SAE club. Sharon was already a member of the club and instantly caught his eye. Over the next year, Sharon and Justin began to learn more about each other through their time working on the Baja car and hanging out with friends.
Sharon and Justin’s first date was an impromptu dinner date. The Fall 2016 semester was kicking off with a concert on the UC Front Lawn. Sharon, a senior at the time, was the last of her friend group to turn 21. As her friends ditched her to hang out in the beer garden, Justin swooped in and asked Sharon to dinner. They spent the rest of the night sitting on the UC balcony, eating dinner, and watching the concert from above. It was a night full of laughter and conversation.
Sharon knew Justin was the one after she joined him on his cross-country RV trip in 2019 when Justin had been traveling the country celebrating his graduation. Sharon flew out to join him at Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks. During those two weeks together, Justin pushed Sharon to step outside her comfort zone and explore all that the area had to offer. From then on, Sharon knew she wanted Justin as her adventure partner for life. In early 2021, Sharon was living at her parent’s house and Justin would visit on weekends. One night, driving home from a visit, he realized that when he was not with Sharon it felt like a part of him was missing. That is when he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
Engaged on 07/03/2021, the proposal: Justin used the 4th of July holiday as an excuse to plan a weekend getaway. He planned a three day trip to Lake Placid. This is where, a few years prior, Sharon and Justin had taken their first trip as a couple together. Justin had planned to propose during a hike on Saturday but the weather looked questionable on Friday night. He didn’t sleep much that night, worried that the weather would throw off his big plans. Luckily, when they woke up, the forecast had cleared for the morning so they decided to go for the hike. They hiked the Mount Colden trail and stopped at Avalanche Lake for a PB&J lunch, ~4miles into the hike. After lunch, Justin asked Sharon if he had any peanut butter in his teeth. She brushed him off, not understanding why he would need to look good on a hike. Justin then started listing all his favorite things about Sharon. She still didn’t understand what was going on and kept interrupting. She finally pieced it together when he got down on one knee. After she said “yes!”, they were feeling ambitious and decided to finish the hike up Mount Colden, despite the rainy afternoon forecast. They hiked the last 11 miles in the pouring rain, making for a great engagement story that they now look back and laugh at.
Sharon and Justin, both engineers enjoy cooking together, going on walks, smoking meats, playing games, and spending time with family when they weren’t wedding planning. Now married, Justin and Sharon hope to live a long happy life together, raising children, supporting one another in their careers, traveling to National Parks, and dancing in the kitchen. Sharon and Justin’s advice for couples currently planning their weddings is to make the planning process fun. It is a great chance to learn more about each other and your styles. Also, be open to the fact that you may not initially have the same expectations about what a wedding should be.
Justin was most looking forward to sharing their first dance together as husband and wife. And Sharon was most looking forward to seeing Justin at the end of the aisle and spending the night celebrating with family and friends.
Sharon and Justin are currently honeymooning in Hawaii! Congratulations and thank you for choosing me to photograph your Palace at Somerset Park wedding!
Every part of our journey through life is sacred and passes by way too quickly. Susan elegantly captures the story of your legacy from the beginning with marriage and throughout motherhood with each special season it brings.
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