Last month, I photographed Alley and Ryan’s Stockton University Engagement Session. Alley and Ryan wanted a snowy engagement session and I am so happy I was able to give it to them and on this snowy day, I thought sharing this engagement session was truly fitting! Ryan’s last name is Snow, so when these two booked me last year for their May 2018 wedding, they told me how badly they wanted to hold out and wait to have their session for when it snowed. I told them it might be tough and that we’d all have to be flexible, when we saw snow in the forecast for the week they had scheduled, we jumped on the opportunity and I am so glad we did!
Alley and Ryan first met at a mutual friend’s pool party in the summer of 2011. Throughout the following fall semester at Stockton University, they met a handful of times thanks to mutual friends. Their first date was on October 29th, 2011 at the Halloween-themed Flyers vs. Hurricanes game where they dined on Flyers-shaped pretzels, crab fries, and enjoyed a winning Flyers game all while sparks were flying between them, but perhaps the most magical part of the night was the weather: it snowed the entire ride to and from Philadelphia! Alley knew Ryan was the one almost immediately after the moment she “met” him in October 2011. When she was growing up, her grandmother always talked about how she felt love at first sight with her grandfather, and while it seemed too good to be true at the time, she had a similar experience the minute she met Ryan. She was swept away by his charisma; he lights up every room he walks into and she was simply drawn to him. Alley jokes that she and Ryan have been married since the day they met. They had an instant, inseparable bond, as if their souls had met before. They never looked back.
Alley and Ryan were engaged on 12/14/16, the proposal from Alley: “I have a lifelong love for all things Harry Potter, but somehow I had never made it to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. Last year, all I wanted as a graduation present was to go to Universal to finally experience Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, and I made all the arrangements myself months in advance since Ryan does not share my passion for Harry Potter. With the pieces in place, he decided to take advantage of the situation and surprise me at the spot I had been yearning to visit for years. We arrived at Universal Studios at park opening and — after a pit stop at security, where the ring box tripped the metal detector — we raced off to see Hogwarts in its glory. It was a beautiful, 85° December day with hardly anyone visiting the park so close to Christmas. By the time we reached Hogsmeade, I was already extremely overwhelmed with excitement, but Ryan suggested we take a picture in front of the castle, so we walked straight to the back. There, in front of Hogwarts, Ryan gave an employee his cell phone to take a picture of us. After snapping a few, he asked the employee to take one more, and right before my eyes he went down on one knee! I was so shocked and overwhelmed I cried, and cried, and cried some more. It was true magic!”
When these two are not planning their romantic wedding at the Bradford Estate in Hainesport, NJ, they are going on walks and spoiling their dog, Bowser. They love nature, going on vacation, camping, visiting breweries, and spending time with friends and family as much as possible. They are huge Ed Sheeran fans and always go to his concerts when he is in town.
Any advice for future bride’s planning?
On a practical note, make a separate email for wedding-related correspondence because it’s easy for important emails to be buried with your regular, daily emails. On a more philosophical note, have fun with all the endless decisions! Be true to yourself, do what your gut tells you, and don’t second (or third) guess yourself. If you’re not 100% happy with something, keep looking!
And finally, what are you most looking forward to about your wedding day?
Since most of the day we will be separated, we can’t wait to experience our “first look” and soak in all the emotions, on our wedding day, alone together.
Scroll through to view my favorites from this gorgeous and snowy Stockton University Engagement Session. And be sure to check back in May for a full recap of their Spring wedding at the Bradford Estate! xoxox