“Coffee Meets Bagel” was where it all started. A sweet story and a shared love for “This Is Us” and you have the perfect recipe for friendship. Melanie, Jan video chatted for our first meeting and I connected with these two and their story from the first moment! Next thing you know I’m on a flight to Newark, New Jersey to photograph their wedding day at the Shrine of Saint Joseph & the stunning The Madison Hotel.
If you know me, you know I love a good story. So I can’t share their wedding day without sharing their proposal story as it’s an integral part of where they decided to have their wedding.
While Melanie had an idea the proposal was coming, she was completely in the dark regarding when, where, and how it would happen. Jan asked Melanie to block out 2 Saturdays in advance. All he told her was that he was taking her to 2 places that were special to him and nothing else. As the dates got closer, Melanie started to think, “okay – he is definitely trying to throw me off. It will be neither of these dates and will probably be sometime in between.”
Knowing this is how Melanie’s thought process would be, Jan decided to surprise her and propose on the first date he had her reserve. The day of the proposal, Melanie was with the rest of her family, visiting her father at the hospital. She left shortly after lunch to meet with Jan, who was waiting at her place to drive her to the mystery destination. Jan asked Melanie to close her eyes when they were about 15 minutes from the location.
When they arrived, Jan asked Melanie to continue to keep her eyes closed while he walked her to the spot where he wanted to propose (she still had no idea what was happening). As they walked, Melanie heard music and was able to gather that they were in a church setting in which she excitedly announced “We’re in a church!” Jan quickly confirmed and told her to not speak so loudly because… we were in a church… haha.
After some navigating, they ended up back outside in the balcony when Jan asked Melanie to open her eyes. It was then that she realized he had brought her to St. Joseph’s Shrine. (Sidenote: St. Joseph is a special saint to Melanie as she had asked him to guide her to the man God prepared for her and prayed that this man would be like St. Joseph. He is also a special saint to Jan as he was his recently deceased grandmother’s patron saint). The moment after she opened her eyes, she noticed that Jan reacted to something behind her. Naturally, she turned around to see what he was looking at – it was his parents and her family! That was the moment she realized that it was about to happen.
Jan explained to Melanie that he wanted to bring her to St. Joseph’s Shrine because he knew St. Joseph played a part in bringing them together. He also explained that he had promised to St. Joseph that he’d propose in front of him if she really was the ‘one,’ months back when they visited St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. He wanted to propose in front of St. Joseph to show his gratitude for his prayers and guidance. Jan got down on one knee and Melanie said yes! Our proposal story might not have been the most extravagant, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. God and St. Joseph were such a big part of our story, that we both wanted to involve them in our lives as much as possible.
What else do you do to kill time while you wait for the limo?! Football and a little tennis it is! • It’s time •
So much fun getting to spend the day with these two! You know you have winners when they have their own cutouts!!! Here’s my wish for you below!! Thank you guys for the honor of capturing your day! XoXo
New Jersey Conservatory Wedding The Madison Hotel