By Lauren Fair Photography

The Blog

I’m Jill, a wedding photographer based in New Jersey — and I’m so excited that you’re here! Follow along with the blog to get a glimpse into the heart behind my work.

Spring Cross Estate Gardens Engagement

Bernardsville, New Jersey


The whole drive to Nicole and John’s engagement session, the sky was full of ominous, black clouds. Although there was no rain in the forecast, I couldn’t help but wonder if the sky was going to unexpectedly open — however, we were so lucky to have the sun burst through the clouds as soon as we started shooting and had the most beautiful, glowy light from start to finish!

These two first met at a bar in their college town! As Nicole tells it, “We were both juniors at Wake Forest University at the time. We had many mutual friends but had never officially met. We wouldn’t say it was exactly love at first sight, something about it being Thirsty Thursday at a bar aptly called the Last Resort. Though now we like to joke we found love in a hopeless place. I was reluctant to jump into a relationship at the time and told John as much, though he was pretty convinced he could change my mind.”

“The more we started spending time together, the more we fell for each other. Not too long after we met, while carpooling home from college together, an unexpected snowstorm landed me at John’s parents house overnight. Over his mom’s spaghetti, I realized it was time to give it a shot. We graduated together in 2019, spent a year apart while I was in grad school in New York, and started life in the DC area at the end of 2020. The rest, as they say, is history!”

John popped the question last August at Nicole’s family’s beach house in Connecticut, which was built by her great-grandfather. “It’s where my parents met, growing up as neighbors each summer, and eventually got engaged. Ever since I was little I dreamed of getting engaged there too but when we shopped for rings back in March, John told me he wanted to propose somewhere new that was special to us. Fast forward to August, we were on a weekend trip to visit the family beach house and my sister convinced me to get dressed up to take a few family pictures. She “got a phone call” in the middle of taking pictures and John took the opportunity to take me out on one of the jetties (opposite the jetty where my parents got engaged 30 years ago) and asked me to marry him! I was SO surprised and beyond happy. Afterwards we celebrated with dinner with both of our families on the beach.”

I think I audibly gasped when I saw Nicole’s ring — it is SO stunning. “Once we were ready to start thinking about an engagement, we went shopping together! I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, but it turned out that ring shopping together was the best experience. We learned so much about diamonds and felt great about making such a big decision together. In the end, I picked out the setting and the diamond shape I wanted and John went back to pick out the diamond itself. I never saw how the actual ring came out until John proposed with it (it was everything I wanted!). The ring is an oval diamond on a gold band, with platinum prongs and a hidden halo.”

Together these two live near Washington DC and are big foodies; a restaurant with a good meal and a bottle of wine is their happy place. They also love spending time with friends and heading to the beach in the summer. I’m so excited for their wedding next June at Fiddler’s Elbow in Bedminster, NJ — it’s going to be the most incredible celebration!

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