Not only is this sunny love sesh on the Chesapeake dreamy-as-ever (hello, gorgeous Vince Camuto dress!), but the story that brought these two lovebirds together is poetic to say the least. A love that blossomed from a lifetime of friendship resulted in these stunning images from Justin & Mary and we can’t get enough.
From Justin & Mary…Gorgeous dress alert! This, in its most beautiful form, is Lauren and Matt. Nothing less, nothing more, just fate that makes you look at each other and say “is this really us; is this really OUR story?” Friends since they were born, these two have managed to fall in LOVE. Their elegant bayside engagement shoot was captured by Justin & Mary Marantz during the most glowing golden sunset. The location is this couple’s most sacred place, the docks of the small town of Port Deposit at Tome’s Landing Marina. This hidden gem’s location is only known by boaters and locals with waters feeding to the most popular boating destinations. This session is full of pretty and soft color! Talk about a breathtaking dress, an adorable couple, and gorgeous scenery! This session is a MUST see!
The story of Lauren & Matt…Somewhere in Chapter 18 of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter, he had the absolute brilliance to state that “love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.” The story of Lauren and Matt is somewhat in between the newly born and deathlike slumber recounted by Hawthorne. The reality of destiny, and the finality of knowing that nothing else matters, is an awe-inspiring experience. This, in its most beautiful form, is Lauren and Matt. Nothing less, nothing more, just fate that makes you look at each other and say “is this really us; is this really OUR story?”
Around 1980, Karen Halupke and Renee Keefe met in the back of a car during a work-related drive. After briefly exchanging pleasantries, the two began informally recognizing that this chance meeting could, in fact, be the beginning of a lifelong friendship. By the late 80′s, Karen had welcomed two girls into the world, the second being named Lauren Anne. Meanwhile Renee gave birth to a baby boy 14 years into her first son’s life, naming him Matthew Kevin. As the two women grew closer, so did their families. Their husbands became good friends, their kids would play nicely in side rooms during dinners, and holiday and milestone gift exchanges became commonplace. Destiny was already working her magic, despite a wandering eye’s refusal to notice a bond which today is undeniable, and yes, borderline chilling.
Lauren and Matt had a common childhood and adolescent upbringing, with, of course, a few bumps in the road along the way. On the Jersey Shore, Matt made his way through elementary school before moving on to preparatory school and then college in Delaware. Lauren, meanwhile, spent her younger years in Hamilton, NJ through elementary, junior high, and high school. Her lifelong passion for art and design made the Art Institute of Philadelphia an easy choice for college; placing Lauren about a 35 minute drive north of Newark, DE where Matt was living and attending school. This was entirely irrelevant however, as the relationship between the two did not extend beyond anything more than a “hi” or a simple recognition of existence at yet another family get-together. Lauren was busy with her life, Matt with his. Memories of the past were simply that; memories, not motivation to experience more or recognition that destiny was calmly waiting for the opportunity to expose her power.
Through the web of social media, the justification of instant means of communication, and a chance work-related visit to Philadelphia by Matt, the initial dose of fate was introduced to the equation. Matt and Lauren began talking on an increasingly regular basis, spending some limited time together, and eventually feeling comfortable enough to attend Lauren’s older sister Krisitin’s wedding in July of 2009 as “friends.” Two weeks after this wonderful occasion, things would change drastically. Fueled off of a lifelong passion and a tremendous opportunity, Matt picked up and moved from New Jersey to Texas to become a collegiate basketball coach at Tarleton State University. He would spend the next three years in Stephenville, TX with only sporadic visits back to the east coast, mostly for holidays and maybe a long weekend here and there. The two stayed in touch, but it was nothing more than a text here or a Facebook post there. It seemed as if destiny was in the back seat, just as Karen and Renee once were. It was behind a driver, which was the equal, yet completely separate, lives which Lauren and Matt were leading. It was determined to not try any harder to show its face, and just let what is meant to happen, happen. And that is EXACTLY what occurred.
After making the decision to return to the east coast permanently in July 2012, Matt knew that a life without Lauren was COMPLETELY out of the question. Although it took some convincing that he was actually moving back (i.e. texting Lauren a picture of the packed U-Haul), the two knew that something had clicked and was completely undeniable. Destiny didn’t even have to show herself. Lauren and Matt knew whatever was going on was VERY real, very different. Soon after, it was easy to see and feel that mutual attraction and interest was quickly being replaced by love, support, and visions of the future. As the days became months, and the months a full year, there was no question that even a lifetime together wouldn’t even be sufficient for all of the laughs, love, morning coffees, adventures, and feelings of loneliness when the other person was gone for just a day. So then, on November 23rd of 2013, in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Matt looked Lauren in the eyes, got down on one knee, and told her that he couldn’t live without her. Forever, just like the only numbers in the date of the engagement (1, 2, 3), there will only be three things: Lauren, Matt, and the love which they will eternally have for each other. Just like Hawthorne said, whether love is newly born, or aroused from somewhere previously unknown, the brilliance which it radiates throughout life is what is truly special, truly distinctive… truly, the Lauren and Matt story.
Photography: Justin & Mary | Dress: Vince Camuto | Hair & Makeup: Behind The Veil, LLC | Bouquet: Amanda's Florist | Casual Shoes: Sperry | Hair Color: Jolie Salon & Day Spa | Her Casual Wear: Banana Republic | His Attire: Ralph Lauren | His Jeans: Lucky Brand | His Shoes: Florsheim | Location: Tome's Landing Marina | Necklace & Earrings: Kate Spade | Our Family Boat: Three's A Charm | Sandal Designer: Stuart Weitzman | The Ring: Carroll's Jewelers