Asbury Park Engagement Session with Daphne & Shaun

Daphne & Shaun Asbury Park watermark stella marina pascal sabine boardwalk carousel wedding casino love nj wedding photographer bride rock and roll offbeat Engagement Session 4-11-18 © Daniel Nydick Photography (11 of 22).jpg

Last week's engagement session was pure bliss (or shall I say Full Bliss). Daphne and Shaun arrived a bubbling combination of excited, exuberant, and plain ol' super psyched! 

Swoon from the love, and enjoy the photos we shot at Pascal & Sabine (who were gracious enough to share their lovely space with us for a the beginning of our evening; THANK YOU!), on the beach, and on the boardwalk near the casino and the carousel! (Click on an image to see it nice and big, like their romance).

I could tell you the tale of how I met these two love birds. However...I've opted to let Shaun tell you about the love he and Daphne share instead, and how it all came to be. Scroll past the photos to read all about it.

Ok, I will sum up how we met involved me eating crickets. Hey, don't ask me why Shaun already had them on him.

Allow me to pass the mic to Shaun....
"There was one reason and one reason only for me to ever travel to Asbury Park, New Jersey in the late 1990s. My brother and I were heavily immersed in the New Jersey hardcore scene and we would brave the mean and seedy streets of Asbury Park to sing and dance to our favorite bands. We had an unspoken code – get out of the car, enjoy the bands, get back in your car, and get out of there ASAP. Asbury Park was not a place you would want to hang around in during the late ‘90s, especially as a young teen. What was once a flourishing staple of the New Jersey beach experience collapsed into a deserted island of summer dreams. So if someone told the teenage version of me that I would fall in love with the woman of my dreams and propose to her at that same place years later, I would surely think that person was out of their mind.

In May of 2015, that’s exactly what happened. A transformed and restored Asbury Park became an intriguing spot for a first date with Daphne. Non-stop laughter and overflowing conversation filled my car as we drove down to my venue of choice, Watermark. We sat on the rooftop next to a railing overlooking the boardwalk and ocean while discovering each other over delicious cocktails. I’m not sure how long we spent out there, but we could have stayed out on that rooftop for the next few days if they let us. I knew that when we left Watermark that Daphne had left her own mark on my heart. And shortly after leaving Watermark, we sat on a bench on the boardwalk and shared our first kiss.

Since that first night in Asbury, Daphne and I became inseparable. We spent as much time together as humanly possible for the next two months and eventually returned to Asbury Park for the 4th of July. This was the turning point in our relationship. As we walked the crowded boardwalk, our hands found each other and I remember Daphne saying “Are we doing this?” as our hands linked together. Without hesitation I smiled with a simple, “Yup” and we continued towards the end of the boardwalk hand in hand, smiling ear to ear. We kissed as the fireworks lit the sky and we knew in that moment that we shared a special kind of love.

We returned to Asbury Park in May of 2016 for our one year anniversary. And of course we had to grab a drink where it all began, Watermark. The following year, we made plans to celebrate our two year anniversary at Watermark. But this year I had something extra planned. Before entering Watermark, I walked Daphne barefoot onto the beach towards the water until we were greeted by a blanket and a heart shaped display of candles (with the help from my amazing brother and wife). I knelt on one knee, exposed my heart, displayed the ring and asked Daphne to marry me. Beyond a shadow of doubt, Daphne said “YES, of course I will!”

Although we will not be getting married in Asbury Park, it holds a special place in our hearts and we agreed that capturing our engagement photos with Daniel in Asbury Park was necessary. The bench that we had our first kiss , the sand our toes sunk into when I knelt and asked for Daphne’s hand in marriage, and the dinner we had at Pascal and Sabine the night I proposed all share a great amount of significance in our relationship. Daniel’s vision and creative energy brought us back to those unforgettable milestones and we’re so grateful to have these photos to cherish for the rest of our lives."

PS: A big thank you to the generous and kind couple that bought Daphne and Shaun a celebratory bottle of champagne at Stella Marina at their post-photo shoot nitecap (yes, pics are included;) )