Debbie and Andrew

How We Met

All I could mutter is “Nice Fangs!”. That was my opening line – how romantic, am I right? It was a Friday night in Hoboken, NJ. I felt like I’ve been being pushed towards this girl all night, something that I can’t really explain. I finally muster up the courage to walk over to this absolutely beautiful girl I made eye contact a few times from across the bar, and all I can say is “Nice Fangs!”. It was at this point I knew I would end up with this girl.

Where to Propose in Lavallette, NJ

Debbie's Proposal in Lavallette, NJ

Her response was, “Thanks, but mine are bigger”. My heart shot out of my chest, what a fantastic response to my atrocious opening line. She began to tell me her name was Debbie and she was visiting her friends in town. She was studying to be a teacher at the University of Delaware and was a big Jersey Shore girl (not the fist pumping type!). One thing let to another, and I asked for her number – which she happily passed along. I waited an entire day to reach out to her, and a first date was set!

Proposal Ideas Lavallette, NJ

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Lavallette, NJ

How He Asked

July 3rd, 2017. Lavallette, NJ. We’re very patriotic. We love this country, everything about it. So naturally, the 4th of July is our favorite holiday. Every year her beach puts on this massive fireworks display on the ocean and her family has a big afterparty at their oceanfront home! This is without a doubt our favorite time of the year. But, our favorite place at the shore is this 75ft dock at the bay. We walk from the ocean to the bay every night (weather permitting!) to dangle out feet over the edge and watch this breathtaking sunset.

I remember the first time Debbie brought me to this dock 3 years ago and I just felt at peace. It was the weirdest feeling and I remember telling her just how at peace I felt on this dock with her. She agreed and thought that it was the sound of the water beneath us, the gorgeous sunset taking place and swans swimming around us that made me feel that way. What she didn’t know, was that I felt at peace because I knew that this was the place that I would be proposing to her. Fast forward 3 years, and the day finally came. I planned all I could, from the photographers, to the best time of day, to checking the weather like a madman. I was a nervous wreck. Looking back, walking around with a ring (without a box) in your pocket and sitting over the ocean on wood planks with large gaps in between is probably not the brightest idea, but somehow – it worked! It was routine as ever, partaking in our little tradition down the shore of taking that 20 minute walk to the bay and just finding a seat at the end of the dock, dangling our feet over the edge and just gazing into the sunset.

We had our usual conversations, cracked some jokes and I told her it was getting a little late and it was time to head back. Debbie agreed and I helped her get up and she turned her back and starting walking away from the water down the dock. I got down on a knee and called her name and she turned around. I went over what I was going to say hundreds, maybe even THOUSANDS of times. But nothing could prepare you for this moment. “Remember when I told you I felt at peace here 3 years ago?” I asked.

She nodded and immediately put her hands up to her mouth and I saw tears start flowing down her cheeks. “It wasn’t because of the scenery, it’s because I knew right then and there, that this is where I’d ask you to spend the rest of our lives together – will you marry me?”. She nodded and managed to squeak out a “Yes!” through all of those tears.

All of the planning, all of the worrying, all of the thoughts I had running through my mind were all put at ease with one word. “Yes!”. Our photographers did a phenomenal job of capturing this moment for us and after our shoot we were so excited to return back to her beach house and celebrate into the night with our entire family!

Special Thanks

Tony + Olya Yang
Photographer