Marissa and Jeff's Horse Stable Proposal

Marissa with her horseHow We Met, written by Charles Angelo Photography: We wouldn’t go as far as saying we are matchmakers here at Charles Angelo…but we unexpectedly gave Cupid a little boost. Last March we photographed the beautiful Marissa with her horses at Independence Farm in Howell, New Jersey. We posted a few “sneak-peek” images to our Facebook page and they caught Jeff’s eye! “I love those photos of Marissa!” Jeff said in a message to us. “She is absolutely gorgeous!” He then contacted Marissa through Facebook. Turns out the two had gone to high school together but hadn’t seen each other in years. Jeff soon asked Marissa out to dinner. They were instantly smitten and have been happily together ever since. “As soon as I met Marissa, I knew I’d met the one—the other half of me,” Jeff says. “She makes my life better in every way.”

How He Asked: Before Jeff came into my life I had been single for a couple of years, spending a lot of time with Andy & Sal. They’re both sweet and strong and, oh…did I mention they’re my horses? I’ve been an equestrian since I was nine years old. Even my hectic schedule as a registered nurse doesn’t keep me from spending time with “my boys.” Jeff had never been on a horse before, but he gladly (thankfully!) fell into my horse-crazy world. The boys took to him right away—as if they inexplicably knew, much like I did, that he was “the one.” Together we grew to spend many afternoons at the farm, making countless memories.

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Which leads me to May 30, 2014. At that point, Jeff and I been dating for just over a year and had welcomed our sweet baby girl, Annabella, (our unplanned and most welcome surprise!) a month earlier. “Let’s go to the barn before dinner tonight,” Jeff suggested. We were leaving in the morning for vacation with Annabella so it seemed like a perfect time to say goodbye to Andy & Sal for a few days. When we arrived, Jeff wanted me to take Sal out of his corral.

“Nah,” I told him. “Let’s watch them play. I don’t want to get dirty before dinner.”

“C’mon, just for a little bit, honey,” Jeff insisted as we walked closer to Sal. “And, look! There’s something on Sal’s halter…”

Sal’s halter hung from the fence and sure enough there was a brown velvet bag with shimmering ribbons attached to it. I figured someone, perhaps the farm’s owners, had left me a little present for Annabella.

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I reached for the bag, quickly untying the ribbon. But just before I opened it, Jeff gently plucked it from my hands and got down on bended knee. Inside was a ring box holding the most gorgeous diamond I’d ever seen. (Truthfully, it could’ve been a candy Ring Pop and I would’ve been just as ecstatic!) He told me how much he loved me and then it seemed like time stood still as he spoke the question I’ll remember for the rest of my life: “Will you marry me?”

Of course I said—okay, more like shouted—“YES!”

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A few moments later, I turned around to see that he’d snuck our photographer into the woods to capture the whole thing. Such a fun surprise! I couldn’t be more excited to share my life with him and our beautiful little girl.

Photos by Charles Angelo Photography