Sabrina and Nick

How We Met

Nick and I met our first year of college at New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2010. He transferred from Hartford and I just came out of high school and actually almost attended different college. It was meant to be that we would choose to go there in 2010. We were placed in the same studio room for our Architecture class and quickly became good friends since we were both commuters.

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Nick would wait for my dad to pick me up on his way home from work. My dad would sometimes come very late at night which would cause Nick to miss the train home…but he wouldn’t tell me that. We supported each other through our late nights in studio and he always kept me laughing by playing pranks on me to get my attention while I was at my desk.

Sabrina and Nick 's Engagement in Hunter Hereford Ranch at Grand Teton National Park

After hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey we went to the shore together during our spring break to interview residents on what they felt should be built and then continued to restore the shore together every spring break after that. We were always good friends and didn’t start dating til our 4th year of college as I had been in a previous relationship since I started school and wasn’t single til that year. Nick was quick to seize the opportunity. He asked to take me out to ice cream which I thought was harmless but all my friends warned me that he was in love with me! I didn’t believe them, I thought we were just friends. Well, it turns out they were right. I finally said yes to be his girlfriend a couple of months after that! He took me ice skating, fishing, hiking, and even rides on the Zamboni since Nick drives it part time for the New Jersey Devils. We became adventure buddies but little did I know that Nick was becoming my greatest adventure…

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How He Asked

Fast forward three and a half years after we started dating to August 2017 when Nick and I are heading to the Grand Tetons National Park. For the past 3 years Nick and I have volunteered our time for a week with the National Park Service in the Grand Tetons to stabilise the historic log cabins in the park. Nick had asked my dad and brother to go clamming alone with him a couple of weeks before that which led me believe that proposal was coming soon. I thought it might happen in Wyoming but I also thought it could’ve been some other times this year so I wasn’t completely sure. I thought if it was going to happen in Wyoming it would be early in the trip because Nick would be too nervous to keep the secret that whole week. Tuesday comes and goes and I thought that he probably isn’t going to do it.

Wednesday night he asked if I want to watch the sunrise in the morning at the barn we have been working at. Its the only barn in the park designed by an architect. I thought to myself “This is it!” We went and took pictures but there was no proposal. I was a little bummed since that was a great opportunity at the barn that has become special to us now. I was unaware of the even better proposal coming later that day that he had been planning since April. Thursday was the last day of us working on the barn. We were roofing and it was so hot out- I almost passed out from the heat and altitude. Nick told me to rest and I did since he looked so nervous (he thought he wasn’t going to be able to propose!) I started to feel better and the roof got finished. We all agreed to take a picture as a group in the hay loft of the barn. Our friend Sherry is a wildlife photographer so she set up the camera for the group photo.

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After we took the photo Nick said lets take one just the two of us. I didn’t think that was weird because we do that a lot. He asked if I wanted to wash off all the roofing tar I had on my arm and I said “nah its just a photo!” So he positioned me in a way that hid the tar and we took some photos. At the end I was getting hungry and ready to leave and Nick says “one more photo” and drops down on one knee and holds out a ring he had designed to look like the sun! All the volunteers below start screaming with joy and Sherry starts yelling, “Wait! Wait! I have the wrong lens! Why didn’t you warn me Nick?!” For some reason all I heard was wait and so I just waited and kept crying. Finally she snapped the photo and I looked at Nick, who was still smiling and staring at me and I asked if he said something! He said he did so I said “Yes! Absolutely!”

Afterwards, Nick told me his speech because he thought he blacked out and was worried that he actually didn’t say the speech! It was so beautiful and he ended it by asking me to be his adventure buddy for life. We then had a potluck at the cabin with all of our friends and Sherry offered to take our engagement photos around the park as a gift. We had to go buy clothes for the photo shoot since we weren’t expecting that! We stuck wildflowers in my hair and two of the volunteers, Rachel and Matt, assisted Sherry the whole photo shoot even down to adjusting the flowers in my hair. It was like a dream come true and I still can’t believe it!

Proposal Ideas Hunter Hereford Ranch at Grand Teton National Park

Special Thanks

Sherry Birch | 
Photographer
Rachel Abrams | 
Photographer Assistant
Matt Hozal | 
Photographer Assistant