Shayna and Josh

How We Met

Josh and I met June 2, 2013, at one of Philadelphia/New Jersey’s biggest country concerts, XTU. We both attended the tailgate with mutual friends. At some point during the day, Josh and I started talking and he told me how he had just enlisted in the United States Marine Corps a week prior. I told him not to go. We kind of dated for a few months until he left for boot camp. After Josh went to boot camp we lost touch for a little while. A year later we ended up reconnecting and planned to meet up while Josh was home on leave for Christmas. Josh and I went to the Flyers game December 23, 2013, and I instantly knew I didn’t want to lose contact again. We ended up spending every day of his leave together, including New Year’s Eve and New Years Day.

On January 5, 2014, Josh asked me to be his girlfriend and we agreed that we were going to make the long-distance relationship work. Josh headed back to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, CA where he was stationed a few days later. For the next three years, Josh and I managed to maintain our relationship even though we were bi-coastal. He came home on leave whenever he was able to and I was working a flexible job at the time that allowed me to fly to California every few months to see him. In October 2016 Josh was officially finished with his contract and we celebrated by taking a road trip from California home to New Jersey. That December we found out I was pregnant! We had so much support from our family and friends and we worked really hard to prepare for our baby and make sure that we were going to be able to still have a comfortable life. On September 4, 2017 (Labor Day!) we welcomed our baby boy Nolan Joshua and purchased our first home in December.

How He Asked

When Josh asked what I wanted for my 26th birthday I told him that I wanted to have family pictures done. I scheduled a shoot for the weekend after my birthday with the same photographer we had used for our maternity pictures. Little did I know that Josh had also contacted him and let him know that he was planning a surprise for that day. He asked my Dad’s permission and told my mom his plan once he had the ring to show her. He let a few of my friends know his plan, and they all kept this secret really well! April 8, 2018, we went to have family pictures done at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square PA. We had an hour-long shoot and our 7 months old was perfect the whole time and as cooperative, as you can expect from a 7-month-old boy!

During the last photos of the day, our photographer said he wanted to try a different pose and asked us to stand back to back. Then I was asked to step forward and look straight ahead. While I am standing separate from Josh, holding our son and staring into the trees in front of me I thought to myself, this seems like a weird photo.

When my photographer told me I could turn back around I saw Josh down on his knee holding up a ring. I was completely shocked and overwhelmed with excitement as he asked me to marry him. I could not stop smiling and I said: “of course!”

Special Thanks

Alex and Chelsea Ferkh
Photographer