STOKES STATE FOREST ENGAGEMENT: JUSTIN + JESS

I was so excited when I saw Jess's email in my inbox! Jess and I went to high school together and were on the color guard together! We spent hours together in practice, riding the bus to and from competitions, and she was even my "secret sister" - which meant she left me awesome goodie bags and notes of encouragement anonymously throughout the season. She was the best secret sister ever! And now she is going to make the best wife ever! :)

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I just love how Justin proposed. So sneaky! About a week before the proposal, Justin took Jess's birthstone ring to be cleaned at the jeweler. And for that entire week, Jess bugged him about getting it back! The night before the proposal, Justin told her that he had picked up her birthstone ring but conveniently did not have it on him.

She thought nothing of it and forgot about it by the time they got home. The next day, it was just another warm fall Sunday and they had plans to go to one of their favorite places - the beach! Jess was excited to check out some of the historical parts of Sandy Hook, so this was just like any other day...or so she thought! As they were walking around the Battery Gunnison, Justin put his jacket down on a ledge, patted the pocket, and casually said "Oh look, I did remember to bring your ring with me. And they put it in this pretty box for you."

Jess took the box from him and opened it up. She did not find her birthstone ring, but she was more than okay with the gorgeous diamond ring she found in its place!  After a few moments of shock, disbelief, and a few happy tears, Justin got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Uh-stinkin-dorable!  For their engagement session, we went to another one of their favorite places...Stokes State Forest in northern NJ.

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Sunflowers are the best! I was excited to find out that Jess and I share a love for them - favorite flower ever!

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SWOON. Loved finding this magical little light pocket! Oh-so-dreamy!

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Hahahaha!! Justin you crack me up! This whole session was nothing but giggles - and we all know giggling is my favorite!

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And then we traveled all the way to heaven...just for this photo! :)

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Jess and Justin, I am so excited to be a part of your wedding day next November! Wish it was tomorrow! :)

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Cassi Claire is a New Jersey & Destination wedding photographer
that specializes in vineyard, estate, and castle weddings!