Melissa and Kurt

Newtown Square, Pennsylvania



Photography | J&J Studios | @jjstudiosphiladelphia

Venue | Hunting Hill Mansion at Ridley Creek State Park

From the Photographer

Melissa + Kurt had a gorgeous Ridley Creek State Park Engagement in Media, PA on a blustery day in November. Melissa wore a gorgeous black and gray dress with curly blond hair and Kurt rocked a gray button-down, dark jeans, and Tan Wingtip Shoes. Ridley Creek State Park is a beautiful 2500 acre park in Delaware County PA. It offers hiking, fishing, biking and trails. It includes the famous dam at Sycamore Mills and the huge Hunting Hill Mansion located at 351 Gradyville Rd. The park is on the register of historic places in Pennsylvania, and it is beautiful in any season. The park is popular with joggers, cyclists and fishermen. The park also has a 4.7 mile equestrian trail.

Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

We met through a dating app. I, Melissa, was tired of the hustle of online dating and promised to myself that Curtis would be the last guy that I would go on a date with for a while. If it was a success, great, but if it was a flop then oh well. We agreed to meet at a local park to play a competitive game of basketball. Loser would pay for ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Luckily, Curtis’s game was not as good as mine and as a result I won. We then walked around the park sharing our experiences with each other for a couple of hours. Then Curtis took me to get a pralines and cream ice cream and the rest is history.


What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. What makes your relationship unique?

We can be our complete and true selves with each other and love each other in spite of our imperfections. We both help each other to be objective and see both sides of the same coin.We go on new adventures together like sky diving and will be scaling the Grand Tetons together in the future.We also enjoy our lazy days together at home where I’m usually reading or watching tv on my ‘little tv’ (i.e. cell phone) and Curtis is playing video games.We are incapable of keeping surprises/gifts from each other. We’ll buy something for each other for Christmas and each other’s birthdays and give it to each other a month too early.


How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship?

It all happened rather suddenly, which was surprising but there was no anxiety about the haste because it just felt right. I knew he was the one when during our second date, I had a hypoglycemic event and he cared for me as if it was nothing. I feel like many would have hit the road running but not him. Curtis isn’t sure how to sufficiently capture this in words other.He says he knew on the first date because ‘we just clicked’.


Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?

Curtis wanted our friends, Ethan and Jackie, to be there. They were there when he picked the engagement ring out in October of 2018. He kept the ring hidden in a secured lock box (which he normally NEVER locked). I was headed back to Louisiana to visit my family for Christmas and I went to the lock box to grab my passport but to my surprise found it locked. Curtis, who was in the room with me, jumped up and insisted that he would get it for me. I had figured that he had my birthday gift and was hiding it there. Me, hating surprises, was begging him to tell me but he wouldn’t budge. So I pestered him with guesses of the gift, still he withheld my constant inquiry, which is very unusual for him. After a rough and long day at work on Friday, January 18th (my birthday), I came home to Curtis and our friends, which definitely lifted my spirits. Curtis then told me to grab my gift from the lock box, which I had completely forgotten about. Excited, I ran upstairs and wrenched open the box to find a gift card for a massage. As I was walking down the stairs, I exclaimed “I already had guessed that you had gotten me this…” but abruptly stopped speaking. Curtis was kneeling along the landing of the stairs holding out a beautiful engagement ring. Before he was able to propose to me, I let our a pterodactyl scream of excitement and tackled him into a hug. He whispered in my ear “Will you marry me?” I squealed “YES. YES” and kissed him profusely all over his face. We started laughing giddily and in absolute happiness.


We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!

It has a Victorian style to it with intricate metal work and smaller diamonds throughout the band. At the center, there is a beautiful cut diamond surrounded by a square of metal work and smaller diamonds.My mom told me that it reminded her of my great grandmother’s engagement ring (circa 1916).


Are you excited to start planning your wedding day? Do you have any ideas in mind yet?

We will be getting married at Castle Lachlan in Argyll, Scotland. There are old runes (circa 15th century) nestled against the shoreline where the wedding ceremony will be held. Afterwards, we will move to the still-standing castle (circa 1790’s) for dancing and good food with a small group of our family and friends.