Nishat and Raiyan

Somerset, New Jersey



Photography | Shabih Aftab Photography | @shabihaftabphotography

Location | Colonial Park

From the Photographer

Nishat and Raiyan have the most comfortable kind of love. They are so in love and so in tune with one another that they barely needed any instruction. Each one found the other more special, more funny, more lovable and more theirs. They move in unison and nothing phased them- not even the impending storm clouds. They laughed, danced, played around and loved for each moment of our session. They were nothing short of amazing to work with.

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

Nishat: A couple of months into our freshman year of college, both of our families happened to attend the same wedding reception. It turns out that our parents knew each other from way back, even before any of them immigrated from Bangladesh to the US. As they got to talking, they realized that both their kids were in their freshman year at Rutgers and living on the same campus! They introduced us to each other and my (Nishat’s) mom made me get Raiyan’s phone number, saying that we should be friends and look out for one another at school. At first, we didn’t really get in contact with each other after that day, but then we started running into each other around campus. We started grabbing meals together at the dining hall, sharing notes for classes we had in common, and quickly became good friends. After about a year of friendship, things took a bit of a turn 🙂


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

Nishat: Because we’ve been in each other’s lives from the beginning of college to adulthood, we have truly grown together. We’ve been lucky to have been able to support each other through some of the biggest transitions and challenges in our lives. And while we have our long term life goals in common, we have different interests and sometimes different views on things. This has helped us both grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. We both really love food, so we spend a lot of our time together trying out new restaurants for sure. During our college days, we were known to concoct crazy desserts with everything we could get our hands on at the dining hall. We love watching movies and shows together, taking day trips to explore new places, and spending time with our family and friends. We share lots of music, articles, and memes with each other. The foundation of our relationship is our friendship–we are really best friends.


Raiyan: We have a similar mindset when it comes to life: family, dedication, drive, and most importantly, being a good-hearted person. We do an excellent job of letting the other person “be her/him” without feeling marginalized. Also, adding to the activity list, we love doing “nothing” too. Basically, we are each other’s homes.


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

Nishat: I don’t think either of us can pinpoint a particular moment that we knew this was forever. As our love grew, we just knew. Conversations about the future always included each other, and without words being exchanged we knew that we intended to be in each other’s lives for as long as we live. The topic of marriage came to us naturally.


Raiyan: There was never a singular moment. We had been together for so long and have always been there for each other no matter the circumstance. It just made sense for both of us to take the next step since we were growing up together essentially. It just felt right.


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

Nishat: While I knew the general timeframe of when we would get engaged, the proposal was such a sweet surprise. During the first year of our relationship, the first all-day date we went on was a trip to New York for my birthday. On that day, we rowed a boat together at the lake in Central Park.


The day Raiyan proposed to me, he lured me into the city under the guise of grabbing breakfast with some of his friends. Since his friends were “running late” and we were across the street from Central Park, we went on a stroll, admiring spring blooming on the trees. As we were walking past the boathouse, Raiyan persuaded me to go boating for just a little bit. I guess his friends were running pretty late. We rowed out towards the middle of the lake and next thing I know, Raiyan pulls out a ring and asks me to marry him! It was the happiest moment of my life. I couldn’t stop giggling and smiling the whole day.


Raiyan: Top 5 most stressful moments of my life. I haven’t rowed a boat since that date years ago. I also felt bad lying to her. But we made it happen and it was so worth it. I’m so glad she loved the idea.


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

Nishat: As a fairly indecisive person, I genuinely had no idea what I wanted in a ring. My best friend knew my likes and dislikes, but other than that, Raiyan had no help. What makes my ring so special to me is that Raiyan chose it himself. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.


Raiyan: Many hours of research. I know so much about diamond rings now that I can open up my own jewelry business. I knew the general idea of what she preferred based on what her best friend had told me. Once I saw this particular ring, I absolutely loved it for her and was so excited for her to wear it. In general, it also helps that my taste is impeccable.


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

Nishat: At the time of writing this, we actually have most of our wedding planned! Neither of us are big fans of planning, we are just hoping to have a happy, fun-filled day with all our loved ones around us. Our wedding is scheduled for this upcoming July, but with the Covid-19 pandemic currently keeping everyone home we aren’t quite sure what will happen.