Megan and Matt

Charleston, South Carolina

 

Photography | Haley Jane Photography@haleyjane.photography

Location | Historic Downtown Charleston

Event Designer | Peper Events | @peper.events

Megan and Matt’s first scheduled engagement session ended up turning into a 45 minute conversation under the hood of my car shielding us from the rain! From the first time I met these two not only did I know I was going to be friends with them, but I knew they had a special kind of love! From there we rescheduled and the second engagement session was nothing short of a dream. We started out in Hampton park under the mossy oaks and ended on the cobblestone streets of downtown Charleston! All the while Megan and Matt confidently took on their role in front of the camera by finding the place within them to laugh at themselves. They have such an easy love, it was truly a joy to capture!

 

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

(Megan): Matt and I first met at Penn State, where I went to school. My sorority sister was friends with Matt from high school and while he was attending the Naval Academy, he would periodically come up to visit her. The beginning of our story is pretty comical because initially I was not a big fan of Matt. After about two years of knowing each other, I finally began warming up to him and one weekend of our senior year we hit it off. Shortly after, Matt invited me to his graduation ball at the Naval Academy. What he neglected to mention was that his immediate family and many of his extended family members were also going to the ball. I was terrified and admittedly tried to think of a reason to cancel. However, it was that night that we realized how much we liked each other. After our (very well chaperoned) first date, we officially started dating and the rest is history!

 

What makes your relationship special? What makes your relationship unique?

(Matt): We’ve been through a lot as a couple. Through five years of dating, we spent the majority of it long distance while also enduring two deployments while I was stationed on a submarine. Because of this, we have learned to truly value each other and our time together. What used to be my hobbies and her hobbies are now our hobbies. Her best friends I would now consider some of my best friends and vice versa. I think my friends even like her better than they like me now! But to me, the most special aspect of our relationship is how we always find a way to show how much we care for one another. I have a box full of letters that Megan sent with me on deployments and not a day went by without a little reminder or note that she had given me. Since we moved in together, we continue to give each other little gestures of how much we care for one another, between hidden sticky notes throughout the house or a surprise favorite meal. She truly is my better half and I can’t wait to marry her.

 

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

(Megan): I think early on in our relationship I had an idea that this could be it – Matt sincerely is my best friend. We hold the same values and no matter what we’re doing we always have so much fun together. His wit and goofiness balances my fun, yet perfectionist personality. With how close we were, I figured we would probably spend our lives together, but it was during Matt’s frequent time at sea that I realized I absolutely could not live without him. While he was gone we were barely able to communicate so it gave me a real look at what my life would be like without Matt in it, and it was not something I would ever want to experience. (Matt): I think it was always in the back of my mind after a couple years of dating, but it was shortly after I got back from my second deployment I realized she was without a doubt, the one. I had not realized how big of an impact she had on my life until I was without her for six months. When I talked to my family and friends when I got home, they all told me how frequently they either saw or talked to Megan throughout the time I was away. I quickly began to realize that it was no longer just me – it was now us and it had been for a while. It is her incredibly generous and caring nature that made me realize I could not live without her. Soon after I got back from my deployment, the clandestine proposal planning began.

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

(Megan) I always thought I would know when Matt was going to propose but I was so wrong and shocked how he, our friends and our families could all hide something from me so well! Matt and I were moving from New Hampshire to Florida for his next Navy assignment. On the way south we made a stop in DC, where I used to live for four years. We had made plans to get dinner with friends one night and on the way we met up with my best friend (little did I know Matt’s secret proposal consultant), Sarah, and her boyfriend for a drink. Matt left to go “help our other friends find the restaurant” and Sarah told me we should leave to go meet them all at the restaurant just across the bridge for dinner. As soon as we left, we ran into the friends that Matt was supposed to be helping and they were holding a picture of Matt and I that said “Will” on the back of it. At this point I lost it – hyperventilating, crazy ugly crying… the works. We walked across the waterfront bridge and we ran into another group of friends, some of whom didn’t live in DC but Matt had coordinated with to travel down for the big event! They were holding a picture of us that said “you.” Next was our families holding the “marry” picture, including Matt’s brother on FaceTime who is a Marine Corps officer stationed in California. About a million tears later, I walked down the bridge with both of our moms to Matt, who was crying himself (don’t ask him – he’ll deny it!). I was too full of emotions to know what really happened next but he said some sweet things, got down on one knee and then I had this gorgeous ring on my finger and the cutest, sweetest, best FIANCE in the world. Afterwards we did get to the restaurant, but it was all set up for a surprise engagement party! I could not have imagined a more perfect proposal!

 

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

(Matt): Megan has a very particular sense of style. So while she thought that she was being sneaky and starting to drop me hints about what she wanted in an engagement ring, I was already working with her best friend, Sarah, to design the perfect ring for her. Sarah and I worked closely for a couple months with a jeweler to create a custom ring that has embedded diamonds on half of her band that sit below the primary diamond. So while I already had the ring in my suitcase, Megan was still sending me links to pictures of rings that she liked. Little did she know…

 

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

(Megan): Oh yes! The day after Matt and I got engaged we had an 8 hour car ride down to the next stop on our moving trip – Charleston, where we’re getting married! We had to drive both of our cars so we were apart but we spent most of the 8 hours on the phone talking about our ideas for the wedding. We dated for five years before we got engaged, so we have so many ideas to make the wedding special to us. One of my favorites is the flowers – Matt and I were long distance for the two years while he lived in Charleston. Every single time he would pick me up from the airport with a Palmetto rose he bought from the Charleston market. I want to incorporate these flowers into my bouquet for the wedding. Music is also very special and important to Matt and I. We have very similar tastes in music and have been to a ton of concerts together, with many artists holding a special place in our hearts. Matt is picking out our first dance song and is keeping it a surprise until we hit the dance floor.