Maria & John Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens Hamilton NJ

Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

Maria and John’s Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens Hamilton NJ was awesome and a major success. We are at the height of the busy season, which means that we are shooting sunrise, morning, afternoon, and sunset sessions. All times of day as long as the weather allows us to do so. Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

We did Maria and John’s engagement session at Sayen House and Gardens in Hamilton, NJ. We were back there for the 4th time this year, and this place never ceases to disappoint. It has so much to offer, and I am always looking for new spots to shoot within this location. Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

We began at my favorite location at the Gardens. The fountain is near the Gazebo. It allows me to have a large area to work with, and I can see how my couple interacts with each other and creates some artistry with the images.

Although it was really sunny, we made the areas work really well. I am always up for a great challenge with working with harsh sunlight. Except for about 2 spots, we lucked out with having diffused lighting, and I was able to focus more on Maria and John rather than fighting the sun and posing them. Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

For the second time now, I was able to use the fancy gazebo at the Gardens. It is definitely the most sought-after location on the grounds, and when couples have their weddings there, they usually take over that location. Since it was a Sunday morning, I was surprised there wasn’t anyone setting up for one, so we could do their second outfit there.

Knowing that Maria and John had a fancier outfit for their second look, I made sure to save that location for the end. Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

I truly enjoyed working with them for their engagement session. I am honored to call these two friends, and I am so excited to see where their love blossoms from here. They will be tying the knot in October 2021 at the Clarion in Toms River, NJ. Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens

Congratulations to the future, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett. Here is to many more years of happiness together.


Maria and John met online on Plenty of Fish. “I was a little hesitant because of our age difference but decided to answer his message anyway since it seemed like he had his life together for a younger man. I found out some of his profile was outdated. I found that to be a red flag in the past with online dating, so I decided to call him out on it, move on, and not answer him again.”

“After a short while, he updated his profile and messaged me again, asking, “Where did you go?” so I decided to give it a shot – I am glad I did!”

Their first date was jammed packed with a ton of different and fun activities. They went to the Mall, Olive Garden, the Bowling Alley, and played some Billiards in November of 2018.

“It was in November. We met up at the mall to do a little Christmas browsing and see if we had any chemistry. We talked for a few weeks before the meeting, and he decided to go straight for the kiss. Bold, right? Even though I shut him down, he wound up recovering.”

“We went to the Olive Garden for dinner after walking around the mall. We got to know each other a little better and decided we weren’t done for the night. After urging him to make an illegal turn, we arrived at the bowling alley safely in his car.”

“After a few games of bowling, we decided we still weren’t done with the night (he won, I’m terrible at bowling). We then played a few games of pool (I won! hehe). After returning to the mall parking lot for my car, we stayed in his car for a few more hours talking, and, of course, the more appropriate timing for the goodnight kiss!”

“We fell in love quickly. We felt such a sense of home in each other right away.”

“Every year, I go shopping for charity around Christmas time, and he was right there with me. He told me he fell in love seeing my compassion for the less fortunate, and I loved how quickly he came on board with running back and forth to the stores with me to complete this!”

“Later that weekend, I invited him over to meet my family at our ugly Christmas sweater party. I saw him merge into my family so seamlessly, and I knew he was the one! When we went outside to say goodbye, he told me he loved me, and I said it back!”

Maria told me how the proposal went in dialogue form, so here we go.

“We had a Mardi Gras themed house warming party. When we got to the point in the night where I was like, let us get everyone together and make a toast and say thank you for coming… it goes like this:

John: Do you want to give the toast, or do you want me to?

Me: I don’t know how much you’ve had to drink, maybe I better do it!

John: Ok.

Me: If I can have everyone’s attention real quick… we are so blessed to have you all he-

John: If I can interject here!

Me: *Slow turn to him with slight horror, not knowing WHAT was going to come out of his mouth*

John: If everyone can take their phones out right now and set it to video…

Me: *Thinking he saw something cool on FB that if everyone does video at the same time something happens while simultaneously thinking ‘why does he want his toast to be on video?’ – aka oblivious*

John: Thank you guys for coming. We really appreciate it! *followed by all this mushy stuff about how he loves me so much and we have such great families*

Me: *Looking lovingly at him but still oblivious*

John: Maria, you have given me everything I could have, possibly asked for. Now, it’s time for me to give you something. *Goes down on one knee*

Me: *Lightbulb – what the heck is happening??*

John: *Pulls out ring*

Me: *Immediately hysterical and jumps on John*

He didn’t even get a chance to ask! It is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen!

John proposed in their home in February of 2020.

Engagement Session Sayen House and Gardens


“I am most excited to be marrying the love of my life and becoming Mrs. Bennett in front of all of our family and friends!”


“How to Bounce Back”


“Love, Compassion, Playful, Secure, Italian”


“Nothing is more important than family.”


Macy’s – Her Outfits

Kohl’s – His Outfits

If you’re engaged or know anyone who is engaged and is looking for an Engagement Photographer Hamilton NJ or a Wedding Photographer, please CONTACT ME.