written by Dolly Marshall

Ice skating and the great outdoors were the inspiration behind Alexandra and Matt’s engagement session. They anxiously awaited the opening of one of Philadelphia’s most popular winter rinks and couldn’t have been happier with how their photographer captured their love!


From the photographer, Daniel Moyer Photography: “Alex and Matt are a fun loving couple that love to be together, try new things and go on adventures. They’re not really a sit around and watch movies kind of couple which is why we went on an adventure around Penn’s Landing while waiting for the rink to open. We actually postponed their session over a month so we could wait for the Blue Cross River Rink to open for the season.”

How They Met

“We met on a cold, dreary night in December at our favorite bar in the city – McGillin’s. Matt caught Alexandra’s attention by making a joke about her royal sounding name. A couple of days later, we had our first date at
Jose Pistola’s in the city followed by the famous gelato at Gran Caffe L’Aquila. Alex realized Matt already knew the way to her heart – nachos and gelato. Since that night in December, there hasn’t been a dreary day since.”

engaged couple hold hands while ice skating
engaged couple hold hands while ice skating
engaged couple eat fried oreo cookies
engaged couple kiss

Alex shares what she loves most about her fiance, “Matt can make me laugh in any situation. Whether it’s a silly song he makes up or it’s the lightness of a joke made after a particularly challenging day, we always find moments of laughter together everyday. I love this because he reminds me that resilience through the obstacles of life can be found through laughter. He’s taught me that a laugh in life’s most trying moments really makes me pause and remind myself of all the things I am grateful for in life. And at the top of that list, is a partner who constantly reminds me to laugh in the happy, sad, and everyday moments of life.

fiancee squeezes fiance on her lap

Matt tells us what he loves about his bride-to-be, “From the moment I met Alex, I saw that she was flat-out, the nicest person I’ve ever met. There isn’t a single bad bone in her body. Every action she takes in life is kind-hearted, unselfish, and meant to make someone happy. She sees the best in everybody and everything, and her smile brightens up even the darkest moments. She also compliments my ridiculousness very well, whether its dancing along to a stupid (but very catchy) song I made up, or going along with my jokes that no one else like but her. There is no one else in the world that I could imagine myself being with, because every day with Alex is like seeing the brightest ray of sunshine you could hope for.

engaged couple neck nibbling
engaged walking together

The Proposal

“Matt asked me to marry him in Barcelona. He proposed on a rooftop bar overlooking the water. At the time of the proposal, my mom was the only one who knew it was happening. We celebrated engaged life together in Barcelona and Seville without telling anyone else until we flew to Portugal to meet Matt’s parents. We surprised his parents at the airport with the engagement, and the celebration continued from Portugal to Philly!”

engaged couple sit on steps
engaged couple embrace in courtyard
engaged couple kiss on outdoor stairs

Engagement Session Inspiration

“We both love finding fun in the most mundane everyday moments. Because of this, our date nights normally consist of just walking around the city for hours talking and spending time with one another and just wandering into whatever we walk by. We don’t ever really plan actual dates. There was one time last winter where we actually planned to go ice skating and it was nice because instead of walking we skated alongside each other just talking and laughing and enjoying the beauty of actually doing something fun outside despite the coldness of winter. So, when Dan spoke to each of us about our ideal date, we both brought up the idea of ice skating and Dan joked that it would make for the perfect Hallmark movie. Alex also loves Hallmark movies so our hearts were sold on this idea the moment we mentioned it.”

engaged couple ice skating at night
guy and girl having fun ice skating
engaged couple ice skating fun
engaged couple on outdoor swing
couple sit by outdoor fireplace

Wedding Planning

“We have started wedding planning! To be honest, the hardest part for us was picking a venue. It was easy to be distracted by the venue’s job to focus on the reception side of the wedding, which don’t get us wrong is all great and fun stuff! After all, who doesn’t love a huge party with all of your favorite people! I think what helped us is to remember what was important to us. For us, we both knew that the most important part was the ceremony – we wanted it to really capture our relationship as partners and to really be the highlight of our wedding as this is the moment you’re most vulnerable to one another and that is what marriage is all about – being vulnerable, open, and willing to communicate through everything. We both wanted a ceremony that could be outside as this is where we spent all of our walks and had most of our meaningful talks. Once we found a place that could accommodate this as well as fit all of our guests for the reception, it made the decision a lot easier. After the venue was picked, wedding planning for us has been fun because we now get to make it unique to us with all of the extra stuff (i.e. decorations and music) and think of special ways to make the people who have supported us feel loved as well! At the end of the day, what matters to us is that we will be married surrounded by the people who have and always will support our love – and what better celebration of love can you ask for.”

engaged couple hug on pier in front of bridge
engaged couple embrace at sunset

Daniel Moyer Photography

“Working with Dan has been nothing short of incredible! From the moment Alex spoke to Dan on the phone, she instantly knew that he was the one photographer who would capture their love uniquely from the perspectives of their eyes. He really takes the time away from behind the lens to get to know each person individually as well as both individuals as a couple. This was so important to us because we know that to truly capture the essence of a couple’s love you must see how each complements the other’s individuality to create this amazing partnership of marriage. Because we already felt so comfortable around Dan, our engagement pictures felt just like hanging out with an old friend. Dan allowed us to act natural while giving us some feedback to help create beautiful images, which made the whole experience feel so natural and fun! He didn’t try to cover up the awkward moments of being outside in the freezing cold kissing (i.e. there is going to be snot involved in some of those kisses!) or of eating fried oreos (i.e. getting powdered sugar all over our faces). Instead, he captured those silly, natural moments and these created some of our favorite pictures.”


Vendor | Photography: Daniel Moyer Photography