“This fairy tale begins with two very different and circuitous paths, which, as fate would have it, intersected on a Jewish dating app known as JSwipe. Genna was understandably taken by Matt’s witty and charming profile that contained a plethora of photos and solely stated “6 ft tall, full head of hair, and well-funded 401k. Your grandmother will love me!”
Being the smart girl that Genna is, she felt a bit more due diligence was needed prior to “Swiping right” on this potential suitor. Genna immediately reached out to her best friend Katie, who was shown on the app as a mutual friend, to figure out what her next steps should be. Katie reminded Genna that matt and she had in fact met 15 months earlier at a very festive Halloween party. Katie had wanted to set Matt and Genna up that night, knowing a good match when she saw one. However, destiny would have to wait its turn. Blending new technology with an old-fashioned setup, Katie reached out to get her cousin and Matt’s close friend Neil to get Matt’s number and take things offline. Neil was happy to help by passing along Matt’s phone number and words of wisdom, “getting Matt into a relationship? Good luck with that!” Ignoring Neil’s comment, Katie promptly reached out to Matt and provided him with Genna’s phone number. Seizing the opportunity for a date with Genna, Matt reached out. There was immediate chemistry and that began an exciting journey. The final test of compatibility was to introduce their pets to each other. Given Matt’s cat Mia’s strong personality they were both reasonably nervous to introduce Genna’s dog, Koda. Much to their surprise, Mia immediately accepted Koda and they knew it was meant to be.”
What do you love most about your partner?
“Loving Matt is an easy task. Matt is the most loving and supportive partner I could ever ask for. Shortly after we started dating, I decided to leave my career in the health club industry to attend graduate school and become a counselor. Without hesitation, Matt agreed that I should follow my passion and reassured me that no matter what I decided to do he would be 100% behind me. Matt shared in my excitement as acceptance letters from various schools arrived, he helped me craft the resignation letter to my job when I committed to a graduate program, and Matt became the keel that kept me steady through three years of intense full-time classes and multiple internships. Matt then found the best way to distract me from the disappointment of my graduation being canceled (read his proposal story)”
How did he propose?
“Matt had a plan, which he put into action starting with the two most important elements– shopping for the perfect ring and speaking with Genna’s parents for their approval ( which they happily granted). It was early 2020 and all the pieces were in place. What could go wrong?! Alas, things quickly changed, and it seemed like 2020 had other plans. However, the adjustment to quarantine and a global pandemic merely provided further proof that with each other, Matt and Genna could get through whatever life threw their way. Matt had known he wanted to propose on an afternoon with the sun shining, an outdoor activity, and Koda, of course! As the weather turned to warmer days, not to mention a reduction in anxiety over the entire world shutting down. Matt planned an urban hike and told Genna he wanted to celebrate her completing her master’s degree in school counseling. Her graduation had been cancelled! So, on May 7th 2020, Genna and Matt set out to enjoy their day with a picnic in the sun while listening to music along Kelly Drive on the Schuylkill River Trail. On their walk home, they took the scenic route, leading to a walkway adjacent to the Philadelphia Art Museum. It has a beautiful view of the skyline they call home (and a hiding spot for Katie and her husband Jonathan to take photos of the magical moment. Matt began one of his romantic declarations of all that he loved about Genna, the type of speech that had become a key relationship skill over the years. Thinking she was merely receiving affectionate words of affirmation, Genna was floored and completely shocked (no small feat given her sharp intuition) when Matt dropped to one knee and asked Genna for her hand in marriage. Genna immediately started crying tears of joy and yelled out an emphatic YES!”
What was your inspiration for the engagement photos?
“Our inspiration for our engagement photo session came from the life we have built together in Philly. We were engaged on the walkway behind the Philadelphia Art Museum, we live on the Schuylkill trail, and will be getting married at The Logan Hotel. We felt that it was only right to use these locations in our engagement session as a way of commemorating the life we have built together in the city we love.”
How’s the wedding planning going?
“Getting engaged during the pandemic posed many challenges when it came to starting the planning process. Knowing we wanted a fall of 2021 wedding we immediately assembled a rockstar team to help navigate planning a wedding during a global pandemic. Our fabulous wedding planner Deb Madison, from Madison + Gall Events, as well as our wedding designer, Meghan from House of Catherine, deserve all of the credit for how wonderful the experience has been. Even in times of stress or overwhelming decisions Deb and Meghan have been there to comfort us, teach us about the process, and reassure us that our vision will come to life on our big day.”
Why you chose to work with ALN IMAGES (Alli)?
“I have known Alli since elementary school. She was in my sister’s class, two grades above me, and when Matt and I began the process of planning my sister sent me her Instagram and we loved her images. As someone who has not always been comfortable in front of the camera, the personal connection to Alli and her easy-going consistently positive attitude made all of the difference. So, on a freezing cold, slightly gloomy, and very windy Monday in January Alli braved the elements, embraced the “windblown” aesthetic, for 4 hours of non-stop posing direction, location changes, and pep talks. We had so much fun shooting our engagement photos with Alli and we cannot wait to have her capture our wedding day!”