Jonathan and Jeremy’s Governors Island Engagement Session

Brittny Drye Founder + Editor-in-Chief of Love Inc. Magazine | On-Air Wedding Expert | LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in the Wedding Industry

9/7/13 - Jeremy + Jon's engagement photos at Governor's Island

With sweeping views of Lower Manhattan, old, charming houses and open green spaces, Governors Island, which is a former military base that opened as a public space in 2012, is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of New York City. “Not only is it a place that Jeremy and I enjoy visiting together, it’s also the place where I came out to my mother and got such a warm and loving reception when I did so,” explains Jonathan of their engagement session location choice. “When you add that special meaning of the place to the picturesque nature of the island itself, it was a ‘no-brainer’ to have our photo shoot there.” With her beautiful photojournalistic style, Adena of Studio A Images captured their love taking advantage of the tiny island's unique character.

The Love Story

Though they attended rival universities for their undergraduate studies (Jeremy attended Syracuse University while Jonathan got his degree at the University of Connecticut), they were both drawn to co-ed national honors fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi. “We each joined the organization at our respective schools and continued our dedication to the organization by joining the New York City alumni group, NYMAAC,” says Jeremy. “It is there that we first met and began dating, leading to a seven-year courtship.”

The Proposal

“I grew up skiing at this small, under-the-radar mountain in Londonderry, Vt., called Magic Mountain, which is one of those rare places where everyone knows each other and there’s tremendous camaraderie and a supportive spirit,” says Jonathan. “I introduced Jeremy to Magic a few years ago, and he seemed to fall in love with the vibe, too. I thought it would be a perfect place to propose someday, and the proposal was more than a year in the making when the right opportunity presented itself to set up a truly memorable proposal.”

Needing to raise money to repaint and repair their main chair lift, the small ski hill created an adopt-a-chair project, allowing donors to have their name put on a plaque at the base of the mountain. “Unbeknownst to Jeremy, I had them put what our married name would someday be on this plaque—Jonathan and Jeremy Chin-Shepard—and thought that proposing next to this plaque on a ski trip would be an amazing surprise.”

A year later, with the project done and the commemorative plaque in place, the adorable couple enjoyed a romantic weekend getaway to the mountain. “When we arrived at the lift and Jeremy saw the plaque for the first time, I was ready on bended knee with a ring while the Magic Mountain staff had cameras and Champagne waiting for us,” explains Jonathan of the magic moment. “We took our first ride up the mountain that day on our actual adopted chair, spent a happy day on the snow together, and then later that night got treated to free drinks at the bar from folks who had heard the story of our proposal ‘through the grapevine’ earlier that day.”

When Jonathan got down on one knee in front of the ski lift and held up the ring, I didn't even give him a chance to propose! I just pulled him to his feet repeating ‘yes!'” laughs Jeremy. “My response was without hesitation. It wasn't until my head stopped spinning that I realized I hadn't even given him a chance to propose–although Jonathan managed to properly ask me a few minutes later, after the ring was already on my finger of course!”

“We had spoken at length about the inevitability of our engagement in the months leading up to his proposal, so I wasn't exactly surprised by the proposal itself. It wasn't until later in the day, however, that I realized the amount of planning and thought that had gone into Jonathan's proposal, and the fact that he had orchestrated a moment that was so unique and special for us. It was that moment of realization that Jonathan had put so much into his proposal that stands out so distinctly in my mind. The proposal itself is a joyous blur, but that moment later in the day is when I knew that we had gotten it right, that we had found the right ones in each other.”

The Rings

The handsome grooms picked matching platinum bands created for them at a jeweler in New York City's Diamond District. Each has seven diamonds inlaid with a central channel running around the ring and the edges of the ring beveled. “Thankfully Jeremy and I both have a similar aesthetic and so we both love having the same design on our fingers!”

Wedding Date: June 14, 2014

9/7/13 - Jeremy + Jon's engagement photos at Governor's Island

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