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Xenia and Aaron had a beautiful engagement session, photographed by Michelle Arlotta, that captures the essence of love at the Jersey Shore. The photo session took place in Long Branch, NJ – the same place where Aaron got down on one knee and proposed to Xenia in a way she had always dreamed. “We were dating for about 3 1/2 years when Aaron proposed. We live by the beach so I honestly didn’t think it was odd when he asked me to watch the sunrise on the beach Saturday morning (September 27, 2014). He woke me up before 6 am and I was not happy – but I rolled out of bed, threw sweatpants and a sweatshirt on, and we went out. We stopped at Rook coffee and got pumpkin coffees. I remember he was talking SO much (later I realized it was nervous chatter) that I actually told him to be quiet because it was too early, haha!” “We then got bagels and then he was driving us to the beach. We drove up to Pier Village just as the sun was about to rise. There was barely anyone there… we walked onto the beach with our breakfast, and he chose a relatively out of the way spot to sit, which I thought was a little odd – but I had been waiting so long for him to propose that I just thought I was going crazy!” “It was legitimately the perfect sunrise. Beautiful clear sky, crazy colors. While we were sitting and eating, I noticed he had barely eaten and when I questioned him about it, he said he was full… and that’s when the wheels really started turning in my head. Then he stood up, asked me to stand up so I could “see the view better” and then my heart started pounding because I knew it was about to happen. He explained how the sunrise symbolizes a new day, new beginnings, a new chapter in our lives together… got down on one knee and popped the question! It was perfect!” “A little side note, we had collected a lot of really nice seashells the previous winter, and had kept talking about getting sand and making some sort of decoration with it. He collected sand after he proposed and said he had been planning on using the sand from that day all along. What a romantic! :)” “I did always imagine we’d get engaged at Pier Village because that’s where we had our first date, and was a local hangout spot for us. On our first date I was about 45 minutes late but for some reason he stuck around! We went to the coffee shop we took pics at and had a cup of coffee.. walked around the beach and boardwalk.. I got a parking ticket!” “The funny part is I had been like waiting and waiting for him to propose that year.. every time he’d ask me on a dinner date or something I’d always be expecting it… or on vacation, but I 100% was NOT expecting him to propose that morning! When I tell people that they think I’m crazy because why else would he ask me to watch the sunrise on the beach? But it really wasn’t weird for us! I hung out with my best friend the night before and didn’t even mention our morning plans to her because I truly didn’t think anything of it! Life is crazy.” Xenia and Arron are getting married on September 18, 2016 at the Molly Pitcher Inn. Photos by Michelle Arlotta, Make-up by Carly Oppito (@carly_innerbeauty) Hair by Lauren DiPalma (@laurenelissabeauty)