Engagement in the Woods | Nikole & Shane



A wedding photographer that truly loves every part of your wedding day. Specializing in documenting the reception fun and in-between moments.





Engagement in the Woods

Do you believe in love at first sight? Of course you do, you are here reading THIS! It was love at first sight for Nikole and Shane. Their first date was in a National Park so when it came time for their engagement session, an engagement in the woods was the perfect place for them. I could summarize their story for you, but I think it is best to read it from the bride and groom themselves. Enjoy this Engagement in the Woods!

Nikole’s Story

I had just started going to Valley Rise Churches ‘21 Days of Prayer’ in early January 2018, and something that had been weighing pretty heavy on my heart was my future spouse. I was in my last semester of school and trying to enjoy my season of singleness. Working on my relationship with God before I was even thinking about dating at all.

Then on January 19th, I walked into my first day of my on-campus job at the student money management center (SMMC) up at Sam Houston. And what do you know, I walk in to find a seat and there are name tags for designated seats, and mine just so happened to be right next to this tall red-bearded boy, Shane Veeder. I notice he’s wearing a A&M Kingsville baseball hoodie and as everyone knows I played softball so it was an instant talking point. So we get to talking, he starts talking about dogs, so I obviously start gushing over my fur baby, Tex. It started out as the most genuine, best friendship I’d ever had with a guy. I distinctly remember praying, “God, I don’t know if he is the one, but dang I sure do hope whoever is is just like him.”

Fast forward to April 5th, on a broken bridge (thank you Hurricane Harvey), under a not-so starry night (thank you cloud coverage), with a pulled hamstring (thank you slowpitch softball), Shane asked me to be his girlfriend and it was the (first) easiest yes ever.

On October 5th (my sweet soon-to-be hubby’s 23rd birthday) we were set to meet up with my very best friend Gabby and her boyfriend Drew, to go to the Baylor vs KState game. So we planned to go to the Silos (thanks Chip & Joanna Gaines) and amid taking pictures in front of the infamous solos, I was told that we had to take just one more picture (if you know me, picture taking isn’t my favorite), so as I get ready to reset, Shane looks down at me and all I heard was “Nikole, I love you so much” *insert me asking “what are you doing?” Like 20 times* and next thing you know, surrounded by my best friend and my family (who absolutely surprised me), I’m sobbing and this time truly saying the easiest ‘YES’ to date.

So now, exactly 2 years from us meeting, we will be saying ‘I Do’ in front of everyone we love most, but more importantly under God who brought us together. We can’t wait to start this forever and can’t wait to have you there to celebrate with us!

Shane’s Story

Growing up In California I was very close to my Great Grandmother. She always said to my mom, “You have to make sure Shane marries a Christian woman”. As a young boy my mom would pray for my future, not just my future endeavors, but for my future wife. That she would be a God-fearing woman, who would raise our children in a good Christian home.

Fast forward to the fall of 2016. I was playing baseball and studying Natural Gas Engineering at a small school in south Texas called Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Come the fall of my junior year I felt like I had no idea why I was playing the game of baseball anymore. After a lot of praying, I applied to Sam Houston State University during that Christmas break, although still not sure what the right move was. That Christmas I bought myself a brand new baseball glove, thinking it would change my luck and outlook on the game. I customized it, putting “Jeremiah 29:11” on the side, not thinking much of it. That verse says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans for hope and a future.”

That spring I had changed my major from engineering to Finance. During the baseball season I had not sniffed the field yet. That was when I realized I was not in love with the game of baseball anymore. I would look at the verse on my glove and realized I was called to be somewhere else. After a lot more prayer, I decided to enroll in classes at SHSU before the season was over.

Giving up baseball was one of the hardest things I had to do. When making this transition from TAMUK to SHSU I was asked why I was leaving. My response, in all seriousness, would be that I had to go find my wife.

In the fall of 2017 I applied for a job at the Student Money Management center on campus. On January 19, 2018 I sat down at work for the first time in my assigned seat. To my right, was a name tag that said the name “Nikole Williams.” Naturally, I looked her name up on all social media, found out she had a dog, and that she was pretty cute too. When she walked in, my heart immediately skipped a beat. She had this beautiful smile, long curly hair flowing all over the place, and of course she was out of breath because she was late (per usual).

Casual conversation and friendship, turned into long, late night talks and so much more.

April 5th, 2018, under a cloudy sky on a broken bridge, I asked Nikole to be my girlfriend. On October 5th, I asked Nikole to marry me. She said yes, obviously, and made my 23rd birthday one I will never forget.

So here I am, present day writing this as we are going to meet with a potential videographer for our wedding to tell you that God is faithful. He answers prayers. I would have never found the love of my life had I not taken that leap of faith. Left everything I knew in south Texas, to go to a school where I knew nobody. Nikole has been everything I’ve ever prayed for and then some.

After 2 years from the first day I met Nikole I get to make her my wife, and I can’t wait for y’all to celebrate with us. We get to die to ourselves and become one in front of God and all of the people we hold close to our hearts.

Jeremiah 29:11

Engagement in the Woods

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Hi, I'm Aly

The owner & lead photographer here at Aly Matei Photography. Aly proudly serves outgoing couples who value lively & emotive experiences! 

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My philosophy is simple: your wedding day was meant to be EXPERIENCED and not just posing in front of a strangers camera the entire day. I want to capture the must-have portraits and document you truly loving every moment of your wedding day.

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