Why not hit up your favorite watering hole for your pre-wedding pics? That’s exactly what Haleigh and Joel did with their casual dive bar engagement session with Better Together Moments. What began as a joke, quickly turned into an actual game plan. When brainstorming where to take engagement photos, Joel jokingly suggested Cafe Nikos on Mt. Washington. The couple spends every Thursday night there with friends and it’s become “their place”. But quickly thereafter, Haleigh and Joel realized what a good idea this might actually be. Rather than dressing up in stiff attire and going to locations that don’t hold any significant meaning to them, they opted to stay true to themselves. This meant dressing down in clothes that reflect their everyday style and hitting up a locale that holds a special place in their hearts. At Nikos, these soonly-weds played a friendly game of pool, chilled at the bar, and toasted to their engagement with an IC Light and a Yuengling. We’re loving these comfy, laid-back, have-a-good-time vibes and are certain you will too.
About the Couple
Haleigh and Joel met at Point Park University in the fall of 2011. The two sat next to each other on the first day of their Psych 101 class. Joel had asked Haleigh for a pen. She was unamused and didn’t understand why someone would come to the first day of class so unprepared. Throughout the semester, they’d make small talk in class. He focused the rest of his time on rugby (and the parties that accompanied it) while she was adjusting to college life (and the parties that accompanied it).
Over the next two years, they would cross paths on and off campus. Haleigh even attended a party at Joel’s house (uninvited, of course). It wasn’t until long after that they truly connected. Like all true love stories of the 21st century, theirs began online. One fall night, Haleigh was drinking wine and watching Kesha’s reality show in her apartment when her phone buzzed. It was Joel, sliding into her DMs. He messaged her on Twitter, gave her his phone number, and asked her to text him if she was interested in talking more. Since then, they’ve pretty much been inseparable.
While on a weekend trip to Hilton Head, Joel popped the question at the base of the lighthouse overlooking the ocean, just the two of them, on a random day in November.
About the Session
The idea kind of started as a joke. We are regulars at Nikos and meet friends there on Thursday nights. When we were weighing our options on where to have our engagement photos taken, Joel said, “We should just go to Nikos!” We laughed, but then a light bulb went off. Why couldn’t we go to Nikos?! The one thing we’ve realized throughout the whole wedding planning process is that there really are no rules. You can do whatever you want and once we gained that mindset, the idea was born.
I think what makes it so unique is it’s very “us”. Neither of us have a “suit and tie” type of job, we’re both very casual throughout our day-to-day lives. While we like to have a nice night out, we’re very no frills. We both love to play pool and the pool table shots were all Joel’s idea. That’s probably part of the reason why we prefer bars like Cafe Nikos over clubs and newer spots in the city – no one has pool tables anymore! Luckily, our photographer was all for it once we told her ideas. She really let us have free rein, which felt so much more natural. Once we saw the final phots, the pool table shots were some of our faves! Cafe Nikos is one of our favorite spots in the city and now these photos have made it even more special to us.