Many congratulations to CEO/Creative Director of Justin Alexander, Justin Alexander Warshaw and his beautiful girlfriend Kelsey Anne Turchi as they celebrate their engagement! Let's take a peek into their love story and how Justin popped the question...
The two met for the first time back in 2019 through mutual friends at a start-up event in NYC. They shared great chemistry that night, but hadn’t connected again after the event… Until one year later, the two coincidentally, separately both booked trips to Tulum for New Years Eve! They met up for drinks on NYE and from that moment they both knew that they had to get to know each other, as fate brought them both to Tulum!
Upon returning to the city, Justin and Kelsey had their first official date at Bar Jamon and Dear Irving. (Remember this name, it’s an important detail later on!)
Justin and Kelsey share many passions, one of those being basketball… Fun Fact: Both Justin and Kelsey played in high school and were offered opportunities to play basketball at the collegiate level! Their second date was a Nets game, how fitting!
Over the next few months, the couple became inseparable, spending every moment together when Justin was not traveling for work. Then, COVID-19 hit NYC and on March 16th, the couple decided it would be best to leave the city and they quarantined together at Justin’s family home in Garrison, NY.
“After living with Kelsey for a short time, I knew how special she was and how perfectly we complemented each other: it was in Garrison when I told Kelsey that I loved her.” - Justin
During their quarantine, the two made a visit to Gainesville. GA, where Kelsey's family resides to safely spend some time together and to introduce Justin to the family. Then after a trip to Fripp Island, South Carolina, it was time to head back to NYC after being there until late July.
“Our summer was surreal as we continued to get to know each other, we did fun activities like biking, wake surfing, golfing, cooking, exploring and our love grew for one another.” - Justin
Once returned, they decided to move in together in Justin’s apartment… Not long after, they decided they needed more space and began their search for a new home outside of the city. An exciting time for the couple, purchasing their first home in New Jersey, Justin shortened his commute to the JA NJ Headquarters, and at the same time Kelsey was recruited to work for Salesforce!
Justin asked Kelsey’s father for permission to propose over Christmas in Gainesville GA, and planned to ask for her hand in marriage in early 2021.
“I wanted to make sure to ask for permission in person, and Mike (Kelsey’s father) was very emotional and excited for us and invited me to propose to Kelsey. I have always enjoyed our conversations and will never forget that one.” - Justin
Kelsey and Justin added to their family and rescued a puppy in February from Home for Good in New Jersey. They named him “Irving” after their first date spot - As big Nets fans, Irving didn’t mind sharing his name with one of their star players, too!
With Kelsey’s father’s blessing, it came time to find the perfect ring!
“The ring search and design came together so well, I asked two of Kelsey’s closest friends for her Pinterest boards for inspiration, and spoke to her mother and sister for feedback on the ring design. A local bridal boutique, Castle Couture, that I happened to be visiting a few times recently for Trunk Shows, helped me to create the ring, and it was the perfect guise to not raise suspicion. They have a wonderful jewelry store in the same building as their boutique, Castle Couture Jewelry and the owner, Maurice was extremely helpful, gracious and educated me on diamonds. On one of the visits, I was able to bring one of Kelsey’s rings that she always wears on her ring finger to help repair it, as the band had worn down. This ring holds great sentimental value to Kelsey, as her Grandmother passed it on to her. Castle Couture repaired it by thickening and re-molding the band, and we were able to get the right measurement for her ring finger at the same time. The ring design came together perfectly and it was fun to include Kelsey’s family in the process and it was a great way to get closer to her mother and sister.” - Justin
With the ring secured, it was time to execute the dream proposal! The two had planned a March birthday trip to celebrate Kelsey in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Justin and Kelsey both share a love of skiing, and Justin thought Jackson Hole to be the perfect scenic and charming backdrop to this very special occasion. The couple had a jam-packed itinerary filled with skiing, dinners, drinks, hot tubs, and lots of pampering... “I knew I wanted it to be epic with the mountain range in the background. To make things more romantic for the week, I brought my Leica Sofort camera that takes Polaroids and we captured so many amazing moments all the way up to the proposal. We will cherish these photos forever, and I look forward to scrapbooking them or putting them in a shadow box.” - Justin
Along with the intimate Polaroids, Justin knew he wanted a professional photographer to capture him getting down on one knee. He was connected with Halsey Pierce through one of our partners at The Manor House in Sun Valley, Idaho. Halsey scouted out the location the day before. “I decided to propose at the end of the week on Saturday March 13th, one day following her birthday. We grabbed a car from the hotel following breakfast to “test drive” the vehicle, this car happened to be a car that Kelsey dreams of driving one day. We grabbed a coffee at the local well-known coffee shop, Persephone, and headed out for a day of sightseeing. We stopped at Mormon's Row, but the road was mostly blocked so we took some pictures of the mountain range and of each other. We then hopped in the car to head to the second stop, Teton Point Turnout. When we got there, there was a snow bank we climbed over. We took a selfie together and then I found someone (The Photographer) to grab a couple of shots of us. After snapping a couple of photos, the photographer handed me back the Leica and Kelsey so kindly offered to take photographs of the photographer and her cute puppy in exchange. I finally got Kelsey’s attention by calling her name twice while fumbling with the camera in one pocket, and pulling the ring out of the other…. Then I got down on one knee before she turned around in great surprise!
Halsey continued to photograph us as I asked Kelsey, “Kelsey Anne Turchi, will you marry me?”. She immediately responded “Yes, of course,” and said, “Can I put it on?”, “Don’t drop it” and “Are you kidding?” in no particular order as she stared at the ring. I put it on her ring finger and Halsey continued to take photos of us, as we struggled to keep our eyes open with our sunglasses off, it was so bright, but we couldn’t stop smiling with happiness!” - Justin
The couple didn’t have much time afterwards, as they were running late for their lunch reservation at Dornan’s… Little did Kelsey know, Justin had surprised Kelsey with her family joining them! “Kelsey informed the hostess that it was lunch for two, and I corrected her and told her we would be joining a group. Kelsey immediately screamed, “Where are they?!,” as her family approached quickly and they embraced. We enjoyed pizza and champagne before setting out on our afternoon snowshoeing adventure!” - Justin Snowshoeing was exactly what the couple needed to soak in their newly engaged bliss and to cherish this special time outdoors, away from distractions and technologies. A serene and relaxing day with gorgeous scenic views. They finished the night with a celebratory family dinner, champagne, and chocolate strawberries at the hotel.
“What a perfect week we had and the hopefully the engagement that Kelsey dreamed of! A whirlwind of just over a year of dating and meeting my soulmate and match.” - Justin
Engagement Photography: @halseypierce