This Gorgeous Bucks County Engagement Session Was Inspired by Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas

“In one of Priyanka’s events, she was wearing so much color and looked happy and beautiful,” says the bride-to-be.

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Nikki James and Jamison Hoffman’s Bucks County engagement-photo-session attire was inspired by a celebrity couple. Photography by Helena Raju

How’s this for engagement-photo-session inspiration? When this bride-to-be was looking for the perfect look, she came upon celeb couple Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, whose attire informed her and her future groom’s ensembles. Check out their beautiful Bucks County engagement photos — along with their traditional Indian ceremonies — photographed by Helena Raju.

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The couple: Nikki James, 28, and Jamison Hoffman, 33, of Phoenixville

How they met: Nikki and Jamison both attended pharmacy school at Temple University. During one IV lab session, Nikki cut in line — in front of Jamison — so she could get out of class sooner. Jamison was surprised and confronted her, but it all worked out: The two chatted after class and continued to flirt until Jamison took Nikki pumpkin-picking for their first date.

Their proposal story: The couple dated for almost five years before Jamison popped the question at their home — with a little help from their Great Dane puppy, Johnnie, whom he outfitted in a pink dress with a small box pinned to the fabric. In that box? The ring, of course.

Bucks County engagement photos Bucks County engagement photos Bucks County engagement photos Bucks County engagement photos Bucks County engagement photos Bucks County engagement photosBucks County engagement photos The engagement-session approach: Because the couple wanted to celebrate with their family, they decided to hold their photo session, traditional pre-wedding ritual (Nikki is a South Indian Catholic) and engagement party on the same fall day. The festivities began with the betrothal and blessing at Syro Malabar St. Thomas Catholic Church in Northeast Philly — Nikki’s family church growing up — during which the bride and groom show their willingness to marry in front of the church and their relatives and sign their names to the parish register, along with two witnesses.

Afterward, guests were invited to dinner in the backyard of Nikki’s parents’ house in Bucks County, and the couple took photos at a small pond across the street from the residence. The park is a special place for the couple: “We often stop here after visiting Nikki’s parents to take a small walk and enjoy the scenery with Johnnie,” says Jamison.

The couple’s attire: While Nikki was searching for wedding-color inspiration, she came across Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s outfits for their pre-wedding festivities. “In one of Priyanka’s events, she was wearing so much color and looked happy and beautiful, and that’s where my inspiration came from,” she says.

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Some sleight of hand: Jamison broke his hand a week before the engagement ceremony while playing with their pup. He ended up needing surgery and was placed in a cast. “A lot of our pictures are us close together, trying to hide his hand,” says Nikki. Luckily, it’s fully healed now.

The engagement party: About 150 guests attended the reception, which didn’t have an agenda, says Nikki: “We wanted everyone to meet from our sides of the family and have a good time.” Indian food was served, and the bridal shoe game was played.

Bucks County engagement photos

The wedding plans: In accordance with Indian Christian customs, the festivities will begin the week before the actual Big Day, which is set for September 24, 2022, at St. Augustine Church in Old City, with a reception at Hilton City Avenue.

On Thursday, September 22, the madhuram veppu, a tradition in Kerala, where Nikki’s family is from, will be held. “The bride and groom’s respective families gather to celebrate as a single family before two are joined to become one,” explains Nikki. “The bride and groom are placed in a special seat, and her uncle or relative then asks the crowd three times if he should give her sweets.” A dinner rehearsal takes place the next day, and the morning of the wedding begins with rituals during which the bride and groom appear separately for prayers (sthuthi cholluka) and blessings from the elder members of the family. A lunch will take place at the bride’s father’s house the day after the wedding.

This interview was edited for clarity and length.

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