Lush greenery, a lovely summer evening in Riverside Park, and a very sweet pup made for one wonderful engagement session for Carla and Ben.

Ben shares, “Carla and I met in spring 2014 because we both attended the same weekly game night. We love to play board games and card games with this great group of people. We continued seeing each other weekly, and grew to be close friends. Eventually the chemistry was too strong to ignore! Our first date was at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, and we’ve been pretty much inseparable since then. We’ve had a lot of great times exploring all the arts and culture that NYC has to offer. And we love to travel–since we started dating we’ve been to Iceland, Vancouver, and Italy, with trips to Morocco and New Zealand planned soon!”

riverside park engagement photography
riverside park engagement photography
riverside park engagement photography
riverside park engagement photography
riverside park engagement photography, UWS, NYC
riverside park engagement photography, UWS, NYCuws engagement photography, riverside park
riverside park engagement photography
riverside park engagement photography, UWS, NYC

Ben shares, “We’re getting married in Union Square next winter, so we wanted to be sure our engagement photos included plenty of greenery. We chose to have them taken near our home in Morningside Heights, in Riverside Park. It’s near and dear to our hearts and (after our first attempt got rained out) we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sunset over the Hudson, the stone walls, and the lovely trees all provided a beautiful atmosphere.

Carla jokes that I only started dating her to spend more time with her dog, Bessie–while that is not exactly true, it’s not entirely false either! Bessie is such a sweet old girl. One reason (among many) that we were excited to have Jess as our photographer was her love of dogs, and we were so happy to include Bessie in our engagement shoot.

We are thrilled to have these photos that capture our everyday lives–in our non-wedding attire, spending time in the park with our dog–and we look forward to working with Jess again on our wedding day!”

riverside park engagement photography, UWS, NYC
engagement photography with a dog, UWS, NYC
riverside park engagement photography, UWS, NYC

Congratulations Carla and Ben!

Kelly and Vincent love Georgetown. It is where they spent time together when they first started dating and where they will be getting married next year. It seemed perfect to also celebrate their engagement along the charming, historic streets of this beautiful neighborhood.

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Kelly shares, “Vincent and I met through friends in the summer of 2014. Our relationship started off in a unique way since we were long distance–he was at law school in Florida and I was working and living in DC. While most people would think starting a relationship long distance sounds crazy, I found it was a great way to get to know each other since we would just spend hours talking to each other on the phone and through FaceTime. It also made us really take advantage of our time together when we got to visit for a weekend. Since I was living in Glover Park (right up Wisconsin Ave from Georgetown), many of our weekend adventures were in Georgetown–anything from shopping on M Street, getting drinks on the waterfront, or visiting the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks. Needless to say, Georgetown is a meaningful place for us as it is where our relationship really blossomed.”

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Kelly continues, “We are getting married at a church in Georgetown this coming spring so we felt it was only appropriate to have our engagement shoot in the neighborhood as well. After a week of rain in July, the sky cleared and we had a beautiful evening shoot on P Street and on the grounds of Georgetown University! We hope our wedding date is just as lucky with the weather. We are so excited to tie the knot in front of our closest family and friends at a place that holds so many special memories for us.”

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Congratulations Kelly and Vincent!

Matt surprised Erica with a romantic proposal in Central Park. Details including a rain backup plan, a birthday candle wish, a knee drop, and two surprise photo shoots are all below!

bethesda terrace central park

Matt and Erica are both single parents with very busy schedules, but were able to find each other online. They met for a round of chip and putt golf back on September 15th. Matt shares, “We both truly experienced love at first sight. It was the perfect day with a crystal blue sky offset by a soft breeze. We also actually had the entire course to ourselves. Since we were casual, we could just be ourselves. We were at ease (well, as far as first dates go). We had a total blast! We laughed just about every step of the way (and gazed quite a bit too). Everything was as it should be. And, after walking Erica to her car, I capped the date by giving her a lavender rose I’d stowed in my car.

Everything since that day and the proposal a few weeks back has been all we could possibly hope for. We flat-out love being together. My son Jake (16) and her daughter Greta (12) get along great too. We’re really lucky.

Now, fast-forward to April 22nd – Earth Day! I’d been planning the engagement for weeks. It was Erica’s birthday that following Tuesday, so I had the perfect cover for a special weekend in NYC. As it happens – up until then – neither of us were very familiar with “The City.” I got show tickets and booked the hotel some weeks in advance as well as made reservations for a special restaurant.

The one detail I hadn’t pinned down up until the day before was finding the right photographer to capture the moment. I corresponded and spoke with no less than 10 photographers. The options were all over the place. I didn’t get to speak with Jessica until late in the day, but it’s an absolute fact that I was hoping she’d be the one that came through. For one, I pretty much set my sights on proposing in Central Park and liked that she was close by. But, more than that, I did take notice of the sincerity in her voice when I left a message and then I really connected with how she presented so genuinely on the website. Everything fell into place late in the day with her being the final part of my big plans.”

There were a number of reasons why I wanted to go with the park, not the least of which that doing it at the restaurant wasn’t original enough and that I probably wouldn’t hold out having a ring in my pocket while waiting to do it at some point before, during or after our 8pm show. It was looking to be a nice day and I totally had set my sights on the image of leaning forward and having my knee on the back of a rowboat following the reservation I’d made at The Boathouse restaurant just before.

Jess was awesome in helping with the details. She actually sent me a map about how to get into that part of the park with a mark on it where she’d be standing in proximity to the boat and right down to how I’d angle the boat to get the best shot. That was it. I was ready. Everything was set. Then, to my near disbelief, it turned out to be a rainy day. So there I was, throughout brunch, looking out the window at all the rowboats lined up along the pond – not being rowed – and realizing my main plan washed-out right down the drain. All that planning and I’m suddenly coming up empty. Needless to say I was feeling a bit discouraged. Ok, I was totally sick to my stomach. But the one thing I knew is that I wasn’t going to let this stop me. This is when I had decided to do it and it was going to go down one way or another.

I found the opportunity to text Jess and try to work out Plan B. Actually, there were more than a few texts and emails throughout lunch while struggling to keep Erica clueless. Then I actually was able to sneak a quick call with Jess, which ironically led to the best option among all the others I’d painstakingly researched and arranged. She directed me to the Bethesda Terrace on the other side of the pond. I’d never been there. We worked it out that Jess would be wearing a red scarf so I’d recognize her and that she’d be standing where she thought would be the perfect spot to lead Erica. It was.

There – by that iconic stone railing and the arches a few feet behind her with the drizzle and fountain for ambiance – I turned to face Erica under her umbrella, still holding her other hand. She felt so right. I eased into the moment by telling her that I was wondering what it was she’d wished for when blowing out her birthday candle in the dessert I’d arranged minutes before at The Boathouse.

She looked at me almost shyly and said something along the lines of wishes told don’t come true. I asked her to try me and she admitted that she’d like to be my wife someday. It was then I looked more deeply into her eyes than ever before. I said that sometimes told wishes do come true. I was more in the moment than ever. I gave her a comforting smile and eased my right knee down to the ground. I had her.

She, of course, knew what was happening but somehow couldn’t quite process it at first. Perfectly confused, she softly asked, “This is it?” and I confidently replied, “This is it.” I think her saying “Oh my God” was somewhere in there too. The box remained hidden, clasped in my right hand while I took my time telling Erica how much I love her and why and that it would make me the happiest man on Earth to spend the rest of our lives together. I savored every moment knowing she was now doing the same. Here’s where I think we’ll leave words to be told by Jess’s work.

Of course, it wasn’t enough for me to just pop the question. I’d spent months working on a poem about our first date titled, “Foretold by a Lavender Rose.” It ended up being 22 verses, so that gave Jess plenty of additional time to photograph the moment. It wasn’t until about 2/3rds of the way through my reading that Erica later admitted noticing a photographer that seemed to have her sights on us. I honestly couldn’t have planned it any better, except for one last thing …

That Sunday turned out to be a perfect day for us to be back in Central Park to enjoy being on the grass field across from Tavern on the Green where we had brunch. I’d planned for us to make our way to the scene of the Fountain Terrace to reflect on the day before AND over to the rowboats which were now in full row. It wasn’t until about halfway through the hour that Erica noticed I’d teamed up again with Jess to do a second shoot of us in the boat this time.

I admit that I kind of needed the fulfillment of seeing through at least part of my original plan. It wasn’t quite the same without a knee to drop, but we definitely got some amazing shots with double thanks to Jess for capturing these moments we’ll cherish forever. She actually sent us an advance copy of our special moment, which we posted online. It got well over 1,000 “likes” and took us the entire train ride home to simply “like” the more than 500 comments we’d already received.

central park row boat central park row boat

Matt says, “Of course, everyone is eager to know when that next big day will be. Our current answer is that it will happen on a beach somewhere, sometime in 2018. For now, we’re fully enjoying simply being engaged.”

Congratulations, you two!

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Gramercy Park and Union Square are such classic, romantic spots in the city. Full of charm, beautiful spring blooms and an exceptional coffee spot, the streets we walked down were the perfect setting for Adriana and Dom’s engagement photos. Look out for a gorgeous canary yellow diamond ring, taxis whizzing by and Adriana’s adorable pup!

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NYC engagement photographygramercy, NYC engagement photography, beautiful, cherry blossoms

Adriana shares, “I met Domenick 3 months after returning home from 3 years living and working abroad in Shanghai China. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like committing to social plans or going out late at night but, somehow on that fateful Friday night in September, I was game to keep my promise to a girlfriend and join her to support her boyfriend at the time who was playing in his band on the lower east side.

I was tired from a long work week and remember telling my girlfriend that I wasn’t even going to  wash my hair. I had met this friend of mine when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I mention this because I believe that from every challenge life throws at you comes a great blessing and so, while I got a challenging disease to manage, its through this disease in a roundabout way that the stage was set to meet Domenick.

Dom was there because he had gone to college with my friend’s boyfriend’s cousin. Confused yet? It doesn’t matter. Basically, all anyone needs to know is we met unplanned, randomly and could not have been more removed from the social groups pulling us into that room. Can you say FATE??? Dom introduced himself to me and we ended up talking the whole night. He called me using the phone (a real man’s power move) the next day, and took a chance I might want to go out with him again. I said “yes” and the rest is history.

I grew up just up the block from Union Square, around the corner from Gramercy Park, and was living at home again for a little while as I got used to life back in New York. This was the backdrop for our courtship–the parks, the restaurants, the coffee shops, even the benches for late night chats and strolls with my puppy, Shera Connie. One of our favorite spots to meet was the lobby bar at the  W Hotel where we will be getting married this fall.”

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Adriana continues, “Dom and I are both very sentimental and want a wedding that falls in line with the examples of sacrifice, patience and true love that have been modeled before us in the unions of our parents and grandparents. In keeping things timeless but with a personal touch it was important to me to have my best friend’s mother help design a ring that would be perfect for me. I went with a yellow diamond because I wanted something different but elegant.

I want your blog readers to know that this post could be called, with humor, ” I bagged a younger man” or “My ring sings just like a canary” but the truth is it should be called “I am marrying the best person I know.” So much of the engagement and wedding is about the bride but every opportunity I get I want to make sure everyone knows how blessed and lucky I feel to be marrying Dom across the street from where I was raised and shown love everyday. It is the perfect union in Union Square.”

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Congratulations Adriana and Dom!

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Bridget and JP planned their engagement along the scenic stretch of the High Line to commemorate their first two engagements. There have been three! Read on for the whole love story.

high line engagement photography nyc

high line engagement photography nyc

JP shares, “If you’ve had a conversation with Bridget in the last four years, you’ve probably heard this story before. But it’s a good one!

Bridget interviewed me for the position of boyfriend. Actually, Bridget was supposed to be interviewing me for the position of attorney at the Legal Aid Society.  She was a forensic social worker there and on the hiring committee, and I had just graduated from law school.  When I walked into the interview room, Bridget thought, “he looked good on paper, but he looks FANTASTIC in person.” (OK, I added that part.)  Bridget made sure the appropriate boxes were checked, and I was hired.

As it turned out, when I walked into that interview room and saw the panel of five people, I immediately noticed the apparently demure girl in the back left corner. My actual thought at the time was “she definitely isn’t single.” But I took note that she was named Bridget and that she was a social worker.

That interview was May 2012. I didn’t move to New York and start the job until nearly four months later, in September. But I didn’t forget about Bridget. So you can imagine my consternation when, well into the second week on the job, I had been introduced to all the social workers. . . but. . . no Bridget.  Finally, as nonchalantly as I could muster, I asked someone, “wasn’t there a blonde social worker who used to work here?”  And they said, “Oh, that’s Bridget.  She’s been on vacation in Croatia.  She’ll be back on Monday.”  Faith in the universe restored.

The ensuing courtship was tentative and shy, but aided by unreserved colleagues who, not even knowing if we were interested in each other, decided we should become a couple.  “JP, you’re single.  Bridget is single.  You should date her.”  “JP, do you like chocolate? Bridget likes chocolate.  You should take her to a chocolate shop.”  And “So have you guys made out yet, or what?” These things were said when both of us were in the same room.  The obvious embarrassment was highly entertaining to everyone else, apparently.

Well, the joke was on them. We had our first kiss outside the office Christmas party and our first date a few days later. And we managed to keep the whole thing a secret from co-workers until Bridget transferred out of the unit 3 months later.”

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high line engagement photography nyc

high line engagement photography nyc

high line engagement photography nyc

Bridget shares the story of how they got engaged, but first JP defines it as: “Slowly. With much prodding.  And in three stages.”

She says, “I call JP “Peter Pan” because he is, according to me, “the boy who doesn’t want to grow up.” And so three years and six months after we started dating (JP says this is approximately three years, five months and 29 days after I was ready to get engaged), I announced to JP that I was going to propose TO HIM on August 11, 2016.  JP rolled with it.

So I made reservations at Mario Batali’s swankiest restaurant, and then took JP up to the adjacent High Line Park after dinner. I said some lovely things, got down on one knee, and popped the question. To my utmost surprise, JP was actually prepared for the moment. He pulled out a legal pad and flipped through a series of previously written messages (a la “Love Actually”) that included, of course, a “YES!” Engagement #1. But then, another of JP’s notes said that until he could afford a proper engagement ring, he’d like me to wear a Claddagh ring as a substitute. JP pulled it out from his pocket, got down on HIS knee and put it on my finger. Engagement #2.

JP continues, “Fast forward a few weeks. We were walking along the waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park when Bridget spotted an old brick façade where someone had written in chalk: “Will You Marry Me?” Bridget decided it would be funny—since we were newly engaged—if I stood by it and she took his picture. But as she snapped the photo, she realized I had a black ring box in my hand. Completely and utterly shocked—again, this was the procrastinatory and cash-poor schlub who couldn’t get it together enough to propose to her first—she approached. I opened the box: it was Bridget’s grandmother’s wedding ring! In the weeks since the initial proposal, her paternal aunts Arleen and Kathy had reached out to me and made the tremendously touching and generous offer to pass the ring on. We pulled the Claddagh ring off her finger, and replaced it with the real thing.

So…Bridget didn’t know if she was ever going to get engaged, but it eventually happened. Kind of three times. She can relax now.”

Bridget adds, “Oh, and JP didn’t write the “Will you marry me” message in chalk.  He had been walking around with the ring box in his pocket, waiting for the right moment, and it presented itself.”  JP has told me he recognizes that he is quite a lucky dog when it comes to Bridget, and really hopes the streak continues!

high line engagement photography nyc

high line engagement photography nyc

high line engagement photography nyc

This is the spot, with it’s quiet corner, where they both got down on one knee and they both said “YES!”

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hearts graffiti, nyc engagement

hearts graffiti, nyc engagement

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high line engagement photography nyc

They will be getting married in Manhattan this September. Congratulations you guys!

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