Cherry blossoms galore! We had to rearrange our schedules a few times to hit the peak days for the blooms–and we certainly did, and it was so worth it! Sandra and Dustin wore traditional Hanbok clothing for the first half of the session and they looked like they stepped out of a movie! Combine that with their palpable love for each other and this session was magic!

Sandra shares, “Dustin and I are just a couple of nerds who love each other. We met through the help of the often underrated app, Tinder, and quickly bonded over our mutual love of space, sci-fi, Hayao Miyazaki and old skool video games.

I went on our first date having no expectations and discovered that this guy Dustin was not like anyone I had ever met. He seemed immediately trustworthy and honest and, although we shared some common interests, our upbringings were quite different and it was really refreshing and exciting to be dating someone so different from myself.

Over the first few months together we grew closer and soon realized we never wanted to be apart. This September we are going to be making our commitment all nice and legal-like at the Metropolitan Building in LIC, Queens. We loved the space when we first saw it, and even though I had my heart set on an outdoor ceremony, I knew the light was great at the Metropolitan Building and that going outdoors wasn’t going to work out for us, but secretly I was still dreaming of having pictures of us outside.

When we first met Jessica and she told us about planning our engagement session she mentioned how this could be a great way to use things that we love but weren’t going to be a part of our wedding. I immediately thought it would be an opportunity to get some photos of the two of us outside in ‘nature’ or at least the next best thing: Central Park. I also wanted to take advantage of seasonality by staging the photos with those ephemeral and iconic pink blooms of early spring, the cherry blossoms.

I told Dustin I really wanted us to wear the traditional Korean dress called hanbok. I love the silhouette of both women’s and men’s hanbok and although logistics made it too cumbersome to incorporate into our ceremony or dinner, I thought this would be a great place to include a bit of my Korean heritage and also introduce hanbok to Dustin. He was willing to go along with it and we found a wonderful place in Flushing called Hanbok Story where the owner designs hanbok to buy as well as renting hanbok for weddings and photo shoots. The jeogori (top) part of the hanbok I wore was a new design and serendipitously features little cherry blossom details.

People in the park were loving us in our Hanbok! Jessica wasn’t the only person snapping pics. I think wearing Hanbok and shooting with the cherry blossoms made the day feel that much more special for us and something to remember.”

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Dustin shares, “Sandra and I met using one of those dating apps, swiping right for love. Luckily that was both of our intentions.

Our first date was a normal first meeting type of thing. We met up at a local pub for a a few drinks and chatted about all sorts of things. The second date is where I felt like I really got to know her. We went to the Brooklyn Comic Arts Festival and after sitting through a few panel discussions, we went around the corner to get something to eat. Over dinner we somehow ended up on the topic of classic arcade games and we both agreed the Simpsons game was at the top of our lists. We both knew that Barcade (half bar, half arcade, but you probably figured that out if you didn’t already know) has a lot of these retro games and after a quick Google search we were off to the Chelsea location and ended up playing arcade games all night together.

At some point Sandra introduced me to her high school friends who introduced me to a new kind of game, the ‘Escape Room.’ In an escape room, you’re ‘locked’ in a room or even multiple rooms and you’re required to solve puzzles to try and get out. So, every month or two we do one of these rooms at varying levels of difficulty and themes.

Last year I started planning my proposal. I reached out to three of Sandra’s good friends to ask for advice on the ring. They all were super excited and helpful through the process. After a few months and many rounds of narrowing it down, I found the perfect one from a local designer (WWAKE) who also happens to be a friend of one of the friends I turned to for advice. Once I had the ring I was ready to work out the proposal plan.

I had known for awhile that I wanted to propose in an Escape Room where at the end instead of finding a key to get out, it would be the ring. I eventually found a spot in our neighborhood and talked with the staff who were very accommodating and happy to set up the room for us. I made sure that Sandra’s friends would be arriving early and I called to confirm our dinner plans after we finished the room. We had only been in the room for 20 minutes before we solved the last puzzle. The final clue unlocked a drawer where there would usually be a key and letter saying that you solved the room, but instead there was a letter that I wrote for Sandra. After she was done reading the letter I did the traditional proposal where I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me and she said yes.”

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Happy Engagement Sandra and Dustin!

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Kelly and Vincent were married on a beautiful spring day in Washington, D.C. at the Holy Trinity Church. Kelly got ready for the day with her mom and bridesmaids at the Graham Hotel in Georgetown.

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Kelly’s mom helped her put on her dress and she wore a beautiful matching bracelet with her sister and soon-to-be sister-in-law.

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Meanwhile down the street, Vincent got ready for the day with his groomsmen at the Melrose Hotel.

The ceremony was held at the Holy Trinity Church.

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Kelly shares, “We were so thrilled that the weather held out for us! The forecast looked questionable all week, so to see the sun shining and everyone in bright spring dresses was a dream come true.

Besides seeing each other for the first time down the aisle and saying our vows, one of our favorite parts of the ceremony was that Vincent’s grandfather (a retired priest) was able to play a role in it. It meant the world to us that all of our living grandparents were able to be there for our wedding, and Vincent’s grandfather saying the Final Blessing made it extra special.

Most of all, we felt so surrounded by love throughout our entire wedding. We were overjoyed to finally become husband and wife in front of so many friends and family from near and far.”

After the ceremony we made our way to Tudor Place for some photos.

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Kelly shares, “DC is where we met and where our relationship really blossomed. Since half of our wedding guests (Vincent’s side) would be traveling from Florida, it was important to us to pick a location for our wedding where everyone could really have the DC experience. We had all of our guests stay in Georgetown so they could be in close proximity to the gorgeous Holy Trinity Catholic Church. We chose Army Navy Country Club for the reception because of the stunning views of the monuments along with the beautiful ballroom with natural light pouring in. We wanted our wedding style to be timeless and refined with personalized touches.”

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Kelly adds, “All of our vendors truly made our vision a reality at the Army Navy Country Club. We wanted a classic and elegant feel to the evening with a modern flair and personalized details. Our florist and event planner, Kelley Truxel with Event Studio, was able to perfectly execute the greenery heavy and single variety floral arrangements that I described to her. The pops of light blush on the napkins from Select Event Rentals and paper from Emily Baird designs looked perfect against the more neutral colors of the decor and florals. The monogrammed details and signature cocktails added the personal touches that we were hoping for.

Our first dance was one of our favorite moments of the night. We had a choreographed dance to “Can’t take my eyes off you” by Frankie Vallie. I think most of our friends and family were expecting a typical swaying slow dance. All of the reactions were priceless when we broke out some spins and dips.

Another incredible moment was when the band called Vincent up on stage to play the drums to “Play that Funky Music White Boy” with them! He absolutely nailed it (despite being a few drinks in) and the crowd was going wild.”

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The bridesmaids made there way on stay and participated in a little Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!


Congratulations Kelly and Vincent!

You can also see their Georgetown engagement session here.

Church: Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Venue: Army Navy Country Club
Coordinator and Florist: Event Studio
Officiant: Father William Ryan
Cake: Heidelberg Pastry
Band: The Groove Motive Pierre Redding
Invitations: Emily Baird Designs
Makeup and Hair: StyleMeBar
Rings: Underwoods Jewelers, Jacksonville, FL
Bride’s Dress: Martina Liana
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Videographer: Peter Von Kahle
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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Erica and Pierre planned an intimate Brooklyn wedding at Le Fanfare in Greenpoint. The couple met at the restaurant to get their final touches ready for the day. Then we were ready to set off to Long Island City for some photos.

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lic wedding photography, gantry state park

Erica and Pierre are very excited to be welcoming their son, due this summer!

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After a stroll along Gantry State Park we made our way back to Le Fanfare for the outdoor ceremony.

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Erica shares, “Pierre and I met through friends on his rooftop in the East Village as he was throwing a party with his roommate, who was a mutual friend. I went to the party with my friend, Mary Catherine, who officiated our wedding as she played a role in bringing us together and has been a very close friend to both of us throughout our relationship.

Pierre proposed at Les Calanques in the South of France (Marseilles) at a beautiful vantage point overlooking the Mediterranean sea. We met up with his family in Provence that evening and were able to share the news in person and celebrate with some delicious champagne.

We wanted our civil wedding to be intimate, relaxed and special, which is one of the reasons we choose Le Fanfare. The restaurant had a backyard for us to host an outdoor ceremony (difficult to find in nyc!) and comfortable interior with great design and a rustic but modern feel. We were incredibly fortunate to have a beautiful sunny and warm day which allowed the restaurant to open the front and back windows/doors, contributing to the festive and celebratory atmosphere.

It was wonderful to celebrate our marriage (and baby on the way) in front of our closest friends and family in such an intimate, warm environment with great food and wine.”

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Congratulations Erica and Pierre!

Special thanks to the vendors:
Venue: Le Fanfare
Florist: MC Nino Designs
Band: Eli Chalmer Trio

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Jessica and Michael were married on a beautiful spring day at the St. Columba Church in New York City with a reception at the New York Botanical Garden. The day began with preparations in the suite at the Eventi Hotel.

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Jessica and Michael shared a first look outside the church just before the ceremony. Jessica shares, “My favorite moment was our first look. All the planning. All the effort. All of it was worth it to see the look on Mike’s face. To see the man I will spend the rest of my life with so happy brought tears to my eyes.”

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After the ceremony, we all headed to the gardens for portraits and the cocktail hour. A special exhibit of glass artworks by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly were on view throughout the gardens. We were able to take some photos with one of the dazzling pieces outside of the conservatory.

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Mike shares, “My favorite moment was a few moments in the late afternoon in between photos when the two of us were able to sit on a bench alone and just take it all in. That is when it finally started to hit me: that we did it! We were finally married!”

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Jessica shares, “For our venues, we chose St. Columba Church so we could be the fourth generation in Mike’s family to be married in that church. For the reception, we wanted something classic and romantic, yet a venue with its own flare. This is why we chose the New York Botanical Garden. We were able to have the natural beauty of the garden combined with the unique murals in the venue space to make this a very special once-in-a-lifetime event.

Once we had our venue, we knew our style was going to be classically floral themed – perfect for a spring wedding. Everything from the floral appliqués on my gown to the lush floral arrangements for the reception fit in with this romantic spring garden vibe.”

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Congratulations Jessica and Michael!

Special thanks to the team:
Church: St. Columba Church
Officiant: Rev. Fred Pelligrini, SJ
Reception: New York Botanical Garden, Garden Terrace Room
Caterer: Starr Catering Group
Cake Baker: Lulu Cake Boutique
Hair and Make-up: Once Upon a Bride
Bride’s Gown Designer: Bonnie Bridal
Bridal Salon: Glamorous Bride
Groom’s Tux: Black by Vera Wang
Florist: Bride & Blossom
Transportation: Luxor limo
Photo Booth: Iris Photobooth
Hotel: Hotel Eventi, a Kimpton hotel
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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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!

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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.

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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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