Emily and Josh were married at a very special and unique location in New York City: The Strand Book Store! The preparations began at the Nomad Hotel.

nomad hotel wedding nyc

nomad hotel wedding nyc

nomad hotel wedding nyc

bride getting ready with mom

Such a clever idea! In keeping with the literature theme, their save the date was a bookmark and the wedding invitation was a library card.

unique wedding invitation library

Emily and Josh shared a first look in the hotel room.

nomad hotel nyc wedding

The couple both agreed one of the best moments of the day was the first look.  Josh shares,”It was a moment that we could just share between the two of us–to be together, laugh, and take a few pictures.” Emily adds, “I wasn’t completely sold on doing the first look, but Josh really wanted to. In the end, I’m so glad we did. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment when he turned around and saw me in my dress for the first time. It was just a wonderful moment.”

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When you get married in New York City sometimes you walk past a little graffiti on the way to your wedding!

nyc wedding graffiti

We made our way to Madison Square Park for some pre-ceremony portraits.

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Emily shares the story of how they met, “We met at a summer party at the home of mutual friends. We started as friends, but quickly realized that we had a lot in common. It became this ongoing joke every time we found one more random thing we both happen to love. After a couple months, Josh was looking for a new apartment and I just happened to know of a studio opening up in my building. A few weeks later he moved in and we’ve pretty much been together ever since.

Josh asked Emily to marry him while they were in Los Angeles for the wedding of their dear friends, Erik and Mike. Josh shares, “Emily loves data and research, so I spent weeks putting together a PowerPoint presentation filled with charts and graphs of our relationship and data points for why we are perfect for each other. I had grand plans of proposing to her on the beach, but by the time we got there the sun had set and the moment wasn’t right. We ended up grabbing a bottle of wine and going back to our room.”

Emily continues, “He gave me the presentation and I wasn’t completely sure what I was looking at. I got a few slides in before I realized what was happening and burst into tears. When I looked up he was on his knee. It was perfect.”

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Emily explains why the Strand was the perfect place for their wedding, “About a week after we got engaged, we heard about the Strand, went to tour the space, and fell in love with it immediately. We didn’t even look at other options. Once that was decided, everything else just fell into place around the book theme. Within a week we had the save the dates, invitations, decorations, and guest book all figured out. It was meant to be.”

Surrounded by beautiful rare books, twinkling lights and their loved ones, Emily and Josh said, “I do.”

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The Strand doesn’t need much added decoration, but the couple found ways to add extra touches to make the day feel personal and elegant. They used books, votives encircled with pages, small bouquets of flowers and wonderful framed quotes throughout tables in the space. This one includes a quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything.”

wedding idea book and quote

Emily and Josh shared their first dance to Bright Eyes’ First Day of My Life.

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This cake was amazing! Emily shares, “Josh was a pastry chef for many years, so choosing the right cake was very important to him. We got the cake from Momofuku Milk Bar because it’s one of Josh’s favorite bakeries in the city.  The three layers were strawberry lemon, German chocolate, and birthday cake.”

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Congratulations Emily and Josh!

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: The Strand Book Store, rare book room
Caterer: Pies ‘n’ Thighs
DJ: The Remixologists, Ben Coleman
Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar
Dress: Augusta Jones
Hotel: The Nomad
Hair/Makeup: Red Door
Officiant: Kevin Jennings
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography

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!

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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!

Sophie and Ryan were married in Washington, D.C. on a beautiful spring day. Preparations began in their suites at the Hay Adams.

peony wedding bouquet

Hay Adams hotel Washington D.C. wedding photography

Sophie shares, “I had so much fun getting ready in the morning with the bridesmaids. It was nice getting our hair and makeup done while having mimosas! It was truly a special moment that I’ll never forget.”

bride getting ready

Hay Adams Washington D.C. wedding photography

Hay Adams Washington D.C. wedding photography

Hay Adams Washington D.C. wedding photography

peony engagement ring

Hay Adams Washington D.C. wedding

boutineer

groomsmen getting ready

wedding-groom-peony-bud

The ceremony took place at Saint Mary Mother of God. Sophie says, “It was amazing to be surrounded by all our friends and family. We were beaming with happiness the entire day!

One of my favorite moments that day was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Ryan at the altar. I was so happy and excited, that it brought tears to my eyes! It was such a sweet and emotional moment for us and I’ll never forget it!

A special thanks to our parents for making the day so special for us.”

Saint Mary Mother of God Church Washington DC

Ryan shares, “My favorite part of the day was when the doors opened and I saw Sophie walk down the aisle. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. It felt like I had tunnel vision and the rest of the church went away. I had been nervous that morning but I felt totally calm and happy when I saw her.”

Saint Mary Mother of God Church Washington DC

Saint Mary Mother of God

Saint Mary Mother of God

Saint Mary Mother of God church Washington DC

Saint Mary Mother of God

Saint Mary Mother of God

Saint Mary Mother of God church Washington DC wedding photography

Saint Mary Mother of God church Washington DC

Saint Mary Mother of God

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Hay Adams Wedding photography Washington DC

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Hay Adams Wedding

Sophie shares, “The moment we saw the Top of the Hay at the Hay Adams we knew it was the perfect place for our reception! The venue is lined with floor to ceiling windows, so the room is filled with lots of light. We loved the balcony that wraps around the room that overlooks the White House and the Washington Monument. The Hay Adams is such an elegant and magical place that we knew we wouldn’t be able to find anything else like it.”

Hay Adams Wedding photography Washington DC

Hay Adams Wedding photography Washington DC

hay adams

Top of the Hay wedding

Top of the Hay wedding

Top of the Hay wedding

wedding-cake-peonies

Top of the Hay wedding

Top of the Hay wedding

Top of the Hay wedding

Top of the Hay wedding

Congratulations Sophie and Ryan!

Special thanks to the team:
Church:
Saint Mary Mother of God
Officiant: Father Alfred J. Harris
Reception Venue: Top of the Hay at The Hay Adams
Flowers: Growing Wild Floral Company
Cake: Kendall’s Cakes
Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero, Purchased at Bridals By Natalie
Veil: Bridals By Natalie
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
Makeup: Jeff Enriquez at One 80 Salon
Hair: Lori Nansi
Tuxes: Lapel
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: The Top Jewelers
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz
DJ: Steve Hershberger, The Davis Event Group
Invitations: Paper Source, Georgetown

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Samantha and Ben ‘s love story began with an app, continued through a love of books sent from miles away, and will be sealed with vows spoken this coming October. We met in Washington Square Park for their engagement session.

washington-square-park-engagement

cherry-blossom-nyc-engagement

washington square park nyc engagement photography

cherry-blossom-engagement

The session continued in Central Park.

central-park-engagement-bridge

central-park-engagement-photography

Samantha shares, “Ben and I are a dating app miracle – we matched on Tinder when he was visiting NYC from Kansas City in June 2014. Since he was an out-of-towner, and rumor has it Tinder users don’t always have the best intentions, I decided not to meet up.”

This story is best, continued through the point of view of their dog, Oliver (written by Ben)…

“According to Tinder’s internal data, 9 billion matches have been created between users since its inception. That means each day, 26 million pairs are matched out of an approximate 1.4 billion swipes, left to right. Despite that stark statistical disadvantage, Ben and Samantha, at some God forsaken hour of the early morning, matched and at once began the correspondence that would lead to their 100% genuine, Grade A, true love.

Before even laying eyes on one another, Ben and Sam became acquainted through the words of writers much more esteemed than this one. What started as a brief sharing of Haruki Murakami’s short story, “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning,” became a full-fledged, cross-country, tastefully flirtatious book club.

Words and pages were read, weighty discussions shared. In an effort to distinguish Ben from the catfish and serial killers lurking in the online depths, FaceTimes were scheduled. Plane tickets purchased. NYC explored. Central Park strolls. Holding hands. Pumpkin patch visits. New Year’s Eve kiss. Museums observed and I love yous shared.
It was all falling into place, and Ben and Sam knew it was the real thing.

Upon receiving consent from myself (the true man of the house), Ben packed all he owned into a rented Chrysler Town & Country and started the journey from Kansas City to our apartment on the Upper West Side. He’s been here awhile now, and we are all enjoying life together so much that Ben and Sam are getting married. A Susan Sontag line I read once on my favorite blog, brainpickings, says, “Being in love means being willing to ruin yourself for the other person.” I remembered that line because that’s how I know Sam and Ben love each other. The bond they have together is more important than any of their individual wants and conditions.

And they don’t give bad belly rubs either.

Yours truly,
0LiveR w0Lf”

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engagement-bridge-nyc

greenwich village engagement-photography

Samantha shares, “I had a feeling he was going to be my person from the minute we started talking. I know it sounds crazy, but as soon as we met, I knew I was right. September kicked off a cross-country romance, in December we picked out a place together on the Upper West Side, and I left my Greenwich Village address of nearly six years. In March, he locked in a job and Memorial Day weekend of 2015, he moved from Kansas to New York.

Every day I feel lucky that by some stroke of fate we sort of met on his visit to New York City. ”

greenwich-village-engagement-photo

Samantha-sneakpeek-2

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They are getting married on October 22, 2016 in Union Square. Happy engagement Samantha and Ben!

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