Judy and Mike are one of those awesome couples you see laughing at each other in a bar and think, wow they are so happy in love.

I met them in the Lower East Side for their engagement session, but first we stopped by some fun street art on Mott Street by JGoldcrown.

nyc-engagement-graffiti

nyc engagement photography

nyc engagement photography graffiti

soho street art

nyc engagement photography

nyc engagement photography

Mike is a lover of all things food and music and functions off espresso, coffee, and more coffee. He shares, “Most of all, I love to let loose on the dance floor to funk and deep house. I grew up in Westport, Connecticut, and attended James Madison University and I work at a growing adtech company called The Trade Desk. Judy and I live in Astoria.”
Judy shares, “I work in public health – designing, implementing, and providing strategic guidance on programs and policies that support healthy living and advance health equity. I love to travel, cook, read, be active, and try new things. I was born in New York City and grew up in the Chicago suburbs.”

taxi engagement photo

nyc engagement photography

bradley theodore street art

lower east side engagement

Mike wasn’t lying about the coffee, coffee, coffee…

whynot coffee bar

lower east side, nyc engagement photography

Mike shares the story of how they met, “Although it may seem cliche, we did meet on Valentine’s Day. It all started with my best friend, Joey, going out to meet our now mutual friend, Mary, on Valentine’s Day night in 2014. After much persuasion, I put on some pants and tagged along, with the promise that Mary would be bringing along some friends. Judy and I met at Botanic Lab, but barely spoke a word. I assumed she was with one of the guys in their group of friends (hi Joel!). After a couple of drinks, we all moved over to Hotel Chantelle, and it was there that Judy and I discovered our shared affinity for tequila and dancing. We finally ended the night/morning at Ella, staying up until 6am talking and dancing. I asked for her number as she was getting into a cab. The next day I texted her and she replied, “Who is this?” I had a mini panic attack until she texted “Just kidding. Hi Mike!” 10 minutes later. And the rest is history!”

bolton and watt bar engagement

bolton and watt nyc

lower east side, nyc engagement photography

bolton and watt bar engagement

unique nyc engagement photography

nyc engagement photography

Judy shares, “Our wedding will be on Friday, September 16th, at MyMoon in Williamsburg. The ceremony will be held on the outdoor patio, followed by dinner and dancing inside. The venue has lots of dark wood, exposed brick, and amber lighting. The party will continue at Drexler’s on the Lower East Side.”

nyc engagement photography

Happy Engagement Judy and Mike!

Credits:
Bleeding Hearts street art by JGoldcrown
Photographer Terry Richardson street art by Bradley Theodore
Mike’s Clothing:
Jacket: Burberry, Shirt: Uniqlo, Beanies: Urban Outfitters, Jeans: DSTLD, Boots: Timberland
Judy’s Clothing:
Coat: TNA, Shirt: J.Crew, Necklace: J.Crew, Cream beanie: Pinkyotto, Gray beanie: Urban Outfitters, Boots: Timberland

Valentine’s Day is coming up this weekend and what is more romantic than a walk in Central Park in the snow? Samantha and Ben just got engaged during the holiday season and are in the midst of planning their NYC wedding this October. Just after the blizzard of snow fell over Manhattan, they grabbed their coats and enjoyed the beautiful snowy scenery.

winter snow central park engagement

winter snow blizzard central park nyc

valentines snow central park engagement

valentines snow central park engagement

valentines snow central park engagement

winter snow central park engagement

They enjoyed very classic New York treats of City Bakery hot chocolate and Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and then exchanged some very sweet Valentines. Petals & Roots created a perfect seasonal bouquet filled with sweet smelling roses, fern and lamb’s ear.

This is the first and only Valentine’s Day they will celebrate as an engaged couple!

valentines snow central park engagement

winter snow central park engagement

winter snow central park engagement

valentines snow central park engagement

valentines snow central park engagement

valentines snow central park engagement

valentines snow central park engagement

engagement photo winter snow central park

winter snow central park engagement

engagement photo winter snow central park

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I met Lakeisha and Engy at the Brooklyn Museum of Art for their engagement session. I LOVE this museum and could not wait to find some perfect pieces of art to use as backdrops for their photographs. First stop, Andy Warhol.

andy warhol engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art gallery engagement

Brooklyn engagement photography

Lakeisha shares, “Engy and I met in junior high school in the 7th grade. We were both in an enrichment program and on Saturdays they would take us on field trips. One trip was to the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey. I do not remember which exhibits we saw that day, but the one thing I remember was Engy grabbing my hand when we were watching an IMAX movie about race cars. I remember saying to myself “why is touching me and why isn’t he letting go?” I pulled away and he kept holding on tighter. Fast-forward to twelve years later, we reconnected during our junior year in college and started dating a few years after college.

On November 1st, 2014, Engy reenacted the day he revealed his crush. He made up a story about going to a fundraiser at the museum to see a movie. We conveniently got there late and were escorted to the theater by one of the staff members. I remember saying to myself “Wow, we are getting special treatment”. As we were walking to the IMAX Theater Engy looked at me and said “Do you remember this place?” Of course, I still had no idea what he was talking about. I was too busy worrying about being late. As the movie was ending, the announcer instructed the audience to stay seated for a special announcement. Then I heard:

“There comes a time when you have to take a step back to where it all began to move forward.  I know this story will sound familiar and I hope you know who you are. I still remember the day on our 7th grade school trip in this theater where I tried to hold your hand and you pulled away.  Undeterred, I just reached for it again and just held on tight. This is me reaching for your hand again and holding even tighter and longer. Lakeisha will you marry me?”

I turned and looked at him and he got down on one knee and said “Will you marry me?” Of course I said Yes! I looked up and saw our family standing in the crowd. My heart was racing. I was very surprised, in fact, just before we left the house I told him that he wasn’t that creative. Gee, was I wrong! After the proposal we celebrated with our family.

We choose the Brooklyn Museum of Art for our engagement photos because we appreciate art and wanted to choose a place that we went when we were younger. We plan to get married in March 2016. As nervous as I was to hold his hand in the 7th grade, I cannot wait to hold his hand forever.

brooklyn art engagement photography

I could have photographed this gorgeous couple in front of this gorgeous Tiffany glass all day LONG!

brooklyn engagement photography nyc

tiffany glass wedding engagement

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

brooklyn art engagement photography

Congratulations Lakeisha and Engy!

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Jess and Mike were married on a lovely December day in Philladelphia at the Hotel Monaco. The day began with preparations in the hotel suite.

Hotel Monaco Wedding Philadelphia

hotel monaco bride getting ready makeup

Lazaro wedding dress blue purple color

bride looking out the window wedding day

wedding photography getting ready

wedding photography getting ready

Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes

Manolo Blahnik wedding shoes blue

groom tying bowtie

groom boutonnière white rose

Jess and Mike decided on the gorgeous Hotel Monaco for many reasons. Jess shares, “Even though we live in DC, Mike and I decided Philly was the perfect place for us to get married! We both have ties to the city and found the perfect venue in the Hotel Monaco. We loved everything about it. Situated across the street from Independence Hall, the Hotel Monaco brings post-modern flair to a very historic area of the city. The gorgeous ballroom and the rooftop bar, which we used for our cocktail hour, were the perfect spaces for our wedding. The décor also provided many great places for photo ops! We also can’t forget the staff, who went above and beyond during the entire process to make sure our day was flawless!”

The hotel had some truly spectacular spots for photos! After the first look, we started out taking some portraits on the rooftop lounge.

first look wedding photography

Hotel Monaco Philly wedding

Hotel Monaco Philly wedding

Hotel Monaco Philly wedding

Hotel Monaco Philadelphia wedding photography

Philly wedding Chesnut street photography

Philly wedding photography winter

wedding photography philadelphia Pennsylvania

wedding photography philadelphia Pennsylvania

winter wedding colors cream white

Philadelphia wedding photography

Philly wedding photography

 

wedding photography philadelphia Pennsylvania

groomsmen wedding photography philly

wedding photography bridesmaids

Philadelphia wedding photography columns

Jess and Mike share, “We wanted our wedding to be chic but fun at the same time. While we tried to incorporate some traditional elements into our wedding, we wanted to make sure we added a few pops of our personality so that our big day was a true representation of us!”

Jess continues, “One of my favorite colors is purple, hence the blues and purples in my dress! I chose lots of silvers, whites, and lavender’s for the décor! I even let my bridesmaids pick their own white gowns to wear.

We wanted to include DIY elements into both our ceremony and reception to give it a personal touch. My brother-in-law refurbished a beautiful fireplace mantel, which served as the backdrop for the ceremony! For the reception, my Mom made all of the place cards; she wrapped 150 mini gift boxes and affixed a gift tag with each guest’s name and table number. My sister designed all of our invitations, programs, and customized each guest’s menu card for the evening.  Needless to say, our wedding was truly a family effort!”

Philadelphia wedding invitation

Hotel Monaco Philadelphia ballroom wedding

Hotel Monaco wedding event

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

Hotel Monaco wedding Philadelphia PA

All the planning came together perfectly. Jess shares some of her favorite parts of the day,  “I loved everything about our wedding day from start to finish! Seeing our ceremony and reception décor come to life just as I had imagined was so exciting!

I loved doing the first look with just Mike and me. I was definitely starting to feel a little nervous as we inched closer to the ceremony, but doing the first look was such a special moment between the two of us, and really helped me to have time to relax and enjoy a few moments with Mike before I DO!

I loved our ceremony, it was the perfect representation of us both! We also had two of our groomsmen perform all of the music, which was an extra special touch!

I had a groom’s cake made for Mike in the shape of a drum set with the Green Day logo, his favorite band. Showing it to him before all the guests arrived at the reception and seeing his reaction was awesome!

Getting to dance the night away with all of our family and friends was one of the best parts! Our band, The Ronald Reagans, were so much fun! They played their final set in full 80’s gear, which was definitely a crowd pleaser!

Mike adds, “I don’t think our wedding could have been any better! I’ve seen plenty of “fairytale weddings” in movies and ours completely blew them all out of the water. My favorite part of the day was standing at the alter and seeing Jess walk down the aisle. The way she sparkled in her dress, I’ll never forget it.

All the stresses of planning and preparing completely paid off in the end. As Jess mentioned, we had stellar vendors, several helpful family members and an unbeatable wedding coordinator, all of whom helped make sure every nuance was executed flawlessly. Thank you to everyone who assisted in making our day so special.”

Hotel Monaco wedding reception dinner event

wedding babys breath centerpieces

wedding cake topper best day ever

Mike’s friends surprised him by playing a Green Day song at the reception, and then calling him up to join them for one more on the drums.

wedding reception

wedding dancing

Hotel Monaco wedding photography

Congratulations Jess and Mike!

Check out the couple’s engagement session featuring some really fun street art in Philly.

Check out more photos from the wedding day in the slideshow:

Special thanks to all the vendors:
Venue: Hotel Monaco, Philadelphia
Wedding Planner: Lauren Reilly, Something Blu Events
Flowers: Kelly Garson, Whole Foods Florist, South Philly
Band: The Ronald Reagans Big 80’s Band

Caricaturist: Courtney Sell, Caricatures by Courtney
Dress: Lazaro, Love Couture Bridal, Potomac, MD
Headband: Love Couture Bridal 
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, Saks Fifth Avenue
Make-Up: Aleksandra Ambrozy
Hair: Kimberly Harrelson
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BCBG, Neiman Marcus, David’s Bridal, Macy’s, and Nordstrom
Jewelry: BHLDN 
Suits: Express; Bow Ties: Bows-n-Ties
Invitations: Paper Presentation
Cake: Brendenbecks
Groom’s Cake: Cakes by Kharis
Cake Topper: ChicagoFactoryDesign, Etsy
Mr. and Mrs. Signs: ZCreateDesign, Etsy
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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Merry Christmas from NYC! I love living in New York, but it is really something magical at Christmastime. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from Rockefeller Center and the incredible holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman.

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree NYC

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree NYC

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows NYC christmas windows The Arts

The windows are themed around “The Arts” and included displays for literature, theater, music, painting, sculpture, film and more. If you have a chance to stop by the store on Fifth Avenue and 58th street you will not be disappointed!

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows NYC christmas windows The Arts

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows

Bergdorf Goodman bgwindows architechture

Follow me on instagram at PhotosByJS

Rock center Christmas tree

I want to say a special thank you to all my friends and family, couples I have worked with, or will work with in 2015, and anyone who stops by the blog throughout the year. I love sharing my photos with you.

Wishing you a holiday that is very merry and BRIGHT!

@PHOTOSBYJS

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