Tell me about your love story?
Alexis: “Our first date was at an Applebee’s close to my college. We met in a parking lot by school to drive together to the restaurant and Steven got into my car with no shoes on! He recently came from a run and was trying to quickly change. I was kind of alarmed since this was our first meeting and I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. After getting to the restaurant we talked the whole time and laughed about how we ate at the same speed. We both new this was something special after our first date. As our relationship continued to grow we faced different challenges. We lived two hours apart from each other and we were both in college, so finding time to see each other was not always easy. We overcame the distance and fell in love with each other and created so many new memories traveling and pushing each other to try new things.
I knew Steven was the one because I could just see how much he cared for me and how special he made me feel all the time. I knew I could tell him anything that was on my mind and he wouldn’t judge me or laugh. He would always listen and always made me feel safe.
Tell me about the proposal?
Steven: First, I asked her mother for her blessing. Then, I met with her father to get his blessing as well. Once they both said yes, I felt excited moving forward with the planning. I started doing a lot of engagement ring research at different stores and on the web. During the planning, I had to casually find out her ring size without her getting suspicious and also find out what type of diamond she liked most. After a lot of shopping, I finally designed and purchased an engagement ring. The next step was to determine where and when I was going to propose.
Alexis brought up an idea to go to the Mohonk Mountain House to celebrate our three-and-a-half year anniversary, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity because she planned the trip and she wouldn’t expect a thing. The week leading up to the proposal was full of excitement and nerves for me as I kept the ring secretly stored in our room without her even knowing. The morning of the proposal, we made the trip up to the Mountain House and started the day with breakfast.
As we walked around Lake Mohonk, I was trying to determine when and where I was actually going to propose. We then did a tour inside the house and during that tour I decided that I would propose at the Skytop Tower later that day. We climbed up the tower and I was planning on proposing on the top, but once we got up, it was raining extremely hard and was extremely windy. There were a few people on top as well and I wanted it to be private so we went back down and started to walk around by the base of the tower. I tried to inconspicuously make Alexis walk in front of me so that I could pull the ring out and surprise her. She kept turning around but I was able to have her look the other way long enough to pull out the ring and get down on one knee. I was very excited and nervous and forgot the speech I had planned. She was very excited and said ‘yes’!
Alexis: About two weeks before, I had told Steven that I wanted to go to the Mohonk Mountain House for the day. Little did I know he was already planning something special but didn’t have an exact plan. We had a 9:30 am. breakfast reservation and while we ate we brought up topics about the future and even marriage. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and relaxing interior. We did a tour and walked around the grounds where we even saw a bald eagle! Later on, we started to hike up to the Skytop Tower where we enjoyed the beautiful view, but the weather was getting pretty rainy and windy. We made our way to the top of the Tower and we could barley keep our hats on. Steven suggested going back down and walking around the lake near the tower. He kept telling me to walk ahead because he wanted to take a picture but, the nosy person I am, I turned around too soon and saw him taking the ring box out of his pocket. I immediately started to cry and of course said ‘YES!’ We stayed in that moment for a while and later shared the news with our loved ones.
Why did you pick Lake Minnewaska for your engagement photos?
Steven: We picked this location because the Hudson Valley is an area that we’ve spent a lot of time in and have gone on many adventures in including hiking at Minnewaska State Park. I proposed to Alexis right next door at the Mohonk Mountain House and figured that Minnewaska State Park would be the perfect place for our photos, especially with beautiful mountains, lakes and views surrounding it. Also, Minnewaska State Park was the first place I ever took Alexis hiking and was so happy to share that adventure with her. It made picking it as our location even more special.
What was your favorite memory of your engagement photoshoot?
Alexis: My favorite memory was just being in the moment and being able to be as cheesy and in love as could be. I love being in Steven’s arms and being able to do this on top of a mountain is something I will never forget.
What is your favorite image from your engagement?
Alexis: I love the close up of Steven! I love how Krystal captured his happiness in a photo and it is one I will always cherish. My other favorite includes the one of us kissing with the whole lake in the background. I just love how perfect the landscape was captured but still focused on us as well.
Steven: My favorite picture was close up, where I am standing behind Alexis with my arms wrapped around her and Lake Minnewaska is in the background. In the picture we both have the biggest smiles and I love how it captures our true happiness and love for each other.
Did you include any DIY projects in your shoot?
Alexis: I created a double sided wood slice sign into our photos. My side read “Love you more.” It was always a saying that we said back and forth to each other and it means so much to me. The other side I designed for Steven it said “In it for the long run.” Because Steven is a runner, I thought it fit perfectly.
Can you describe the photo shoot for us?
Alexis: The day was beautiful. It was windy and my hair was flying everywhere, but I couldn’t have asked for a better day. It was also extremely icy, which I think made the shoot even more fun and challenging.
Steven: The day of the shoot we got lucky with a nice sunny day and not too cold. It snowed there a few days before, so there was snow around which make the pictures even more spectacular, especially how Lake Minnewaska was completely frozen. There was ice on some sections of the carriage roads which limited our photo locations slightly, but made it fun trying out different spots. Overall the shoot was great, starting from nerves in the beginning to feeling like a natural in front of the camera at the end.
Do you have advice for anyone else planning their engagement photo shoot?
Alexis: I would say definitely pick a location that is special to you both. It made our photo shoot so much more meaningful because we were creating more memories on top of the old ones we already had. Those memories included conquering fears and trying new things together in our relationship. It just made every photo so much more special.
Steven: Definitely pick a location that has an important meaning in your relationship, that way the moments created in the pictures will be so natural and full of love.
How/Why did you choose your photographer?
Alexis: I worked with Krystal in the past and knew the quality of her work was incredible. Her attention to detail is amazing and she really creates beautiful pieces. I also loved how she communicated with her photo subjects in the past and I knew she would be the perfect photographer for our first photo shoot.
Photo Credit: Krystal Platt Productions