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bohemian Hudson Valley Wedding at Locust Grove J Ferrara Photography

Bohemian Hudson Valley Wedding at Locust Grove Estate

Ashley and Tristian had a perfect day for their bohemian Hudson Valley wedding at Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie. There were so many unique and fun details throughout this wedding starting with Ashley’s stunning blush wedding dress accentuated perfectly with the rhinestone belt she found on Etsy.
 

One of the most meaningful personal touches was a vintage VW bus Ashley rented for the reception. Tristian loves those old busses and this one happened to be converted into a photo booth which guests enjoyed throughout the night.
 

The ceremony was emotional and touching, as well and was beautifully led by Reverend Lisa Zaro.
 
Featured Photo Credit: J. Ferrara Photography
 

 

Vendors:

PhotographerJ. Ferrara Photography

VenueLocust Grove Estate

SignageEtsy

OfficiantPersonalized Ceremonies by Rev. Zarro

PhotoboothPhotobooth Planet

DJThe Digital Musicians

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Dutchess Manor Wedding Majestic Studios Photography

6 Royal Wedding Trends You May Now See Thanks To Meghan Markle

We all know Royal weddings set trends. If you were one of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who woke up early to watch the Royal Wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, you know just how spectacular this wedding was. I, for one, will be talking about this wedding for a long time as it has since become my favorite Royal wedding for many reasons. Time will tell how this wedding will set trends for future couples, and here are 7 ways I think Meghan and Harry’s wedding will influence future wedding trends…
 

Going alone

 

For many brides, and fathers, it’s a lifelong dream to walk down the aisle together and for a father to “give” his daughter away. However, for some, the idea of being “given” away sends the wrong message. Yet, due to tradition, some brides may feel like they have no choice but to walk down the aisle with their father, or someone to represent a father. This becomes increasingly difficult if family dynamics are complicated. What if your father passed away? What if you don’t get along with your parents, either one? What if you have step-parents? What if, what if, what if…the list can go on. Meghan proved that you don’t have to walk down the aisle with anyone, and I feel that this statement is going to resonate for so many strong, independent women and will define a new trend.
 

Going all-natural

 

Meghan’s look was totally natural. Her makeup was subdued, light, natural and showed off her most beautiful features…her eyes and her freckles. I think brides everywhere are going to feel slightly relieved knowing that natural looking makeup is beautiful, especially for brides who don’t wear a lot of makeup in normal everyday life. Yes, you need some makeup on your wedding day, mainly for photos, and not for the reason you think. It’s not so much to look nice as it is to not wash you out. Meghan is also proving that your natural features should be the highlight and not to be covered up.
 

RELATED: THIS IS THE ONE MISTAKE THAT CAN RUIN YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS

 

Less is more

 

Let’s talk about Meghan’s dress! I mean, WOW! Just wow! Understated elegance at its best. There has been a trend over the last several years that bling is better. Blinged-out bodices and belts are not only popular, but can sometimes be that touch of sparkle that many brides feel completes their look. Meghan proved, tiara aside, that clean lines and no sparkle can make a big, if not a bigger impact than bling. Necklines, silhouettes, veils and fabric can be stunning and slimming just on their own and can truly accentuate your body without distraction of crystals. Not to mention that clean lines are very classic. You won’t have to worry about looking at your photos 20 or 30 years from now and thinking it looked dated.
 

When we look at her bouquet, it was simple, meaningful, and most importantly natural and small. The flowers were just an accessory and did not, in any way, take away from Meghan’s look or distract from it.
 

Big veils

 

Meghan’s veil was 16 feet long and embroidered with flowers from the 53 British Commonwealth countries! While the dress was understated, she made a bold statement with one piece. No one will ever forget the now iconic images of Meghan on the church steps or walking down the aisle with that magnificent veil following behind her. If you want to make a statement, veils are going to be the new “must-have” accessory. A long veil is a lot easier to manage than a long train. Trains have to be bustled, veils can just be taken off. Not to mention, veils are a lot lighter than a dress. I think brides everywhere are going to be opting for shorter dresses (no trains) and longer veils.
 

Secular music

 

For couples wanting to get married in a house of worship, music choices may change. “Stand By Me” was sung so beautifully during Meghan and Harry’s wedding ceremony, and it’s very rare to hear secular music played in a house of worship. Some religious venues may give clearance on some specific secular songs that can have an undertone of spirituality to them. In fact, we had a couple played at our wedding, but they were pre-approved by our church. I think couples are going to want more secular music played in houses of worship, and because of the need, more houses of worship may take a deeper look into approving more songs that can be played. Now, if you are getting married outside of a church, or religious establishment, this doesn’t apply. You can play whatever you want.
 

RELATED: 3 STEPS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW FOR CHOOSING BEAUTIFUL WEDDING FLOWERS

 

Flowered archways or doorways

 

Flowers are one of the details of a wedding that can take a blank space and literally transform it into a masterpiece. However, where you see flowers at weddings may change now, thanks to Meghan and Harry. I predict flowers are going to be assembled in archways, around doorways, and framing already existing architecture rather than being pieces set into a room. Creating these archways gives the couple a beautiful frame for photos and entrances, and really turns your venue into a grand setting.
 

What was your favorite part of the Royal Wedding? What trends do you think Meghan and Harry have set?

 

Featured photo credit: Majestic Studios

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Lavish Hudson Valley Wedding at Whitby Castle

When you think of the Hudson Valley weddings, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Castle weddings probably aren’t on the top of your list, but this stunningly regal and lavish wedding at Whitby Castle in Rye, NY will have thinking otherwise.
 

Jamie and Dale got engaged in Paris, and so a castle wedding was only fitting! Their wedding was dripping in gorgeous details…from jewelry, to flowers, to signage, this couple has exquisite taste, and their wedding photographers, The Ramsdens, captured every detail perfectly.
 


 

Vendors…
 

Venue: Whitby Castle

Bride & Bridemaid’s Dressess: Lady Gray Bridal

Hair: Lulu’s Hair Studio

Flowers: The Flower Barn

String Trio: Capriccio Ensemble

DJ: Enriquez Entertainment

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Whitby Castle Hudson Valley wedding The Ramsdens

5 Hudson Valley Castles Perfect For Your ‘Royal’ Wedding

If Harry and Meghan’s Royal wedding has inspired you to create your own royal-themed wedding day, you’re in luck! Did you know the Hudson Valley is home to 5 castles perfect for your royal day?
 

Many of these estates were built during the turn of the 20th century when America was in the middle of vast political and technological changes. As a result, wealthy business owners commissioned the construction of mansions all along the banks of the Hudson River from New York City to Albany. If you’ve ever taken a river cruise on the Rip Van Winkle, you’ll get to see some of these amazing estates.
 

Today, we’re going to dive a little deeper into five castle estates, each of which will leave you feeling like a queen on the most magical day of your life.
 
RELATED: THE ONE THING BRITISH COUPLES NEVER DO AT WEDDINGS
 

Lyndhurst Castle, Tarrytown
 

Lyndhurst Castle, designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, is a Gothic Revival mansion with stunning park-like vistas throughout the property. It has sweeping views of the Hudson River, which will give you those truly magical landscape photos that are coveted by every couple who gets married in the Hudson Valley.
 

As part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Lyndhurst Castle sits on sixty-seven acres just thirty-five minutes from NYC, which is perfect for any city couple wanting a gorgeous upstate wedding. Wedding ceremonies can be held inside or outside and accommodate up to 220 guests. They offer a range of cuisines as well as Kosher menus.
 

Castle Hotel and Spa, Tarrytown
 

The Castle Hotel and Spa was known as “Carrolcliffe” shortly before the turn of the 20th century and was a favored getaway for New York City society. Today, it’s an award-winning estate, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and a member of the Historic Hotels of America.
 

The estate sits on ten wooded acres and has more than 3,300 square feet of event space that can accommodate small intimate weddings of as few as 10 people, to as many as 120 guests. It also has 31 guest rooms and features a luxurious holistic Sankara Spa, which is the first of its kind in the United States. Sankara Spas are a popular type of spa in Asia known for the peace and tranquility they offer.
 

Whitby Castle at Rye Golf Club, Rye
 

Originally built as a private estate in 1852, Whitby Castle has a direct connection to England. It’s visually very similar to Whitby Abbey in England and was built with some of the Abbey’s original stones.
 

The castle can accommodate weddings of up to 250 people and is set on 126 acres with views of the Long Island Sound and beautiful sweeping lawns perfect for a regal outdoor wedding. If an indoor wedding is more your style, it has a grand ballroom and two private reception spaces. Their on-site restaurant also gives you the opportunity to have an elaborate 5-course dinner or a more casual hors d’oeuvres reception.
 
RELATED: WANT TO LOOK LIKE A PRINCESS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY? THEN YOU NEED TO REMEMBER THESE 3 EASY RULES
 

Tarrytown House, Tarrytown
 

Tarrytown House is a treasured landmark in the Hudson Valley just 30 minutes from NYC. Originally constructed as a family residence and home to affluent families who made it big in the tobacco and railroad industries of the mid 19th century to the early 20th century, it soon became the place to be for galas and events hosted by these wealthy magnates.
 

The house sits on 26 acres in Westchester county, also has sweeping views of the Hudson River, and is a pet-friendly location, perfect for any couple wanting their beloved pet to be part of their wedding. Guest can stay overnight and couples have the option of even renting out one of their three building on property to create a private wedding experience.
 

OHEKA Castle Hotel & Estate, Huntington
 

OHEKA Castle is slightly outside of the Hudson Valley but is definitely worth mentioning. Located on Long Island, it’s reminiscent of romantic French chateaus, and has been hosting events and lavish parties since 1919. With 115,000 square feet and 117 rooms, it’s the largest castle estate on this list, and is the second largest private residence ever built in America! This is definitely a venue for those who want to make a grand statement.
 

Today, OHEKA Castle is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a member of Historic Hotels in America and is recognized as one of the most prestigious wedding venues in the World! The venue can hold anywhere from 150 – 700 guests, and guests can sleep in any of the castles 32 guest rooms and suites. Couples can not only take advantage of elegant indoor and outdoor reception spaces, but also amazing photo ops in the formal gardens of the estate.
 

Featured photo: Whitby Castle; Photo credit: The Ramsdens

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The one thing British couples never do at weddings

The Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is the stuff of fairytales. An American “commoner” marrying British Royalty is what dreams are made of.
 

In college, I spent a semester in London, interned at a couture bridal salon by one of London’s most renowned gown designers, Phillippa Lepley, and visited Buckingham Palace and Windsor castle. I absolutely fell in love with London’s history, culture, and people and feel such a close connection to anything British. Lately, knowing that this Royal wedding was coming up, it got me thinking about how our neighbors across “The Pond” do weddings. Are they the same? Are they really different? What do couples do to prepare? What’s their bridal style like?
 

To find out, I asked Emma Salt, a British-based wedding planner and Owner of Married in NYC, who helps couples navigate all the administrative paperwork and coordinating needed for them to travel to America and get married in NYC. We covered all aspects of British weddings including the one thing American couples do that British couples NEVER do at weddings.
 

RELATED: ROYAL HUDSON VALLEY WEDDING AT LE CHATEAU

 

Let’s start at the early planning phases. Do British couples have engagement parties or wedding showers?

 

Emma – “We don’t typically. I’d say 50% of my friends had an engagement party a couple of weeks after they got engaged. We just gathered with our family on they day (they all knew and so were waiting for us!)”
 

Can you explain what bachelor/bachelorette parties are like?

 

Dutchess Manor Wedding Majestic Studios Photography

Photo Credit: Majestic Studios

Emma – “So, a “Hen do” is for the bride and her friends and family, apparently the term “hens” was used in the 1800’s to describe a group of women gathered together. A “Stag do” is for the groom and his friends. I think it is just because a stag is such a masculine animal!

 

A typical Hen do will have the bride in white, friends in any other color, and the bridesmaids/friends will dress the Hen (the bride) up in a sash (usually saying “Bride to Be” or similar) and a cheap tiara and veil…It’s usually a night out drinking and dancing, or a cocktail making class etc.
 

“A “Stag do” is for the groom and his friends and family. Again, its usually a heavy night of drinking, and the “stags” quite often dress the groom up as something really embarrassing!”
 

“Recently, hens and stags have been abroad, there have been a lot if long weekend breaks in Spain or somewhere else hot in Europe.” Salt says “adult” items are often thrown into the mix as well to add to the fun. “It is like people make it deliberately cheap and tacky now”, she says.
 

What are some British wedding traditions?

 

Emma – “Things are changing now, there aren’t any definite traditions. However, it is often a given that the groom DOES NOT see the bride before the ceremony. The first time they see each other must be when the bride walks down the aisle. We cut the cake, however we don’t usually slice it and feed it to each other. At our NYC wedding, the photographer was like “that’s it? You aren’t gonna eat it??” because typically we slice it, then it gets served later to the guests. We give our guests “favours” and they can be anything from candy, to flowers seeds (to plant in the couples honour) or a lot of couples donate the money they would have spent to charity and put the details of which charity (and sometimes with a pin or badge of the charity, etc.) on each table.”
 

What is typical British wedding style for brides and grooms?

 

Emma – “…What brides wear varies so much! Some go for full lace sleeves, reminiscent of Kate Middleton. Some go for slinky strapless dresses… Grooms often do 2 piece suites, but there has been a big bow tie, tweed and braces (suspenders) trend the last few years.”
 

RELATED: WANT TO LOOK LIKE A PRINCESS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY? THEN YOU NEED TO REMEMBER THESE 3 EASY RULES

 

Are bridal parties a thing in Britain?

 

Photo Credit: Bom Photography

Emma – “Yep, though the Maid of Honor is sometimes called the Chief Bridesmaid and the Groomsmen are called Ushers.”
 

What about the reception? Do British couples have parties with DJ’s, dancing, cake, bouquet toss, etc. or are they more reserved?

 

Emma – “Pretty much. We have a reception with a sit down meal and speeches. Then a DJ/band and a buffet for evening guests to attend. I went to a wedding where we all did line dancing and a lot of people choose a live band if it is in their budget.”
 

Do couples do first looks?

 

Emma – “No way! First looks a NOT a thing here. The groom is kept well away from the bride and it is considered REALLY bad luck to see each other before the ceremony.
 

Featured photo credit: J. Ferrara Photography

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Hudson Valley Wedding Nidya LLoyd Photography Le Chateau

Want to Look Like a Princess on Your Wedding Day? Then You Need to Remember These 3 Easy Rules

A royal wedding doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it’s simply magical. It inspires everyone to want to look look like a princess on their wedding day.
 

Back in 2011, when Prince William and Kate Middleton were getting married, I was knee-deep in planning my own wedding. Actually, their wedding happened right at the same time I was planning on dress shopping. Shopping for my wedding dress was an event I had dreamed of for many years, and so I wanted to make the day really special. After all, I did go to school to become a wedding dress designer, so this was more than just a shopping trip.
 

I knew right away their wedding day was going to be the day I shopped for my dress. What better inspiration than to have a royal wedding take place on the day that you shop for your wedding dress? Since the wedding took place on a Friday, and since I knew Saturday’s would be crazy busy for bridal salons, I played hookie and took the day off from work.
 

I spent the night before at my mom’s house so we could wake up watch the wedding together (sweet, right?). I remember very distinctly what a beautiful sunny spring morning it was and waking up at 5:00 a.m. to start watching the live coverage. I got goosebumps when I saw the two princes, William and Harry, in their finest attire, and the moment we all saw the first glimpses of Kate in her dress was truly breathtaking. The Royal’s sure do know how to throw a wedding!
 

My dress appointment was at 10 a.m., which gave us just enough time to watch all the wedding events in London, and then get ready for my own royal engagement.
 

RELATED: WHAT YOU NEED TO LOOK FOR IN A QUALITY BRIDAL GOWN

romantic garden wedding F.E.A.S.T. at Roundhill Windau Photography

Photo Credit: Windau Photography


 

I knew from the moment I saw Kate that I wanted to look just like her on my wedding day. However, I quickly realized that was going to be challenging for many reasons I explain below. So, brides, if you are watching the Royal wedding on Saturday, and If you want to look like Meghan on your wedding day, don’t go dress shopping…yet. Here’s why…
 

1) The trends have just been set
 

You will be watching history in the making, witnessing a trendsetting moment, and no one in the world, except for a few people, will know what Meghan is going to wear. That means on Saturday, designers all over the world are going to be taking notes and scrambling to create dresses inspired by the new princess. If you go to the store the day of the Royal wedding expecting to find a dress like what you just saw on TV, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one. I certainly was. Notice how many gowns today have sleeves? Guess who set that trend? Notice how dresses today have a more classic elegant vibe and silhouette than a few years ago? Guess why? Kate set that trend and Meghan will set new ones.
 

RELATED: YOUR WEDDING DRESS: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE FOUND THE ONE?

 

2) You need to wait at least 3 solid months if you want to copy the new princess’ look.
 

There may be one or two designers that can create knock-offs quickly, but if you really want a good variety of dresses to choose from that are royal-inspired, you need to wait. It takes time for designers to design, source, make, and distribute gowns. Meghan’s dress is going to be the most analyzed dress in the world for the next few weeks, if not months, and so, you can rest assured designers are going to be busy making dresses you are going to want and love. You just need to be patient.
 

RELATED: WHO SHOULD HELP YOU SAY ‘YES’ TO YOUR WEDDING DRESS?

 

3) Does the way you want to feel match the way you want to look?
 

Looking like a princess and matching what you saw on TV sounds nice, but is it a reality? If the new princess wears a big, poofy gown, and you want to be comfortable, can you do both? Kate wore a dress with a beautiful long train, but for me, a train wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted something easy and no fuss, so a train (well, I had a small one) was out. Her dress also looked hot and heavy with the sleeves and all that material, and I wanted light and comfortable. Sleeves, though romantic and looked amazing on her, weren’t for me. I do wish I had waited a little while to get a Kate-inspired dress because she set the trend for dresses to have v-necks, which I love, moving away from the strapless sweetheart neckline, which, in my opinion, is overdone.
 

When are you getting your dress? Are you going dress shopping on the day of the Royal wedding? Do you want a royal-inspired wedding gown in any way?
 

Featured photo credit: Nidya Lloyd Photography

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Hudson Valley Wedding Nidya LLoyd Photography Le Chateau

Royal Hudson Valley Wedding at Le Chateau

It’s no secret that a bride feels like a queen on her wedding day, and this Hudson Valley wedding is dripping in royal elegance. Lori and Rob married this past march at Le Chateau in South Salem, New York, and was perfectly captured by Nidya Lloyd Photography.
 

Nidya says, “It was last spring when I met up with Lori & Rob for their engagement session…Lori is of the sweetest kind…with a smile that is simply brilliant. She is a nurturer by nature (say that 10x fast) and Robert is the recipient of all of her affection. Robert has a true protector spirit…and when he sees his lady and he melts. This is the type of couple that I could photograph all day!”
 

Here’s a fun fact…Lori’s dress was SO HUGE that it actually broke the hook the venue installed IN THE WALL!!
 

Featured photo and credit to all below: Nidya Lloyd Photography
 


 

Vendors:

 

DressBridal Reflections

HairHair by Val K

MakeupBeauty Entourage

JewelryLa Gravinese Jewelers

CrownEden Luxe Bridal

InvitesLaura Damiano Designs

VenueLe Chateau

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Krystal Pratt Productions Lake Minnewaska Engagement

Breathtaking Winter Engagement photos at Lake Minnewaska

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

 

 

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Crystal Stewart Photo Untermeyer Park Yonkers

Gorgeous Garden Engagement at Untermeyer Gardens in Yonkers

Natalie and Alek met in college where they were both studying biology and discovered they shared a fierce passion for public health. “We met at college in Organic Chemistry lab,” says Alek. “We were partners. I was a senior she was a sophomore. I always thought she was hot but she didn’t give me the time of day. It took a while.”

 

They let their relationship naturally fall into place. Alek says, “Well we really let things fall into place from the beginning. It felt so natural, we were just really attracted to each other. We met trying to attain the same biology degree so we really respect each other’s dedication to our respective fields and enjoy having deep conversations about that and life.”

 

Alek knew Nat was the one when she told him the story of why she wouldn’t talk to him at first. He says, “Months later, she told me the only reason she never gave me the time of day was because she was in a relationship, but she was really into me all that time in the lab. At that point I knew I could respect her. But I knew I loved her when I wrote out our first Valentine’s Day card. Somehow those words explained exactly how I felt to her and to myself.”

 

Their photo shoot, according to photographer Crystal Stewart, of Crystal Stewart Photo, was at Nat’s favorite place, Untermeyer Gardens. “Her favorite place,” says Stewart, “was this gorgeous private garden that is normally sprawling with vibrant color. This winter was brutal in the northeast, so upon arrival, we noticed that there was not even one pop of color. Initially very sad, the couple decided to just trust me and we really got some gorgeous images. Throughout the session, this couple was playful, joked around, dotted over one another and really showed how much they understood each other.”

 

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