The change in plans that evening was the best thing that ever happened to Sandy. It was originally supposed to be a low key night, where she and her friend would head down to the local bar in Rowayton, which was more often filled with neighborhood dads than single guys. So her friend suggested something else…a trip to South Norwalk where the ratio of cute guys would be much more in their favor. Little did they know on that drive over that night that Sandy would meet not just any guy, but the guy: Mike. It may have been a chance meeting in a crowded bar, but you only need to spend a few minutes with Sandy and Mike to know that they would have found each other at some point no matter what.
In fact, it takes all of five minutes to figure out that Mike is completely crazy about Sandy. You can see that when he looks at her and wonders how in the world he got so lucky. And it's very much the same with Sandy, who can't help but laugh at all of Mike's jokes and completely melt when he puts his arm around her. It's easy to see why they work so well together. They both have the same laid-back and approachable energy that makes you fee completely comfortable around them, the kind of thing that radiates from a couple whose connection is so deep that they truly are one another's best friend.
And in just a few months, they'll become even more than that. From a change of plans to a chance meeting, they will officially become husband and wife this September.
* * *
Sandy and Mike have had quite a busy year. On top of planning the wedding (no easy task, although they do have help from Candice and her team at Jubilee Events), they also happened to buy a house and get another dog. So the last several months have been a whirlwind but Sandy and Mike are going with the flow and enjoying the ride. When it came time to decide where to do their engagement session, they suggested starting off at their new house so we could spend some time with both them and their sweet dogs, Penny and Nina. From there, we headed just down the road to Rowayton where Sandy and Mike spent a lot of time when they first started dating, and where they still like to visit on regular basis. The whole session felt like a little glimpse into Sandy & Mike's life, which we loved. It always great when a couple makes the engagement session personal, it makes it that much more fun for all of us.
This is Penny who is super sweet and very friendly. I like to think she always looks like she's smiling.
And this is their newest addition, Nina. She's a ball of energy and always looking to play.
And, of course, Sandy and Mike. The smile on Sandy's face pretty much sums it up. They are adorable together.
We spent time in Sandy & Mike's backyard where the dogs could be running around them, just like a normal afternoon together.
Of course everyone needs a couple straight forward portraits, perfect for newspaper announcements.
You can totally see why Sandy fell for Mike, he's super funny and incredibly sweet.
Anytime we suggested Sandy and Mike get a little closer, they were more than happy to do so - pulling each other in nice and tight.
Rob couldn't get enough of Penny & Nina, so he grabbed a few more shots of them when we headed back inside.
We grab a quick "family portrait" on the front steps of Sandy & Mike's new house.
And then took a short walk with the pups around the block...
where we happened to spot some beautiful "classic Connecticut" scenery that we had to stop and take advantage of.
White picket fence, ivy and blooming flowers? It doesn't get much more spring in New England.
Once the pups were back inside, the four of us headed down the road to scenic Rowayton.
You can't really visit a New England shoreline town without visiting some docks, which also happen to be the perfect place for some cuddling.
Probably one of my favorites from their session - the light reflecting off the water and the smiles on their faces...doesn't get much better than that!
This is what we like to call, the parent-friendly, on-the-mantle shot. Classic.
On the way back toward the car, Sandy pointed out the barns just a few yards a way and asked if we thought they'd be good for pictures. The answer? YES!
We love to capture the connection between two people in different ways - hands and arms always tell a story.
A green barn and a red barn? It was like Christmas morning! :)
Sandy & Mike, thanks so much for an amazing afternoon and the delicious sweets (we enjoyed them on the way home!!) We had a great time with you both and can't wait until September for your wedding day!
I could try to put into words the magic that is Danielle and David, but I know I never could. Not like they could, anyway. Both award winning journalists, Danielle and David had all of their friends and family in tears this past Saturday as they listened to the outpouring of raw emotion and expression of unconditional love that was their hand-written vows. Nearly two full pages each, they each relied on the tools that had always been their strength, words, to try to explain just how important they were to one another. They promised to do the big things, like help each other pursue their dreams and someday create a family. But they didn't forget the little things, like making sure they always spend Saturday mornings on the couch watching movies and take walks arm-in-arm around their neighborhood. When they were done there wasn't a dry eye in the room or a doubt that these two would still be just as crazy about each other fifty years down the road.
So I won't attempt to tell you about how Danielle and David feel about one another. It's as clear as the smile on her face when she looks at him and the look of pride in his eyes as he takes her hand. Instead, I will tell you about how they met. For seven years they lived in the same city. Each of them had come to New York to pursue the same career, David coming from the midwest and Danielle from the east coast. And, in spite of even being in the same neighborhoods from time to time, their paths never seemed to cross before. But three years and three weeks ago, the timing was exactly right. Danielle was hesitant when she walked into the bar in Brooklyn that night to meet David in person for the first time. But when she spotted him across the room, sitting at a table with a glass of bourbon and a magazine in his hand, she felt the hesitation wash away. When he looked up and saw her smile lighting up the room, he knew without a doubt that this first date was going to be different.
They talked and laughed that whole night long, and according to each of them they haven't stopped since. Which is easy to believe when you see them together. They have a natural chemistry, a complete easiness about them that makes it clear that there is no where else they would rather be than next to one another. In fact, that was one of the first things they talked about the morning of their wedding. Right after they saw each other for the first time that day, once they had finished gushing about how amazing the other looked, they talked about how many hours they had been apart. From that moment on, they were never more than a few feet away from each other all day. Hand-in-hand nearly the whole night, Danielle with a huge smile on her face and David looking like he just won the lottery. And in a way they both had. Because you don't get much luckier than finding that one person that you are clearly meant to be with. And there's no doubt that Danielle and David were destined to be together. It's clear when you look at their faces, and unmistakable when you listen to the words they say to one another.
* * *
As usual, we started the morning with the flurry of excitement photographing the girls getting ready. Danielle and David clearly have a knack for selecting gorgeous locations and the start of the day was no exception. They were getting ready at an amazing new hotel in New Haven, The Study at Yale. When we arrived, Danielle was having the finishing touches of her make-up done by the super talented D.D. Nickel. We jumped right in photographing Danielle's details, starting with her stunning lace Jim Hjelm gown, her Kate Spade shoes and her bouquets from Fleur De Lys Floral in New Haven. By the time we were done with the details, Danielle was having her hair done by her best friend Tara, who happens to be a professional hair stylist. (Check her out if you're ever in Florida.)
Once Danielle was all ready to go and her mother and bridesmaids had made sure every button was buttoned and her sash was perfect, we took advantage of the beautiful penthouse of The Study for bridal portraits. We could have done that all day since Danielle looked absolutely stunning, but we knew that she was dying to see David for the first look. Like the whole rest of the day, their first look was incredibly emotional with Danielle and David completely in to one another. We spent some more time with the two of them at the penthouse and then headed out to brave the cold and rain on the streets of New Haven with a quite stop over at Edgerton Park.
Before we knew it was time to get started with the ceremony, beginning with the signing of the Ketubah. The ceremony took place in the ballroom of the New Haven Lawn Club. The room got completely transformed for the reception, with the staff of the Lawn Club completely flipping the room and making it gorgeous. Of course, all of the Danielle and David's touches made it even more beautiful, with their cake from J Cakes and the centerpieces from Fleur De Lys Floral. The party kicked off with their incredible band Swingadelic and kept going strong all night long with Danielle and David in the center of it all.
Danielle's lace Jim Hjelm gown was stunning and absolutely perfect for her.
A must for any wedding in April: cute umbrellas. Danielle had found the polka dot ones on her own, but David's sister brought the bright yellow ones with her from Seattle, where I'm guessing you could find an umbrella in any color!
Another one of Danielle's friends is a designer and helped her pick out (and coordinate) all of the details to go with her gown.
If you're having a wedding at New Haven, you should totally consider getting ready at The Study at Yale, not only does it have an incredible view of the Yale Campus but it's a great mix of modern and cozy and it also happens to have amazing light. (Total bonus for pictures!)
Danielle selected a bright cheery color palette for her flowers, perfect for a spring wedding. All of the flowers were done by Fleur De Lys Floral in New Haven.
When you're looking for classic, elegant shoes for your wedding, you can never go wrong with Kate Spade.
A few more of the masterfully matched details Danielle had to go with her gown.
David's niece Sydney was clearly very excited to be the flower girl, and made a special gift for Danielle....
a drawing of how she was going to look once she was all ready. How adorable is that?
As always, a flurry of cameras in the room as everyone is looking to capture the moments leading up to the wedding.
Danielle totally lucked out having a best friend who also happens to be an incredible hair stylist. Tara did a gorgeous job on Danielle's hair.
There was a blend of both sides of the family in the penthouse with Danielle as she got ready. Dave's mother and sister were both very excited.
Then came time for Danielle to finally get into her dress, her sister did the honor of helping zipper her in.
And then she helped with the sash as well, the perfect compliment to the gown.
We always love being able to capture the over all scene at moments like this, everyone standing around and looking on as Danielle gets ready.
Until she was fully in the gown, Danielle hadn't really seen her self in a full length mirror until her friend brought one over to her. Suffice to say, she was very happy with the end result.
And can you blame her? She's absolutely gorgeous!
Plus she was incredibly excited, which only added to how great she looked. Once she flashed that big smile you couldn't help but feel happy too.
Of course we had to have some fun showing off her details - her earrings, the fun umbrellas and the bouquet.
And we couldn't neglect the location, either. We had Danielle go by the window to show off a glimpse of the New Haven setting.
Before the bridal portraits, I made the trip downstairs to visit David and grab a few shots of him getting ready. He had custom cufflinks for himself and his groomsmen, all typewriter keys. Perfect touch for the wedding of two journalists.
Just like his bride, David looked pretty amazing too. You gotta love a classic tuxedo with a bow tie.
Then came time for Danielle and David to finally see each other for the first time that day.
Just the beginning of many more smiles to come...
Just look at the two of them together, completely and ridiculously happy.
Of course, you have to sneak in a few kisses. They hadn't seen in each other in several hours after all!
Before braving the wind and rain, we spent some time with just Danielle and David upstairs in the Study.
And stopped in the lobby to grab a shot with the bright red bench, something Rob spotted the moment we walked in the door.
Danielle and David had spotted this vintage Art Supplies sign on one of their many trips up to Connecticut while planning the wedding and knew they wanted to get incorporate it into their photos. We were more than happy to oblige.
Downtown New Haven has such a mix of old and new architecture and plenty of texture that totally take advantage of while shooting.
Before heading over to the New Haven Lawn Club, where the ceremony and reception were taking place, we stopped by Edgerton Park. Because if you're getting married in Connecticut, you can't miss the opportunity to have a picture with a stone wall.
The New Haven Lawn Club just may be one of our favorite venues. The food is always great, the staff is so nice and art deco, old Hollywood charm is so much fun to photograph.
By this point in the day, the rain had already started to fall and instead of getting discouraged Danielle and David embraced it and decided to have some fun with their umbrellas.
We snuck back under the cover for a few more shots of the happy bride and groom.
The ballroom in the Lawn Club is always gorgeous (just look at those chandeliers) and it was especially nice as the ceremony location.
We love it with the Chuppah is made of white birch, it's a classic look that goes with pretty much any location and style. This one, made by Fleur De Lys Floral was especially beautiful.
All of Danielle and David's immediate family gathered around them as the signed the Ketubah before the ceremony.
I love the Jewish tradition where the groom walks down the aisle with both of his parents, it's always so moving.
David's adorable niece and nephew had the honor of being Ring Bearer and Flower Girl. I love the look on his his face as her carries the pillow down the aisle.
As soon as Danielle could see David down the end of the aisle, her giant smile came through again. She had saved the cage veil as a surprise for David.
We always make it a point to get an overview of the ceremony (a speciality of Rob's) to make sure to capture the crowd gathered and the look of the entire room.
The ceremony started with the "Dance of Love," a Jewish tradition where the bride and groom walk around each other three times each. David and Danielle especially liked this part, flirting a bit with each other as they walked.
Then came time for Danielle and David to exchange vows. These weren't just any vows, they were the kind of incredible promises you could only expect to hear from two people who write for a living. It's safe to say there wasn't a person in the room that was moved. Even the lighting guy from the Lawn Club was smiling in the back of the room.
And finally... the stopping of the glass and the first kiss as husband and wife.
This might be my favorite shot from the day, seeing the complete happiness on both Danielle and David's faces as they walked out of the ceremony.
Rob and I were completely blown away with how quickly the Lawn Club switched over the room from the ceremony to the reception. Christine and her staff always impress us.
Receptions at the Lawn Club are always filled with candlelight, adding to the Art Deco vibe.
Danielle and David selected the unique touch of having palm leaves as centerpieces, possibly a nod to Danielle's home state of Florida. Their adorable cake topper was the perfect compliment to their classic cake made by J Cakes.
Not surprisingly, Danielle and David's first dance was very romantic and emotional.
And had a few of their signature moves.
Immediately following the first dance, all of the guests gathered around Danielle and David for the Hora.
Rob braved it in the middle of the circle of the Hora, grabbing this shot of Danielle and David while they were lifted up on the chairs.
While I was up on the stage of the Lawn Club, grabbing it from this angle.
Each of Danielle & David's siblings, and Danielle's father, offered up toasts for them. They were all very different but had a common thread - they were all pretty funny but you could tell that each of them were incredibly proud of the two of them, and so happy they had found one another.
Following dinner, Danielle shared a dance with her father and David danced with his mother.
And, of course, no wedding is complete without cake...
or a happy couple dancing like they are the only two people in the room.
Danielle & David, thank you so much for choosing us to capture your amazing day! We had so much fun with you, your families and your friends. We hope that you have an amazing time on your honeymoon(s)!
Life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you want, exactly when you're supposed to get it. It's not something you can control or manipulate, it's something that you have to recognize when it's in front of you. Like when Rob and I found each other again, three years after initially meeting. We had been friends all along, but the way it worked out - the place we both were in our lives when we ended up in the same place at the same time again - showed us there was something more between us, something we had never seen before. And we saw it because the timing was right.
We have taken that lesson and applied it to nearly every other thing we do in our lives - to trust our instincts to know when the time is right. We created a list of goals, personal dreams and crazy ideas that we hoped to accomplish at some point of our lives. We would revisit them from time to and time, confident that we would be able to cross each of them off the list…when the time was right. With confidence that everything comes in it's due time we have been free to build this business into something we are incredibly proud of, to share personal experiences that we would have never have thought were possible before. Perhaps the biggest thing on that list was our dream to move to New York City. It had been something that we had each wanted to do since we were young. Something each of us would bring up from time to time, only to get discouraged when we thought it wasn't the right time. Then suddenly it was. And we both felt it and we were able to make that huge leap, knowing that it was the right thing to do, and the right time to do it.
And if we needed any reassurance that we had, in fact, made the right decision we got some news in early February that confirmed it even more. WE ARE PREGNANT! To say that we are excited is an understatement. We've always known we wanted to have children, but like everything else in our lives we knew it would happen whenever the timing was right. Well, life decided that now is the right time. We're due October 13th. Having the baby come right in the middle of the Fall wedding season could be an obstacle if we didn't have the most amazing, understanding couples and support system of generous fellow photographers. Although I won't be able to be at some of the fall weddings, Rob absolutely will be, with one of our amazing photographer friends by his side. Just goes to show you that you can never plan these kinds of things, they come to you when you're supposed to get it. If we had found out we were pregnant even a few months sooner than we did, we probably would have never moved here to the city, leaving a whole bunch of things on our dream list, never to be crossed off. We may have never been able to be this much closer to my family (who are now a mere 45-minute drive as opposed to the 2-hour trip it was from Connecticut) and we probably would have never accomplished something else we have had own our list since the start of this business: creating a separate studio space. All of which we actually have been able to do, thanks to everything happening when it did. We now are getting settled into our fabulous new studio space and emptying out of home office to make room for our new family member.
They say the minute you know your pregnant your life begins to change. We can safely say that from our own experience so far, that's completely true. This little baby has already changed our lives and made it better in so many ways, and we haven't even gotten to meet him or her yet.
And, since every post is that much better with a picture - he's a few from baby Trenske's very first little photo shoot. As the child of photographers, it's safe to say this is just the beginning of many more photos to come.
The only contact we had with Nate prior to last Sunday was a phone call and a couple of e-mails. He told us the plan, where and when it would all take place and sent over a picture so we would know who exactly to look for. That morning, we headed to Central Park, focused on the task, cameras in hand doing our best to blend into the crowd. Rob and I scouted for a few minutes and took our locations, communicating slowly through text for the remainder of the morning as to not be detected. You would think we were part of a super stealth covert operation, and in a way we kind of felt like we were. You see, Nate had a very important thing to do that morning and it was something he wanted photographed so that memory could be preserved for ever. More accurately, he wanted the look on Lauren's face to be captured so they could both look back on it for years to come. He was going to propose, right in the middle of Central Park, on the Bow Bridge to be exact.
Lauren, of course, had no idea what Nate was up to that morning while they took the train into the city. She didn't know that he had picked out the ring weeks ago or that it was in his pocket at that very moment. She didn't know while they sat down for brunch at the Central Park Boathouse that he had already texted us to let us know what time he anticipated walking out of brunch and over to the boathouse. And she had no clue that Rob and I were following behind them as Nate took her hand and walked her through the park, past the Bethesda Fountain and up over to the Bow Bridge. When he turned and faced her on the bridge she started to smile, and when he got down on one knee she started to cry. And when he asked her to marry him she said yes as quickly as she possibly could and then gave him the biggest kiss of her life. Then he pointed over to us and let her know that we had just captured it all and she could hardly believe it. Her face said it all, she was completely shocked…and thrilled. It was exactly what she would hope it would be - the happiest moment of her life so far, and knowing that she was going to marry a man who knew her so well that he would go to the trouble to plan all this. Well, that made it even better…if that were possible.
* * *
We have to say that photographing surprise proposals are up there with one of our favorite things to do. They're completely emotional moments where we get to step back and just watch it all unfold. Plus, we get to be in on the surprise, which is a total bonus! If any of you guys out there are considering having your surprise proposal photographed, we highly recommend it!
Since we arrived early to make sure we were in place and not seen, we had some time to grab some details of the park. Gotta love the "Become Your Dream" sidewalk art.
Some more fun with chalk of course, someone's drawing of the city on the side of the Bethesda Terrace.
Shortly after Nate & Lauren walked out of brunch at the Boathouse, I followed behind and let Rob know that they were on the way to where he was waiting (hiding near a tunnel so he wouldn't be spotted. Not like Lauren had any idea of what we looked like or who we were, but we really got into the covert op thing!)
Once on the center of Bow Bridge, Nate pulled Lauren in and got ready to pop the question. P.S. The easiest way to spot a guy that is about to purpose: he has one hand in his pocket at all times, protecting the ring.
A true gentleman, Nate got down on one knee and Lauren could hardly believe what was happening. This is Rob's angle....
And this is mine. Look at Lauren wiping away a tear in the last one!
Rob captured Lauren actually getting to put on the ring for the very first time.
And I got the giant smile that followed once she saw the ring on her finger.
And, of course, the giant kiss.
Then Nate pointed to us and told Lauren that we had just captured it all. To say she was surprised is a bit of an understatement.
Of course, we couldn't resist getting a few more shots of the happy couple - a mini engagement session, if you will. Especially since these two were absolutely glowing they were so happy.
Just look at those smiles! Honestly we could photograph surprise proposals like this all the time!
And since they are newly engaged, they might just need a newspaper worthy announcement photo. Here you go! :)
Nate, thank you so much for inviting us to capture such a special moment for the two of you! We're so happy for you both!