Central Park Engagement Session | New York Wedding Photographer | Jess and JT
Last week, I had the chance to hang out with Jess and JT during their beautiful engagement session in Central Park in New York City! After talking with these two for a few months leading up to their session, I could not wait to officially get together and take the first of many photos of these two together! We’ve been dreaming of these rowboat pictures for what feels like forever!
Our evening started when JT picked me up from Scott’s house and we drove to Westwood, NJ to pick up Jess. From there we went to Central Park where we took the first set of photos in front of this cute little fountain!! Miraculously, there was no one around the fountain which was unexpected for NYC and absolutely perfect! The sun was shining through and I couldn’t have asked for a better setting to kick off our session! Of course, it wasn’t the Bethesda Fountain, but Jess joked that if I told her it was, she would have believed me! From the fountain, we went to the REAL Bethesda Terrace 😉 where we took a few more casual outfit photos on a beautiful set of stairs overlooking the park.
Once we finished up at this location, both Jess and JT changed and we headed over to Loab Boathouse to rent row boats for the second half of their session! CUE THE EXCITEMENT. Jess and JT were in one boat while I followed along in another. We went out onto the lake in Central Park with views of the entire city behind us. Since the sun was setting, most of the boaters were or had already headed back in. This was GREAT because there weren’t many people in the photos! We ended our amazing night in the city together at Que Pasta where we had a super yummy Italian meal together and I loved hearing ALL about their love story over dinner.
But wait!? Before I share all of the amazing pictures from their session, I want to tell you a little about Jess & JT’s amazing love story. They met at the University of Rhode Island during the first semester of their freshman year of college. One night, while walking back to their adjacent dorm buildings, Jess and JT ran into each other and started up a conversation. Even though they wouldn’t end up seeing each other for a full two years after that night, it was that very night that sparked a lifelong love!
Because they both ended up transferring schools, they didn’t have their first date until two years after their first meeting by the dorms at the University of Rhode Island. Jess went to Albany to reconnect and visit JT and stayed the entire weekend with him. Jess says that their first meal together was at a Dunkin Donuts in Walmart! LOL! I love that. But, of course, they had their official first date night together at a Bucco Di Beppo in the area. Jess said that weekend was the weekend she knew she just had her first date with her future husband. She jokes that it took JT a little while longer to figure that out. 😉
For many years to follow, Jess and JT continued to grow and love one another and build their adventure list together! Their motto (which I LOVE), is “say yes to new adventures”. I could not think of a more perfect couple to associated this important message with. Just from meeting these two a few months back and getting to hang with them during their engagement session, I can tell that they are perfect adventure partners for each other.
And their adventure list! OH MY GOSH. It is endless! Wineries, beaches, vacations, apple picking, comedy clubs, snow tubing, BRUNCH, Broadway…you name it, these two have it covered. I just love how much they make new experiences together a priority. Even the simplest activities like sitting by the fire pit together become a special memory for them.
SO, when it came time for JT to pop the question, he knew he wanted it to be intimate, romantic, and include the people they love the most. JT used Christmas lights to spell out the words “will you marry me” on Jess’ parents shed in the backyard. When Jess walked to the back, I’m pretty sure she likely burst into tears and blacked out of over-excitement right then and there. For both of them, the next few minutes were a blur, but the most important thing is SHE SAID YES! Afterward, Jess’ parents threw a surprise proposal party with their family and closest friends there to celebrate! The beginning of the best adventure yet! (And of course, Jess was shocked to realize ALL her friends and family knew about it!!)
When Jess and JT are not working, they love to enjoy dinner together (usually Italian – yum!) and work on checking off another item on their adventure list. I cannot tell you how much I love these two! So outgoing, they are a BLAST to hang with (and I am sure their friends and family can attest!).
I am so excited to continue celebrating the unconditional love these two have for each other next year at their wedding. I feel very lucky to have met yet another amazing Laura Lee couple who continue to makes my job so rewarding and meaningful! Thank you, Jess and JT for letting me share your love story with the world – cheers to many more celebrations to come!