It was 8 degrees.
Howling winds brought the wind chill down below zero.
It was the kind of mind-numbing cold where it was hard to even form words.
They are high school sweethearts.
Mom and Dad to their ridiculously fluffy golden, Darcy, and well, perfect.
From the outside looking in, we all see these "perfect" moments everywhere these days.
Instagram posts are beautifully curated showing lives well lived or so we believe.
We see what we imagine.
Here is the thing though.
Life is rarely perfect.
If at all.
What we see in a photograph, is the coordinating clothes, the happy dog, the stolen kisses in between the laughter…
the magic that makes them sparkle.
What we don't see is all the work getting to this point.
The compromises. The sacrifices. The long days at work.
The moments that are messy and not so perfect.
Aside from the exterior…it's the interior which radiates the warmth.
It's that warmth that makes the dull, dreary days of winter, spring to life when we have the right mindset.
"Rain", like obstacles, are merely a slight inconvenience.
A comma, a pause, in a long, beautiful story.
IF only, we make up our mind to see it that way.
It is the same with the essence of a photograph. It is the story we take away from it.
The true depth of the day is not always easy to see.
Stay with me here.
You see, wedding days rarely go off as planned, and life is full of unexpected twists.
How we approach the disappointments or for that matter, happiness, is what makes or breaks us.
The same goes for a photograph. It's only as good as we make it to be.
Looking at these happy photos below,
it's hard to imagine they lost a home in a fire and everything inside of it.
While this does not define them,
I think about it.
I get a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart about the sentimental items
they no longer have any more for reference.
But that's just it, right?
They are references.
Tangibles, that identify a feeling we don't ever want to forget.
The best part about those feelings though is that they can never be taken away.
We carry them.
The feelings are all the proof we need to remind us that we have
celebrated and appreciated something extraordinary.
When all else is stripped away…we find out the cliche rings true.
Love is indeed…all we really ever need.
When we started off the session indoors, it was crowded and noisy, yet they were cool with heading outside.
When it was beyond cold and they had to corral their rambunctious pup, they laughed.
When their hair was every which way but down, we found ways to make it work.
Annnd well, for all the fur on James's navy coat from Darcy…photoshop helped.
Those things are silly incidentals, that we can choose to make a big deal or not.
Having a good day is luck.
MAKING it a good day is everything.
Nicole and James, made it look so easy.
They made the moment theirs.
They were present.
And in every sense of the word…Engaged.
Aren't they the cutest?
Who the heck needs foliage when you have a John Deere nearby!
I'm thinking Darcy might need her own Insta hashtag!
Nicole is just as stunning as she is sweet!
James recently passed his Bar exam!
I'm obsessed with how Nicole styled their attire.
The perfect amount of layering, and coordination of colors!
Wait until you see her skirt!
a pretty portrait…
Some fun along the way…
I know. I know. THE SKIRT. AHHHHHH!!!!
CRAZY good, right?!
Bedell Cellar was super kind to let us sneak in for a quick shot!
Thank you, Nicole and James, for living the moment for all that it was worth.
For laughing when things got crazy and for giving me the honor to photograph your happy day when
you celebrate on Long Island at Bourne Mansion in December.
I can't wait!