Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, NY has always been one of my favorite lakes to visit in Upstate NY since I was a kid...the water is so surreal there, it makes me feel like I'm in the Caribbean! I can't believe I have never done a shoot there, until now! When Andi & Ben suggested the location for their engagement session I was all for it! And we couldn't have asked for a more perfect night... the golden light over the clear turquoise water was a photographer's dream!
Andi & Ben are such a sweet couple, I loved getting to know more about them and their love story! Here's some things that I learned:
How did you guys meet?
Andi: We met at a high school dance, through mutual friends!
Do you have a favorite date you've ever been on together?
Andi: I can't think of a specific favorite date that we've been on together, however a few years into our relationship we decided to start taking vacations instead of giving each other gifts since our anniversary, Valentine's Day, and both of our birthdays fall within three months of each other. I always look forward to exploring a new place every year together!
Ben: Penguins-Rangers Hockey Game in Pittsburgh.
What made you fall in love with Ben? What do you love most about him?
Andi: I love his heart, he is patient and loving to others and especially to me. Seeing how he was/is with my pets and our younger family members honestly made me fall even more in love with him. Animals tend to love him and I always think they have a good judge of character. He makes me feel beautiful and loved every single day and I feel so lucky to have him as my best friend and my home. He is very thoughtful and surprisingly sentimental and loves me for who I am.
What made you fall in love with Andi? What do you love most about her?
Ben: I fell in love with ALL of her. Hard to narrow down what I love the most. But I love that she ALWAYS brings the best out of me and she is my best friend. I love being able to tell her anything and that she loves a glass of wine and pjs more than a lively night downtown, I love that she sees the best in me and that I know I can always be myself with her.
How did you get engaged? Tell me the whole story, sparing no details!
Andi: We got engaged in Charleston, SC at Boone Hall Plantation on 1/4/20. The trip was the two of us going to visit my sister who lives there as well as a trip before work gets really busy for me for the following four months. My sister was painting her nails the night before and kept asking me to fix my nails as well, which I was getting annoyed with, but finally said fine and fixed the few nails that had chipped. The day of we were planning on going to Boone Hall Plantation for a tour and my sister was being extremely critical of my hair, makeup, outfits, shoes, etc while we were getting ready and I was getting really frustrated as to why she was judging me so much for just a tour of a house and walking around the land and gardens. When we arrived, I suggested that we go in to the main building to put our names down for a time to tour the house and my sister kept saying "no, I want to see the garden" I let it go, and in my head just said "it's your world and I'm just living in it today." As we got closer to the garden she mentioned her boyfriend (who at the time was deployed overseas) was calling so she needed to step out and answer, so Ben and I kept walking and then he took my hand and I then started to realize what was happening and could feel his nervous energy! After that, I do not remember much of what he actually said but I know it was sweet and I said yes! After he put the ring on my finger and stood back up I looked over his shoulder and saw a photographer step out from behind a bush as well as my sister just behind her and it all made sense why she was being so judgy of me that day! We then had a mini photoshoot and it started to sink in when we called/facetimed all of our family! I did cry after it settled in and I think he was just relieved it was over!
Ben: So I got the ring and was holding onto it a few months before our trip to South Carolina in early January. Her sister (from South Carolina) was home for Christmas and I knew we were going down a week or so later to visit her so I told her I was going to propose when we visit and that I had bought a ring. A couple days later I showed her the ring and told her that I wanted her to bring it back to South Carolina with her so I could have it down there for when we visit and so I wouldn't have to worry about it at customs at the airport (getting stolen and/or her seeing it in my bag). I had already asked her dad for her hand a few weeks back at a hockey game. If I wasn't nervous enough for that I was even more nervous waiting for her sister to tell me she arrived back home with the ring "safe and sound". Her sister and I had planned the whole day out for when we visited and where I would propose. Of course, the Saturday I proposed was raining on and off all morning but thankfully almost right as we left the clouds parted and the sun came out. The ride to Boone Hall (where I proposed) felt normal but I got nervous once we parked. As we headed off to the gardens I spotted our undercover photographer and knew it was time. When I got on a knee and asked her she was so in shock she didn't really say much but I did get a "yes" eventually and then her sister and the photographer came out and we enjoyed the rest of a trip we'll never forget!
I am so excited to photograph Andi & Ben's wedding next June at The Cannery in Vernon, NY!