Engagement Session at Branch Brook Park - NJ Wedding Photographer | Idalia Photography
Engagement Session at Branch Brook Park

Engagement Session at Branch Brook Park Amanda and Sean


Amanda and Sean were engaged last August after an epic proposal at a castle. Yup! More on that in Amanda’s own words below, but first let me tell you about their cherry blossom engagement session! Amanda and Sean wanted an engagement session with the cherry blossoms so we planned to do it in mid-April when these gorgeous trees would be blooming. The cherry blossoms bloom and peak for a very short window each year so I always have to keep a close eye on them each spring. It’s so worth it, though, because they are just beautiful and so dreamy. They make the perfect backdrop for a spring engagement session.

I loved finally getting to meet Amanda and Sean. It was back in November when they chose me to capture their Park Chateau Estate wedding but I hadn’t met them in person yet. Their engagement session was the perfect opportunity to meet them, get to know them a bit, and hear about their wedding day plans. They were such a pleasure to work with and I’m already so excited for their 2020 wedding. They’re planning a romantic and elegant wedding with a palette full of pinks, blushes, whites, grays, silvers, and other neutral tones. I cannot wait to see it come together! Get to know these two and read their love story below!

Engagement Session at Branch Brook Park

How they met

“The infamous question!!! We both agree that we met in middle school (Amanda – 8th grade, Sean 7th grade), but I always thought it was in front of the local movie theater and Sean thinks it was in front of our science teacher’s classroom. While we had a brief “middle school relationship” and remained close over the years, we “got back together” or started dating seriously 8 years ago. We reconnected at a friend’s bonfire… that we agree on =)”

When they knew they had found the one

Amanda – “I like to remind him that I knew in middle school! For me, it was an indescribable gut feeling. I used to tell people we were going to get married one day and none of my friends would believe me… rightly so because we were teenagers, what did we know at that age haha. But I ended up being right! Ultimately, there was an undeniable connection from the beginning. The fact that he liked me when I was 13 (aka the awkward stage) and that he loves me for me – my craziness, lack of patience, stubbornness, and all – had me determined that he was the one.”

Sean – “For me, I always knew Amanda was special. There was an instant connection the moment we met. Amanda was always on my mind even though it took us until our college years to get serious. She always cared about me more than any person has cared about me. The moment that I was blown away was oddly enough when we weren’t even talking. It was on my birthday, and she was the first one to text me. Right at midnight on the dot. At this point, we hadn’t talked in a year or so, and when she texted me on my birthday before anyone else, that really opened my eyes and I knew she was the one.”

The Proposal

“The proposal was beyond anything I ever dreamed of… and I dreamed about scenarios for this day since I was a little girl. For the past 50 years, my extended family, all 20+ of us, has gone to Lake George and stayed at the same hotel every summer during the first week of August. Sean was supposed to come meet us on Thursday of that week. Little did I know; Sean was driving up a day early to surprise me. He called me like he typically did when he was on his way home from work and towards the end of the conversation, he told me to come outside. I was so confused and there he was standing outside the hotel room! After the initial happiness of the surprise, my type A personality started kicking in. My next thoughts were that I didn’t have him on the dinner reservation that night and I had no idea where we were going to stay. Sean proceeded to tell me that I needed to shower and get ready for dinner ASAP. He booked an Airbnb that he wanted to show me beforehand because he didn’t know if I was going to like it. I was in sweatpants and my hair was in French braids, so I really had to hurry up and get ready! We got in the car and he started driving. I’m sure I asked him a million questions and looking back, he was probably so nervous. He started taking me up this mountain on a really windy road. I had no idea where we were going. I had been to Lake George for 28 years at that point but didn’t recognize this location. I figured it was a small cabin on top of a mountain… well, not at all. It was this BEAUTIFUL castle overlooking the entire lake. I was in complete shock. I had seen this place while out on the boat with my family but had no idea we could actually go up to it, let alone go inside! He led me in and I was in such awe of the castle, I didn’t realize was trying to take me outside to the balcony to propose. We finally made it to the balcony, and I saw 180-degree views of Lake George and the Adirondacks. It was breathtaking. All I can remember is turning around and Sean being on one knee asking me to marry him. His plan for the proposal was combining my love for Disney, fairy tales, and being with my family, so he rented out an entire castle to propose to me so we could celebrate this special moment with my family in the place I had been going to since I was born. It was the greatest moment of my life. I couldn’t have planned anything better myself.”

All about the ring

“The engagement ring was my great grandmother’s – it is over 100 years old! I mentioned to Sean years ago that I wanted my great grandmother’s ring as my engagement ring. He responded “no, I want to pick something out on my own.” I didn’t really bring it up again because I thought his mind was set. While I understood his desire to choose his own ring, deep down I always felt that it would be so special to have her beautiful ring passed down to me.Unfortunately I never got to meet my great grandmother, but I have always heard how many things we had in common. Little did I know, while Sean did go ring shopping, he always had what I said on the back of his mind. He tricked me and had decided to propose with my grandmother’s ring. When I saw it, I knew that if he remembered a conversation from years ago and knew that was what I really wanted, he was the one.”

One thing they love about each other

Amanda – “It’s hard to pick one thing! I love that he’s the most patient, laid back, calm person I have ever met. I am the complete opposite and I wish I could be more like him. I also truly love and admire his kindness, strength and perseverance.”

Sean – “Amanda is filled with passion and the hardest working person I know. What I love about her is motivation and work ethic. Amanda runs on a clock where time never runs out. She plans absolutely every second of her day, months and months in advance; while, I cannot even plan the day for the day. She knows all the answers to everything and can solve any problem that gets in her way.”

Inspired by this Cherry Blossom engagement session? Pin this image or any from the post above!

Vendor Credits

Hair | Renaissance Spa & Salon in Hillsborough, NJ

Makeup | Makeup by Michele Eva

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If we haven't met yet, I'm Alex! I'm passionate about discovering beautiful stories, documenting genuine moments, and capturing timeless images along the way. Here I share our latest work, a peek into my life, and helpful resources. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!







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