Happy Friday! I’m back in the office today after an amazing few days at the Creative at Heart Conference in Raleigh and I’m excited to finally introduce you to Maya and Will! Maya found us thanks to a co-worker and started following our work even before Will popped the question. Isn’t that amazing?! We were so honored when she shared that detail with us during our Skype meeting back in April and it was a great start to our conversation. Maya and Will are SO thrilled for their wedding day and I just loved seeing how excited they were to plan their day. They’ll be tying the knot at The Park Savoy next summer and I already know their wedding is going to be beautiful!
For their engagement session, Maya and Will had originally chosen Skylands Manor but remember the government shutdown last month? Well, it landed on the day of their session and with all state parks being closed, we had to quickly choose a new location. The weather was supposed to be perfect that day so we certainly didn’t want to waste the day. Maya and Will were looking for a place with gardens so I emailed them a few ideas and they chose to meet up at Sayen House and Gardens. I’m SO glad they did! I had shot here plenty of times before so I knew it would be a great location but the last time I had shot there was a while ago and I had forgotten exactly how beautiful it is there until I arrived at Maya and Will’s shoot. This is totally a new favorite spot for engagement photos. Wait until you see how pretty it is (and wait until you read their proposal story below – there are penguins involved!). But my favorite part of this session was the way Maya and Will handled the change in our plans that day. They could have been angry (as many people in NJ were that day!) but instead, they were flexible, quick on their feet to change plans, and did it all with the best attitude and with smiles on their faces. Because they’re in love, and no government shut down could ruin that joy of being engaged and planning the wedding of their dreams. Maya and Will, congratulations on your engagement!! I think your love story is off to a wonderful start.
“We lived in the same freshman residence hall in Ithaca College. We didn’t become close friends until Junior year when we ended up being neighbors off-campus and Maya’s roommate asked her to go with her to a party at Will’s house. The topic of birthdays came up and we found out we were born only a day apart in hospitals less than 30 miles from each other. From then on out, we decided we could be friends.”
We would always hang out with our group of friends, but one day just the two of us went to Purity Ice Cream, which has the best ice cream in Ithaca (we may be biased). Will got apple crumble with vanilla ice cream, and started telling Maya stories about Warwick, NY and the apple festivals there. Maya liked listening to Will’s stories, and Will found it amusing that Maya could eat large quantities of chocolate ice cream in short amounts of time.”
“We had been dating for a couple months and we were at an annual end of school year party. Maya was the designated driver, and Will was… not the designated driver! We were standing in a circle listening to music outside, when Wills roommates shattered a beer bottle on the black top. The shards of glass flew into Maya’s leg. Our friend drove Maya to the hospital, and Will went along for the ride. Will took Maya out of the car and held her in his arms, and as he walked into the emergency room he shouted ‘she’s going to be OKAY!’ “.
Maya: “I knew he was the one because despite the circumstances, he made me laugh the whole time we were at the hospital.”
Will: “We always had each others back and were there for each other, no matter what was happening. This was one of those moments.”
“We went to Boston for the weekend to celebrate what would be our 5 year anniversary of being together. As penguin lovers, we stopped at the Boston Aquarium. A fact about penguins is that the male penguin finds the best pebble to give to the female penguin. If she accepts the pebble, the two are mates for life.”
Maya’s Version: “We were standing looking at the penguins when he slid a pebble into my hand. I instantly knew what it meant and the waterworks started. He got down on one knee and opened the ring box and asked me to marry him.”
Will’s Version: “I knew she would say yes, but I was nervous. The penguins were all dressed up in their black and white for the occasion. She was laughing at something silly one of the penguins did, and in that moment I slid the pebble into her hand and got down on one knee and presented the human version of a pebble and even though I thought she would say yes, I was still very relieved when she said yes! Afterwards we walked outside to the harbor to call our friends and family and tell them the news!”
Maya: “One thing I love about Will is that he will always be a kid at heart. He keeps me grounded.”
Will: “I love her cooking. She makes great jambalaya, which I renamed JambalMaya.”
“Will worked with Maya’s uncle who is a jeweler to have the ring made. It meant a lot to Maya because her Uncle made nearly everyones rings in her family. It has a lot of sentimental value.”
“We are looking forward to being around all of our family and friends. We are huge foodies, so we can’t wait for the food (and yes, we will be attending our own cocktail hour!) and to dance the night away.”
We hope you enjoyed these Sayen House and Gardens Engagement Photos! Click here to view more engagement sessions.
Hi! I’m Alex, lead photographer and owner of Idalia Photography. I've been photographing weddings for over nine years and I'm passionate about discovering beautiful stories, documenting genuine moments, and capturing timeless images along the way.
Together, with the rest of my team, I specialize in capturing classic and romantic weddings for elegant couples who are joyfully in love. Click here to contact me for availability and pricing.
Serving NJ, NY, PA, and beyond.