Last month I had the pleasure of meeting up wit Chelsea and Jeffrey for their Spring Cherry Blossom Engagement at Branch Brook Park in Newark. This was one of several cherry blossom engagements that I had the honor of photographing this year and it was so beautiful! This time of year is always one of my very favorites. Not only does spring always kick off my season of engagement sessions but I get these dreamy trees to use as a backdrop for my couples. You can’t beat it!
Chelsea and Jeffrey were engaged in November and found us thanks to their wedding planner and our dear friend Jeanne from Bogath Events. Jeanne is currently planning Chelsea and Jeffrey’s wedding at The English Manor for this coming July so these two will be back on the blog before we know it! I’m so excited for their wedding! Not only are they the sweetest couple but I also can’t wait to see how their wedding comes together.
Chelsea and Jeffrey have known each other since elementary school. On the first day of 6th grade, Chelsea was on the bus and there was a new boy being picked up down the road from her house. Little did she know he was going to be in her class that year. A few years later, they had freshman science class together and they sat in the back row of the class and pretty much laughed their way through the entire year. However, it wasn’t until years after high school that they reconnected again through a mutual friend and have been together ever since. Chelsea and Jeffrey shared lots more about their love story and I’m so excited to share all the details below – enjoy reading them as you check out their Spring Cherry Blossom Engagement!
Chelsea: “Jeff asked me to go out to dinner at Water Street Bar and Grill in Downtown Toms River. I remember feeling really excited to see him again and catch up, but super nervous as well. We had a great dinner where he even let me try some of his tuna off his plate, which won me over. We ended up going over to the bar and our conversation flowed so easily, which was most memorable to me!”
Jeff: “I remember talking to our friend that set us up, because I was super nervous about seeing Chelsea again. But all those nerves went away when I saw her come to the door, looking beautiful in the black dress she was wearing. Chelsea claims to this day that she was not wearing a black dress that night, but trust me I would not forget! We then ended up spending hours at the restaurant because we had such a great connection with each other.”
Chelsea: “It was nighttime and we were watching the stars from inside the pool, while on vacation in Florida. He said to me he has been trying to tell me he loved me for awhile. I asked what he meant. That was when he then told me the sweetest story about when he was growing up, his mom used to hold his hand and lightly squeeze it three times. This symbolized the three words in “I love you”. I realized then that he’d been doing this for a few weeks without me thinking there was any meaning behind it. I remember in that moment saying to myself, I’m going to marry this guy!”
Jeff: “For me it was not one specific thing that she did. It was a lot of different little things that she did in our relationship over time. She treats me like no one else before, and all of this made me realize that our love for each other was very true and strong I knew she was the one.”
“Jeff was traveling to Canada for work and I was planning on tagging along with him because it happened to fall on our one year anniversary. I ended up having a crazy week at work, as most teachers do and I begged him to just stay home and relax instead. Of course being the amazing guy he is, he said no problem. I was completely unaware that he was planning on proposing to me while we were away!
Since I threw a wrench into his big plans, he convinced me to go down to Atlantic City for a mini getaway with him, considering it was our one year. He told me to pack a nice outfit for a dinner he had planned. We got to the hotel, changed for the night, and caught an Uber to the surprise restaurant. After a ten minute ride, we pulled up to the beautiful Palm Restaurant, inside the Tropicana casino.
We both oohed and ahhed over the menu, ordering two delicious dinners. When it was time for desert, Jeff was trying to convince me to get something. I kept telling him I was way to full, but I finally gave in. I ordered my favorite peanut butter pie. After the waitress left, I could tell Jeff got very serious and I thought something was wrong. I remember him starting to say, “You mean the world to me” and with that being said our waitress walked over with champagne. I thought this was all for our one year, until another waitress came over and put the dessert down in front of me. On the plate it said, Will you marry me?” and before I knew it Jeff was next to me, down on one knee, with the most beautiful ring. Of course I said yes! The whole restaurant applauded and I was in complete shock!”
“I adore my ring for so many different reasons. One of the reasons is that Jeff picked it out himself. When it was time to look, he enlisted both my mom and his to go around to a few different jewelers to get their opinions. In the end he winded up picking out the most beautiful rose gold band, lined with diamonds, and in the setting laid my Nanny’s classic round diamond from her wedding ring. I have dreamed about wearing her diamond for as long as I can remember. My Nanny held such a special place in my heart and knowing that I will forever have a piece of her with me always, brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it. I am touched that Jeff wanted to use her diamond for my ring, because he knew how much it would mean to me!”
Chelsea: “There are so many things I could list, but I really love Jeff’s zest for life and our shared loved for travel. I have never met someone who truly enjoys new, sometimes crazy experiences and can make friends anywhere he goes. He pushes me out of my comfort zone in the most amazing ways and challenges me to be open minded! I truly look forward to a lifetime of adventures with him.”
Jeff: “Chelsea is an amazing person with so many things to love about her. I love that she really knows how to show me her appreciation in everything that she does, and the way she takes after the house and animals when I am away on work.”
“When I envisioned my wedding, I have always wanted something elegant but with a little bit of modern flare. For years I have dreamed up many different pallets and concepts, but when it came down to it I really loved a clean, neutral look with little pops of color.
I love flowers and have always wanted them incorporated as much as possible the day of our wedding. The venue we ended up choosing was based off of this idea. The English Manor has lush gardens and a beautiful outside landscape, which made this vision easily come alive. We are able to hold our ceremony and cocktail hour outside on their grounds, allowing for the rich sense of elegance I was looking for.”
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.