If I had to choose my favorite part of the wedding planning process with my couples, I think it would be getting to know them during their engagement session. There are so many things going on for couples planning their wedding. Some of it is daunting, some of it is creative, and some of it is fun. I like to think that the photography part is fun (for obvious reasons…) Photographs don’t lie. They really only capture what already exists. My job is to make my couples feel comfortable and free to be themselves during their time with me. The engagement session is a long session, certainly longer than their portrait session on their wedding day. So, it’s a great way to get to know my couples and make sure I’m capturing them as they are, and who they are.
Jill and Rob’s engagement session wasn’t long ago, so I had a clear memory of them at their Central Park engagement session. Cool, calm, and full of grace. That is how I would describe them. And their wedding day was no different!
I arrived at Natirar early to grab some of Jill’s details, which she had so neatly arranged for me. She even had a sweet little ring box, already filled with her wedding band and her Grandmother’s wedding band. We all know sentiment is my favorite, so to see so many sentimental details, like Jill’s Grandmother’s initial pin, the handkerchief she gave Jill when she was born, and the insanely beautiful Manolo Blahnik pumps that Rob bought for Jill made my heart soar!
The shoes alone are proof that Rob is thoughtful, but on top of that, he sent over a surprise gift for Jill to be opened exclusively with her Mom and sister before heading to the church. Inside the package was LOVE bracelet from Cartier, the kind you have to screw on and not take off. Such a sweet sentiment, and it took about 4 people to put it on!
The church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bernardsville is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen! Rob was so excited to marry Jill, he shouted out “I do” more than once, and with a boldness no one could miss.
We arrived back at the mansion before the guests arrived and had some fun with the bridal party, overlooking the view over the park. Now, I don’t always get to take family portraits overlooking the view as well, but we were blessed with some incredible clouds that made the lighting so beautiful!
After the wedding party and family members finished up their portrait sessions, we walked our brave couple to the furthest extent of Natirar’s manicured grounds to the second set of steps. These are some of my favorite pictures! You would think that after walking them around the entire property, they would be exhausted, but just before they were introduced into reception, Jill and Rob waited back so we could capture the last moments of the glowing sun before it set! The colors are stunning, yes, but Jill and Rob look like they stepped right out of a classic romantic film!
When I say we raced back into the ballroom for introductions, I mean we actually ran into the ballroom, and started up with Jill and Rob’s first dance as husband and wife. They danced with friends and family, toasted under canopies of florals, with candles galore. From there, it is history. And I know they’re living happily ever after on their honeymoon, because Instagram told me so!
Thank you Jill and Rob for having us there to capture a most elegant and heartfelt day! We loved being there for every moment, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you! Thank you Barbara Wentzel for being an amazing assistant and lighting engineer!
Photographers: Lauren Kearns & Barbara Wentzel
Venue: The Mansion at Natirar, Peapack, NJ
Wedding Planner: Stacey Sainato, Peony Events
Hair & Makeup: Beauty On Location
Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale
Florist: Jardiniere Fine Flowers
Invitations: Little Black Dress Paperie
Band: The Eturnity Band