Melissa never believed in love at first sight until she met Craig. She still remembers walking into the kitchen of the restaurant where they worked together, seeing Craig for the first time and feeling something she never had before. Something she couldn't explain. She fell for Craig quickly and he feel for her right back. It wasn't long before they were practically inseparable, the first date turning into a five year relationship before they knew it.
They both knew were the relationship was heading. They knew they would get married someday. Of course, after five years of dating, Melissa was eager to turn that "someday" into someday soon. There was no question in Craig's mind that he was going to propose very soon, but he was determined to make it a surprise. Not exactly as easy task when he's so used to telling Melissa everything, but he came up with a plan. He selected the perfect day to pop the question - a family trip to the beach in Rhode Island. He decided to use the long car ride to back peddle and throw Melissa off. Ten minutes into the ride, Craig tells Melissa that he thinks marriage is a big commitment, one that he doesn't want to rush into. In fact, he wasn't sure if he even wanted to get married at all, he tells her. To say the Melissa was upset is an understatement. She was devastated. To be honest, it made her pretty mad. For him to be suddenly saying this to hear after so many years of dating, how could she not be? They barely talked the rest of the way up. In fact, she barely spoke to him all day.
So when they were all on the beach together and Craig came up behind her and told her he wanted to show her something he found in the ocean, Melissa huffed and turned around still quite annoyed with Craig. She was all set to snap at him but when she turned around he wasn't standing behind her. He was down on one knee. And he was holding the most beautiful ring she had ever seen. Melissa said yes as quickly as she could, pulled him up from his knees and hugged him. It was then she realized that pretty much everyone on the beach (including all of her family) were watching them and cheering. To say she was surprised - understatement of the year. Exactly as Craig planned it to be.
When she tells the story today, Melissa can't help but laugh thinking back about it all. Craig knew exactly how to surprise her, how to create a proposal that she would remember for the rest of her life. He was always keeping her on her toes, making her life that much more exciting and interesting. And she couldn't wait to see just how amazing he would make the rest of the lives together.
Although Melissa and Craig live in CT now, they used to call NYC home. They decided to do their engagement session in Central Park since it's one of their favorite places in the city.
We had actually never met Melissa and Craig until their engagement session. She had been following our blog for years (after some of her friends got married and we were their photographers) and knew that she wanted us to photograph her when she got engaged. As if that wasn't sweet enough, Melissa & Craig also brought along a gift for Malachy to their session. We were blown away by their thoughtfulness.
After spending just a few minutes with Craig & Melissa, it's easy to see why they hit it off so quickly. They have the same sense of humor and seem to make each other laugh constantly.
Any loyal blog follower probably recognizes this location - it's the band shell in the park. It's one of our favorite spots because it's beautiful and it always happens to be pretty people-free. Not always easy in the park.
Melissa said she was nervous at the beginning of the session, but we told her that after even just a few minutes in she would definitely feel more comfortable. By the time we got to the band shell, she totally was. As you can tell by her bringing out her inner model.
Central Park is filled with benches and the beauty part is that they're not all the same. This row of benches right next to The Mall area of the park are some of our favorites because they are reminiscent of a park from long ago.
Besides planning a wedding and working full time jobs, Melissa & Craig also own their own business. They make delicious cake pops (we can attest to the deliciousness of the pops - Melissa & Craig were kind enough to bring some for us to sample). Check out their business Facebook Page and get yourself some pops!!
We had a lot of fun with Melissa & Craig - we could have easily spent the entire afternoon just hanging out with them and talking.
This is probably one of my favorite shots from their session. It's one of Rob's signature wide shots. It just feels like classic NYC Central Park to me.
This is my shot from right around the same time. For those of you that wonder how we don't get into each other shots - this is how. While Rob is shooting the wide shots, I'm usually off to one side capturing shots like these.
Melissa & Craig brought an outfit change for a change of pace. Their autumn in NYC engagement session is the perfect compliment to their destination wedding.
This set of stairs just might be another one of our favorite spots in the park. You've probably seen countless movies and TV shows filmed on them for one obvious reason - they are so much fun to photograph.
While they would have liked to have their dogs George & Gia to their session, Melissa & Craig didn't want to bring them all the way to the city. So they brought them this way. We think it worked. :)
Melissa & Craig, thank you SO much for everything - the delicious pops, the adorable gifts for Malachy (he LOVES them!), and for a wonderful afternoon. We are so happy for you both!