Victoria's Boudoir and Self Love Session...

A boudoir session is an intimate and personal celebration of your femininity and self love journey. Boudoir sessions are incredibly self-empowering and an amazing way to celebrate an upcoming marriage, an anniversary, love, or simply yourself. Here’s a peek at Victoria’s incredible boudoir session. She surprised her Fiance the morning of their wedding day with a custom fine art “little black book.”

Photography: Bri Johnson

Wedding Planning: Engagement & Self-Care

Wedding Planning: Engagement & Self-Care

Congratulations, you're engaged and so in love and excited to marry the love of your life. Shortly after, you're trying to choose a wedding venue, book a photographer, choose wedding colors and floral arrangements, and overwhelm and stress can creep in. You're in the thick of the wedding planning process and your wedding to-do list doesn't seem to get any smaller, you're managing expectations of others, and experiencing an entirely new and unknown world.

Brittany & Tim's The Ryland Inn Winter Wedding Photography: Whitehouse Station, NJ

Brittany & Tim's The Ryland Inn Winter Wedding Photography: Whitehouse Station, NJ

Tim & Brittany enjoyed an incredibly romantic, elegant, and classic day for their winter wedding at the The Ryland Inn in New Jersey. The day started early with an exchange of cards and gifts before beginning their wedding day. Tim received a signed NFL Jersey, honeymoon cruise, and surprise boudoir book from Brittany, while Tim surprised Brittany with a new camera for their upcoming honeymoon trip.

Kiara & Aren's The Tides Estates Winter Wedding Photography: North Haledon, NJ

Kiara & Aren's The Tides Estates Winter Wedding Photography: North Haledon, NJ

Aren and Kiara enjoyed a sophisticated, intimate, and romantic winter wedding day at The Tides Estate in North Haledon, New Jersey. Both enjoy the magic of winter and wanted to capture the essence of the season through the natural colors of winter rather than the traditional colors of the holidays. After getting ready at The George in Montclair, Kiara rode to the church with her parents in a Rolls Royce, while Aren waited in anticipation at the end of the aisle.

Chris & Alexa's Fall Jersey City City Hall Wedding Photography: Jersey City, NJ

Chris & Alexa's Fall Jersey City City Hall Wedding Photography: Jersey City, NJ

Chris & Alexa celebrated their modern and intimate wedding day in their neighborhood of Jersey City and tied the knot at the Jersey City City Hall. Their wedding day was a simple and elegant affair against the urban Jersey City backdrop and began next door to their apartment at the Marriott Residence Inn, where everyone in their party helped them prepare for City Hall.

Audra & Stuart's The Lodge At Stirling Ridge Wedding Photography: Warren, NJ

Audra & Stuart's The Lodge At Stirling Ridge Wedding Photography: Warren, NJ

Audra and Stuart enjoyed a rustic yet elegant November wedding with lots of sunshine and a gorgeous sunset at The Lodge at Stirling Ridge in Warren, New Jersey. The couple exchanged gifts in the morning, with Stuart receiving a set of custom cufflinks and Audra receiving a beautiful necklace. Their first look was full of excitement, as they had both been looking forward to that moment during the planning phases of the wedding.

Meghan & Mario's Fall Intimate Arrow Park Wedding: Monroe, NY

Meghan and Mario had an intimate and romantic fall wedding day at Arrow Park Lake & Lodge in Monroe, NY. Their elegant and modern wedding day included 50 of their closest friends and family celebrating their union tucked away in the woods at the secluded Arrow Park Mansion. Their wedding day was filled with hints of Spanish and Italian accents to represent their family heritages, including three Spanish guitarist serenading throughout cocktail hour and traditional Spanish figurines to represent Meghan and Mario. Their day included snow flurries and bright sunshine, but everyone was still able to enjoy an indoor/outdoor patio ceremony overlooking the river and valley below. After the ceremony, the guests and couple danced the night away.

The Proposal

His Version:

Proposal was private and although I had some ideas on how and where, I carried the ring on me most of the time to find the perfect moment. I eventually decided to propose near a lighthouse on Cape Finisterre towards the end of a day trip. When we first landed in Spain, airport security nearly spoiled the surprise when I got pulled aside and had my carry-on searched. I had the discretely tell the agent (in Spanish) what was in the bag, including the pouch where the ring box was kept, as soon as I told him he was a good sport by hiding the contents out of plain sight.

Her Version:

Mario proposed to me during our trip to Spain. The entire trip was amazing but this particular day was just so much fun. We took a day trip driving along northern coast of Spain, stopping at certain areas that interested us like an old artist that spent his life living on coast and made sculptures with the rocks. We also found the most amazing white sand beach that was almost hidden behind pine trees! Our day ended at Cape Finisterre, which translates to 'end of the earth'. We were alone and sitting on top of a steep rocky cliff over Atlantic Ocean when Mario asked me a question in Spanish that I didn't understand at first (ha!) as he help me work through the translation I started to tear up and said YES!


Wedding Planning Tip:

“Don't get caught up in the hype to make you feel like you need everything, in the end it is your celebration and you will have a good time with friends and family”

Venue: Arrow Park Lake & Lodge @arrowparkny

Florist: Flowers by David Anthony @flowersbyda

Catering: Love + Rosemary 

Cake: Sara Victoria Cakes @saravictoriacakedesign

DJ: Larry Much Music @muchmusicdj

Officiant: Bride’s Uncle

Invitations: Tony Skalicky at Remco Press @remcopress

Bridal Gown Designer: Jaehee Bridal @jaeheebridalatelier

Bridal Shoes: Nine West

Bridal Jewelry: Handmade Tiara Headpiece made by the bride

Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren

Wedding Bands & Engagement Ring Designer: Vinhas Jewelers @vinhasjewelersinc

Honeymoon: Kauai, Hawaii

The Lost Art of Holiday Cards

It’s hard to believe, but there’s no denying it: the holidays are upon us! That’s right – ’tis the season for pumpkin pie, sweater weather, and spending time with family and friends.

As the days shorten and the temperatures drop, now is my favorite time to begin thinking about the holidays, and holiday cards in particular. From selecting the perfect image to gathering the list of addresses, these small tasks help me to put me in the spirit.

You read that right -- I still send physical holiday cards! With technology consuming so much of our daily lives, I like to unplug a bit more during this time of year and go back to basics, which includes writing heartfelt notes to friends and family.


WHY SEND HOLIDAY CARDS?

  • Sending a holiday card is setting an intention to develop the relationship you have with the recipient

  • The process allows you to slow down and reflect on the past year

  • It’s a great way to share memories, both old and new!

  • With technology taking over our everyday lives, who doesn’t love receiving physical mail?

TIPS FOR SENDING HOLIDAY CARDS

  • Gather your address list and check it twice (by confirming addresses with recipients before you start making out envelopes!)

  • Select an image that symbolizes the past year for you, or one of your favorite moments from 2018.

  • Don’t rush -- take some time to write a personalized note to each person on your contact list!


To help you get into the spirit, and a jump-start on the holiday season, I’m offering a special 35% off coupon code for all holiday cards ordered now through November 16th!

This sale is ending on November 16th, so head over to your gallery to order your 2018 holiday cards now!

Cheers!
Bri Johnson

Michael & Hannah's The Ryland Inn Wedding Photography, Whitehouse Station, NJ

Hannah and Michael’s goals were simple — they wanted their special day to be romantic, fun, and memorable. Born only two days apart, these two Virgos describe themselves as caring, compassionate, and sensitive, with adventure and laughter being two important aspects of their relationship. Their wedding at the Ryland Inn may have had a rainy start, but the couple and their guests kept their spirits and energy high. Hannah began the day by gifting her bridesmaids with a jewelry holder and necklace, while Michael shared a toast with his groomsman in their gifted Tiffany crystal mugs. They shared an emotional first look next — as soon as Michael heard the special song Hannah had chosen for the moment, he was moved to tears. The couple created a simple yet romantic wedding by focusing on the little details, including a beautiful flower arch under which they conducted the ceremony, sharing a glass of wine at the end to symbolize their new union, and the reading of a certain poem with special meaning to their loved ones. Family and friends cheered as they danced down the aisle, then continued the party at the reception where the DJ kept everyone dancing all night long!


The Proposal

His Version:

 I knew I wanted to propose in one area of the Delaware water gap. It was where Hannah and her family spread her dad’s ashes. The Delaware water gap is also a place we would regularly take weekend drives to. The morning I planned to propose, her grandpas 95th birthday, we found out there was a family emergency. Hannah’s grandpa went into the hospital. I knew Hannah really wanted her grandpa to be there for our engagement, so I decided not to change the plan. We went to the water gap, I proposed, and we met everyone at the hospital to share the big news. It made everyone so happy and excited. It was a pretty raw, emotional day, but in good ways, and I would not have changed a thing.

Her Version:

The proposal, well, it was perfect. Michael and I like to spend our weekends going on adventures, so we coined a term called, "Perfect Sundays". A Perfect Sunday consists of getting take away breakfast sandwiches and coffees, getting in the car and driving to go on a hike, or just driving and listening to music. We usually ended up driving around Summit and Watchung looking at homes and talking about the potential future. This particular Sunday we were making our way to my Moms house in PA and Michael suggested that we go to my favorite spot in the Delaware Water Gap. This place is special to me because my Father passed away 5 years ago, and it was his special place – I loved the idea; especially, because we were set to leave for London in a few weeks and I did not know when I would get a chance to go there and spend time with my Dad before leaving for this next adventure. The drive was nice and it was turning out to be a perfect day. When we got to the spot, it started to rain, so we sat in the car and listened to music. After about 5 minutes the rain stopped and we stepped outside and started walking around. Michael asked me to sit on this rock ledge and told me to wait while he ran back to the car to get a blanket...of course I yelled, "What? We don't have blankets in the car…?" and he returned with a sweatshirt out of our dirty laundry basket because we were going to do our laundry at my Moms (typical). He put the sweatshirt down and I sat in front of him. He stood there and looked up and smiled at me, then he backed up and started to cry. After he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, we hugged and it started to rain again. We were hugging in the rain, and while we had that special moment together, he gave my Dad the opportunity to be there too. Being able to share those moments are so special and we truly believe he was there with us. It was a magical moment.


Wedding Planning Tip:

Don't take the planning too seriously because it can great very stressful - keep it fun! Get the big things out of the way first (venue, photographer, videographer, etc) and then when you hit three months out, start checking things off the list. Etsy is great for lots of decorations and gifts. Also, you can ask your friends to borrow things that they used at their wedding..saves so much money! Minted is also a great website for invites and super affordable.

 

Venue: The Ryland Inn @therylandinn

Florist:  The White Orchid NJ

Cake: La Bonbonniere

Wedding Band: Craig Scott @craigscottent

Officiant: Lois Heckman

Videographer: Rock Life Studios @rocklifestudios

Invitations: Minted @minted

Bridal Gown Designer: Hayley Paige @misshayleypaige

Bridesmaids Dresses: Haley Paige Occassions @hayleypaigeoccasions

Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin @louboutinworld

Bridal Veil: Bridemaid/Friends

Wedding Hair & Makeup by: Salon Botanique Eco Chic Amy Kleinrock @lameykhair

Carolyn Tomecko @carecity

Groom's Attire:  The Black Tux @theblacktux

Wedding Bands & Engagement Ring Designer: Darien Jewelers @darienjewelers

Honeymoon: Italy & France