Lenia and Robert

Image 1 of LENIA J and Robert

How We Met

Since the day that I fell in love with my fiancé, Rob, I have always dreamed of the day that I would walk down the aisle and say “I do.” To be frank, I have been envisioning my wedding day long before I even knew who I was meeting at the alter (No offense babe, but I’m sure I’m not the only girl who has dreamed of her wedding day since her adolescence). I can envision it now, the aisles lined with lanterns alongside assorted candles and flower petals to accompany an illustrious runner that would boast front and center the last name of my Prince Charming that would soon be mine. As you can see, I’ve always been so enamored with my future wedding day that I never really pictured my engagement; I even had a hidden folder on my Pinterest where I would plan the wedding I often fantasized about (the folder is now public, I just didn’t want to scare him off beforehand because I couldn’t help myself!) I never thought I would appreciate the day that I said “Yes” as much as I did, but Rob went through great lengths to create the proposal that I never knew I always wanted. It all started with a reservation at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Westchester County, renowned as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Rob is friends with one of the chefs, and told me that he was inviting us to come dine with the restaurant to indulge in their new menu for the Fall. A couple of weeks leading up to our reservation, I won a raffle for a free manicure, pedicure and facial that I was hoping for. Super excited about the news, I told Rob and he came up with the great idea of saving the gift certificate and using it prior to our date night.

Now, normally if Rob had suggested for me to get my nails done I would have immediately started to speculate, but the combination of it being a prize that I just won and the stature of the restaurant we were going to granted him a once in a life time window to make the suggestion without raising a red flag, and he capitalized on it. As the weeks went by leading up to the big day, I saw nothing out of the ordinary that would cause me to believe Rob had a surprise planned. In fact, I’m not sure where he would have had the time to plan it! The day before our reservation we took a trip down to DC (from Rockland County), and the week before he was across the Tappan Zee Bridge participating in a flag football tournament; or at least I thought he was playing in a flag football tournament. It turns out that Rob actually used the game as a distraction to drive more than 3 hours upstate to Hudson, NY to visit my Father’s church, where he is a pastor, and ask for his blessing to marry me. He also took a personal day off of work, without my knowledge, to walk the grounds at Blue Hill to find the perfect spot to propose. He suggested to me that we go to the grounds early to walk around the farm and get the full experience of visiting Blue Hill, which played right into his plans. Upon reaching the grounds, he read a prayer that set the tone for the rest of the day; while the forecast warned us of a rainy day, the sun shined bright and set the stage. After exploring the grounds for about a half hour, Rob lead me to a ledge underneath a large oak tree and told me that he had a gift for me. He then said to me, “I don’t know if you remember this, but a couple years ago on this day I fell in love with you on our first official date, so I wanted to do something special for you.” He then proceeded to pull out a photo album that he created that chronicled our journey from friends to significant others with a touching story he wrote.

Image 2 of LENIA J and Robert

Already feeling emotionally vulnerable after reminiscing over our love story, Rob then fully opened up my heart with the final words of his story: “When we first met, I didn’t know what role you would play in my future, but I knew that I wanted you in my life forever. Like most things worth pursuing, it took some time but every second we spend together has made the wait that much more worth it. I cannot imagine life without you, and I hope I never will have to.” Just as my eyes began to fill with tears, he flipped the page and a large hand-drawn graphic read on the last page “Will You Marry Me?” As he dropped from the ledge on to one knee, I was so overwhelmed with emotions from the book that I could not process the moment, and actually said “No…no way” in a state of shock before I immediately corrected myself and screamed “Yes!” Just as the moment could not be any more perfect, a hidden photographer popped out from behind us to put the final cherry on top. We proceeded to take memorable photos of our wonderful moment together, and were even able to utilize the beautiful grounds to take early engagement photos before capping the night off with a romantic dinner. Rob really made me appreciate this day in a way that I never thought that I would. The thought that he put into every step, from asking my father to tricking me into getting my nails done, it could not have been any more perfect. Through knowing me so well, Rob was able to make a dream come true that I never even had.

how they asked

A Story book filled with our lives and the last page said eh wants to continue with the next chapter he got down on one knee and asked will i marry him and i said wait what no he said no i said no as in yes yes yes yes! then a camera guy came out and said congrats you two! and i was confused i never saw the camera guy. then we walked around stone barn and we took engagement photos and spent time on the beautiful warm November day in New York. followed by a wonderful dinner at blue hill stone barn.

Image 3 of LENIA J and Robert

Special Thanks

steve branda
 | Photographer