Alexandria + Michael | Surprise Proposal- Dilworth Park- Philadelphia, PA

Back in January, I received a call from Michael who was in the midst of planning the most perfect proposal for his girlfriend, Alexandria. He was sure of several things. First, he wanted it to take place in the heart of Philadelphia, PA, at Dilworth Park. Second, he wanted both her parents and his parents and several of their closest friends to be there to witness and celebrate with them afterward. And third, he wanted it all to be captured in photos- that's where I came in!

I was thrilled for this opportunity because I knew how special this day would be for them and it's always an honor when I get to witness the love two people share. 

Michael could not have chosen a more beautiful day to propose. The sun was shining and it was a balmy 54 degrees (rare for the Northeast in January!) I got to Dilworth Park early to scope out my hiding spot and even got to meet their parents before the big moment. They were so adorable hiding on the side of City Hall where they made sure Alexandria would not be able to see them but they could see it all go down.

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I hid in the garden maze and tried my best to look like I was just a fellow tourist- I think it worked because Alex had no idea I was there! I'll let the photos tell the story.

Their families and friends were so adorable and were so incredibly happy for them, the emotion was infectious.

After the reality set in of what took place, I pulled Michael and Alex aside to take some photos of just the two of them so they could have some time alone to relish in this amazing day. I think you'll all agree they are just so incredibly adorable. 

*Side note- Shout out to Michael for choosing such a gorgeous ring for Alex! It is absolutely timeless and stunning. Michael worked with Marche’s Jewelers in Oaklyn, NJ on this beautiful setting.

We wrapped up this special moment by heading over to the Ritz Carlton where their families celebrated with cocktails and a toast. 

After their magical day, I reached out to Michael and Alex with a few questions to get to know their story a little better. They truly are the sweetest couple and I loved hearing the details of their love story. See what they had to say about each other below.

When and how did you two meet?

We met in 2011. Alex’s family joined Merchantville Country Club where I was working at the time. I became friends with her younger brother and he set us up. 

What made you two fall for each other?

From the beginning we had great chemistry. We always had a great time together no matter what we were doing. We complimented each other and had a lot of similar interests. We both encouraged each other to follow our dreams and ambitions. 

What do you most look forward to when you think about your wedding?

Michael: Seeing how beautiful Alex looks in her dress! And sharing this special day with friends and family. 
Alex: I look forward to our future together and what the next chapter will bring. Celebrating with friends and family.

Do you have a tentative wedding date? If not, any idea on the time of year you'd like to get married?

No set date yet but Fall 2019 

What was the best part of your proposal?

Michael: Surprising Alex and keeping her on edge all day long! 
Alex: The surprise of it all! I loved that he planned such a perfect surprise and had my family and friends there to share in the day! I also loved the pictures and getting to see my reaction because I was so surprised I don’t really remember what happened after he asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him! It was a perfect day! 

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It truly was the most perfect day. I am so grateful to have witnessed this love story and I wish Michael and Alexandria all the best! Congratulations, you two!

Pregnancy Announcement- Meghan + Jesse

This session may very well be my favorite session to date. I recently had the privilege of documenting the most exciting news a couple can share- Meghan and Jesse are having a baby!!! Meghan and Jesse are very dear friends of mine and when they first found out they were expecting, they reached out to schedule a session that they would use to announce their pregnancy. I was thrilled for them and couldn't wait to get this session on the calendar.

We chose a sunny August evening to shoot the session and decided it would be incredibly special if we did it on the property they just purchased in Mullica Hill, NJ, where they will be building their new home! I think you'll agree the glowy light and the cornfield made for a gorgeous backdrop.

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Meghan brought along a gorgeous swaddle blanket from Little Bipsy that made for a pretty addition to the session. How stunning is this mama to be?!


The photos of their dog, Yogi, are some of my favorites, especially the third one down HA! His expression reads, "I'm getting a WHAT?!" And how cute is the little Radio Flyer?! Love the pop of red in a field of green.


Meghan and Jesse are some of the most genuinely good-hearted people I have ever met in my life and I am beyond thrilled for them. I cannot wait to meet baby Carrajat come March 2018!

Grove Photographer Friendor- Floral Designer: Jennifer Designs Events

As a wedding photographer, I have seen my fair share of beautiful floral arrangements but when I met Jennifer Oechsle of Jennifer Designs Events I was blown away by her talent. I first met Jen through social media when I stumbled upon her Instagram account. I started following her and fell in love with her gorgeous work. When I decided to start this series, I knew I had to ask Jen if she would like to be a part of it and I'm so grateful that she said yes!

Jen designs out of her father's floral shop, Lavender and Lace, in Mantua, New Jersey. This Victorian Tea Room turned conservatory makes for the perfect setting to design and meet with clients. As soon as you pull up to this breathtaking house, you can really see just how much love is put into her work. I highly recommend taking a stroll through the garden during your visit to see all of the stunning flowers and lush greenery. 

Jen has such a relaxed attitude and an open mind when it comes to design which will make any bride feel at ease when looking for a wedding floral designer. She is meticulous with a keen eye for every little detail, couple that with her sweet demeanor and you've hit the jackpot! If you're a bride in South Jersey or Philadelphia, I highly recommend working with Jen. While you're here, take a look at her beautiful work below and see what she had to say during our time together. 

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Q: How long have you been designing wedding florals?

JO: I've been designing for what feels like forever but I've been designing wedding florals for 15 years.

Q: What/who inspired you to become a floral designer? 

JO: I grew up in my Father's Floral shop, Lavender and Lace, so I assume my Father inspired me. At first, I honestly didn't want any parts of flowers but while in college I discovered my love for events and incorporated my Art Degree in my Floral Designs.

Q: Where can I find examples of your work? 

JO: You can find examples of my work on my website, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Q: What should I expect at our consultation? 

JO: I have my potential clients fill out a quote request and based on the information they give me I then develop a preliminary proposal.  The proposal is used to show the florals and supplies I am incorporating to achieve their desired look. If the client would like to meet we will setup a time to discuss things further.  A lot of time and care goes into these beginning steps because they are the foundation so the rest of my job goes smoothly and that my clients vision is understood.   

Q: Will you be the one designing on my day?

JO: Yes!

Q: Who will deliver my flowers on my wedding day?

JO: I will unless there are any time constraints with the venue

Q: Will you provide a mock-up of my bouquet/table arrangements at our final consultation? 

JO: Unfortunately, no. I special order everything in for each of my events and most florals and                                                                                                                                  supplies need to be purchased in quantities and it becomes very costly to make one sample.  Clients are welcome to purchase samples if they like but honestly we do so much preliminary work figuring out colors, size and design that most clients are comfortable with this.  Also, there are multiple examples of my work for clients to get a good idea of my style and abilities.

Q: What do you do for fun? 

JO: I love doing anything creative even when I'm not working.  I am an artist first and I love painting, sketching, honestly just plain creating! Especially with my 2 little girls.

Q: Tell us something not many people know about you :)

Hmmmm.... I'm a talker so most people know just about everything about me haha... especially after our first consultation.  

Q: What’s a quote you live by?

JO: I'm not known to be a profoundly deep person, in fact I'm pretty silly + awkward lol.  But if I had to pick my fav quote it would be, "Just Keep Swimming" By the ever so wise Dory in Finding Nemo.  These little words really apply to everything + are my motto.

Bonus!!
What do you think sets you apart from other local wedding floral designers? 

JO: Really there are so many gifted and wonderful Designers in our area + beyond, I believe we all set ourselves apart by our styles.  If you look closely at each Florists work you see their voice come through.  So I think it's important for a client to really love my work because I pour so much of myself in it and that's when I design at my best. 

Grove Photography Friendor- On Location Hairstylist: Ariel Katrina

When it comes to your bridal hairstyle, you want to know you are in the right hands and there is no one I would recommend more than Ariel Katrina. Ariel is an on-location wedding hair stylist who prides herself on creating a comfortable, stress-free environment for you and the important women in your life on your special day. She has an infectious happy spirit and she is guaranteed to make you smile and feel like the most beautiful bride- I would know, she was my hairstylist on my wedding day!

I spent a morning with Ariel a few weeks back while she was doing a bridal trial for another wedding friendor, Kristyn, owner of Shimmer and Spice Makeup, and I was able to watch her create some absolutely gorgeous looks. 

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Once Ariel's trial was over, we sat down in her cozy in-home studio and talked through some of the questions her brides ask before booking. Take a peek at her gorgeous work and see what she had to say!

Will you do a trial run with me before my wedding?

AK: Yes! I do a trial run with each of my brides before their wedding day.  It ensures everything runs super smoothly the day of and BONUS, it is more time for us to get to know each other!

How long before my wedding day should I have my hair trial?

AK: I suggest anywhere from 6-2 months before the big day!  I find some brides don't have all of their ideas and accessories nailed down enough to really narrow in on what their perfect look could be if we schedule too far in advance from their wedding date.  

Should I save photos of hairstyles I like? How about photos of my dress, decor, or venue?

AK: Great question! I love when a bride comes in with some looks (often pinned on a fabulous Pinterest board) that they love. It helps me see what their overall vision is for themselves on their wedding day. Sometimes, we gather ideas from several different looks they've found into one gorgeously unique one-of-a-kind look. I even ask brides to show me some things they hate. It's a great way to show me "hey Ariel, I LOATHE this kind of curl in this photo and I absolutely don't want it for my wedding day!" I pride myself in being able to replicate what you like about a hairstyle for your hair type and vision! 

Do you provide hair extensions?

AK: I do not provide hair extensions for sale, but I provide you with details and advice on where to get some! I will help you with type, color, length and where to purchase! You'd be surprised how many of my brides wear extensions on their wedding day without any of their guests knowing. They're a great way to not only add length and volume to a down style, but also to add volume to an up do, as well. 

Should I bring my veil/accessories to the trial?

AK: Yes! Bringing your accessories really helps tie your whole look together at the trial. If you are still deciding or don't have them yet, I have some accessories as well as a my famous ugly veil in my studio to use as a place holder. 

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What size bridal party can you accommodate?

AK: We have a minimum of 4 gals and have accommodated bridal parties as large as 16 ladies!  I have other stylists and assistants who work on my team that you will love that work with me on larger weddings. We are masters at working with large parties!

Where can I find your most recent work?

On my website, Instagram, and Facebook pages! Also, this is a recent styled photo shoot I was so happy to be a part of! I got to style two models in a few different romantic looks, I was totally in my glory! http://www.trousseaustyle.com/post/2017/7/31/a-new-way-to-wear-florals

What do you do for fun?

AK: Fun for me is time with my awesome family, my husband, Walt, and our 9 month old baby Miles.  Miles is in the really cool stage where everything is a new experience and it's so fun to see everything through his eyes!  I'm also a big bookworm and am known to unwind in a well put together bubble bath at night.  :)

Tell us something not many people know about you!

AK: Not all of my client's know that I'm also a musician! I sing and play piano. Before heading to Cosmetology school I graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a Vocal Performance degree.

*BONUS*
What do you think sets you apart from other wedding hairstylists?

I think there are two basic things that set me apart.  One, is that I'm a huge people person.  I pride myself on getting to know my brides are really listening to their wants and needs.  It is so much more than curling hair to me and yes, I do cry when I place a veil in my bride's hair!  

Two, I'm a creative person through and through. Whether it's music or hair, I consider it art and love creating something individualistic and personal. I feel so lucky to call this my "job."