Today seems like the perfect day to share a gorgeous Central Park Engagement session from the one and only, Tori Kelner! Despite the freezing temperatures, Brontë and Robert's session was warm, intimate and oh-so sweet. With her bold floral dress and his sharp gray suite against the iconic backdrop of the Bethesda Fountain, and on the streets of Manhattan, these two looked stunning. Even with the hustle and bustle of NYC all around them, Tori made it seem as if time stood still And if these gorgeous photos aren't enough, their love story will leave you in a puddle and have you firmly believing in love at first sight.
From Tori: To me, one of the most important parts of being a wedding photographer is getting to interact with both the bride-and-groom-to-be during their wedding planning process. I love meeting couples over video chats or coffee dates, reading their fun questionnaire responses, and, of course, being able to shoot their engagement session and special day! It is much more common to receive an inquiry from a bride, but certainly not unlikely to get one from the groom! It is amazing to see a groom’s interest and care during this process, and to know that this isn’t just her day but theirs together.
Robert inquired about their engagement session, and I was overwhelmed to read all of the amazing stories these two have shared. He was so willing to take the time to write such thoughtful responses about his love for his sweet fiancé, Brontë. My heart melts at this kind of stuff! Brontë was testing out a new congregation in Manhattan on a Sunday morning in April. After nobody had spoken to her, she was ready to leave after the service concluded and return to her previous congregation. As she was about to leave, she had a strong feeling that she should stay for a little while longer, at least through Sunday School. Robert, who is the congregation’s clerk, was about to train a new assistant clerk, but as he walked into the office, he felt the need to go to Sunday School. He postponed the training and went to the Sunday School classroom, where him and Bronte saw each other for the first time. He says, “time seemed to stop, much like the cliché romantic moments one reads about but passes as straight fiction.” He spoke to her, and their connection was undeniable to the both of them from that moment on.
It did not take long for them to realize how much they shared, like the same sense of humor, a love for the outdoors and history, and a similar worldview. Most importantly, they felt an instant closeness with each other in a way they could not describe. Their love was tested early on when Robert was admitted into the hospital and put into an induced sleep for about a week. Brontë was by his side every single day, and their relationship gained new meanings through this experience. Robert explains that “selfless love became an apparent trait, and though the experience was the most difficult we both ever faced, we faced it together, becoming so much stronger as individuals and as a couple.”
“I proposed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after a walk through the National Mall. It was a beautiful purple sky, with just a pinch of gray. I had faked poor Brontë out a few times earlier during the week, and after she thought my attempt was another takeout, I slyly told her, “what makes you think this one isn’t real?” My grand plan worked – she was so surprised and elated! I’m also pretty sure we ended up in everyone’s vacation album; there was a pretty substantial number of people cheering after she said yes :).” So sweet!!
This pair had such a great (and organized!) plan for their engagement session. We met at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park and started off this chilly session with some slow dance spins in the fountain! There were some hidden gem spots in this massive park that I had never seen, so they led the way! A little squirrel photobombed us at one point; I was definitely not mad about it ;). We got to stop at the church that Brontë and Robert are getting married at in a few months, and a few other iconic spots along the way! These two are so much fun and they kept each other laughing the entire time; I loved seeing how they cuddled up into one another’s arms with such comfort and ease. Brontë and Robert, you two are incredible, and it was such a pleasure documenting your love in Manhattan (even if we couldn’t feel our fingers by the end)!