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NEW JERSEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS | ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SHOOT IDEAS | THE “LOVE STORY” OF JENN & DENNIS

December 17, 2012 /

THE “LOVE STORY” OF JENN & DENNIS

There are stories about love, but then there are love stories. We’re talking about the timeless, tear-jerking, and sometimes hilariously funny love stories that movie scripts are made of.  Bogart & Bergman…Harry & Sally…Jenn & Dennis.

When our bride and groom Jenn and Dennis came to the Castle for their engagement photo shoot, we immediately knew this would be one for the ages.  Dressed in a hip vintage style, they played love songs on their instruments and were playfully romantic in the magical, yellow afternoon. Together since college, they were so comfortable in each others arms, spoke to each other without words and were comically romantic… in the most adorable way.

When they returned to the Castle for their viewing session appointment the following week, little did we know that we’d get to see the actual  LOVE STORY. Yes, Dennis proposed to Jenn through a story. A Seussical storybook he created, to be exact.

Sounds cute, right? No. Not cute.

Simply put, it was the EPIC.

Dennis’s homespun book of memories and Seussical-style poetry outlined their love story in rhyme and romance.  By page two, we reached for the tissues and were thankful the pages were laminated to catch some falling tears.

The amount of time, craftsmanship and attention to every detail of their milestones together was what made a love story into an actual story.

As told through pictures, words and souvenirs of their life together, it might just be the greatest love story we had ever seen.  So then… we do what we do and photographed it.

This epic book begins with their childhood and continues into young adulthood.

Their lives documented beautifully page by page, I turned with increasing excitement.

Their love story documented in a Seussical-style poetry outlined so thoughtfully, with each page we became emotional, embarrassed as we held back tears.  This was a proposal like nothing we’ve every known.

Engagement photos to follow.  Stay tuned for much more.  Swoon!

NEW JERSEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS | ENGAGEMENT PHOTO SHOOT IDEAS | THE “LOVE STORY” OF JENN & DENNIS

December 17, 2012 /

THE “LOVE STORY” OF JENN & DENNIS

There are stories about love, but then there are love stories. We’re talking about the timeless, tear-jerking, and sometimes hilariously funny love stories that movie scripts are made of.  Bogart & Bergman…Harry & Sally…Jenn & Dennis.

When our bride and groom Jenn and Dennis came to the Castle for their engagement photo shoot, we immediately knew this would be one for the ages.  Dressed in a hip vintage style, they played love songs on their instruments and were playfully romantic in the magical, yellow afternoon. Together since college, they were so comfortable in each others arms, spoke to each other without words and were comically romantic… in the most adorable way.

When they returned to the Castle for their viewing session appointment the following week, little did we know that we’d get to see the actual  LOVE STORY. Yes, Dennis proposed to Jenn through a story. A Seussical storybook he created, to be exact.

Sounds cute, right? No. Not cute.

Simply put, it was the EPIC.

Dennis’s homespun book of memories and Seussical-style poetry outlined their love story in rhyme and romance.  By page two, we reached for the tissues and were thankful the pages were laminated to catch some falling tears.

The amount of time, craftsmanship and attention to every detail of their milestones together was what made a love story into an actual story.

As told through pictures, words and souvenirs of their life together, it might just be the greatest love story we had ever seen.  So then… we do what we do and photographed it.

This epic book begins with their childhood and continues into young adulthood.

Their lives documented beautifully page by page, I turned with increasing excitement.

Their love story documented in a Seussical-style poetry outlined so thoughtfully, with each page we became emotional, embarrassed as we held back tears.  This was a proposal like nothing we’ve every known.

Engagement photos to follow.  Stay tuned for much more.  Swoon!

Tips for buying a diamond engagement ring

July 14, 2009 /

Tips for Buying a Diamond

General Information:         Its important to obtain a GIA or EGL certificate when buying the stone.  DO NOT buy a stone without this. This is a certified report of the diamond specifications. Diamonds have increased in value over the years. Some stones are less common and there may be lower inventory available (but dont worry, keep looking).  As a result, the inventory “may possibly” be smaller, meaning you have fewer options to choose from.  You “may” want to consider shopping at other stores to find more options or allow more time (3-8 weeks) to get more options. Diamond inventory changes often for a jeweler in the diamond district.

Budget:            Determine your personal budget.  Do not tell your budget to the jeweler yet because you have the ability to negotiate. You tell him that you’re not sure of the budget and describe the type of ring you are looking for.  Let him price the stone/ring for you.  Then compare his price against the prices I will list here.  I have tried to determine price ranges to help in your search.

Diamond Specifications:    There are five specs which are very important when buying your actual diamond:  Carat (size), Clarity, Color, Cut (Depth) and Fluorescence. The larger the Carat, the more expensive the stone (i.e. 1 carat is less money than 2 carats).  The lower the clarity and color (on the spectrum in the lower section of this page), the more expensive the stone. Depth on a stone is important.  If the depth is too shallow or too deep light doesn’t reflect properly. And fluorescence should “not” exist in a stone.  It should not state blue, not light, not medium – NONE.  No fluorescence.

“Estimated” 2009 Diamond Prices
I’ve attempted to put together possible prices for diamonds “stone” based on various specifications.  Please note, I am not a jeweler and I’m not a certified appraiser.  These are my best guesstimates for diamonds to aide future couples in their diamond search.  Option 1 is the higher clarity stone, it gets lower in clarity through option 12.  The stone price is separate from the “band” price.  The band could cost $500 + depending on whether its white gold or platinum.  Whether three are small or larger diamonds.  Round stone prices below are listed in decreasing price and clarify/color.  *I’m assuming all good cut stones without fluorescence.

Options        Diamond Specs      Price (Low)        Price (High Range)
OPTION 1    2.0    VS1   F            19,000                23,000
OPTION 2    2.0    VS1   G            17,500                22,500
OPTION 3    2.0    VS1   H            16,000                22,000

OPTION 4    2.0    VS2   F            19,500                23,500
OPTION 5    2.0    VS2   G            16,500                23,000
OPTION 6    2.0    VS2   H            14,750                22,000

OPTION 7    2.0    SI1    F            15,500                22,500
OPTION 8    2.0    SI1    G            15,000                20,500
OPTION 9    2.0    SI1    H            14,500                20,500

OPTION 10    2.0    SI2    F            12,500                16,500
OPTION 11    2.0    SI2    G            10,500                16,000
OPTION 12    2.0    SI2    H            10,000                15,500
Perfect Stone   1.9    IF      D            45,000                55,000

Diamond Specifications Explained…

Below I’ve included detailed information to understand the rational in picking the diamond with specifications listed above.  As noted above, there are five specs which “I consider” very important when buying your actual diamond:  Carat (size), Clarity, Color, Cut (Depth) and Fluorescence.

1. Carat:         The size depends on your personal budget and personal taste.

2. Clarity:         Keep in mind the clarity of the stone is something “only” seen with a 10x loupe magnification.  You can not see anything with the naked eye unless its “included: I1, I2, I2”.  If you want a higher clarity stone (Vs1-2), the price could increase.  Excellent clarity below (VVS1-2) could price significantly higher.  A sample list of prices was estimated above.

GIA diamond clarity grading scale

Category Flawless Internally Flawless Very Very Slightly Included Very Slightly Included Slightly Included Included
Grade FL IF VVS1 VVS2 VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2 I1 I2 I3

3. Color:        Perfect colors are D, E, F.  Great colors are: G, H.  I might not consider colors: I, J, K, L through X.  Colors G & H are beautiful…white and more affordable.  Color F, E and D (D is best) each are increasingly more expensive because they are whiter.  Beautiful and could cost considerably more.

diamond color

4. Cut:             Depth on a stone is important.  If the depth is too shallow or too deep light doesn’t reflect properly. Trust me! You want ideal or fine cut.  Good or Very good cut.  The ideal depth varies from diamond to diamond and varies depending on the shape as well.

5. Fluorescence:         There should never been any fluorescence. It is common to find that diamonds with colorless grades (D-E-F) or near colorless grades (G-H-I-J) are lower in price when they exhibit fluorescence and faint yellow grades.  I would avoid fluorescence in a stone.  Avoid, avoid avoid!

The diamond district in nyc offers tremendous options at competitive prices!   Good luck with your engagement.

5 Signs He's About to Propose

June 27, 2009 /

2. He talks himself up.
Even though you have a career of your own and can take care of yourself, most men still want to be on solid financial footing (good job, decent salary, clear credit) before getting engaged. “It’s instinctual for men to want to provide for their partner,” says Les Parrott, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of Crazy Good Sex. “So they’ll frequently point out their ability to do so in the weeks leading up to an engagement.” That means he may brag a little about an accomplishment at work or casually hint that he’s receiving a larger than usual bonus
3. He acts like you just started dating.
Think back to the past few weeks. Has your guy been unusually attentive? Maybe he’s brought you just-because flowers or taken you out on elaborate dates. “He’s pulling out all the stops to make sure that when the time comes, you say yes,” explains Fadal. Yeah, it’s a tad sneaky, but he’s also making those gestures because he’s genuinely excited about the possibility of marrying you. “Planning a proposal reignites that new love buzz for a lot of men,” says Parrott.
4. He quizzes you.
When it comes to the actual will-you-marry-me moment, most guys want it to be as personal and meaningful as possible. That may require digging up some little-known facts about you. If your boyfriend has been asking random questions about things like your favorite flower or a childhood memory, he may be gathering info that will help him plan the perfect proposal. “Not only does he want it to be special for you, but he knows all of your friends will ask, ‘How did he do it?’, and he wants you to have an amazing story to tell,” says Parrott.
5. He’s really concerned about the details.
On the big day, you can bet your guy will be ridiculously nervous. “Even if he’s certain you’ll say yes, he’s still anxious about whether or not he’ll be able to pull off whatever it is that he has planned,” says Parrott. If he’s typically laid-back but freaks out about being on time to dinner, or he’s borderline aggressive when he insists you order the chocolate cake for dessert, it’s possible he’s got something sparkly up his sleeve … or least in a little box in his pocket.

Griffin, Christie. “5 Signs He’s about to Propose.”Cosmopolitan Jun. 2009: <http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/relationship-advice/signs-he-will-propose?link=rel&dom=yah_life&src=syn&con=blog_cosmo&mag=cos>.

ADDITIONAL signs he is going to propose.  Written by Natalie Licini

6. You meet his entire family: If you havent already met his family, WHEN you finally do, its an indication things are getting very serious.  If he arranges for you to meet out of town family and friends your relationship is heading in the right direction.

7. He talks about other friends getting engaged or married more often.  Some men easily talk about friends/family getting engaged.  Other men dont bring up this topic because they dont want to discuss it. If you notice he openly talks about people settling down, its an indication he is getting comfortable and possibly considering that NEXT STEP with you.

8. He includes you when decorating his home/apartment and asks your advice, often buying the recommendations you offer.  This could be an indication that he trusts your taste and wants you to be comfortable in your “future” home with him.

9. He randomly walks you past a jewelry store and inside to gather information about your tastes and ring size.  He may even ask a friend or family member for advice on your tastes and preferred ring shape and design.

10. His spending habits contract suddenly.  Instead of planning your next vacation, he opts not to vacation or chooses a shorter, more affordable destination because he is SAVING for a ring.

There are many signs your boyfriend is going to propose. I hope when he does, you have a lifetime of happiness with your love!

Steve & Lauren are ENGAGED!

June 6, 2009 /

A fairytale came true, when Steven proposed to Lauren last year.  June 6th was a night of celebration. Steve & Lauren had a fabulous engagement party at the Staaten.  The dance floor was packed at 8pm through nearly 1am.

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