This is an engagement session I hold close to my heart! Elissa was one of the first people I met when I started my freshman year of college almost nine years ago! We were in the same Literature class and were instant friends. Years later, it would happen that David would be a groomsman in the same wedding party that I was a bridesmaid in for our mutual friends Avé and Zack! It was at their wedding that I reconnected with Elissa about three years after our graduation from college. When I found out they became engaged this past March, I was so happy for them! About two months ago, Elissa reached out to me for engagement photos, explaining that she and David were interested in having them taken in Central Park. I was ecstatic!
They've been together for about three years, for most of which has been a long-distance relationship. At the end of 2014, David moved to North Carolina to pursue additional schooling while Elissa remained in New York. The Friday he proposed, David enlisted the help of Elissa's mom to ensure everything was going to go perfectly to plan. On the morning of the proposal, Elissa's mom handed her a box which included a puzzle of their first photograph together. At the bottom of the puzzle it read, "Today is the Day! March 10, 2017". Elissa was then given specific instructions by her mother to take the train to Grand Central Station. Upon her arrival, Elissa was pretty surprised when she took a right turn out of the terminal and saw David holding a single red rose. She immediately went to hug him, and David told her he had a question for her. Before Elissa realized what was truly happening, he got down on one knee and asked her to marry him! The crowd that had formed burst into applause and cheers for the couple. As David tells it, "I was so nervous, but the crowd of people gave it a nice touch. We felt like celebrities as they whipped out their phones to take pictures." The future Mr. & Mrs. celebrated their engagement that evening by enjoying a dinner at Tony DiNapoli's and going to see the broadway show, Wicked, all of which David had secretly planned for Elissa weeks beforehand.
We started our evening in Grand Central together, taking a few photos in the Main Concourse before making our way downstairs to the track where David asked Elissa to marry him! Afterwards, we took a quick subway ride over to Central Park and visited a few of my favorite spots. As we were walking through The Mall to Bethesda Terrace, there was a huge Salsa dance party going on, to which of course I encouraged Elissa and David to join in on! Luckily we caught some beautiful evening golden light before the skies filled with rain clouds.
Congratulations Elissa and David! Enjoy this wonderful time in your lives together!
When did you know you'd found "the one"?
Elissa: "Initially, I knew David was the one for me when we were driving in the car belting out Disney songs on the way to see Bright Lights in Massachusetts. We had a great time laughing at how awful I am at singing! I looked over to him who was driving and couldn’t help but smile and think to myself what a great guy he is. This was early in our relationship right before he moved down to North Carolina at the end of 2014. Fast forward to now, our relationship has been primarily long distance and even though it is very difficult at times, it gets stronger every day."
David: "After about a year into our relationship I saw that Elissa was dedicated to this long distance relationship that we had to do while I'm in school. She always makes time for us in her schedule. She is one of the most loving and caring people you will ever meet and I am lucky to have found her."
What's one thing you love about your partner?
Elissa: "I love that David is a go-getter, knows what he wants and does not let anything get in the way of achieving his goals. His purpose of moving down to North Carolina was to finish school so he can start his career when he moves back up north. He's a smart person and I love that he has dreams and goals that he is working on to accomplish."
David: "I love how strong Elissa is, emotionally. She's the one to always right the ship whenever there is any sort of adversity. She stays on top of everything and keeps track of every little detail. I love that she is very plan-oriented. She truly is the one that keeps us moving forward and on track."
Besides getting married, what's one thing you're looking forward to on your wedding day?
Elissa: "I am looking forward to celebrating with family and friends! As a girl, you envision what you want your wedding to look like from a young age and I am hoping it will be spectacular! Also, I am looking forward to that moment when I am walking down the aisle and see David’s expression (cheesy, I know!)."
David: "Unfortunately this is a double edged sword because my favorite part of any wedding is the food, however my beautiful fiancée keeps telling me that I may not have time to enjoy it. Hopefully, I can use a cousin as a runner getting me some of those amazing cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres while we are taking pictures."
What's one thing you're looking forward to about marriage?
Elissa: "I am looking forward to moving in together and starting our lives as husband and wife. David is a New England boy and wants to live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, depending on where he finds work. I come from a traditional background in that I will be not be living with David before we are married and will be leaving my house as a bride. Even though this is typically not the norm, I am looking forward to the adjustment and whatever gets thrown our way!"
David: "I am looking forward to the adventure together. We will have to overcome some adversity when we both move in together farther away from our families but I feel that this venture into the unknown will ultimately bring us closer together in our future in New England."
I hope you enjoyed this Central Park engagement session! Do you know Elissa and David? Show them some love by leaving a comment below!