We felt so lucky to be at one of our favorite portrait locations two nights in a row! Rachel and Andrew decided on a fall engagement session at the beautiful Yale University campus in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. I will never get sick of photographing our couples in front of all of the beautiful, historic architecture! I’m incredibly thankful for the time we get to spend with our couples during their engagement sessions, because I truly enjoy laughing and spending time with them! Andrew and Rachel are both such kind and welcoming people; at the start of their session, Arturo and I were greeted with warm hugs and big hellos from them both! We shared a wonderful evening with them, chatting about their wedding plans as we strolled around campus. These guys know good Italian food, so they also filled us in on some of their favorite New Haven pizza places!
Months prior to the evening Andrew proposed to Rachel, she mentioned to him that she hoped their families to be around to witness the moment they were to get engaged. Rachel also hinted to Andrew that she wanted him to ask her father for permission. He followed her requests perfectly! Andrew asked Rachel's father for her hand in marriage and made sure to include everyone during the night of the proposal. On the night before Rachel's birthday earlier this year, he took her out to dinner to celebrate. Rachel's son, parents, siblings, and grandmothers attended the dinner, as well as Andrew's parents, brother, and sister-in-law. When everyone arrived and sat down, Andrew waited for everyone to get their drinks in order to make a toast. During his toast, Andrew expressed his love for Rachel with heartfelt words mixed with humorous anecdotes. Many tears and laughs filled the room. At the end of Andrew's speech, he got down on one knee and asked Rachel if she would marry him, to which she exclaimed, "YES!"
These sweethearts are celebrating their wedding day at Haley Mansion in Mystic, Connecticut next June! We know their coastal wedding is going to be an absolute blast!
When did you know you'd found "the one"?
Rachel: “I knew Andrew was the one for me shortly after I started dating him. He is a kind, loving, and very patient man. He makes me laugh and supports me through everything. He has all the qualities of a good man, ones that I would like my son and future children to see and emulate as a good person. Andrew is my soulmate.”
Andrew: “I knew Rachel was the one during our first date together at The Whelk Restaurant in Westport. We talked for hours over a few drinks and I was amazed that she was still available. Her beauty, intelligence, and our instant connection had me sold. I thought to myself, ‘I can stay in this moment forever’.”
What's one thing you love about your partner?
Rachel: “Andrew has so many amazing qualities that it is hard to only choose one thing I love about him. He is loving, patient, kind, hard-working, and always so positive. But if I had to absolutely pick one thing, I would think that he embraces faith and loves God. We pray together, go to church together, and we both know that God had plans for the both of us longer than we had any idea.”
Andrew: “One thing I love about Rachel is her relentless drive. Whether it is as a mother, at work, at home, or in our relationship, she possesses a relentless drive. I have a more relaxed attitude towards life, but this is what makes us work. Rachel is definitely the yin to my yang in this regard.”
Besides getting married, what is one thing you're looking forward to on your wedding day?
Rachel: “I look forward to locking eyes with Andrew when I first walk down the aisle at church. I believe that will be a very special moment. When I see him waiting for me down the aisle before we recite our vows to love each other, come what may, before God.”
Andrew: “I look forward to knowing that our wedding day will be the first official day of our lives together as a family. We will have a very different yet rewarding life ahead of us filled with brand new experiences together. I am most excited for the anticipation of our journey together.”
What's one thing you're looking forward to about marriage?
Rachel: “I am looking forward to starting a family with Andrew. He is so wonderful with my twelve year old son, Carmine, that I am confident that he will be an incredible father to our children, as well. Andrew has seamlessly become a member of my family, and I cannot wait to live our lives raising and loving our children, together.”
Andrew: “Completing the beginning chapter of our lives and accomplishing all of our goals together. Building a beautiful family and creating a loving home for our family. It doesn't really matter what we may be doing, we always find a way to have a good time and laugh with or at each other every day. This bond is why I am so confident to spend the rest of my life with Rachel.”
I hope you enjoyed this Yale University engagement session! Do you know Rachel and Andrew? Show them some love by commenting below!
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Shaina Lee Photography is a husband and wife photography team serving Connecticut, New York, Hawaii and beyond. We specialize in timeless, elegant, and romantic weddings while celebrating all couples in love. Are you planning a proposal, engagement session or wedding? Take a peek at our wedding portfolio or contact us for availability.