Amanda & Brian’s Story {This is Love Contest}

In February, I announced that I was creating a contest to search for a story to tell.  I wanted to look at the real meaning of love, not the flashy heart-candy and flowers definition.  I wanted something gritty, real.  A story of love that challenges people to love better.

I knew when Amanda and Brian submitted to the contest that I wanted to tell their story.

They are a young couple in love, dealing with the distance of a relationship for a year while Brian is stationed with the marines in Okinawa, Japan.  I saw their picture and heard some of their story – and I was thrilled when they won the contest!

Amanda met Brian at their church’s school, 6 years ago, when they first started talking.  Brian’s sister is one of Amanda’s best friends!  They both were interested in each other, but when they went to public school for awhile, they lost contact.  Then, last December, Brian was home on leave for New Year’s, they started talking.  Brian went back to Okinawa the next day, and when he came home again in February, they went on their first date!  And ever since then, they’ve been inseparable.

It is such a testament to their love that they are able to grow stronger in their relationship, even from across the globe.  They show what I truly believe, that love can conquer anything.

I couldn’t wait to photograph Amanda and Brian!!  I took them to one of my favorite spots ever, the trails at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Rockefeller Preserve.  We had the most beautiful sunlight ever!  We took some beautiful pictures of them on the trails, which like English countryside right out of a storybook.  Then, Amanda made a box to hold the love letters Brian sent her from Japan.  We photographed with the letters and had some fun with confetti!

Then, they changed into something more casual and we went on a further walk to Swan Lake to catch the sunset.  And on the way, right next to a field of cows, we saw the most gorgeous, Pride and Prejudice light!!!  It was breathtaking!  We kept walking on the trail all the way to the lake, and the sunset was just magnificent for them.  The lake was still, the blue sky was streaked with pink clouds – I was so happy for them!

It was such a joy to meet Amanda and Brian!  I hope you love their story – and be sure to read their interview after the photos:)

 

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Love this classic shot – they perfected it!!

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Amanda made this box, “Love Doesn’t Know What Distance Is,” to hold some of the letters Brian has sent her from Okinawa.  Care packages and letters are a huge part of their relationship!

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The magic Pride & Prejudice light came out for them!!

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Does this not look like a movie poster?!  So romantic!!

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KL: When was Brian deployed to Okinawa for the first time?  What can you tell me about the first time he left – and was that hard for both of you?

A: Brian left for Okinawa last April, it was the worst.  When we first started dating, he didn’t know where he’d be stationed.  He found out in March and I was devastated.  All the feelings I had for him back in high school came back so it was extra hard.  I felt like I was losing him again.  I remember I was very unsure about how we would work.  We lost contact when we went to different high schools – how would it be when we were in different countries?!  Looking back, I see how God works in mysterious ways, brings people back together in situations that seem odd, and it turns out better than we could imagine.  It’s incredible how this distance has made us so close.

B: Leaving for Okinawa was difficult.  I wasn’t excited about being stationed there, but we took a leap of faith together.  We decided to wait for each other, even though our relationship had just begun.

 

KL: What has been the hardest thing about having a long distance relationship?

A: Everything about it is hard.  When he first left, I’d see couples in the mall together and I’d just start crying.  It gets lonely.  Skype and FaceTime have helped, but sometimes it made me miss him even more.  Holidays are the worst, all I do is think about him and wish we were all together with family.

B: The hardest thing about having a long distance relationship is not being there.  I feel helpless sometimes when all I want to do is hold her.

 

KL: What has given you the most joy in your relationship?

A: What gives me the most joy is the fact that what we have is real.  Our entire relationship is based on an emotional connection, unlike many other people our age whose relationship is based on physical connection.  We’ve gotten to know each other so well, we’re both on the same page and it’s amazing.  Watching Brian grow in his faith has made me so happy, and it excites me because I know we’ll both get far together as a couple if we both have a strong relationship with God.

B: What gives me the most joy is that Amanda is always there for me.  She’s never given up on me and that means the world.

 

KL: Amanda, what advice would you give to another young woman who is about to be separated from her boyfriend for a long time?

A: Get a hobby!  Haha.  Pray.  Stay busy.  I wouldn’t have made it without doing those two things.  It’s easy to sit at home and cry all day, because it is sad, and it’s not ideal.  But surround yourself with friends, join groups, start working out, that’s what I did.  And write letters – there’s something about handwritten notes that hold more emotion.  I really got into writing letters and making care packages.

 

KL: Brian, what advice would you give to another young man about to be deployed and separated from his girlfriend?

B: Trust her.  Trust is the bedrock and foundation of a long distance relationship as well as faith.

 

KL: What have you both learned about love that you can share with other couples?

A: “Love is patient and kind…”  Relationships are work, but when the connection is there, it’s worth it.  I know I’m young, but I’ve never been happier.  The level of respect and trust we have for each other is uplifting.  These are important things in a healthy relationship.  Don’t give up because things seem rough – you never know what amazing plans God has in store!

B: Love will last through difficult situations, you just have to keep holding on.

“Love knows not its own depths until the hour of separation.” -Kahlil Gibran

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Ashley & Marco’s Wedding {The Grandview Hudson Valley Wedding Photography}

I am SO excited to post this beautiful wedding today!

When I first met Ashley and Marco, I could tell they were so in love!  I loved how creative Ashley was – she took a darkroom photography in high school, so photography was especially important to these two from the start.  I photographed their engagement at their lakehouse (remember these shots I took on a paddle boat?!) and just loved their adventurous spirit.  I just knew their wedding day would be awesome!

And it was a stunningly beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky for these two, and the most gorgeous light!  They had prepared with umbrellas but were surprised at what a glorious day it was.

When I arrived at Ashley’s mom’s house, I fell in love with the details and the bright colors of her bouquet!!  Her mom had chandeliers and lace tablecloths, perfect to photograph with.  Her bridesmaids were all ready in their pink dresses, and they were in awe with how beautiful Ashley looked in her wedding dress!  The front page article in the paper was entitled “No Need to Settle Down” – but Ashley and I revised that for pictures, because I knew this girl was so excited to be married!  I think Marco was pretty excited too – he was glowing all morning.

Their ceremony at St. Patrick’s Church was beautiful – I have photographed at this church so many times but this old stone church is always a stunner.  You could see how happy these two were when their family greeted them with a bubbles as they exited the church!:) We took some gorgeous photographs by the stone church and their beautiful doors, then Ashley and Marco toasted to each other, and we headed upstate to The Grandview.

As soon as we got there, we had the most GORGEOUS light!!!  There is a beautiful view of the water and the Mid-Hudson Bridge in the back, and the sun was starting to set over the Hudson River.  We had a lot of fun taking pictures with the bridal party!  And then, we photographed some intimate moments with Ashley and Marco.  The sunlight on them as they looked at the view, her head rested on his shoulder, was some of the most stunning light I’ve seen!

Their reception was so much fun – you could just tell how much fun they had with their Italian families!!  They also had a cigar bar and a photo booth, which their guests had such a great time with.  On the dance floor, their first dance, and dances with their parents were such sweet moments.  As the night came to a close, Marco’s family made handmade Italian cookies (yes, that’s right!!) that looked like they came from a bakery, to give to their guests.  I took Ashley and Marco outside for one last shot with the bridge lit up:)

You can just see the sweet friendship and love these two have, and I wish them so much happiness together.  Enjoy their story!

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THIS dress, these colors!!!

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The morning paper had it’s own message, but Ashley changed it:)

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Ashley you’re gorgeous!!

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You could see how much fun these guys were having!!

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They’re married!!!  :)

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Such sweetness…

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Ahh!  This light and these moments…pure magic.

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Such sweet love!

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A special thank you to all of the vendors that made Ashley and Marco’s beautiful day possible:

Church: St. Patrick’s Old Stone Church, Yorktown Heights NY

Venue: The Grandview, Poughkeepsie NY

Photography: Kerri Lynne Photography

DJ: Music Speaks Volumes Entertainment

Florist: Fair Acre Farms

Catering / Cake: Grandview Events

Favors: DIY

 

And a huge thank you to my second photographer Anastasiia Ostapovich!  You rock girl!

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Erin & Chris’ Wedding {Dutchess Manor Beacon Wedding Photography}

It was a beautiful start to the 2014 wedding season with my Love Gives Way couple, Erin and Chris!!

Erin and Chris had a beautiful, intimate affair at Dutchess Manor in Beacon.  Their day was family and Christ-centered, and their intimate details were so them!  Erin fell in love with the theme “key to my heart,” so she had details throughout the wedding day with keys, from Chris’ boutonniere, to the seating chart, to the her and the bridesmaids’ necklaces.  As soon as I got to Dutchess Manor, I knew it was the perfect location for them.  I instantly fell in love with the bridal suite and it’s chandelier, mirrors, and vintage inspired decor!

Before the ceremony, Erin and Chris wanted to pray together, but they didn’t want to see one another until she walked down the aisle.  So we set up “first look” shots with them behind a door.  Those moments were so sweet and tender, and you could just feel their anticipation as they got ready to see one another!

They had a beautiful ceremony performed by Chris’ relative, and he even got a little teary as he married them.  Erin and Chris’ fathers prayed over their marriage, even before they said “I Do.”

Afterward, we took family pictures and Erin’s bridesmaids bustled her dress, and the bridal party prepared to take photographs outside!  It was raining lightly so we were ready for whatever came our way.  We took beautiful portraits on the porch of Dutchess Manor, and by the time Chris carried his beautiful wife to a view in front of the sunset, the rain let up for us!  We took fun bridal party photos, and then captured beautiful intimate moments between Erin and Chris.  You can just see how much love they have for each other in those moments!

Their reception was intimate and fun – they definitely had fun on the dance floor!  One of my favorite moments was when Erin and Chris dedicated a song to her parents, as they have been an example to Erin about what a Godly marriage should look like.  It was sweet to see the newly married couple admire her parents’ marriage.

At the end of the night, we captured one bit of magic outside in the rain!  If you ever fear rain on your wedding day, just look at the moment we captured!!

I hope you enjoy the story of Erin and Chris’ beautiful wedding day!

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This dress shot!  Ahh!

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Erin, you’re radiant!

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They took a moment to pray together before their ceremony – SUCH sweet moments between these two!!

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SO beautiful!

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Woo hoo!  Married!

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Oh, these tender moments…

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The bridal party cheered them on to walk in the rain to our next location!  And then our groom got creative…

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Instead of tossing her bouquet, Erin gave hers to her mom, and dedicated this song to her parents, whose marriage is an inspiration to them.

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Rain never has to ruin a wedding day!!  Pure magic:)

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A special thank you to all of the vendors who made Erin and Chris’ beautiful day possible:

Venue: Dutchess Manor

Photographer: Kerri Lynne Photography

DJ / Ceremony Music: DJ Domenic Entertainment

Officiant: Todd Condell

Florist: Sabellico Florist

Wedding Dress Boutique: Majesty Bridal

Hair Stylist: Rachael Miller

Makeup Artist: Eileen Pignataro

Catering: Dutchess Manor

Cake: Pastry Garden

 

And a special thank you to my talented second photographer Aaron Berger!

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Irene Crowther

What a beautiful album! Kerry Lynn, you captured the most amazing moments from the wedding preparation, the ceremony, and right through the reception. It’s a beautiful, creative testament to your talent, and will provide many happy moments for Erin and Chris, and their families, for years to come.

A Cherry Blossom Birthday Celebration in DC! {Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival}

Last weekend, I took a day to celebrate my birthday with a few of my girlfriends, and just had the BEST time!

One of my friends (who is SUCH a traveler) mentioned to me how we should go see the Cherry Blossoms in DC.  Little did she know how much I LOVE flowers, and have been to the Cherry Blossom Festival for several years in a row.  I would go down with my camera and capture TONS of floral images, and make pretty greeting cards with them.  So of course, I was totally on board for a girls trip!

What we didn’t  know is that the blossoms were a little late this year!  Because of the cold weather this year, the blossoms were about 3-4 days behind schedule.  I had NO idea that the trees blossom so fast – I really thought it was more gradual.  But we decided to be beauty-hunters and find every tree that WAS in blossom.

When we got into DC, we found some blossoming trees near the Smithsonian Castle, so we went there to take some pictures.  The Magnolia trees were in full bloom, pink and beautiful!!  We then walked to the Tidal Basin, where 3 cherry blossom trees were in bloom.  We ate some lunch, took a walk in the sunshine, and made sure to stop at every tree we saw that was in bloom:) Then, we went to the Smithsonian Museum and sat in the sun, and my best friend from college and her boyfriend joined us!  It was such a blessing that she made the trip down!   We took some more photos on the Mall and at the Castle, and then all of us went to a Mexican Restaurant in a quieter neighborhood in DC to eat.  (I LOVE Mexican food, so it was perfect!!)

It was a beautiful day with plenty of sunshine, and some beautiful blossoms; but the bigger blessing was being with wonderful friends who gave their weekend to celebrate me.  Great conversations, laughs, food and photos – what more can a girl ask for?!   My heart was full, friends!

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The Magnolia blossoms at the Smithsonian were stunning!!

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These little blossoms were so cute!!  Danielle had to investigate:)

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We found a blossoming white tree!  Love them!

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Jumping pictures are harder to do than it looks!  This took us like 1000 takes!  Haha.

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Love these friends so much!!

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LOVE this and her!  My college roomie drove 8 hours to see me!:)

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Faye & Saif’s Wedding {Long Island Islamic Wedding Photography}

I was so excited for this day!

Faye and Saif were married last year, and I photographed their wedding at City Hall in Brooklyn.  Remember this post?!  They had such a natural joy and you could just tell how head over heels they were for each other!

For their anniversary, they decided to get married again, but this time, to do a traditional Islamic ceremony.  Saif is originally from Pakistan, and chose to marry Faye at the same church his brother was married, at the Islamic Cultural Center of Long Island.  I had never photographed an Islamic ceremony, so I had NO idea what to expect!!  I spoke to Faye before the wedding, and I learned that it would be very relaxed for an Islamic ceremony, and they were only asking their immediate family there to be there to celebrate.

I was so excited because I KNEW she was going to look stunning in the traditional garments, jewelry and colors!!   She warned me that Saif would look like Aladdin – so I couldn’t wait to see this price and princess together!!

At the end of the ceremony, it was tradition to have cakes / desserts and for the bride and groom to feed each other.  (I loved that!)

Then, we all went to Eisenhower Park to photograph formal pictures of the bridal party, and of course tons of the bride and groom!!  I just oohed and ahhed over the COLORS and adornment – it was totally photographer heaven.  But the best part was seeing the love between Faye & Saif on their one year anniversary, and how happy they were together!

I’m so excited for these two and their journey, and was blessed to be a part of this day.  Enjoy their story!

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This joy!  These colors!!

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Aren’t their SHOES amazing?!

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Faye, you’re absolutely stunning!!!

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They’re both just radiant!

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Mohammad Yasir

it looks such a lovely event…my best wishes to newly married couple.saifi u rock… when you r coming to pakistan we ll plan some get together prestonians