Our engagement photo session with Oye Diran was everything I dreamed of and some more. It was on Tuesday, June 20th and in New Jersey. So, we had to take time off work to prepare for the most fun road trip and shortest getaway I’ve ever done. We chose two themes which told a short story of our relationship over the years.
Before making the drive to New Jersey, I had my hair done very early in the morning. This was easy and didn’t take a lot of time thanks to my long time and very good friend, Bernie who is the owner of AdaMilan wigs. I told her long time ago that she will be making my hair for my engagement shoot and she took this role very seriously because my hair was perfect. Being inadequate in the hair styling department, I had to visit my hairstylist who helped install the wig and styled it for me. I wanted to give off a vintage vibe in this photo shoot so I chose a vintage inspired hairstyle. After getting my hair done, I went straight to my makeup artist, Itoro Owolabi of Glowing Faces to get my face beat.
Being in a long distance relationship, we spent most of our times in hotels. We don’t just travel to visit each other in our respective cities, we also travel to different cities and spend most of our times in hotels. I must say we did the most traveling while we were still in long distance. So, we had to go with a theme that would tell the story of that part of our relationship. The intimacy, the excitement of being in a new city and the butterflies in the stomach of seeing him again was everything that made our relationship great. If I were to do this relationship thing all over again I would definitely choose a long distance. Yes, it’s not cheap because the traveling expenses rack up but it’s worth it.
For this engagement photo session, we chose The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village. The hotel was gorgeous with lovely and colorful decor. The staff was nice, listened and attended to all our concerns and needs, and checked us into one of their best rooms with a chilled bottle of complimentary wine waiting for us.
In order to shoot in the hotel, we were required to book a room for a minimum of one night.
My dress is a 50s inspired design by Vince Camuto.
There was always some type of wine involved in our dates and the times we spent together. We are the couple that goes around searching for the best wine store in the city and the most talked about wine tasting event. I’m pretty sure we know every wine store in Harlem and the owners know us too.
What other way to capture this incredible love we have for wine other than having our engagement photo shoot in a vineyard? Finding a vineyard was very challenging but our wedding planner and photographer worked extremely hard to bring our vision to life. It wasn’t just about finding a vineyard it was also about finding one that will fit into our schedule. But luckily, they found Unionville Vineyards which exceeded all our expectations and met our every need. We had access to all areas of the vineyard. Even though, it was crazily hot that day we were able to get some great shots.
There was no fee to use the vineyard but we were required to buy a case of wine that contained 12 bottles and cost about $200.
Like I said earlier, I was going for the vintage look so when I saw this dress at the recently opened NY & Company store in Harlem I knew I must buy it for the engagement photo shoot. My shoes are by Jessica Simpson and I have had them for years.
Special thanks to our wedding planner, Ijeoma Mbamalu of MUIPR, who also happens to be my fiancé’s sister. God knows we wouldn’t have come this far with the planning without her help. She is truly God sent 🙂
Another special thanks to our photographer, Oye Diran. He not only directed the entire engagement photo session, he was also instrumental in finding the venues we used.