On the first snowfall of the season, boot traffic was extraordinarily high at Poet's Walk Park in Red Hook, NY, but there would be no cold feet this day. Tony had whisked his longtime girlfriend Melissa away from the neon lights of Manhattan for a romantic getaway weekend to celebrate her birthday and their anniversary, but little did she know he was planning to top off their mini-cation in the Hudson Valley with a surprise marriage proposal.
I sat and waited, my heart racing with each visitor to the gazebo -- from a Labrador retriever and his owner on a brisk trot, a spirited couple briefly twirling and singing, to another scraping the loose fresh powder together for a snowball.
Tony and Melissa followed.
I knew I would have only seconds to capture the raw emotion that comes with the wish and promise of forever. He unraveled the poem he had written for her as they both stood in the rustic entryway, snowflakes quietly blanketing the earth around us, and I watched them in the reflection of my display. And, there it was; the bended knee, the unmistakable signs of 'Yes', and a steady stream of tears.
A pop of seasonal red, an unbreakable golden circle, and a surreal journey none of us will soon forget. Love is a blessing; capturing it is humbling.
Happy holidays and much love to a wonderfully beautiful couple. Thank you for trusting me to document such a fervent moment in your lives.