Their Session: Bear Mountain, NY Engagement Session
Jason and I met up early one windy morning with Katie and Jay at Bear Mountain Park in Stony Point, NY. They selected this spot because it's actually their wedding venue! Since their wedding is in the winter, they wanted to take advantage of this location in the warmer weather. Knowing some parts won't be open to the public by the time their wedding rolls around in the winter, we all agreed it would be a perfect spot! We met up literally before things opened (I'm so proud of me for getting up this early!) and decided to head towards the top of the mountain. I'm so glad we all got there when we did, because people were already starting to trickle in and we didn't want to miss out on the incredible view due to big crowds! After we spend some time up there, we headed down towards the Inn where their ceremony and reception will be held for a little self-guided tour. Then we went by the lake where we finished up our session. I cannot wait to share some photos and Jason's engagement session highlight video, but first, here's more of their love story!
How They Met
Katie and Jay met during the fall of 2019 on the app Bumble. Jay had messaged Katie twice and he said he remembers exactly where he was when she finally responded back to him! (Um, romantic, much?!) They chatted about how he loved watching trashy reality shows. It turns out that Katie's second Bumble date was her happy ever after story and her friends understandably wish they had a similar experience! Even though they often visited the same places, Katie and Jay never seemed to cross paths until they chatted on Bumble.
Katie first noticed how easy their conversations over text were and Jay's amazing blue eyes in person. But she confesses that talking to him was much better in person! She happened to be on the phone when she arrived first and met up with Jay for their first date. She told him to wait while she finished her conversation. Katie admits it probably wasn't the best first impression and Jay shared he kind of thought she was a bitch because of it! 🤐 But first impressions are definitely not one-and-done since these two fell in LOVE!
They went to the Newburgh Brewery the Saturday before Thanksgiving for their first date and talked there for a long time. It seemed like neither of them wanted to leave. Even though Katie had a broken foot and sported a boot, they remained standing and couldn't stop chatting. They were at the brewery together for over SEVEN (yes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, *7* hours!)!! She just felt so comfortable in Jay's presence and enjoyed how calming he was. Katie felt like she knew him so much longer than just a few hours by the end of the evening. Jay said the conversations were flowing!
Katie shared that she fell in love with Jay quickly. She had never felt more comfortable with another person so quickly and easily in her entire life aside from her college roommate. She said, "It was like a mug of hot cocoa on a cold winter day." Like 🥺🥺🥺 poetic emoitons! Katie remembers walking on New Years Eve on the beach at Point Pleasant with two of her besties for hours talking about Jay. She talked about her fears of knowing she loved him in a way that she's never loved anyone else before, knowing that if it ever ended, it would be so much more heartbreaking than anything she's ever experienced. She felt that everything about Jay and all the time she spent was him was magical, but wrestled with the feeling that it was too soon for all of this emotion. Katie said her friends took a photo of her standing on the freezing beach and it was the first time she felt like she saw a genuine smile on her face in years.
Jay helps Katie feel calm, supported, and he's grounded her in a way she's needed. She's never once been bored in his presence and he can even make her smile on bad days! Katie shared, "At his core, he's just a really great human. Reliable, honest, caring, funny. He takes care of his people. He prioritizes his family and friends, and now mine as well. That's something I've never had before. He's also a really great dog dad - so much so that I'm sure Scooter would choose him in an Air Bud situation and not me, the one who cared for him years before Jay was in the picture. Which is rude. I know someday that all of these things will translate into him becoming a wonderful parent." Katie and Jay are puppy paw-rents to an adorable little black rescue pup named Scooter!
Jay shared that he fell in love with Katie due to her kindness and caring qualities. He said he enjoys feeling cared for and loves that she'll take care of him. Katie said he does all the laundry, most of the cleaning after dinner, all of the yard work and gardening, so she almost isn't sure what he's talking about! She said that Jay isn't a big words guy, but she knows how he feels based on his actions. He leaves her forehead kisses in the morning when he leaves to go to work or when he comes to bed to go to sleep after her, even when she's pretending to be sleeping already. How figgen cute are these two?!?!?!!??
A prefect date night for Katie and Jay would be just spending time together. They love hanging out at home, cooking together, binge watching something on the couch, and cuddling their pup Scooter. They enjoy being near each other even if they aren't doing something tougher. Jay can watch sports while Katie reads on the couch. They also like to go to hockey games and local breweries, and even spend time with each other's families together.
Katie felt like she was defiantly ready to get engaged to Jay but wasn't sure if he was on the same page as her. He kept talking about buying a jet ski, but Katie didn't think it was a worthwhile investment. Thinking back, now she's not sure if "jet ski" was a code word for engagement ring and proposing!
Katie went into detail about the time that Jay proposed. Here's the story! "Jay proposed by getting all of my close friends in on it and telling his close friends and family that he was going to propose. We planned a trip to Nashville for my 30th birthday then suggested we invite some friends and then complained about inviting friends for 4 months. Before we left, one friend asked me if I was getting my nails done which didn't really raise any alarms. I remember talking to my mom on the phone while packing Jay's suitcase that there was no way he'd propose if I'm packing for him because where will he hide the ring? I really thought he wasn't and I was honestly pretty upset about it even though every sign pointed to him proposing. The suitcase was the only reason I assumed he wasn't going to. We got there on a Thursday morning, a group of 15 or so that took over a section on a southwest flight and just had a lot of fun. Then the next day, we go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and half of the group bails on it and I was like 'weird but okay' - can't remember the excuse now but most of them had already been so that's probably why. We go back and go swimming and have famous Nashville Hot Chicken for lunch and get ready for a really nice high end dinner - that was the only thing I wanted to do on this trip was eat a really nice meal as my 'birthday present.' But first, we went to Centennial Park. I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan and it's mentioned in the song 'Invisible String' which has several lyrics that really just jumped out to me on the first listen and screamed 'that's us' - especially the bridge & 'Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven' - some really shitty things happened in my life in the six months leading up to meeting Jay and meeting him felt like all the pieces of a puzzle fitting together perfectly. Like putting on glasses for the first time and seeing all the little fine details I've missed all along. Or whatever metaphor you want to pick. I wanted to go because I thought it'd be cute to take a nice picture there all dressed up for dinner and instagram it 'isn't it just so pretty to think all along there was some invisible string tying you to me' and my friends and Jay made me think it was my idea but apparently it was his plan all along. Plus it was close to our hotel so it wasn't like it was super out of the way.
So, we show up at this park and it's a million and a half degrees and I'm watching the sweat spread across his back and he wouldn't take a picture where I wanted to take the picture because on the hottest day of the whole summer, my friends volunteered to give up the morning of their trip to go find the perfect spot for him. So we get to this perfect spot and everyone is there and I realize it's happening all because his brother's friend came along that told me he works in 'media' the day before at a bar is actually a professional photographer for some sports teams and bikini models or whatever in Florida is holding a fancy camera. They get me into the spot and take a few pictures and he proposes and all I could do was scream 'I was right!' and I'm not even sure I said yes? They had my parents on FaceTime and then my friends and everyone there told me that they knew the entire time and I'm really proud of them because they can't keep a secret ever but they did for months. My childhood best friend even tried to rearrange her honeymoon flights to be there! Everyone knew except for a small handful of people so it was nice not having to tell everyone but fun to tell the ones that didn't know. My maid of honor actually held onto the ring the whole trip and filmed a tiktok of the ring behind my back the entire time. You could say that I was suspicious but oblivious. After, there was a caricature artist there as a cover for another proposal that was happening so he did ours after seeing it happen which was fun. Then, we went to the diviest of dive bars after - like shotgun above the back of the bar, locals turn and look at you like an old western kind of place - and cooled off in their AC and I got the recap of the whole thing and then we went and had our fancy dinner. After, we met the group at the bars in downtown Nashville and ended up finding Taylor Swift's lead guitarist who has been with her since 2007 in a band at one of the bars. I immediately recognized him and made everyone stay until the end of his set. Jay's brother Joe paid them $100 to play the 10 min All Too Well which is one of my favorites and it was a great ending to the perfect weekend! All in all, a surprise!"
What an absoloutely amazing story! I loved reading "The Proposal (10 Minute Version) (Katie's Version)." Iykyk. Super brownie points to Jay for pulling off such a huge trip and mega surprise! I cannot believe the chances of running into one of Taylor's band mates and getting them to play THE most epic T Swift song ever!!! Katie is definitely a Taylor Swift super fan, having followed her on tour and seeing her many, many times throughout the years. By the time we had our engagement session together, she had already seen Taylor FIVE times on her tour this year, and was making plans to go two more times in the next week! Katie even had her nails painted to match all of Taylor's albums for The Era's tour that I loved getting a closeup photo of!
When asked if there was anything else they'd like to share about their relationship, the wedding planning process, or the engagement session, here's what Katie shared. "Everyone says planning a wedding is hard, but so far I haven't thought that? Maybe I'm doing it wrong, I don't know. But so far, working with you two has been the easiest part of it all and that's all we wanted! When I read this question to Jay he said to tell them that I had fun and that we are very much looking forward to a fun wedding day with them! :D"
Katie & Jay
We had such a great time with you both at your session and checking out your wedding venue! Thank you so much for taking the time to share beautiful details about your relationship with us. We appreciate your time and your trust in us to capture your love together! We cannot wait to join you again in the winter for your wedding! 😊
Here's Jason's engagement session highlight video of our time at Bear Mountain and what he had to share about Katie and Jay's session!
This session with Katie and Jay was so gorgeous. The view up on Bear Mountain in NY is spectacular. We met up early at the grounds, and we chatted for a bit. Then Katie and Jay suggested we drive up to the top of the mountain.
Luckily, there weren't too many people there during the session. Many times people will make an effort to move out of the shot if they notice, which is appreciated. We chatted together as we moved from spot to spot.
We took a look together at the wedding venue which is on the grounds of Bear Mountain. I have not been there before, but it was nice to spend some time with Katie and Jay as we walked around together.
Love was there, was it perfect? You'll just have to watch the video and you...have to choose.
#bearmountain #bearmountainpark #bearmountainwedding #bearmountainengagementsession #bearmountainny #bearmountain #bearmountainstatepark #bearmountaininn #bearmountainlodge #hudsonhighlands #orangecountynywedding #orangecountynyweddings #orangecountynyengagementsession #orangecountynyweddingphotographer #orangecountynyengagementphotographer #putnamcountywedding #putnamcountyweddings #putnamcountyengagementsession #putnamcountyweddingphotographer #putnamcountyengagementphotographer #hudsonvalleywedding #hudsonvalleyweddings #hudsonvalleyweddingphotographer #hudsonvalleyengagementsession #hudsonvalleyengagementphotographer #behindthescenesphotoshoot #behindthescenesshoot #dayinthelifeofaphotographer #dayinthelife #nyweddingvendor