Jess + Chris: Desert sunset engagement shoot

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By the time that Jess and Chris tie the knot, they will have already spent nine years together. But while their big day will not change much in the overall scheme of things, the pair could not be more excited to officially become husband and wife! With the vision for their wedding falling into place once they became engaged, the warmth of the setting sun captured this pair’s love beautifully in the American desert. See the brilliant images by Adam Naples photography below.

What have been the most exciting parts of planning your wedding? For me, Jess, it’s been creating the vision. I never spent much time imagining my wedding until we were actually engaged. But I did know I wanted to get married outdoors, in the Fall, with red, orange and gold trees as the backdrop. From there I decided on a rich, complementary color palette of  burgundy and plum which led me to a vintage theme. Brass candlesticks, antique vases and everything! I’m so excited to see it all come together!

For Chris, it’s been the food. He’s been working with our caterer, Emily’s Café and Catering, to create a Vienna Beef Hotdog paying homage to his hometown of Chicago.

How do you think marriage will change your relationship? We will have been together 9 years before our wedding day so we don’t expect the day to day to change too much. However, we feel so excited to be able to call each other husband and wife, the significance of those labels are extremely meaningful to us. Just being able to call one another fiancé brings a smile to our faces. Discussing marriage encourages you to imagine how your lives will develop and grow together and all the adventures that lie ahead. Engagement is a special time.

What do you most look forward to about your wedding? We look forward to celebrating with our family and closest friends. They have all witnessed our relationship grow over the years and we can’t wait to share the day with them. Our immediate family and wedding party are able to stay at the Woolverton Inn for the weekend, so we are excited for the intimate environment it will create.

What are the most important things that will create a long lasting and loving marriage? Most important is communication. We did long distance for 3 years, East Coast to West Coast, and creating time to speak about the banal to the interesting is extremely important. Next you need to make sure you’re listening and adjusting. No one likes to make the same request multiple times, even if it can be endearing.

Who are the vendors that you are working with for your wedding day? We are getting married at the Woolverton Inn in Stockton, NJ on October 14, 2017. Our caterer is Emily’s Café and Catering, cake by Laura Anderson, photographer is Adam Naples Photography, makeup and hair is Janelle On Location, band is Manhattan City Music, Flowers by Floral Lambertville, rings by Kwiat, dress by Rebecca Schoneveld, engagement shoot dress by Reformation

Who have been your favourite wedding dress designers? I’ve always favoured unique gowns rather than your traditional ballgown or all-over lace and beaded styles. I love the work of Yolan Cris, Lihi Hod and Daalarna. But the second I walked into Schone Bride in Brooklyn I knew I would find my dress there. Rebecca Schoneveld’s atelier is enchanting and I was lucky enough to have Rebecca help me personally try on dresses. All of her dresses are customizable and there are so many lovely separates that can be mixed and matched. My ultimate selection is very simple but perfectly embodies my style. I would definitely recommend Rebecca for untraditional brides.

What special ways do you express your love to each other? We tell each other I love you daily, often using our childish nicknames for one another. And nearly every day we can just catch one another’s eyes and it simply brings smiles to our faces.

What are your favourite ways to spend time together? We love hanging with our cats, Cheddar and Pepper Jack. When we’re relaxing with them we feel like one big happy family. We are also both active, we met on the Cross Country team at Wesleyan University, so we love getting outdoors together, going for walks, hikes and bike rides, and watching sports together.

What’s your relationship advice for couples planning their big day? If one of you likes to take charge in planning make sure you communicate your ideas with one another. Sometimes you can be surprised by what’s important to your partner. And make sure you are on the same page about budget, that’s key.

What’s the best relationship advice anyone has given you? Never forget you’re a team and never take one another for granted.

Carly Tia
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