June 9, 2021
A little over a week ago, I photographed Katie and Oscar’s Spring Wedding at Bradford Estate in Hainesport, NJ! Katie and Oscar had an elegant and timeless wedding, their Catholic ceremony perfectly blended both of their cultures with a bilingual mass. My couple felt so fortunate to still be able to have their reception at the Bradford Estate since it is such an intimate, classic, and beautiful venue! They danced to Nat King Cole’s “That’s All” for their first dance, and their color palette was ivory, gold, and pale pink.
Oscar and Katie met as graduate students at Purdue University in Indiana, where Katie completed her Master’s degree and Oscar completed his Master’s and PhD degrees. They actually first met in the Chicago O’Hare Airport when they were both traveling home from visiting their families in NJ and CA for Thanksgiving weekend on November 30, 2014. There is a shuttle bus that runs from O’Hare to Purdue, and they both sat next to each other for about an hour at the shuttle stop before Katie asked Oscar to watch her bags while she went to the bathroom. He was wearing a Purdue fleece, so she figured they were going to the same place, but she assumed he was an undergrad because he had such a clean-shaven baby face! When Katie came back from the bathroom, Oscar took his chance and struck up a conversation. Although they didn’t sit together on the crowded bus ride back, Oscar asked for her number once they arrived back at Purdue, and they haven’t stopped talking since!
They met for coffee and lunch before they had their first “official” date. On their first date, they went to dinner at an Irish pub at Purdue called Nine Irish Brothers, which has really delicious food, and Katie encouraged Oscar to try their “shamrock sauce” and pub chips. Their table was nestled in a corner, and the conversation flowed the whole time. After dinner, they went to see “The Theory of Everything” at a local movie theater and held hands throughout the film. At the end of the night, Katie drove Oscar back to his apartment and they shared their first kiss in her car.
From their earliest conversations, they just felt so incredibly comfortable being themselves around one other. There were a lot of moments in their first year together when Katie knew Oscar was the one, such as when he made sure she was safe after a car accident in their first few months of dating, when they went to Chicago together for a long weekend with friends, when they drove 15 hours from Indiana to New Jersey so he could meet her family. But she knew there was something special about Oscar from their very first kiss! For Oscar, there were a couple of things that made him know Katie was the one. The fact that he felt so comfortable around her and he wasn’t pretending to be someone he wasn’t. The fact that he looked forward to seeing her and hanging out with her was the best part of the week. And the fact that they shared love for family and understood how important it was to stay close no matter where life may lead them. But, just like Katie, Oscar knew there was the start of something special from their first kiss.
Engaged on 08/31/2019, the proposal: “We got engaged on August 31, 2019, which was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. A few weeks prior, Oscar had asked Katie’s parents for permission to propose when our families met each other for the first time during Oscar’s PhD graduation weekend from Purdue. Because we’ve been in a long-distance relationship for 4.5 years, Katie had a feeling that the proposal would come during one of Oscar’s weekend visits to Ann Arbor, MI, where she was working on her PhD at the University of Michigan. All week long leading up to Labor Day, Oscar kept asking about their dinner plans that Saturday night–if they would be going out, cooking something together at Katie’s apartment, etc., so Katie had a feeling Saturday night would be a big night. When Oscar arrived into town on Friday, he mentioned casually that he wanted to stop by his favorite comic book store in downtown Ann Arbor early Saturday morning for a special release that was happening. He convinced Katie not to come and said it would only take a few minutes for him to pick up his book before they resumed their weekend tradition of going to the farmer’s market and out to lunch. Katie didn’t think anything of this plan, and was busy getting ready for Oscar to come back when she heard a knock at the door. She opened the door and Oscar was standing there with a giant bouquet of purple roses and a handmade photo album in his hands. He came back inside and together they looked through the photo album, which Oscar made chronicling their favorite moments from their 5 years together. On the last page of the photo album, there was a note that said, “I have something to ask you…” Oscar then got down on one knee and proposed in Katie’s living room in Ann Arbor! Oscar wasn’t nervous! Instead he was very excited to surprise Katie! And he was hoping he had asked the questions to throw her off the scent and it turns out to have worked! He doesn’t remember exactly what he said when he got down on one knee. But he does know that was the happiest moment of his life!”
I absolutely loved photographing Katie and Oscar’s Spring Wedding at Bradford Estate, which just so happens to be one of my favorite South Jersey wedding venues! They had a color palette of ivory and pale pink which fit their Spring wedding perfectly. Their ceremony at Church of St. Joan of Arc in Marlton, NJ was clearly the most important part of the day to my couple. They had a traditional Catholic ceremony that was officiated by the bride’s uncle. The mass was given in both English and Spanish and during the Mass, they incorporated two Mexican wedding traditions – the blessing of the arras (coins) and lazo (lasso). These are special objects that members of the family give to the bride and groom and that the priest blesses during the ceremony. I love when my couple’s find special ways to make their wedding days so personal!
Katie was most looking forward to having their families celebrate together and merge aspects of their cultures and backgrounds into their ceremony and reception. They were both grateful that this day is happening close to how they had originally envisioned it given all of the uncertainty of the past year. Oscar was most looking forward to seeing Katie walk down the aisle. He was fully prepared for the tears of joy coming from seeing the love of his life walk down the aisle in her beautiful gown.
There was a threat of rain on this Memorial Day weekend all week, but my happy couple made the most of it and their positivity was radiant! We were able to get a full portrait session in and only used the umbrellas for a few shots. Their reception was filled with highlights, between their amazing band, CTO Tribeca Band, heartfelt speeches in both English and Spanish and a Mummer’s dance with umbrellas!
Katie and Oscar’s wedding planning was accompanied by a global pandemic, which put things in perspective. Being fortunate enough to have a wedding has given them perspective as to what the day actually means. Their advice to future couple’s is to never lose perspective of what that day symbolize and don’t get too lost into the minutiae of the planning.
After being in a long-distance relationship for many years, Katie and Oscar are really looking forward to being together and spending more time together. Traveling is a huge goal of theirs and they hope to see more of the US together and they’d love to go to the UK before they settle down. They would love to have children and to make sure they grow up understanding the unique cultures that they both come from. While they aren’t quite sure yet where they will permanently settle, they do know they will always prioritize their families and want to make sure their children have strong relationships with all of their grandparents and cousins.
Every part of our journey through life is sacred and passes by way too quickly. Susan elegantly captures the story of your legacy from the beginning with marriage and throughout motherhood with each special season it brings.
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