I'm Tori, a portrait and wedding photographer based in central New Jersey. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet; I'm so happy you're here. Come check out the full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts, helpful tips and more. Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if there is anything special you'd love to see in a future post. I hope to hear from you soon!
These two have such a powerful love story and it shows through every little thing they do. We sat and talked for hours when we first met, and it was so incredible getting to hear all of the pieces of their relationship that have brought them to this day! We adventured through a special part of Philly that Mary and Charles love and caught such a beautiful sunset before heading back to their Airbnb for some adorable in-home photos with their pup, Ryder! They make each other laugh instantly, which made my job super fun and easy because they are SO freaking adorable naturally! Plus, having Ryder there for all the puppy kisses and snuggles always helps up-level the cuteness!! I am so glad these two brought me along to see some special spots in Philly to capture this exciting time in their relationship!
Mary told me about the first day that they met: “I had such a bad day that day and my best friend was hoping to cheer me up and asked if I wanted to come out with her and the dance team she was apart of. She said that Chux, the founder and director of the team, will pick us up (Charles has many nickenames lol!)
So, he picked us up as we went to Jersey city to meet up with the rest of the gang. I remembered the first question I asked him was “what was the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?” You know, to break the ice and because I’m super awkward. He didn’t really know for his answer, but I told him mine was a snake!! Little did I know that, that’s one of his ultimate fears! Hahaha!!
We arrived to this half restaurant half dance party place called Fiesta Grill. I remember one particular part in the night when he was standing across the table from me, all gross, sweaty, and laughing; time froze still, and I couldn’t hear anything else around me, and I said to myself “you’re going to be something special to me. Whether it is a really good friend, or something more.” Word for word. And mind you, I am NOT that person to believe in love at first sight, or swoon over a guy the first time we meet.
From then on, we were just really good friends. Then a couple of months passed by, on a windy night, as we were reclined in his car, he asked me to date him. A couple of months after that, we made it official as girlfriend and boyfriend!” SUCH chills just hearing how Mary knew at that moment that Chucky was going to be so special to her. She was spot on. <3
They opened up to me and told me all about the proposal, which comes with some emotional back story! Mary and Chucky were on vacation in Hawaii when they got a devastating call that their sweet new puppy, Riley, had been hit by a car and didn’t make it. They weren’t home and didn’t even believe the news at first, but they had each other to grow out of the dark time together.
When they were telling me what had happened, they both explained in such detail about the emotions and the time in their lives, so I could just tell how deeply this loss impacted them. It was so special getting to see them holding hands and comforting one another just as they spoke about it.
Chucky knew Hawaii was special to them and their love story, so for the proposal, he went all out. He didn’t want to go back to Hawaii, but he knew Disney would be the next best thing! Mary had never been there before! He planned a beautiful dinner at Disney’s Polynesian Village and booked a photographer for photos on the beach, which he said was a part of the dinner! Charles had prepared what he was going to say and included lines that he modified from his favorite Disney song. He even played it for Mary to drop the hints earlier that day as they were getting ready! As they were on the beach for their photos, the photographer told Mary to turn around for the next photo, and when she turned back around, Chucky was on one knee proposing to her! It was his special way of bringing Hawaii, somewhere with so much significance to their story, to Mary!
When I asked what qualities they loved about each other, Mary said, “Charles is not only the best part of my every day but he is my rock and my sanity, better yet, my HOME. No matter what knocks me down, he’s always there to hold together all of the pieces together. I can have the worst day or receive the worst news ever, but as soon as I am with him he makes me feel safe, love, and at peace. We’ve gone through so much together, whether it be life or loss, and he’s reminded me that the only people who knows what we are going through is us. Charles is always other-centered and think about his love ones more then himself. He always shows me how that he is my biggest fan/cheerleader, and no matter what I do that I am more then enough. I want him to know that he is beyond enough and that he has the ability to do whatever it is that he desires.”
Charles said, “This might sound a bit cliche or corny, but I mean it in the most unique and special way possible. Mary truly has the best heart out of anyone I know. I said before how generous and strong-willed she is, but she also has such a strong heart that has helped her get through a lot of tough times in her life. But most of all, she has the most loving heart out of anyone I know. She’s shown me that love can be tough, but in the end it doesn’t give up on you.” Can you tell these two are absolutely perfect for each other?!
Thank you so much for opening up and telling me your story. It means so much to me! I can’t wait for you to tie the knot in just a few days, it’s going to be the best celebration of your strong, inspiring relationship! Congratulations, and let’s do this thing!!! <3 YAY! Love you!