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!
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 full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts 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!
The Ludlow Hotel Engagement Session, NYC | Alysa & Anthony
Their Session: The Ludlow Hotel, NYC
OMG Alysa and Anthony were such a dream to photograph! They picked the cutest hotel in Manhattan, The Ludlow Hotel! It had beautiful light, fun aesthetics, and the perfect space for them to get cozy for their engagement session! This hotel was actually on the same street where I used to live in Manhattan, so it was even more special to be there! Alysa and Anthony have the sweetest connection – they were truly up for anything from cuddling on the floor to getting in robes in this gorgeous bathroom! What I loved most was just how real these two are – I felt like we were friends from the moment I got there, and it made the entire session so laid back and comfortable!
Alysa told me when they were choosing the style of their engagement session, they loved all of the beautiful nature photos they see, but realized it just wasn’t them! One of the biggest suggestions I make to my couples is to choose a location and style that truly feels like a date night. They booked this hotel for an anniversary weekend together, and we made their session happen as a double celebration! I’m so glad they trusted their gut to plan a sesh that felt so genuine to them! Can’t wait for you to scroll these alllll this goodness!
Their Love Story
Alysa & Anthony both graduated as HR/Labor Relations Majors. They met at their first job out of college as hungry HR newbies ready to take on the world. Alysa started only a few months before Anthony did. While working together, they were always just acquaintances.. until a month or so before Alysa quit! A coworker she was really close with planned the holiday after-party, and even though they both had their last days of work a few weeks prior, their coworker made them promise they would still go to that after party!
She said she’s always down to have a good time and thought it would be nice to see her coworkers again! Alysa said, “At this point we were friendly as a entire group of coworkers but still, Anthony and I were not super close. We would flirt a little bit on Snap or in person, but no way did I expect this would be the result! Anyways, at the holiday after-party… something about Anthony that night just caught my eye – tequila might have assisted. The same for him!” They flirted a bit, which took everyone by surprise! There is even a picture of a group shot from that night, and me kissing his cheek! Anthony was a gentleman and would get everyone drinks and walk Alysa to the bathroom so she wasn’t alone. She noticed the little things that he did – she loved that they weren’t showy but just that he was a genuinely nice guy.
Alysa said, “That’s the best way to describe Anthony, genuine. Fast forward to the next bar and out of nowhere Anthony is having severe chest pains.. something he has never experience before. We all were nervous but he said he might just have drank something wrong, but either way it didn’t go away. This was luckily the end of the night so we all started to go home after.”
Now onto Anthony’s story. Alysa continued: “That night he found out his grandmother had passed away. He was very close to her. Now the mushy/creepy/very US part… The day of her funeral he asked me on a date! He says the day already sucked so if I said no it wouldn’t matter because it was already a sad day. I, of course, did not say no and here we are! My favorite part of that story is he said to me he thinks that the pain was sympathy pains because the timing was just too spot on to when she passed and he feels like when she was leaving his life, she brought me into his life (I get chills when I say this!!!) That was the most sincere, loving thing he could have ever said to me. That is how our story began and that just set the stage for how one of a kind we feel our love is. Long story short, the funny part of this is we found out we kind of chased each other our whole lives! Our moms were both from the Bronx, our dads both from Queens. He moved to East Brunswick as a child and I am from Matawan but we both ended up at Stockton – from there I transferred to Rutgers and he did only a year after me. Then we both started our first jobs at the same place. We both have a best friend since we were 5 that is more a sibling now, we both drove the same car when we met, just sooo many eerie similarities!” How amazing is that love story?!
I would try to explain, but Alysa does such a good job at telling how it alllll went down!! Here’s what she said”
“Where to begin! So for my birthday (June) COVID obviously was still a thing he booked an Air B&B in this little secluded house in PA. Adorable house. Two weeks before I was all sad because I wanted to buy this fancy dress but knew I had nowhere to go, so he came up with the idea to make one night of our getaway a date night and we would get all fancy and he would cook me dinner. I, of course, was just happy to have an excuse to buy a new dress.
We got there Friday and it was just so cozy and adorable I LOVED this house. It has amazing views and totally outdoorsy but more glamping LOL. So, fast forward to Saturday and we had a lazy morning in bed, he made me coffee and we just soaked up this magical place. That night we get ready and I say ‘let’s take pictures before dinner on the upstairs deck!’ The upstairs deck was a wrap-around and had the best views ever.
Side note: I have a desire to be a photographer but ZERO talent so Anthony bought me a camera one year just so I can play and snap photos for fun when I want to pretend I am good.. this was one of those times! We just dressed up and started the self-timer. We LOVED how the pics came out which is so not the norm. Then, we went down, he cooked the pasta, we drank wine and danced in between and then went upstairs to eat.
He made a comment that he needed a spoon for the cheese and I brushed it off like we could just use our hands who cares?! Then he insisted so he went down to grab a spoon.
Another side note: spoons are our thing. When we started dating he stole this adorable coffee spoon and surprised me with his at the end of the night during one of our many travels and it kinda just became a thing. We go places and he steals me spoons and surprises me with it at the end of the night!
So he comes back up and he started to sprinkle the cheese on my pasta (something he had been doing for a few months) and I say WAIT let me Boomerang, like the basic girl I am because the view was just SOO pretty and I love pasta. I Boomeranged twice and he kept adding cheese. I was NOT seeing what was written on the spoon!! He had to sprinkle cheese like 4 times before I saw, “Alysa, will you marry me?” on the spoon.
I was SO shocked and the rest is just a ball of ugly girl crying and mushiness. It was my perfect proposal and I cannot believe how much thought he put into it. The spoon, the view the pasta!! It was so us. Then when we got home the next day our friends and family surprised me at our apartment with a little party – just a perfect weekend!”
I can’t deal with how freaking cute these two are!!! <3
Alysa & Anthony
You two are such an amazing duo – I’m so honored and thankful that you chose me to be your wedding photographer. I truly have gained two amazing friends already, and I can’t wait to celebrate your big day with you at Union Trust in Philadelphia next February! Congratulations on your engagement!!