Tamara and Jonathan’s Central Park Love Story Engagement

Tamara and Jonathan's love story began on a popular dating app. Intrigued by each other's profile they decided to give it a chance with a first date. It was a classic evening of dinner and a movie, where the connection between them was certainly palpable with the potential of sparks ready to fly. In Tamara's words, "the movie wasn't great but by the time we wrapped up drinks it was clear that we would see each other again..."

Continue reading all about Tamara & Jonathan's love story, surprise proposal, and wedding aspirations in their central park love story engagement.

Bride & Groom-to-be: Tamara & Jonathan
Occupations: Editor & Psychologist
Wedding date: 5/17/2019
Wedding location: New York City
Location of Engagement shoot: Central Park

How did you meet? Like many 21st century love stories ours began on a dating app. With busy careers our friends suggested we try Coffee Meets Bagel. We matched on the app, began talking, and the rest is history as they say.

Tell us your proposal story. It was the morning of the royal wedding and I was up early to watch Meghan Markle become royalty. Our anniversary was earlier that week and we decided to celebrate on Saturday, with Jonathan taking the lead on planning our date. My hairstylist came over to help me get ready and then went to a makeup appointment. As I was leaving the rain started to pour and I hopped into a cab and met him at 72nd Street and Central Park West. When he walked over to meet me I got butterflies because he looked GOOD.
We began walking through the park and talking about the last two years together and the blessing of our relationship. At the Bethesda Fountain we stopped and he put my bag down. I can't recall everything he said and things seemed to suddenly move in slow motion but before I could fully process the moment he was down on one knee asking for my hand in marriage. I said "yes" and as I was crying and trying to pull myself together he told me to look over to my right. To my surprise my linesister and good friend Sachel Harris, who is a professional photographer, popped out of the bushes with her adorable baby, J'Aiden, in tow! I was completely stunned because she lives in Florida and we had been texting each other all morning about the wedding. When she got engaged, I was the one hiding in a bush with a camera so I guess this was payback. We had a photo shoot in the park and then proceeded to have afternoon tea on the Upper East Side...

Over tea, Jonathan told me the story of how he went about planning the proposal. While I was in Thailand earlier this year with girlfriends he flew to Atlanta so that he could ask my parents for their blessing and then enlisted by best friend Mercedes in planning. The level of detail and the minutiae with which he approached this special moment was impressive to say the least. I was emotionally spent in the best way and told Jonathan I couldn't handle anymore surprises for the day but little did I know he had one more left. Post tea, we left for what I thought was a bite to eat. As the doors of Añejo swung open, about 40 people yelled "SURPRISE!" My mouth dropped as I scanned the room and saw my parents, family and friends who flew in from Georgia and Florida, in addition to friends who live in the city, to be there for our engagement party. I was completely and utterly floored. To have the people you love most all in one room, for our village to show up with and for us in that way, was overwhelming and I still get emotional thinking about. I dropped my purse, walked over to my dad and broke down into tears. It turns out all of them knew about this for weeks but everyone managed to keep the secret. My out of town family and friends were given an itinerary about my whereabouts, with entire streets and train lines off limits. We ate, danced, and took lots of pictures that evening. I woke up the next morning staring at my hand in a weird "is this real?" kind of a daze.

Describe your engagement session. Our union is a New York love story, so in keeping with the proposal and my love for Central Park we opted to shoot there. It is an icon of the city we call home and offered tons of options. We shot over the course of two days, first in the main section of the park and then over in the conservatory gardens. For my first look, I opted for a fun and flirty floral dress and for the second a long, black dress with a high split.

What did you do on your first date? Dinner and a movie, a classic American date. The movie wasn't great but by the time we wrapped up drinks it was clear that we would see each other again.

What's your favorite thing to do as a couple? We LOVE to travel, particularly overseas. So far we've been to France, Greece, Cuba, Spain, Jamaica, South Africa, and Barbados in the two years that we've been together. It's a great way to make memories and serves as a growth opportunity in a relationship. You have to REALLY like someone to spend every waking moment with them for a week or more!

How has wedding planning been so far? It's been surprisingly painless for the most part which has been a blessing. We have a very clear vision of the day and it has made it easy to focus our energy.

Tell us what you're looking forward to most on the wedding day. I'm really looking forward to seeing Jonathan standing at the altar and walking towards him. Sometimes when we're in a room full of people it feels like everything just fades away and it's just us. I have a feeling that moment will be no different and after all the planning, it will be a nice reminder of what the day and moment is really about—us. Equal to that, having our closest friends and family all in one place is exciting. In a world where everything and everyone is on the go it will be nice to pause— if only for a few hours.

Photography: Sachel Samone Photography

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