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Our Engagement Brunch at Pinto Garden NYC

It's still a bit funny to say it and it still makes me blush. But this girl right here is getting married! Ha! It has been just a little bit over 5 months now (that FLEW BY) and we've just let it sink in. So I thought it was fitting to write this today, which marks exactly 1 year until our very own wedding day. 10/27/18 here we come!

Luther ended up proposing on our 3rd year dating anniversary. I thought I was the one going all over the top for the celebrations by surprising him with a helicopter ride over NYC because as he puts it, if he could reincarnate he'd be a helicopter. (I still don't get it) Little did I know he had a hole burning in his pocket for two weeks. There are a lot of details in between of failed attempts throughout the day which were hilarious and perfectly imperfect. Everything from rain and me being tired and wanting to take a nap and finally forcing him to stop at stop at McDonalds because I was so hungry. It's pretty hilarious and Im so looking forward to sharing that story with our children one day. In the end, Luther proposed in the comfort and privacy of our own home, in the most loving and honest way I could imagine. It was all him which is exactly what I wanted.

Contrary to popular belief, I've never really imagined what my wedding day or engagement day would be like. If anything, I always steered away from envisioning it because I thought "I'll think about it when I get there." And now the time has finally come and truth be told, it is quite overwhelming! The one thing that I've always known to be true, and it's something I tell my couples all the time, is that every decision should be about you both and what you both want to see and feel. It was the same thing with my engagement. Luther would always ask me how I would "dream" of being proposed to and I always said I didn't know, other than I wanted it in private. As my mother has always said, "Marriage is like having your best friend share their most intimate secrets with you for the rest of their lives." I've always envisioned the most important moments of my life to be private ones. That's just how I feel and have always felt. Crazy I do this thing for a living eh? But honestly, there really is no right or wrong way to feel about how you want your life to be. What would this world be without the Freedom to define what makes you happy?!

While we celebrated and texted and called our family and friends for what seemed like 2 years, we realized we needed to make it official with our families. Because, as most transplant New Yorkers would understand, our parents hadn't met yet! We each had spent time with each other's families before, but my parents did not know his or my siblings and we thought, "Well this is weird." So, we decided to get everyone together for an Engagement Brunch/Meet the Family affair. Let me just say it was pure magic.

Which is why I have decided to pull back the curtain and share a part of our lives that I will hold sacred for as long as I live, our families joining for the first time. In full transparency, I'm omitting quite a few pictures of my family and friends from here. They are perfectly perfect and I'm selfish about it. And that's okay =)

We found the perfect little garden nestled behind buildings in the quintessential West Village. My sister took the liberty of doing the most extensive research finding the location that had the best light. Yes, that's all that we requested! She met up with my brother in law who brought her here, to Pinto Garden. Literally a garden hidden in a concrete jungle. Before we even visited, we said yes and that's how our love affair started.

The blooms you say? Well my brother in law is basically a genius wrapped in creativity and then dipped in flower petals. He asked me what I wanted and I said "Anything you want." And this is what he came up with. That's the truth! We weren't worried about any of it and honestly all we wanted was to make sure everyone had a good time and that food and drinks were plenty. We were not at all expecting for him to transform the space the way he did. We are forever in debt. You can see more of his work HERE.

The guest list was relatively small, only having our family and the people we decided to have in our wedding party which were my siblings, my cousins and childhood friends, join us. Luther's family visited from Iowa, sans two of his brothers who weren't able to make the trip. My grandmother, father, aunts and cousins all came from MA and my good friend even traveled from Miami to make it there. It was truly special. Every single person in the room was someone that knew us since we were born or a few years after that. It was personal, intimate and full of a lot of love and I can honestly say, it was hands down one of the happiest days we've ever experienced.

Our families shared stories about us as children which is always fun and embarrassing. My cousins told everyone what they thought of Luther when they first met him and Luther shared all the mishaps of our engagement day as well as our hilarious, yet perfect first date. We had to explain to our parents what Tinder was because we are a Tinder story. Hence our official wedding hashtag #SwipeRiggs A two hour brunch, turned into an almost four hour evening of stories, laughter and some tears as we thought of the people we wished could have been there to celebrate with us.

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These ladies right here. Literally one of the best parts of my life. There's a lifetime of family (quite literally) and friendships that span over 20 years. As soon as I mentioned this engagement party, they blocked off their schedules, sent me this dress to purchase (my cousin KP is just like that) and SOMEHOW, without telling anyone, figured out the ideal color palette. My heart. 

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#siblings we're just missing two brothers in this shot and then we have the entire crew. Also, my brother and sister just HAPPEN to be matching.

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Be still my heart. These pictures give me so much joy. I LOVE seeing everyone I care so much about smiling and laughing out loud. It is literally the best feeling reliving this day through images. 

A very special shoutout to our photographer and new friend, Diana from Diana Davis Creative, who swooped in last minute to capture these memories for us. We weren't sure we wanted professional pictures (what we were thinking?!) but last minute decided we really wanted these memories with us forever. We're so grateful!

From my beautiful, blended, modern family to yours. xoxo