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By Lauren Fair Photography

The Blog

I’m Jill, a wedding photographer based in New Jersey — and I’m so excited that you’re here! Follow along with the blog to get a glimpse into the heart behind my work.

Spring Cross Estate Gardens Engagement

Bernardsville, New Jersey

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When I say I am obsessed with this engagement session, I mean it! Vivian and Simon’s initial vision for their engagement photos was amongst the cherry blossoms at Branch Brook Park. However, we slightly missed the window for peak bloom and decided to pivot and shoot at Cross Estate Gardens instead — which is one of my favorite places, and certainly did not disappoint.

Vivian and Simon met in high school back in 2008, and have been inseparable ever since.

As Vivian tells it, “Unlike most modern day couples who have found love with the help of dating apps, ours began in what now seems like an unconventional way. We first met through our mutual friend, Lona, in 2008 during our junior and sophomore years of high school. Simon went to Lenape High School and I went to Cherry Hill East, so we started talking mostly through AIM. Our AIM screen names were aznrac3rmaxRPM and azncutie229 so you can already tell that we were off to a good start. We hit it off immediately and it felt as if we’ve known each other from years before. Our first dance together was Sophomore Cotillion at Cherry Hill East in 2008 shortly after Simon made the first move and we became “Facebook official” as a couple.”

I absolutely love Vivian and Simon’s proposal story! “We have always done everything together, from going to the same college to working together. We’ve always shared a love for traveling and have been to 20 countries and counting thus far (minus the last 2 years). For years, we’d always plan at least 2 international trips, Europe in September and Asia around February-March. It was in February 2018, on our 10-year anniversary, that Simon proposed to me in Singapore right before surprising me further with the most magical culinary experience located in a private garden filled from floor to ceiling with orchid flowers in full bloom. This is also how our love for photography/videography also simultaneously developed. We were always on the lookout for unforgettable adventures while trying to document the highlights of our travels in new and beautiful ways. Whether it’s climbing down the side of a mountain to the beach of Kelingking in Indonesia, swimming with giant manta rays, exploring quaint Spanish towns like Toledo, or driving along the coast in the South of France, you’d never find me without my Sony a7iii in hand and Simon without his DJI drone in his carry-on, figuring out how to best capture the moment right in front of our eyes.”

The ring was something that they both equally enjoyed and felt committed throughout the process! Vivian had initiated it by sending Simon pictures (huge hints!) of engagement rings from Instagram. There were 2 important characteristics that came back again and again and caught Vivian’s eye — oval shaped diamond and rose gold band. This was the extent of input that Vivian had in the process and Simon took this and ran with it. “He went to a local jeweler who ended up becoming a close friend of ours who helped source the diamond and was involved in the bespoke design process. Simon loved to do his research thoroughly before any major purchase and this was no exception. He went in knowing his 4 Cs and how to spot a spectacular diamond, which can be tricky when it comes to oval cuts. He chose the most flawless oval diamond he had ever seen and designed the setting with our jeweler, which incorporated a rose gold pave band, custom French milgrain basket for the stone, and a seamless halo around the diamond.” It is truly one of a kind and uniquely designed by Simon for Vivian.

Originally, these two set a date for September 2020 to get married in Madeira, Portugal in hopes of treating their closest friends and family to the wedding-vacation of a lifetime and to share their joys of travel with everyone. “After purchasing my dress, putting a deposit down on the hotel/venue and photographer, our plans came to a halt. A long halt that is yet again proving to be nearly impossible to overcome as things currently are. So after a total of 3 postponements so far, I revisited the drawing board and reevaluated what we can do to salvage our plans for a celebration. And I was led to find the most quaint, serene, and romantic lavender field that is just under a 2 hour drive in New Jersey.”

Together these two love to travel but most recently have found new hobbies to enjoy together after they bought their first home together in 2019, including home renovations, DIY projects, and gardening. I cannot wait for their wedding this summer at Orchard View Lavender Farm in Port Murray, NJ — it’s going to be an absolutely beautiful day!

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