Tonawanda Tour: Marie & Zachary's Carrousel Museum Engagement Session

From the moment we settled on a mid-Spring date for their engagement session, Marie and Zachary were intently planning all the details for a photo shoot that would be uniquely “them.” Since Marie is originally from North Tonawanda, having their engagement portraits taken in The Tonawandas was very much like a homecoming – complete with stops along Niawanda Park, Gateway Harbor Park, and a visit to the Allan Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum.

We started our Tonawanda Tour alongside the South Grand Island Bridge. This structure also has some significance to Marie, as her grandfather was actually part of the team that designed it. How cool is that?

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A little further up the canal, we stopped for a few shots along Niawanda Park – another location fresh from Marie’s collection of childhood memories. Although the trees were late blooming this year, the brilliant blue sky more than made up for any shortage of color!

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It’s always good insurance to arrange at least one indoor venue during Winter, but with the Spring we were having, these two weren't about to take any chances with the weather on their day. So they arranged in advance to have some portraits taken at the Carrousel Museum, which proved to be lots of fun! Marie, you look lovely!

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Fortunately, as it turns out, we had the sun on our side that day, so we were able to get some beautiful shots both inside and outside of the Museum. The best of both worlds!

Marie did mention that one of the things she loved most about her polka-dot dress was how it swings! So she took a twirl --coincidentally just below Park Swings -- as Zach admiringly looked on. A few frames later, she tried to shy away from the camera, but quickly came around for one of our favorite shots of the day. Love it!

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Marie and Zachary met in grad school in Albany. As he tells it, “to make a short story LONG,” he was just starting undergrad school when his brother suggested he attend an opening event to meet people. There he met...three people he never saw again. So, when there was an opening event at Grad School, he thought, ‘should I go to this event (thinking to myself, at these events I could meet people but how well did that work out last time)?’

There he saw a woman juggling for a little kid who was crying. “So I went to talk to her.” Marie, who juggled throughout college, says, “He saw me, but didn't come up right away. He waited...We agreed to meet up later, went out to a diner, and ended up spending four hours talking.” From there, they started dating—the first weekend of grad school—and have been juggling together ever since.

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Zach told us he proposed in the Fingerlakes this past December at a vineyard where the two had visited once before. He suggested they stop there on the way to her mom’s for the holidays. “I was trying to think of places that meant something to us,” he says. “They setup a table and a special wine tasting, with chocolates for us.” He pulled out a card that said for Marie and handed it to her (she tells us it said the sweetest things). That’s when he dropped to one knee to propose.

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“We have friends who fight over everything," he says, "but we never get into a thing where we say, ‘I’m not talking to you anymore.’ We get along very well.” Yes, it shows! :)

Just as it was getting dark, we quickly headed over to the Riviera Theatre, as we recently heard their new digital marquee had just been installed. Here we took our final frames of the evening, ending with another of our favorite shots--classic and timeless.

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Marie and Zach - we had the greatest time with the two of you! With all the energy you put into your perfect engagement session, we just know your Becker Farms/Vizcarra Vineyards wedding is going to be a blast!