Allie Dearie Photography - Connecticut Adventure Wedding and Elopement Photographer

Proposals, Elopements, and More: My 15 Favorite Instagram Moments from 2019

The new year is here! To celebrate, I created a roundup of my 15 favorite Instagram moments from 2019. These aren’t my “top 9” posts, but a celebration of some incredible moments that I was honored to photograph. 


1. Jacob and Kenzie’s Coast Guard Academy Proposal

Jacob messaged me on Instagram to ask if I could capture this special moment, and it worked out perfectly! He surprised Kenzie with a proposal on the pier at the CGA overlooking the Thames River right here in New London. She had just flown in from Utah for his graduation. (I was pretending to be a tourist taking photos of boats 😂) Her reaction was the cutest!

2. Grace and Damon’s Romantic NYC Couples Session

I had so much fun with Grace and Damon for their windy, amazing golden hour couples session at The Vessel in Hudson Yards. These newlywed sweethearts are just effortlessly romantic ❤️ We were 16 stories up, in the chilly March wind, and it was so worth it for that gorgeous evening light. I love getting to travel to New York City for engagement sessions!

3. Catherine and Nick’s Charleston, SC Elopement 

Catherine and Nick are absolute sweethearts, and we had a blast creating some gorgeous wedding photos for them in their new hometown of Charleston 😊 This shoot was published with The Wedding Row, and was a top post of the year featured on Charleston Wedding Guide. I would LOVE to return to Charleston for another elopement or wedding! It is a beautiful little city with such historic charm and the most beautiful photo locations. 

4. Liza and Ashley’s Downtown Mystic Engagement Session

Liza and Ashley were the sweetest brides ever! We had so much fun exploring downtown Mystic during their engagement session. Mystic is a perfect place for engagement photos any time of year because you can enjoy the water, the iconic drawbridge, and the cute little Bank Street shops (a perfect place to duck into in case of rain or snow!) I was so honored to photograph their wedding at the Mystic Aquarium in November. 

5. Eliza and Doron’s Adorable New Haven Anniversary Session

When Eliza told me she wanted to surprise Doron with a photoshoot at Taco Bell for their anniversary, my response was an immediate “OH MY GOSH YES!” What could be better than an adorably-in-love couple AND tacos?? 💕🌮 We went to the Taco Bell Cantina in New Haven, CT - you have to see this amazing sauce packet photo! After Taco Bell, we headed up to a rooftop in New Haven to capture some gorgeous golden hour portraits. You know those moments when you have to play it cool, even when you’re freaking out on the inside? 😂 Yep when this seagull flew into frame at the absolute perfect moment I had a very hard time remaining calm. Thank you for the assist, random seagull!

6. Taylor and Bart’s Adventurous Engagement Session at Lover’s Leap State Park

If you didn’t already know, I’m obsessed with symmetry 😄 Seriously, how stunning is the historic red iron bridge at Lover’s Leap State Park in New Milford, CT? What a perfect backdrop for Taylor and Bart’s engagement session! I love it when my couples are up for an adventure! Since they love hiking together, I knew we had to incorporate that into their engagement photos. We chose Lover’s Leap State Park in New Milford for their engagement session, because it features this gorgeous overlook above the lake. Their wedding in New Hampshire in July was equally beautiful! 

7. Beth and Bobby’s Engagement Session at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford

Beth and Bobby’s engagement session at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT was so perfect. An early start meant that we had beautiful morning light, plus we almost had the park to ourselves! And wait until you see who they brought along for their engagement photos 🐶 After all, what’s better than an engagement session? An engagement session WITH the couple’s adorable dog, of course! I’m so glad that Beth and Bobby incorporated Miss Mila in their engagement photos. I love capturing the real side of relationships - the little details that make each love story unique - and a walk in the park with their adorable pup was exactly that for these sweethearts ❤️

8. Shelby and Dustin’s Sunflower Engagement Photos in Connecticut

Shelby and Dustin’s engagement session at Buttonwood Farms was the BEST. When Shelby shared her dream to have their engagement photos captured at a sunflower field, my little photographer heart was so happy! Sunflowers are my favorite, and Buttonwood Farms is the best place in Connecticut for them 🌻These two are so sweet and perfect for one another, and I can’t wait to photograph their wedding this October at the Glastonbury Boathouse

9. Cassidy and Hannah’s Adventure Elopement in Iceland

I was so honored to capture these moments for Cassidy and Hannah during their elopement trip in Iceland. We explored waterfalls and black sand beaches along the South Coast of Iceland. This peaceful, romantic image from the wild and beautiful Reynisfjara Beach is my favorite from the entire year. I love it when couples are up for exploring + adventuring! Photographing intimate outdoor weddings and adventure elopements is where my heart and soul feel at home. This session was published in an exclusive feature on Wandering Weddings, was selected by Steel & Flint Society as a contest finalist, and was also shared by EquallyWed

10. Sarah and Gavin’s Engagement Session at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC 

Sarah and Gavin’s sunrise engagement session at the Lincoln Memorial in DC was such a dream! Sunrise is the perfect time to catch popular locations without the crowds. I used to live in Washington DC, so it was so much fun to come back for their engagement photos! The shadows and golden light in this image have such a romantic and timeless vibe. I can’t wait to photograph their wedding this fall here in Madison, CT 😍 

11. Andrews Family Naval Homecoming at Groton SubBase

I had the honor to photograph the homecoming of the USS Toledo in September for the Andrews family! When Bryanna contacted me, I was so excited. Homecomings are so full of love and emotion, and are a part of life being so close to the submarine base here in Groton, Connecticut. It was G’s first deployment as XO, and Beckham, Liliana, and Ava were so excited to see their dad again after 7 long months. I love seeing their faces in the photos go from nervous, to excited, to happy tears, and then to the biggest smiles ever when they finally got to hug him. (Are you waiting to welcome home your service-member? Contact me for special homecoming pricing!) 

12. Matt and Grace’s Couples Session in Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy

While in Italy in August, I was so excited to photograph a portrait session for Matt & Grace of Playground Love Weddings! These high school sweethearts are an incredible photo and video team in Milan/Lake Como. Together we strolled the beautiful streets and shores of Bellagio to capture some portraits! I love giving fellow creatives a chance to get in front of the camera 😊 Lake Como is the perfect place for a classically romantic elopement in Italy, and I can’t wait to return. 

13. Christina and Tyler’s New Hampshire Engagement Session in Madame Sherri’s Forest

I had SO much fun exploring Madame Sherri’s Forest in New Hampshire with Christina and Tyler in October! They are getting married this June, and were totally up for a fun adventure in the New England woods 🍂 Fall is a perfect time for engagement sessions here in New England. As the leaves change, our beautiful forests really show off and create the most gorgeous backdrops for engagement photos. Considering an autumn engagement session? Be sure to schedule it well in advance - fall is the most popular time of year for portraits! 

14. Nicole and Mike’s Super Fun Wedding Party at Heritage Hotel, Southbury CT

Nicole and Mike’s wedding at the Heritage Hotel in Southbury was joyful, amazing, and so much fun to photograph. I love how they involved their friends and family in their celebration, and how big their smiles were all day long. Have you ever seen a more enthusiastic wedding party? 😄 The “secret group tackle hug” is one of my favorite prompts for wedding party photos, and wow, this group was definitely up for the challenge! 

15. Amanda and Chris’ Dreamy Engagement Photos at Harkness Memorial State Park

Amanda and Chris drove out from New York for their engagement session at Harkness Memorial State Park, and they totally rocked it! These childhood sweethearts are getting married this year after 9 years together, and it’s easy to see that they truly are a perfect pair ❤️ The late autumn golden sunshine turned into a beautiful sunset over the Sound as we captured some fun portraits for them to celebrate this new exciting time! (Friendly reminder that I include an engagement session with every wedding package!) 

THANK YOU to all of my wonderful clients from 2019! This has been an incredible year. I photographed weddings, elopements, portraits, and engagements in 14 states + 4 different countries. I have continued partnering with amazing nonprofit organizations like the Mystic Aquarium and PPSNE, and I have worked with fellow local small business owners like Gather Mystic. 2020 is shaping up to be a huge year for my business and I can’t wait! Happy New Year everyone ❤️

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