Jackie and Peter!

Wedding photography giveaway 2011, West Point wedding, NYC wedding

Here’s their wonderful story:

Our Story:

Although not completely uncommon these days, Peter and I met via the internet. I’d been living in NYC for about a year and a half before we met (in 2005), having no luck meeting people via the usual routes. I did, however, have much luck finding an excellent roommate and buying/selling some furniture on Craigslist, and one day happened to notice that they had a dating section so I figured I’d try my luck there too. Peter was not the first person I met, and in fact I was just about ready to give up. I put up an ad just seeking interesting people to hang out with and do fun NYC cultural-type stuff with (live music, theater, museums, all that good stuff). I got the usual responses from people looking for a hook up, and then I got a (shockingly) long email from someone who appeared to be a genteel man from the 1950s (he used the phrase “I will eat my hat” when letting me know that he would, hands down, be taller than me – and I’m 5’11”!). Intrigued by his polite and antiquated-style message, I wrote back without expecting much. We exchanged emails for the week before Thanksgiving and agreed to meet when he returned the Saturday after Thanksgiving. What really got me was that he proceeded to make all of the arrangements upon hearing that I had been to, and in fact really loved, the place he suggested. Up until that point, no guy I had been on dates with made plans for the date, and in advance no less! Still, I didn’t get my hopes up too much because, though a date and time to meet had been made, we had yet to exchange photos. I decided it wasn’t necessarily all that important to me, and since he didn’t ask for my photo either, I figured we were both throwing caution to the wind! Well, the evening of our first date, I was running late and had forgotten to take his number with me! I was nearly 1/2 an hour late when I showed up at the restaurant, and despite convincing myself that a 6’5″ blond guy would be pretty easy to pick out, it did take me a few minutes and some awkward stares to find him (thank goodness!) sitting at the bar with a beer, patiently waiting for me to show up! Though I wasn’t sure what to make of it in the end, we did have a great dinner & conversation, and ended up going to see some live music a favorite place of mine until about 1AM. Admittedly, I sweated it out for the next couple of days wondering if I would hear from or see him again. But 3 days later, he asked to make plans with me for the following weekend! And the rest, as they say, is history…

We have been together for 4 and a half years and in January of this year, Peter asked me to marry him! Within about a month of dating him, I was positive he was who I wanted to be with for the long haul. But upon seeing us together, we are in many ways a very unlikely couple. I am mixed African American and lots of other stuff, from a Northern New Jersey suburb, grew up as an only child in a single-parent household. For much of my life I have been involved in creative endeavors, from creative writing to art to theater, and have not had or wanted to much to do with science, sports or technology. I was the quintessential 80s kid though, growing up watching cable TV and, yes, had big hair, wore lots of neon and had at least 2 pairs of L.A. Gears. And very much a city slicker! Peter is blond, blue-eyed, originally from the Augusta, Maine area, is the oldest of three (and the only boy), and is the epitome of a computer nerd. He is very much into outdoor stuff like hiking and camping and sailing, and was never allowed to watch TV as a kid. He’s relatively introverted and I’m pretty social. But despite some obvious differences, we share many many common interests, love NYC, and just somehow “clicked.” As with most relationships, things haven’t always been rosy. Our first two apartments together we disasters (the first had a bedbug infestation and the second we had mice, rarely ever had hot water, and often got stuck in the elevators, just to name a few issues) and we have both gone through various job growing pains – unemployment, salary cuts, grad school, etc. We have grown together through good and bad, and I am thankful I have had someone like Peter by my side. His family is amazing and everyone gets along so I am super excited to gain some great in-laws! We are looking forward to having a our wedding in the Hudson Valley, a place we’ve visited many times over the years together, and that is the perfect balance of creature comforts and natural beauty! Plus, it’s an excuse to get our friends and family outside the box (or island, as the case may be!). Who knew I’d end up finding the love of my life on a lame-looking website called Craigslist!

To all our couples,

Thank you for your participation in our 2011 wedding photography giveaway.  All of your stories were filled with such romance and really warmed our hearts.  I applaud the gentlemen for such creative proposals… believe me, my wife gave a lot of why-didn’t-you-propose-to-me-like-that looks a lot as we read these.

Jackie and Peter won with 159 comments.  Coming in for a close second was Michelle and Christopher with 115.

Michelle and Christopher, as our second place contestants we would like to give you a free engagement session which includes a 2 hour session with web gallery and a $100 product credit!

Thank you again everyone for sharing your lives with us and we hope that you still consider J. Castro Photography for your wedding day needs.


Meet Alicia & Aaron

I started college in the fall of 2006 at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania as a dance major. I started college with a boyfriend from high school, who was a year younger than me. I met Aaron (AJ) one night in my dorm room. He came over with one of our friends and decided to come in and talk to my roommate and I. My roommate was much more social with Aj than I was, because I just didn’t know him. After that night he instant messaged me on the internet and asked me if I had a boyfriend, and I answered yes, he told me if my bofriend and I do not work out that he would like to take me out. I thought that was sweet but I certainly wasn’t going to do anything since I had a boyfriend. When spring semester started I noticed that Aj had a class with me, but we only talked here and there. In March, my high school boyfriend and I parted ways. When Aj found out that we had broken up he became more interested in hanging out.

We started hanging out and it was very innocent, talking and going out for ice cream. During spring semester I was sending in my transcripts to transfer to Penn State University because I didn’t feel Slippery Rock was working out for me. When Aj found out that we might never see each other again he was really upset, because we both knew that we had a special connection and we were both from different areas. On our last day, which we didn’t know if we were going to every see each other again, it was our final for the class that we had together. After we were done with the final we walked back to our dorm together and I told him to come see me before I left. When he came up to see me I could tell that something was wrong, and he didn’t say very much. I asked if I could have a picture of us, which is the first picture of us. When we said our goodbyes I kissed him on the cheek and we both walked away. I knew he was special and that if this was meant to be it would happen. He swears to this day that he couldn’t talk that day because he would have cried ( which I don’t know if I believe because he is such a strong emotional person).

After that day we texted each other every single day and sometimes called each other to talk. He kept telling me that he was going to come to Altoona, where I lived, to visit me. He decided that he was coming out on july 6 for the weekend and when he did he asked me to be his girlfriend! So after that I went to Penn State University for a year, so we had a long distance relationship for a little bit, but then I went back to Slippery Rock because I wanted to be closer to him and I wanted to dance again. Now 3 years later, we both just graduated from Slippery Rock in May, he graduated with an Occupational Safety Degree and I graduate with a Dance Degree.

Right before graduation, my parents relocated to Green Bay, WI so I knew that I had to live with them until we figured out where we were going. Aj soon found a house that he knew would be perfect for us but I had never seen it except for internet pictures. He went through offers and down payments and closed on the house on June 30. I flew out on July 1 to see the house for the first time and because it was our 3 year anniversary. When he picked me up at the airport I knew the first place I wanted to go was our new home! We drove up to it and it was just beautiful. He told me that I had to close my eyes until I walked up into the living room, so he put his hand over my eyes and walked me up. When he took his hands off my eyes I gave a gasp for the house and then I turned and saw that he was on one knee with that black velvet, white satin box I’ve been waiting for! I yelled a good ‘ohh my god!!’ and then the tears started coming.

Aj is everything I have ever dreamed in a man and more and we knew from the beginning that we really did have something special. One thing very unique to my story, which might sound weird to some people, but it’s very special to me. My mom has one sibling and it is her sister Kimber. My grandfather, who past away in 2006 before I graduated from high school, always told my mom and her sister that he was upset that he didn’t have a son to carry on the Willson name because obviously my mom and her sister are married. When I met Aj I realized that his last name is Wilson (spelled a little different of course), so ever since I started dating him my mom always said that my grandfather brought us together! I hope you enjoy our story : ) I could hear it everyday for the rest of my life and it would never get old!