Though Princeton, New Jersey is a long way from our base just outside of Washington, DC, the drive to take pictures at this engagement party/engagement photo session was well worth it. Not only were the future bride and future groom lovely people and a joy to photograph, the site they picked for the event was one of the best, most luxurious and most elegant at which we have ever had the chance to use our cameras. TPC Jasna Polana is one of the premier private and exclusive golf clubs in the New York metropolitan area and a fantastic venue for brides- and grooms-to-be who are looking for an opulent place for their marriage or engagement celebrations. Even future spouses based in the Washington, DC metro area who want the most elegant of wedding venues might want to consider making the trip!
Named after the home of famed Russian author Leo Tolstoy, Jasna Polana was built in the 1970s and originally belonged to John Seward Johnson I, the son of the founder of Johnson & Johnson. The property was converted into a private golf and country club in 1996. As part of that process, the owners brought in legendary golfer and renowned golf course architect Gary Player to design the new links. The 18-hole course was spectacular enough to get TPC Jasna Polana included in the Tournament Players Club network, which explains the “TPC” portion of the club’s current name and has also meant that the venue is capable of hosting PGA Tour events.
Given the club’s impressive pedigree, it is little wonder that its facilities ooze the sort of sumptuousness that adds touches of elegance, beauty and class to any couple’s wedding and engagement images. The 46,000-square-foot clubhouse was designed by famous architect Wallace Harrison in an ornate neoclassical style. The interior is similarly lushly appointed. It features beautiful antique floors, exquisite travertine wainscoting, bronze casement windows, fine antique tapestries and paintings and marble mantelpieces from the 18th and 19th centuries.
It was against this luxurious backdrop that we had the pleasure of taking engagement portraits of this lovely future bride and groom. Though originally from Philadelphia, they wanted to make sure to include the splendor of TPC Jasna Polana in their engagement celebrations. After taking pictures of their betrothal party in a beautiful event room with huge windows looking out over a lovely garden, we brought the couple outside for some engagement photographs.
We started in the entrance to the clubhouse, where we posed the husband- and wife-to-be for engagement photos framed by TPC Jasna Polana’s magnificent wrought-iron gate. There was light rain that particular day, so we captured several images of the future spouses cuddling under an umbrella. Afterward, we brought them into the back garden that we had seen while photographing their espousals. The clouds and rain gave the green of the grass, flowers and bushes a beautiful vibrance that ended up looking great in the resulting images. Our favorite spot in that area was a lovely old stone gazebo near the far edge of the lawn, under which we posed the fiancés for this photo. The gave the engaged couple a bit of shelter from the rain and, as you can see in this picture, drew the eye to the main subjects of the shot.