Michael + Yang’s fall picnic engagement session

Alicia Ann Daw is a film & digital wedding photographer who specializes in New York City and European destination weddings. With over 15 years of experience photographing weddings, she's spent two decades globetrotting to over 37 countries and working with clients around the world. She delivers images that are effortlessly romantic and chic, telling a story about the start of your heritage in a way that will leave you in awe.


These two…I adore them. I went back and forth with thoughts on a story to write about them but then I realized that no better story or words could be placed on them except those written by the groom himself on their wedding website. So, for once, my pen (or laptop) will be put on the shelf as I let Michael tell the story of he and Yang.

If she were an animal, she would be a bunny rabbit. Soft and gentle on the outside, feisty and determined on the inside. Find her in a field of flowers and she will be smelling and nibbling on all she can, but try and get between her and some arugula, and you may lose a finger. Not surprisingly Yang’s cuddly yet persistent nature works its way into all she does. Whether it be laboring through a PhD in Public Health or preparing a batch of late night cookies, she always seems to perfectly straddle the threshold between sweet and sassy. While not being completely sure what it is she is searching for, rest assured it will likely taste, smell, and feel great and will most assuredly be more than meets the eye.

If he were an animal, he would be a kodiak grizzly bear. Big and burly on the outside, warm and wise on the inside. Find him at the river bank and you will likely get boxed out for a salmon, but when the winter is cold and gray there is no better soul to share a cave with. Much like his bride, Michael’s persona permeates throughout most of what he does. Little got in his way during his PhD, journalism, and athletic endeavors, but those close to him never feel like they are too far from his heart. Like most great male mammals he proudly carries the family burden on his back and those fortunate enough to be along for the ride count their blessings as he bulldozes his way through life’s obstacles and challenges.

The story of how they met is one that Yang hates, perhaps because of the way Michael usually tells it. As an effort to please them both, let us continue with the animal metaphors.

As a proud and assertive grizzly bear, Michael was very aware of the type of companion he wished to spend his life with. Unfortunately, the enchanted forest with which he chose to inhabit was sparse with adequate possibilities and he was alone. Nevertheless, he knew that when summer turned to fall the forest would be flush with love berries and he intended to take advantage of any opportunity that presented itself.

One magical evening while searching for his missing piece, Michael lumbered into a clearing when his gaze caught a beautiful bunny rabbit in the distance enjoying the scent of some fresh wild flowers. Realizing the good fortune in front him Michael’s eyes widen and he quickly bounded for this delicate creature. During his approach he attempted to conjure up the perfect greeting for his impending encounter, but he struggled to find the appropriate snarl. Knowing bunny rabbits of this caliber would easily be scared off by such an imposing beast, Michael knew not what to say. Hoping that this divine creation was a fellow dancer, he decided to maintain his silence and simply extend his paw as an invitation to frolic in the enchanted meadow.

As the tall grass parted and Michael emerged from his far-off position, Yang was alerted and her eyes and ears quickly perked up. Not being overly familiar with her new surroundings, she was unsure what this great beast’s intentions were and nearly dashed off into the thicket. However, despite an unmistakable sense of apprehension, she sensed something genuine and trustworthy in his eyes. As she placed her paw in his, she couldn’t help but wonder where this exchange would lead her.

At that moment the two were joined in mind, body, and spirit and as they pranced and swayed in the moonlight, their bond grew tighter and tighter. It has been more than three years since that first meeting and the two have yet to stop dancing.

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