Kristen and Joni

New York, New York



Photographer | Weddings By Ray | @weddingsbyray

Plans to have a regular engagement shoot did not happen, as planned. Instead is began storming the second we made the first photo. However we continued along and made the best of it despite the rain.


About Kristen & Joni

Johnattan (Joni) was born and grew up in Bogotá, Colombia until he was 16. In 2000, his mom decided to make the move to the USA, in hopes of providing a better future for him and his brother. Fast-forward to the fall of 2014, Joni was just starting his small animal surgery residency and Kristen (born and raised in NY) was starting her third year of veterinary school at Oklahoma State University. They were introduced by a mutual friend during a group dinner. Kristen was still involved with a long-term, long-distance boyfriend and Joni had just started dating someone he met online, so there was no immediate interest. Also, Joni did not make a great first impression wearing a sweater that Kristen considered to fall just short of something belonging at an ugly Christmas sweater party. Those previous relationships fell apart and the following summer, Kristen and Joni found each other on the dance floor while celebrating the graduation of the class of 2015 . A few weeks later, Kristen fostered a puppy (Mason) with some tendon issues. This became a great way for Kristen and Joni to bond. Mason ended up becoming a permanent addition and Kristen and Joni became an official couple.


In 2017, Kristen got stationed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware as an Army veterinarian and Joni found a job in Northeast Pennsylvania. Soon after moving, Joni decided he was ready to propose. He wanted it to be an elaborate event, so it would have to happen after taking his surgery board exam in February of 2018. However, after spending Christmas with his family, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. He told Kristen’s parents, brother, cousin and best friends he would propose on New Year’s eve. That freezing day, with everyone aware of the plan, Kristen’s dad, got the family to come out to the playground beside their house.


The playground was dedicated to Julianne, Kristen’s late younger sister, so there was a statue of her there. Kristen’s dad said he wanted to show everyone how he decorated the statue. As Kristen approached it, Joni asked if she had noticed the new tag he got for Siena, Kristen’s dog. As she leaned in to read the words “Will you… Marry Joni?,” he got on one knee and showed her the ring. Kristen’s friends and cousin, who had been watching from across the street, rushed the playground and the champagne started flowing.