Danielle & Matt | Dallas, Texas | Engagement Wedding Photographer

Matt has been one of my dearest friends for several years now and sitting here reflecting over Matt then and now is a journey of strength, determination and true friendship. Growing up, Matt was not a normal child, while the rest of us were enjoying our childhood cartoons, Matt took notice of the music and thus began his love of anything 1900-30's. I can remember hanging out with Matt and listening to his dreams of having his very own 1920's orchestra and his asking me if I thought he was crazy. Yes Matt you are crazy! But we wouldn't have it any other way!! Through countless hours of determined searching for charts, arranging parts, organizing and reorganizing folders for his orchestra, emailing, calling, rehearsing and so much more; he has not only turned his dream into a reality, with his very own - Singapore Slingers, but it has taken flight into becoming so much more. Matt I have watched you grow and do so much over these few years I have known you, and it has been an honor to be a part of the process and your life, looking forward to many more. Congrats on pursuing your dreams, finding the lady you never thought possible ;) and for your upcoming wedding!

Matt and Danielle have one of the cutest, sweetest stories I have ever heard and it all began on MySpace! Danielle is also a 1900's enthusiast and artist herself (traditional pen and paper naturally :) love it!), being that there aren't many out there (which makes this all the more special), it was pretty easy for Matt and Danielle to find each other. I don't want to ruin their story and Danielle has already done a fantastic job at retelling the beginning, so I will leave you with a piece of their story via a note from Danielle on Facebook:

"Matt Tolentino. The mention of his name takes me back to May 1st of 2006, when I found him on Myspace. Another traditional jazz fanatic, an actual musician, which made me take notice of him - as well, a "friend" of Dan Levinson, one of my real-life buddies, and an enormously gifted jazz artist, to boot. Matt clearly came with decent references, and seemed like a hell of a character, at that. He exuded the spirit of the 1920s - in his attire, musical tastes, love of film, awareness of preservation. Part of me adored him instantly. We exchanged pleasantries, and stayed in relatively close touch over the following three years... and then some. Little emails here and there, viewing newly-posted photos, leaving cheerful comments - and a constant, pleasantly nagging thought, of "I wonder what it would be like to meet..." - in short, we enjoyed one another, on an artistic, and, for me, a subconsciously physical, level. As it later came out, for Matt it was physical on a far more blatant level... not that I would have complained. We drifted in and out of one another's profiles, keeping a certain amount of emotional distance, thanks to my then-relationship, as well as the fact that, well, he was in Dallas, and I was in New York.

And then that fated day - the aforementioned June 22. Having temporarily settled in Kentucky, I happened to be just along the way on Matt's itinerary for an upcoming gig with the Alex Meixner Band. Via Facebook, he wrote to me, asking if I'd be willing to host him for a night, as he was making the long drive from Texas. Without hesitation (a whopping seven minutes later), I responded, fully eager to have him visit with me, if only for one night. I was so eager to finally meet him, and life was so much better set up for me to do so, as I was at last free from the relationship I'd been, in retrospect, so hampered down by. Minutes later, he confirmed the date, and our fate had been sealed.

From the moment Matt arrived at my curb, I felt as though I was reuniting with a long-lost friend, a soul partner who I could completely express myself with - at last, that person I had so longed for, who understood me. As the evening wore on, we laughed, told stories, shared music, and simply bonded with one another - staying up until after 4am, whooping like hyenas in the dark, as we literally laughed ourselves to sleep with wisecracks and hilarious personal accounts of what I can only call Whack-Ass Shenanigans. We woke up a few hours later, had breakfast, and rather reluctantly parted ways. I sighed when he left, almost praying that he would pass my way again, on his journey home after the gig."

Matt did indeed rearrange his schedule to pass back through to spend more time with Danielle and well, the rest is history! If you would like to read Danielle's account of their story in its entirety you may do so here. Danielle you are an amazing women, artist, writer and now friend, I have truly enjoyed getting to know the lovely lady that completes Matt and look forward to our growing friendship.

You couldn't find two people more perfect for each other then these two nuts! Love you two!!

We stopped for a quick lunch at Scalini's Pizza & Pasta on the way to our super awesome second location.

Matt used to work for this little antique shop right next to Scalini's, called Curiosities....and it was PERFECT for these two! We had such a blast. Thank you to the staff of Curiosities for allowing us to shoot in your cute little shop!

Haha...Danielle this is BY FAR my favorite shot of the entire session! :)


Danielle Bennignus (soon to be Tolentino) said...

These are so beautiful, Brittany - consider us very, very grateful clients! So amazing... you've captured us perfectly. Keep up the wonderful work!

Nina said...

Gorgeous photos! You really captured them perfectly...Thank you!

Kim said...

Really wonderful work. Love all the theming.