Welcome to my blog! I'm thrilled to be able to share with you my favorite images from weddings, engagements, maternity, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and get snuggly cuz this blog will give you all the feels!
This is one of my most favorite times of year! It’s CANVAS GIVEAWAY TIME!!! WOOHOO!
Usually I do this right before Christmas, because I LOVE giving away presents! This year though, my schedule was a level of crazy that I was not prepared for. So here we are about a month after Christmas, but hey, belated presents are still presents and we love them ANY time of year!
This season we have 17 fantastic contestants! Here are the rules:
Vote once a day, every day, until midnight of January 26th. The couple with the most votes will win a free 16×24 canvas to feature in their home! Get your family, friends, coworkers, gym buddies, strangers on the street, etc…involved! The more people you can get to vote for you, the better your chances! Only votes on the actual poll at the bottom of this page will count. “Write in’s” on FB are not valid. I will announce the winner next Monday, January 27th.
Now I need to put in a disclaimer here, in past years there has been issues trying to vote from multiple devices. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. I think it has to do with the ip address. If you have any issues voting, please contact me at MabynLudke@gmail.com.
Every year I set a list of goals for myself. Personal, financial, and especially business oriented. One of the bigguns on my 2011 list for business was to get published on a wedding blog. So when Leah & Patrick told me about their Style Me Pretty inspired wedding I was ready to go! Their wedding was overflowing with amazing little details and I tried my best to capture each one along with the gorgeous moments that seemed to happen the whole day! I submited their wedding with bated breath to Style Me Pretty and waited to see what would happen.
For those of you who aren’t in the wedding blog loop, wedding blogs are quickly becoming more popular than wedding magazines. They’re more informative, updated several times a day, and they’re free to access! Style Me Pretty is not only one of those blogs but it’s the PREMIER one in the country…dare I say the world? For brides to visit! So when I was waiting with bated breath in the above paragraph…lets just say I didn’t get my hopes up too high.
I submitted on a Friday afternoon and received an email on the following Monday. I clicked on my inbox message not expecting much, but to my delight I received “Congratulations, this submission has been selected for publication on one of our LOCAL blogs!” If you were a dog then maaaaaaybe you heard the squeal emanate from my lips! I was literally bouncing in my seat! The cooler part? They featured it TODAY! Talk about fast! I expected them to have a queue a mile long!
Not only was this a huuuuge check off the goal list, but it meant a lot to my bride Leah who, like me, stalks Style Me Pretty on a regular basis.
I am so grateful to everyone who’s already wished my the warmest of congrats on Facebook! You’re all too kind. I’m just so glad that I can see myself achieving the goals I have set ahead. Anything is possible! I just have to believe it and keep trying!
I also get to display this cool little seal on my website! Oh the joy never ends! 🙂
I considered making my wedding features smaller this year…and then I went to Leah & Patrick’s wedding…yep, they’re now LONGER! Oh goodness, I hope you can put up with me! 😉
If you didn’t get a chance to see Leah & Patrick’s You + Me session, you should totally check it out!
Now onto the story:
I couldn’t have asked for a better kick off to my wedding season. It was about an hour & 1/2 drive to reach the Fontaine Bleau Inn, but I loved every minute of it! There was a warm breeze was in the air, the ominous clouds held off their rain, and the country side s displayed it’s splendor. When I finally reached my destination I was welcomed by a friendly voice from a second story window. Leah’s face glowed with excitement waving down from her bed & breakfast nook. The whole place was a buzz with last minute details. Chairs being set up, flowers being placed, & cute little touches EVERYWHERE! Leah & Patrick had thought of everything.
I came into Leah’s room while she wrote in her journal (or so I thought). Upon further discussion Leah revealed that it wasn’t just a journal, but a book of love letters she had been writing to Patrick since they had started dating. She had even tucked in letters from when she was a little girl & teenager. Leah’s room that morning was a refuge of peace. Everyone rallied around her to get her put together from her dress all the way to her great grandmothers cameo necklace & earrings. Patrick’s room however, was electric with excitement! From the grin on his face to the jitters in his fingers, Patrick was alive with the thought of marrying Leah. His energy was undeniable!
We put together a “First Look” session for Leah & Pat. We ventured down a sweet little woodland path where we were greeted by a gorgeous old stone church. I had my assistant tuck Patrick away there while Leah made her way through a field of little purple flowers. When Patrick turned to see Leah all of that electricity burst out into tears and laughter. Both Leah & Patrick couldn’t hide the intense love they felt for one another.
I was so overwhelmed with emotion and the ceremony hadn’t even started yet! We made our way back just in time. Leah walked down the isle to “Hymn” by Brooke Fraiser with her bare feet & her parents to support her. Tears streamed down both couples faces as the reality of their dream finally set in. It was no surprise that the ceremony was just as emotional as the first look. Tears of joy were falling everywhere! Leah, Patrick, both sides of parents and even the guests! In hindsight maybe their favors should have been handkerchiefs! The ceremony ended with two very important details. The first was Leah washing Patricks feet like Jesus washed the disciples. It was a surprise gift to Patrick and touched the whole wedding congregation. The second was their first kiss. Up until that point, Leah & Patrick hadn’t allowed anyone to see them kiss! So when they were announced husband & wife the kiss was of epic proportions!
The rest of the day was filled with more chatter & laughter than tears, it was a gorgeous celebration of their love!
Since I am friends of the couple I stayed after my designated shooting time to celebrate with them. My assistant Martha Swann caught some excellent shots of my dance moves!
Thank you so much Leah and Pat! I adored being a part of your wonderfuly creative & emotional day!
hair: was done by Leah’s sister, Hannah Heath, who is a hairdresser in Albany
Makeup: Also done by Leah’s sister
Dress: Bought online from Ann Taylor
Jewelry: Leah’s Great-great-great grandmother’s jewelry that she had worn in her own wedding. Also Leah’s “something borrowed”.
Veil/Hair accessories: Hippie floral crown was designed by Leah and her florist
Shoes: Bride: Barefoot in the ceremony and Banana Republic flats in the reception
Bridesmaids Dresses: Maid of Honor wore JCrew and Bridesmaids wore Davids Bridal
Grooms Attire: Calvin Klein grey tux from Men’s Warehouse
Ceremony Venue: The Fontainebleau Inn (Alpine NY).Our ceremony was by the lake under a huge tree
Reception: indoors/on patio of The Fontainebleau Inn
Additional Photo venue: We did our first look in the woods beside a chapel near the property of the Inn
Florist: Plenty of Posies (she does not have storefront, she grows her own flowers in Ithaca NY)
DJ: Ormond Entertainment
Caterer: Ithaca Bakery
Cake (cupcakes): Ithaca Bakery
Lighting: Ormond Entertainment
Invitations and Stationary: Michael’s Craft Store
Special Ceremony Music: Guitar by Seth May, Cello by Amy Danials and Voice by Skylar Ruth. They played “The Theif” by Brooke Fraser for the wedding party, “The Hymn” by Brooke Fraser for the processional and “Oh Happy Day” for the exit
Introductions: Pretty Young Thing (“PYT”) by MichaelJjackson
First Dance: “The Prayer” by Andre Bucelli and Celin Dion, with a BIG surprise addition of “Cosmic Love” by Florence and The Machine
Father/Daughter: “What a Wonderful World”
Mother/Son:“The Man You’ve Become”
Bride and Groom:
How did you meet?
We met at an event Leah’s family was hosting called “Break the Chains” in the Syracuse Inner Harbor, which brought awareness about modern day slavery and human trafficking. We caught each others eye from across the lawn and then a mutual friend introduced us. We started talking and never stopped 🙂
How did your fiance propose?
We went to our friends wedding in Chicago in July 2010, just one week shy of our one year anniversary. Patrick changed his plans of asking me on our anniversary and totally surprised me when we were walking through a wildflower garden beside a wishing well in Millennium Park, downtown Chicago. When we were soaking our feet in the wishing river that ran through the park, Patrick handed me a card, which was not out of the ordinary. As I read it I reached a point where it said “Now stop reading and look at me”, and when I looked up Patrick was kneeling in the water in front of me with a ring in his hand.
What Details at your wedding had special significance:
We had a very close knit guest list of mainly family and only a couple friends, so it was very fitting that both Leah’s rings and her jewelry had been passed down from her family. The wedding party consisted of our siblings and each of our best friends, and all of our musicians were either family of close friends as well… even our guestbook was handmade by our close friends!We were married by Leah’s aunt, who had taken her on her first missions trip to Africa. Both of us have a really wonderful relationship with her,and she even flew back from Ghana the week of our wedding in order to marry us! We also had Patrick’s father pray over the ceremony and Leah’s father say a blessing before dinner. Leah had a surprise for Patrick during the ceremony by washing his feet which was very deep and intimate for both of us, and significant to our relationship and journey together with Christ.
What was the most memorable moments of your day?
Bride: the “first look”
Groom: When Leah surprised me by washing my feet during the ceremony
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Bride: shoving the cake in Patrick’s face!
Groom: Wedding party entrance to “PYT”
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
No, it was absolutely perfect. Maybe we would have married each other a long time ago 🙂
What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Our awesome photographer! 😉
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We fly to Puerto Rico the morning after our wedding at 6AM where we caught a cruise ship that traveled around the Southern Caribbean for 7 days. After the cruise was over we went back to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a couple nights before returning home
Any Advice for future bride and groom?
Bride: I know everyone probably says this, but make sure you make decisions about your wedding that reflect YOU! Lots of people will have opinion and try to change your mind, don’t let them! When you look back you want to feel like it was your day and held significance
Groom: Keep it small and intimate, it was amazing to have little conversations with our families throughout the night and not be overwhelmed with the amount of people or people we didn’t know.
The dapper Patrick King!
Sweet little love letters
The lovely ladies of Leah’s wedding party
Aren’t they just gorgeous! I’m so lucky! AHHH!
Great shot by Martha Swann!
Peek-a-boo! I see you!
Leah & Patrick wrote their own vows, man were the tears ever flowing then!
I wasn’t exaggerating! EVERYONE was crying!
Both of them ran down the isle barefoot, I have to remember that for my wedding!
Typical Leah & Pat 🙂
They love to hold pinkies when they walk…could they be any cuter?!
The stunning Fontaine Bleau Inn!
I love all of the little DIY touches and the flowers by Plenty of Posies were gorgeous! Peonies & Tulips are my FAVE!
This is one of my faves! Notice sister & mom in the background
Ormond Entertainment brought the party! They were wonderful!
Thanks to Martha Swann for these few shots!
We love us some Journey!