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.
Sometimes you never know how the smallest connections will lead to big things. I met Nancy years ago at a friend’s bon fire. She has literally watched my career grow, Nancy met me right when I made the plunge into the great big ocean that is wedding photography. Fast forward to last summer, I get the sweetest phone call from her asking if I would shoot her wedding! Of course I was thrilled and we chatted and laughed about the plans to come.
When I met Jason, it was clear that the only girl for him was Nancy. The way he looked at her melted my heart. Then to see them interact at their You + Me session, there was no doubt in my mind that they were the perfect match!
On their wedding day it was like the whole world was celebrating their marriage. Not because they invited a lot of people, but because everyone shouted their love from the roof tops! There were stories, hugs, kisses, lanterns, S’mores, sparklers, and FIREWORKS! Every time you thought that they had reached the top of the celebration something else would come along that would bring the joy higher! Lets just say that this couple knows how to throw a party and deserved every bit of it! Thank you so much to Nancy & Jason for choosing me to capture your FANTASTIC day! It was so much fun and I’m so excited for this next chapter in your life!
How did your fiance propose? Thanksgiving 2011, we traveled to Syracuse. Jason and Nancy’s dad were outside with their beers, cooking a turkey in the smoker. Jason asked him for permission to marry his only daughter. Christmas morning 2011, Jason and Nancy were celebrating at Jason’s mother’s house in Virginia. After a morning of opening gifts, Jason announced that he had one more gift, reached in his pocket, and got on his knee. The diamond in the ring is a family stone passed down to Jason from his grandmother and his Aunt. It had been part of a brooch that belonged to Jason’s great-great grandmother and had been passed down to his grandmother and later his Aunt.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): Everything was VERY easy. We felt really confident that every vendor we chose would do a good job, so it helped with our stress factor. It helped, too, because we live in DC and we were planning long distance. I would say some family and friends (and trying to make everyone happy) were the most stressful part of planning – making sure everybody was included on the guest list, helping them with accommodations and arrangements, food choices, etc. We really liked hydrangeas and they come in light blue, so that’s how we picked colors. We only looked at one venue (The Lodge) and went with that. Really – everything was easy for us.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? The most memorable moment of our day is likely our first look, first dance, and our firework/lantern display. For us as a couple, getting off the bus at the end of the night at the Sherwood, all of our friends wishing us goodbye, and then eating our take home cupcakes in bed. Man, we wish our wedding was every weekend.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? For the bride, it had to be getting ready in the kitchen of the Willard Chapel …. didn’t realize there were no private places to get your dress on! and when we were in the limo and when my 86-year-old grandmother made a comment (driving to the ceremony in the limo) along the lines of “this limo ride reminds me of when the policemen take all of the criminals to jail.”… really grandma?
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? No. Not a thing.
Any advice for future bride & grooms? Make sure you are planning BEYOND the wedding. Don’t look at it as an ending point, but as beginning part of your journey together – because it’s going to be a long, awesome one. We are also glad that our honeymoon is 1-2 months after the wedding so we won’t be as tired and are really looking forward to it. Don’t register for stupid stuff that you don’t need. I would also recommend doing a “first look” to ANYBODY that is not afraid to go against tradition. We did one with Mabyn and it was so stress reliving. We were able to have an intimate moment without everybody watching and it allowed us to get through the ceremony without being overly emotional… just excited! Make sure you EAT at your reception – it’s okay to take time for yourself even if people are there to see you. And don’t sweat it – you’re just getting married.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Mabyn and her partner are true professionals. They both brought a fun, calming energy when we needed it most. They were also like sneaky little photo ninjas.. there were everywhere and did anything to get the perfect shot – but you never saw them… they just blended right in. Mabyn is also very friendly, flexible and easy to work with. We were so lucky to have found her!
Hair: Michele Lennox//Makeup Artist: Mollie Palmisano//Dress Designer & Store Location: “Heidi” by Maggie Sottero – Bobbie’s Bridal in Fairfax, VA//Jewelry: Designs by Kara (Etsy)//Veil or Hair accessories: Flower made by Joliejye Vendome, Centre France (Etsy)//Shoes: Ivory Glitter Women’s Wedges by Toms (Nordstorm)//Bridesmaids Dresses: Vary (Target, for sure)//Grooms Attire: Vary (Men’s Warehouse for sure)//Ceremony Venue: The Willard Chapel in Auburn, NY//Reception Venue: The Lodge at Welch Allyn in Skanateles, NY//Florist: The Backyard Garden Florist//Transportation: Student First bus service, American Limousine//DJ: Vice Versa Entertainment//Caterer: The Lodge at Welch Allyn//Cake: Sweet Endings Bakeshop in Jamesville, NY//Event Designer: Nancy!//Wedding Coordinator: Megan Coe//Lighting: Vice Versa Entertainment//Other: Fireworks by The Lodge at Welch Allen
The weekend was sure to be a wash out. The weather called for strong winds, cold temperatures and rain. “Is it really the end of May?” I wondered. How quickly I had forgotten the bi polar nature that is Central NY weather. I had been spoiled by the nice weather in North Carolina. All I could do was pray that Sunday, Stephanie & Brian’s wedding day, would not reflect what the weather man was saying.
Low and behold, Sunday was perfect! Things warmed up to at least the 60’s, the sun shown down, and even the wind calmed itself. It was the ideal spring wedding day! As I drove onto Casowasco’s winding path, nostalgia flooded my senses. This camp is a treasure box of childhood memories for me. The fact that Stephanie and Brian met there and fell in love was the perfect little cherry on top of my sentimental ice cream sunday! Their ceremony took place in the sweet Lake View Chapel on site, with just a few decorations it was perfect for their sweet ceremony. Then we were off to Emerson Park, who’s white walls and industrial duct work made for a striking contrast. Though both venue’s were different, the minimalistic design that Steph and Brian orchestrated tied them together perfectly! Elegant Orchids in their decorated pots were placed on each table & vases filled with colorful stones and candles helped to set them off. Simple hints of blue popped here and there and the beauty of the day really shone through!
The most significant part of the day though, was the profound sense of love. This is my favorite part of a wedding day. You can have 500 people or 50 and it doesn’t matter. If that sense of love is there, it brings EVERYONE together. And so it did for Stephanie and Brian. Smiles, laughs, and happy tears were shed that day all to celebrate this jubilant couple. I was so blessed to be able to capture all of the beautiful moments from that day. Thank you Stephanie & Brian, your day was absolutely beautiful!
Photo by Emily Elizabeth Studios
It’s not often that I get a special “Groom’s Perspective” on the day. Brian sent me his own synopsis of their gorgeous wedding day:
Where to begin? How about by starting off that I’m married, and it is the happiest thing to happen to me thus far! Everything about our special day was perfect. The ceremony went very smoothly even though there were a few hiccups, it was perfect. My bride to be was beautiful as every when she appeared in the doorway of the chapel. All the events and planning leading up to this amazing day was a true experience. We had ups and downs in the planning process, but who doesn’t?
To bring us up to speed on all of this, let me go back in time 1 year 4 months and 7 days. This is the night that she said yes! We were on a bus back from the Big Apple and that’s when it hit me. Tonight is the night I ask my bride to be to marry me! When we got home from our day trip we were unwinding and getting ready to go to sleep. While she was in the other room I snuck off to my hiding spot to fetch the ring. I came back to the bedroom and was lying down on the bed relaxing. She came over to sit and we started to talk. I asked her if she gotten everything she wanted for her birthday? By this time it was past midnight so her birthday was actually over and it was a new day. I told her I had one more gift for her, so I revealed the ring and I told her with this ring I promise to love you and to stand with you at the altar when the time is right, and I placed the ring on her finger. I know I didn’t ask the traditional will you marry me question but I got my point across. Then the planning began.
For the next year we worked daily, or as often as we could to get everything ready for our special day. Planning for our wedding was a big challenge, but in the end it was actually fun and exciting. We had the help from some of our amazing friends and family to help piece together the big picture and create a master piece. When the weekend of the wedding finally arrived everything was breathe taking. My groomsmen and her woman were amazing. We all had the best time bonding while we prepared ourselves for the day.
To conclude all of this, I cannot express how happy and thankful I am for everything. Everybody from the photographers, DJ, limo drivers, family, and friends were all flawless. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to be surrounded by while I gave my heart away at the altar. If given the chance to do this all over again with the same her, I would do it in a heart beat, and I wouldn’t change any of it!
Now here’s Steph’s perspective!:
How did your fiancé propose?
On Saturday, February 4, 2012, Brian and I took an early morning bus to NYC; it was my birthday. Brian had bought tickets to the Syracuse Univ. vs. St. John’s Univ. basketball game as my gift. We spent the day exploring NYC (Brian had never been) and watching the Orange defeat the Thunderbirds. Then, we took a bus back to Boston. Late that night, Brian and I were lying in bed talking about all we had done that day. He then asked me if I had gotten all that I wished for my birthday. At that moment, I knew. He brought out the ring and the rest is just a blur. Since it was after midnight, officially February 5, 2012, we had to wait until morning to tell all of our family and friends. Brian had asked my father for permission, which I love and appreciate.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
Brian and I met as volunteer counselors at Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center during Camp Echo, a New Year’s Eve camp, during the winter of 2010-2011. After deciding to have the wedding in NY (as opposed to Boston), we knew we wanted to get married where we met. As for the reception, Brian remembered going to Emerson Park for school field trips. It’s close to Casowasco and was a beautiful location for the reception. As for picking our date, we wanted to get married in late Spring or early Fall. It is especially beautiful during those times of the year and isn’t too hot! Since we got engaged in February and we didn’t want to be rushed preparing for and planning the wedding, we decided on Spring of 2013. Looking at the calendar, Memorial Day weekend stuck out to us. It was after my semester at BU would end, and it was a 3 day weekend so that we could allow a day of travel before and after the ceremony for our guests. Now, we will always have a 3 day weekend to celebrate our anniversary! J As for colors, I’m getting my Master’s degree in Marine Science, and so needless to say I love the ocean. Blue is a peaceful color, and after receiving color swatches from Tuxedo Junction, we decided upon Malibu and Royal Blue. As for other details, Brian will tell you that I’m the Pinterest Queen and he’s the Craigslist King. I found many great ideas on Pinterest, including the idea to make our own homemade vanilla extract for the wedding favors.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Playing the board game Taboo with family and friends the night before the wedding in Galilee.
Sitting in the peaceful and relaxing front room of Galilee the morning of as we got our hair and makeup done.
Not knowing where (in which refrigerator) the corsages and boutonnieres were!
My veil flying off my head as Dad and I walked to the chapel from Galilee.
Praying with my dad outside the chapel as we waited to enter.
Serving Communion with my husband to all of our family and friends.
Brian and I being the last to leave Casowasco on our way to Emerson Park for the reception, joking about how we could just leave to go on our honeymoon (do you think they’d notice if we weren’t at the reception?!)
Pat’s Best Man speech and Jess’s Maid of Honor speech
Brian and Buzz doing the Hannah Montana Hoedown Throwdown
When my great Uncle Paul was told to put the garter on my great Aunt’s leg, and the advice they gave us on how to make our marriage last (they’ve been married 59 years)
Getting to kiss Brian every time a glass chimed
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Hm, I don’t know. The Hoedown Throwdown, again, was pretty hilarious!
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
Not a thing!
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
All of your guests are there to celebrate YOU! If something doesn’t go as planned, no one will know except you. And even if they do notice, they all love and support you, so they won’t care. Once I realized that I had somewhere to get married, someone to do it (thanks, Dad!), and a place to celebrate afterwards, all of the other stuff was icing on the cake. If something wasn’t done or didn’t go as I wanted, I was still married, and that’s really all it’s about, right?
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?
Mabyn was so wonderful to work with! She has positive, contagious energy and loves to create photos that are different and unique from anything she’s ever done before. She is creative and ‘artsy,’ and I love the perspective she captures with each shot!
Hair: by Ashley Toia//Makeup Artist: Michelle Maw from Makeup by Maw//Dress Designer & Store Location: DaVinci Bridal; Picker’s Elegant Occasions at 8182 Seneca Turnpike, Clinton NY//Jewelry: my “something borrowed” earrings from my mother-in-law Karen Henry, they’re angels J//Veil or Hair accessories: veil from Picker’s Elegant Occasions, hair pieces from AC Moore//Shoes: Coloriffics: Andie style, Ivory satin; ordered online from Zappos//Bridesmaids Dresses: each individually picked out by the bridesmaid (Jess in Malibu; Chelsea, Colleen, and Kayla in royal blue)//Grooms Attire: Tuxedo Junction (Pat in Malibu; Jon, Rob, Mike, Gid, and Buzz in royal blue)//Ceremony Venue: Lakeview Chapel at Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center, 158 Casowasco Drive, Moravia NY (where we met)//Reception Venue: Emerson Park Pavilion, 6914 East Lake Road, Auburn NY//Florist: corsages, boutonnieres, bridal bouquet by Michelle at The Flower Shop, 49 Genesee Street, Auburn, NY; bridesmaid’s plants and reception decorations are Cattleya orchids from Scott at Turtle Pond Orchids nursery online at http://www.turtlepondorchids.
A scant week after I was in the warm tropical sun of St. Thomas I was back in Syracuse, NY where it was cold and rainy! Luckily a bit of sunshine came along with me and I got to spend another whole day with Amanda, Art, and their amazing families and friends! They opted to do even more pictures down in Ithaca where they first met and then off to Auburn we went for their gorgeous reception! Everything about this couple is just so amazing. They’re so in love, so caring and thoughtful, and each and everything they did reflected their beauty! Thank you so much to my wonderful friends Amanda and Art! I love you both!
Ceremony in the Virgin Islands: Hair and Make Up Artist: Sugar and Spice Artistry – Luxe Beauty Studio – Jet’aime Cerge-Grant/Dress Designer and Store Location: Maggie Sottero – Bridal Chateau Williamsville, NY/Jewelry: Kristi’s Adornments/Veil: Alfred Angelo/Shoes: Arbie Goodfellow – Parisxox (Etsy) and Alfred Angelo, Syracuse, NY/Bridesmaids Dresses: Jim Hjelm Bridal – NY Bride Syracuse, NY/Wedding Party and Bridesmaids Jewelry: Handmade by Deb McCall/Grooms Attire: Men’s Warehouse (Suit) and Macy’s (Tie)/Ceremony Venue: The Sand Dollar Estate, St. Thomas, USVI/Videographer: Chris Foito and Doug Koefoed (Assistant)/Florist: East End Flower Shop/Officiant: Katherine Raymond/Musician: Chris Robbert (violinist) and Morgan Rael (Steel Pan Drummer)/Wedding Coordinator: Summer Westman/Caterer: Monica Charles and Arthur James II (Assistant)/Wedding Cupcakes: VI Desserts/Wedding Pillow: Carolyn Martinez/Wedding Ceremony Oil: Kelle Smith/Invitations and Signage: Terra Rosa/Rock the Dress Venue: Cinnamon Bay, St. John, USVI, Downtown St. John, USVI, Ferry Dock, St. John, USVI/Property Manager (aka: Mabyn’s Light Stand and Assistant): Bob Prince/Pre-Wedding Yoga Instructor and Massage Therapist: Rosa Nunna/Wedding Set-Up Extraordinaire: Sue Yeres, Christie Sommers, Amy James, and Russell Vidler.
Reception in Auburn, NY: Hair and Make Up Artist: Shear Style – Lorena Bobnick/Designer and Store Location for Reception Dress: Alfred Angelos, Syracuse NY/ Reception Venue: The Emerson Park Pavilion, Auburn, NY/Florist: Plenty of Posies/Cake: The Sweet Spot – Hannah Jackson/Dessert Bar and Cookies: Nina Ascenzi, Barbara Moore, and Marilynne Sommers/Wedding Tree Thumbprint: Michelle Smith/Videographer: Chris Foito/DJ: Kelly Davis and Courtney Peck/Wedding Coordinator: Ann Crowley/Tree Decor: Gale Smith and Art James II/Escort Cards: Lindsay Smith/Caterer: H & J Hospitality – Joe’s Restaurant, Andrea Crowley/Lighting: Rocko Dorsey – RD Entertainment/Additional Photo Venue: Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY and Stewart Park, Ithaca NY/Wedding Planner Extraordinaire: My Mom – Marilynne Sommers