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!
Some photographers love a cloudy grey day, mostly because it means even light. I’m usually a sunny kinda gal, because I love the DRAMA it creates! Sometimes though, I’ve gotta work with a cloudy day…
When I did Mary & Hunter’s You + Me session I noticed that the cloudy grey day actually made for some beautiful color contrasts. I was a little bit in love with it all! We spent the afternoon at one of my favorite locations, the E B Morgan House in Aurora, NY, capturing Mary & Hunter. I just love how the mood of the day reflects just how sweet their love is!
Lorraine and Jeff are such a beautiful example of love. Their hearts for each, their family, and their friends spans the distance that they brought them. You see, Lorraine and Jeff live in Canada! They traveled all the way to the E.B. Morgan House where Jeff proposed and they brought 30 of their closest family and friends with them! That afternoon Lorraine’s heart shone through every moment, the getting ready part was a mixture of laughter and tears and set the tone for the whole day. Everywhere I turned I just saw this intense love in everyone’s eyes. They were wed in the cutest little Catholic church I’ve ever seen right down the street and then celebrated with good wine, better food, and the best company one could ask for. I can tell you all about all of the stories, toasts, and jokes that were told. I can tell you about the gorgeous sunset and the fantastic dancing, but nothing matches that closeness, joy, and above all else love that I felt that day! Thank you so much Lorraine and Jeff! Your wedding was truly a treasure!
How did your fiance propose? It was September 26, 2011, we were at the start of a short getaway that had us going to Aurora in the Finger Lakes then on to Cape Anne in New England. On the first day of our getaway and shortly after our arrival at the EB Morgan House in Aurora, we were sitting on the back porch enjoying the scenery, peacefulness and a glass of wine. All I wanted to do was sit and relax but Jeff seemed a bit restless. He suggested a walk down the lawn to sit closer to the lake but first had to go retrieve the camera from our room which he had “forgotten”. When he returned, he was carrying a white plastic grocery bag that appeared to contain a box of golf balls, very strange but maybe not so odd as we intended to play golf while we were away?!? I asked him why he had a box of golf balls with him and now that I think about it, he didn’t answer me. We walked onto the lawn and headed toward the lake, he stopped part way near some Adirondack chairs. He put the grocery bag down, pulled me into his arms and thanked me for being so patient with him over the years. My response was “what did you do?” and as I started to realize what was happening and as my emotions started to overtake me, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was overwhelmed and completely taken by surprise because we were already ensconced in a very happy long-term committed relationship and had never seriously talked about getting married. It took me a minute or so to fully absorb what was happening. Jeff was still down on one knee and at some point he reminded me that I hadn’t actually given him an answer, of course I said YES! Then he took the golf ball box out of the white plastic bag, opened the box in which he had hidden the engagement ring box and placed the ring on my finger. We sat together in the Adirondack chairs for some time, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. We just kept repeating “we’re engaged” and laughing.
Jeff knows how much I don’t like surprises and how hard it is to really surprise me but this had me totally taken aback – I guess some surprises aren’t that bad after all!
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): Since we had never talked about getting married we started, almost immediately, to talk about the kind of wedding we envisioned. We knew we were probably looking at a date in August 2012 because we thought that Jeff’s only brother Colin, sister-in-law Jessica and nephews Vance and James would be visiting Canada from Taiwan about that time. Although I have a large family, we agreed that we wanted to keep the wedding quite small. We started talking about options of what we could do in Toronto and agreed that anything we planned at home would be bigger than we really wanted so we started to think about other options. Our Innkeeper at the EB Morgan House, Lynda planted the seed about having our wedding there and provided us with some information. Were we really going to consider this “destination” wedding? Wouldn’t it be romantic to return to the place where we became engaged? Would our families and friends enjoy the location? It only took us two days of discussing and before we left Aurora on September 29th for the next leg of our getaway, Jeff and I had decided on a three-day wedding “event” for our families and friends, held all of the accommodation at the EB Morgan House and The Aurora Inn, selected a wedding date of August 22, 2012, identified a guest list and selected the EB Morgan House for our reception. It took us a couple of months to confirm our intentions and arrange for a Catholic wedding ceremony at St. Patrick’s Church in Aurora. Then the realization set in about how much was really involved in planning a wedding with the added complexity of a destination wedding outside of our home country. Even our wedding party crossed the country, our maid of honour Ivanka lives in Vancouver, BC and our best man David lives in Halifax, NS. Jeff said it a number of times over the months, he just thought we would go from getting engaged to being married, he had no idea about the amount of work and the details involved to get us from point A to point B. It was totally worth it because we had a great day and wouldn’t change a thing.
Our colour scheme was very simple, we had shades of purple with accents in our flowers of greens and whites. I’ve always just gravitated toward purple and my garden at home usually has plenty of these colours so the choice was pretty easy to make. I just loved our flowers, Michaleen did a wonderful job. It took me some time to find the right purple shoes and at one point, I thought I was going to have to give up the quest, but in late June, I finally found them!
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? We feel an incredible “high” about the whole day. We’ve picked a few moments that stand out: Jeff kicking the soccer ball around with his best man David prior to getting ready; seeing my bridal bouquet for the first time; Jeff seeing me in my wedding dress as I walked up the aisle on the arm of my younger brother Mark; my brother Mark kissing me on the cheek as he “gave me away” to Jeff; reciting our vows; placing the rings on each other’s fingers; hearing Fr. Shatzel announce us as Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Gullberg for the first time; sneaking away for the sunset photos; Jeff’s “Dance Party Playlist”, we had a blast dancing.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? We don’t have a “funniest memory” – we simply had a great day and enjoyed ourselves very much. There was laughter, there were tears, our guests have been very complimentary about the whole experience.
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? We wouldn’t change a thing, we enjoyed every moment!
Any advice for future bride & grooms? Be true to yourselves, follow your instincts and plan the wedding that you want.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Neither Jeff nor I like to be the centre of attention, we’re “behind the scenes” people so we were a bit anxious about having the spotlight on us and I don’t particularly care to have my photo taken. I was feeling overwhelmed with emotion and Mabyn totally understood. Mabyn was terrific, very accommodating, very calming, very professional, she blended-in and was not “intrusive” at all, it just felt like Mabyn was a natural part of the event.
Hair: Sara Scollan – Auburn, NY//Makeup Artist: Sara Scollan – Auburn, NY//Dress Designer & Store Location: Barbra Allin/ Becker’s Bridal – Toronto, ON//Jewelry: mother’s pearl necklace as something old; sister Patricia’s pearl earrings as something borrowed//Veil or Hair accessories: crystal hair comb – Felicia’s – Toronto, ON//Shoes: purple wedding shoes Brown’s – Toronto, ON; purple flip flops from Guess//Bridesmaids Dresses: maid of honour’s dress – Ralph Lauren – The Bay – Vancouver, BC//Grooms Attire: suit-Ermenegildo Zegna; tie-Brioni; shoes-Bruno Magli//Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick’s Catholic Church – Aurora, NY//Reception Venue: EB Morgan House – Aurora, NY//Additional photo venue: the grounds at The Aurora Inn, Aurora, NY//Florist: Michaleen’s – Ithaca, NY//DJ: Jeff’s play list//Caterer: The Aurora Inn//Cake: Trina Myers, The Aurora Inn//Invitations & Stationary: The Papery – Toronto, ON//Other: Fr. Richard Shatzel – Officiant//Heather Davidson, Director of Special Events, The Aurora Inn
Say that title 5 times fast! Hah! Last week was a tizzy of photo-goodness! I had 3 weddings and 1 You + Me session and all of them were so special and unique to the couple! Here are a few peeks from last week!
Liz & Erik’s You + Me
Lorraine & Jeff’s Love Story
Katie & Mike’s Love Story
Rebecca & Jon’s Love Story
Central NY is such a beautiful place to live. I know a lot of people who complain about living here…mainly due to the snow…but I’ll take a few months of the fluffy white stuff in exchange for all of the beauty available with just a short car ride away! Amanda and Matt felt the same way when they started planning their wedding.
When their actual wedding day arrived I was so excited! Finally I got to meet this amazing couple in person AND at one of my favorite venues! The EB Morgan House in Aurora, NY. I loved the whole idea of their day, a small intimate wedding with family, close friends, beautiful views, and AMAZING food! The EB Morgan House was a perfect choice!
When I got there and I finally got to meet Amanda and Matt face to face, we instantly clicked…and not just with my camera…ha ha ha…I know…I’m a dork!
The whole day was an absolute dream! The weather was gorgeous, so was my couple, and they were up for picture after picture! I was mostly taken aback by the feeling of their day. The warmth and love of their family and friends surrounding them was so thick you could literally cut it! I was brought to tears myself by several of the toasts that were given at their reception. Plus they made me feel like I was part of the family. I can’t tell you how many times someone checked on me, offered me food, or just wanted to chat. I have never felt so welcomed by a family I’ve never met before. It was so touching! I can’t thank Amanda and Matt enough for choosing me as their photographer! I was truly and an honor and a joy to be present and document such genuine and beautiful love!
P.S. I absolutely LOVE Amanda’s advice for future Brides & Grooms! Make sure you check it out in the interview section!
How did you meet?
Matt was in graduate school for Psychology at West Virginia University, and Amanda was an applicant for the program. They met on “interview weekend”, when Matt was Amanda’s host while she was in town.
How did your fiance propose?
We actually proposed to each other. We designed Amanda’s ring from scratch (picking out the diamond, planning the setting) with a jeweler, and we picked out a ring for Matt then too — it had a “wheat” engraving pattern, which was Amanda’s maiden name. When the rings were ready, we picked them up and took a moment at home to propose to each other, sharing why we were choosing each other to spend the rest of our lives with… Then we topped it off with a fancy dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant and a weekend in Boston.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
Neither of us was tied to getting married in our home towns, so we figured we’d do a bit of a destination wedding. We immediately thought of the Finger Lakes region because all it had to offer for our guests — wineries, museums, fishing, great restaurants, etc. We literally googled “wedding in Finger Lakes” and the EB Morgan House was one of the first links. We used checking the venue out as an excuse for taking a vacation with our families, and we fell in love with it as a ceremony and reception site.For colors, we wanted them to be meaningful and warm. We incorporated purple and green, as these were favorite colors of our late grandmothers. We wanted them to be represented in some way during our wedding day. We just took all the planning piece by piece, and it helped to keep things low stress that we chose to have a small (46 people) wedding. With the help of family members in planning so many aspects of the wedding, it really made things so easy!
What details at your wedding had special significance?
It was incredible to have Matt’s brother, Zack, lead the ceremony for our wedding. We wanted the person marrying us to be someone who we were really close to and who is an integral and important part of our lives. Zack was the first to come to mind, and he luckily agreed!
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Seeing each other during our first look session with you was pretty amazing… We had spent the night apart, and the day had been filled with wedding preparation. It was overwhelming (in a good way) to finally get to see each other. We welcomed everyone to give a toast after we cut the cake, rather than opting for formal, planned toasts. We had no idea how many of our friends and family would step forward and share such funny stories, kind words, and well wishes. It was so amazing to have so many supportive people present and vocal.
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
We would get a videographer so we could have a record of the toasts forever.Finally, Amanda had a good friend, Piercen Oliver, play Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest” on the piano for Matt as a surprise. It’s always been a song we’ve sort of considered “our song”, if any is. It was so incredible to have Piercen play it for us, and it was great that Matt was surprised!
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
It was so unexpected, but several friends and family members shared some hilarious memories during the toasts… Too many to recount here! Just details on random and ridiculous things we have done throughout our lives
What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Probably the rings… We picked them out together and it’s nice to have a daily reminder of our commitments to each other — especially when we’re not living in the same state together!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We haven’t yet!… We’re considering New Orleans in the Spring.
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
It’s cliche, but be sure to relax and enjoy the process, keeping in mind what the whole reason for having a wedding is… There are a million details you can get lost in, and it’s all for naught if you can’t take time to appreciate each other and your reasons for choosing to get married in the company of the people closest to you.
Amanda & Matt’s first look was sooooo sweet and the EB Morgan House made for the perfect back drop!
Their ceremony had so many special moments, stories, and LOTS of tears!
Um really though…I could take pictures of them allll daaaay loooonng!…and I kinda did 😉
So many great details and moments…so beautiful!
Makeup Artist: same//Dress Designer & Store Location: Maggie Sottero from Giana’s Bridal in Stoneham, MA//Jewelry: etsy.com//Veil or Hair accessories: Giana’s Bridal//Grooms Attire: Men’s Wearhouse, Calvin Klein//Ceremony Venue: EB Morgan House//Reception Venue: EB Morgan House//Additional photo venue: Aurora Inn//Florist: Michaleen’s Florist and Garden Center//Caterer: EB Morgan House//Cake: Just Desserts//Wedding Coordinator: Heather Davidson//invitations & Stationary: Elysia Lock//Music: Candlelight String Quartet