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!
After shooting weddings for almost a decade, I’ve seen a lot of white dresses, frilly table tops, and venues that you spend enough on to purchase a car. That’s normal, it’s beautiful, and a great way to celebrate your very important day. However, every now and then I get a wedding that is completely different. The couple throws caution to the wind and plans a wedding that speaks to their hearts rather than the status quo. That is why I love this business, no wedding is completely identical.
Meredith & Zach are just such a couple. They searched and searched for a wedding venue that “fit” them and just couldn’t decide. When Zach’s mom offered her Greensboro, NC backyard, their hearts jumped as if to say “Yes! That’s perfect!” Nothing is more special to Meredith & Zach than family & friends and how reflective was that sweet backyard to their love of heart and home.
When I met Meredith, I knew that she had a tender heart and such a love for everyone. She immediately befriended me and brought me over to the backyard where it was all going to happen. As a side note, Zach’s parent’s home is incredible! The colors and decorating…seriously my dream home. The front steps leading into their home I just drool over…*sigh* so beautiful. After I cleaned up my drool, Meredith & I sat on those very front steps daydreaming about what was to come.
The day arrived sunny and hot as most of this spring & summer was. But there wasn’t much call for rain…until about a 1/2 hour before the ceremony was set to begin. After we finished family pictures, drip drop, the rain started to trickle down. Meredith & Zach stole away upstairs as guest scurried from their cars and snuggled in tightly to wait out the passing thunderstorm. That extra time Meredith & Zach got to spend together tucked away was so special and calming and one of my favorite parts to their story.
The rain did eventually pass and everyone – family, friend, and even caterer – helped clear the tables, wipe down chairs, and get things presentable for their favorite couple. Meredith & Zach walked each other down the isle, arm and arm, ready to be officially united. The rain still dribbled down here and there, but by the end of their absolutely gorgeous ceremony where they laughed and cried time and time again, the sun peaked out in celebration of their union!
The rest of the evening was filled surprise cakes, sweet dance moves, and so much emotion my heart could burst! My friends, this little wedding was something so very special and Daniel and I were incredibly honored to document it all. Thank you to Meredith and Zach for allowing us into your circle of sweet sweet family and friends. We’re overjoyed that you’re officially married and hope we get to spend time together again very soon!
Tell me about the planning process of your wedding (i.e. how did you pick the venue, colors, what was unique/special, ect..):
We considered many different venues in our home state of NC, but all of our initial choices seemed to be lacking something sentimental. The answer was probably staring us right in the face the whole time, and when Zach’s parents offered their backyard as a location, it immediately felt right for the kind of gathering we imagined. The natural setting was just what we wanted and so many beloved family and friends put in countless long days to get the venue ready. When the day arrived, it was absolutely perfect – everything we could have imagined! We didn’t have any set colors or themes, we mostly just tried to pick items that seemed beautiful – things that we liked or had some special meaning to us.
What was the hardest part when planning your wedding?
Envisioning the the flow and structure of the ceremony seemed very difficult at first. We knew how we wanted it to feel, but it was hard to think in the kind of voice that the event seemed to deserve. Thankfully, we had one incredible helper – the incomparable Reverend Wilma Reichard, who just happened to be our officiant (and the same person who married Zach’s parents). In the end, we provided themes and wrote our promises and vows (maybe even the night before over room service), but it was Wilma’s gift of language and understanding of the moment that really allowed the sentiment of the day to shine through.
What was the most memorable moment of your day?
There are so, so many indelible memories to choose from, but getting ready together, just the two of us was so special. Besides that, the way that our two families came together to get the house and the yard ready in the days and hours before the wedding was incredibly touching. The entire event was truly a labor of love and we are forever grateful to all those who made it happen.
What was the funniest moment of your day?
Meredith’s car (our getaway vehicle) had a dead battery! Thankfully, many of our dear friends were still at the party to help us push it out of the neighbor’s driveway and to a safe place on the street. Sarah (Meredith’s sister) did the honor of steering.
If you had to do it all over again is there anything you’d do differently?
Not a thing.
Any advice to future brides & grooms?
It’s all going to turn out exactly the way it is supposed to turn out. Our wedding day had a zero percent chance of rain. Zero. And yet, about 30 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to begin, dark clouds began to roll in. A few minutes before the appointed start time, a minor downpour. Uncles and dads went racing into the backyard to put plastic over the tables. With everyone huddled downstairs, Meredith and I stayed upstairs (with some calming influence from Maybn and Daniel) and waited out the rain.The rain stopped and the guests took their seats, but a few drops were falling even as we walked down the aisle together and took our places. But then, the clouds parted as we delivered our vows and it turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous night! In hindsight, we would not have had it any other way.
What about Mabyn Ludke Photography stood out and caused you to book?
An authentic, warm, and artful vision for photography. In her sample galleries, we noticed not just beautiful photos of the bride and groom, but attention to the little things. Her style is genuine and nuanced.
What, specifically, was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?
Two things. The incredible care and attention to detail that goes into their work. And also their calm presence and ability to capture every aspect of the ever-evolving celebration throughout the evening.
If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say?
Can’t recommend highly enough! Wedding photos were a part of our wedding that we knew we would come back to time and time again – it was an important decision. If you want to work with someone who is incredibly professional while still being unbelievably friendly, than this is your photographer!
This past year I’ve been able to meet a whole new gaggle of amazingly talented photographers. Some of which I’ve gotten to shoot along side. Every day I’m discovering reason after reason why we need to be in community. Not just a close circle of friends and family, but like minded professionals as well (no matter your craft). There are so many moments in our lives that are unexpected, sometimes we fall and fail at being the best we can be, sometimes you just can’t do it yourself. Thats why we need each other. Thats why I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met in the past year. I have so many new people I can call on when I fail and know that they will not only help, but go above and beyond.
It’s amazing what a community can accomplish! Alone I can come up with some great ideas, but add in someone else who is like minded and can fuel my vision *BAM!* talk about an explosion of new creative energy!
“Why are you saying all of this in a wedding blog post Mabyn?” Doesn’t this belong somewhere else?” Why thanks for asking imaginary blog reader, I’ll tell you why.
This past summer I met Alexa of Alexa’s Photography. She needed a 2nd shooter for her sisters wedding. As she told me all about Alaina’s wedding day I couldn’t help but drool a little at how amazing it was going to be. Don’t worry, Alexa understood as she drooled a little herself. 😉 Now here’s the kicker, Alexa was not only shooting the wedding, but she was also a bridesmaid OH AND she was going to be 9 months pregnant at the time! WOWZAH this woman is amazing….and maybe a little crazy….I LIKE CRAZY!
I showed up at Alexa’s the day of the wedding to a beautiful array of nude pink dresses, antiques, and ladies laughing as they readied themselves for Alaina’s day. Alexa looked gorgeous and was just taking it all in, joyful for her sister. As the day progressed Alexa got pulled into make more decisions and ended up wearing the unofficial wedding coordinator hat, thats a biiiiig hat! So me, being the photo freak that I am, was happy to continue shooting all of the things! Yay for teamwork!
Speaking of teamwork, it’s hard to believe, but this wedding wasn’t at a professional venue. It was Alaina & Alexa’s parent’s property! Both families of the bride & groom came together to create this amazing experience. All of the details from the signs & menus to the giant structure that everyone ate and danced under was created by someone who loves Alaina & Dustin. How incredibly special?! See, it’s all about community!
Ultimately Alaina & Dustin’s day was perfect and I am so glad I was able to be part of this beautiful example of love and community. Thank you Alexa for brining me into your amazing family! It was a joy!
Many of you know that I moved down to North Carolina to help with a ministry. What some of you may not know, is that I currently live at the home where that ministry takes place. I’m a vagabond artist who moved in with an incredibly gracious and caring family who also founded Cre8. I was not the first, nor will I be the last to move in at Cre8. Along the same time Emily (aka Sparkle) moved in too. The past two years has seen Emily through a lot of things, but the most joyful was when she met Matt.
Matt’s calm and relaxed demeanor is the perfect compliment to Sparkle’s vibrant and outgoing nature. They balance each other out well and urge each other to grow and love. It’s been a privilege to watch their relationship unfold under our roof. Matt proposed quicker than we all expected and they were off to wedding plan. They didn’t want a long engagement and planned to wed late fall. As their plans continued to grow more complicated, Emily & Matt got more and more frustrated. They finally decided that a large wedding wasn’t what they really wanted. So they condensed! I returned home from one of my trips to discover that they wanted to get married that very weekend! Happily I was available and since the venue was my home, it was pretty easy to get to. 😉
The weather was absolutely perfect that late August afternoon and the most important people to Emily & Matt surrounded them in love (literally, check out the photo of the prayer circle)! It was intimate, sweet, and everything Emily & Matt wanted. A perfect way to start their life together! They’re still planning on a bigger Alice in Wonderland themed reception this coming Saturday to honor the family & friends! So stay tuned for Emily & Matt part two coming in the next few months! Woohoo! But for now, enjoy part one of this beautiful couple’s journey!
Emily couldn’t choose between shoes so she wore one and….
We did the ring shot on the other! Perfect compromise!
I live vicariously though other people’s tattoo’s & Emily’s is no exception. How perfect for her wedding day!
The best man approves this wedding!
The flower girl got a bit distracted during the ceremony….
Here’s that prayer circle I was telling you about. Isn’t it beautiful!?
That first sweet moment as husband and wife.
These kids get me every time!
– Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding:
Matt and I were working on elaborate plans for a larger wedding, and roadblocks kept popping up with people wanting to turn our day into something that was radically different than what we would have planned for ourselves. We finally looked at each other and said; “who are we really planning this wedding for?” The answer made our decision to have a small, intimate ceremony very clear. Obviously we picked purple because it’s my favorite color, and Matt bought me the cute heart cutout dress because we didn’t want anything too formal. As soon as we decided to do the small wedding, we knew that Cre8 would be the place to have it. Both our residence and place of worship, Cre8 boasts the beauty that God created. Our day was very relaxed – no schedule to keep up with, no formalities, simple perfection. While walking down the stairs to go meet my groom, with my mother following behind me, I did almost trip down the stairs… Mom and I had a good laugh over that, and the idea of me busting my teeth out just before I was meant to say my vows. My husband’s daughter and our housemates’ children were the perfect attendants. They kept smiles on all of our faces and helped us produce some of the most fun pictures in our gallery! We were very blessed to be surrounded by such a wonderful, small group of the closest family and friends.
– What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Emily – When my mom read “I Carry Your Heart” for Matt and I, and of course being officially married to my amazing husband!
Matt – Waiting forever for her to get ready. Seeing Emily walking down the “isle” driveway to me. Exchanging vows and making it official!
– Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Emily – Almost falling down the stairs
– If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
Not one thing.
– Any advice for future bride & grooms?
Stay true to yourselves! Your wedding is YOUR day – don’t let it be dictated by anyone else. Those who truly love you will show up even if you didn’t plan things the way they wanted you to. Have FUN and be YOU!
– What was your biggest fear before hiring Mabyn? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead?
Honestly, I had no fears going into making Mabyn our photographer. I had seen her work and I know that this is something she is passionate about. The one thing that we were willing to “splurge” on was a fantastic photographer, and we did just that, because the memories fade but we will have these gorgeous pictures FO-EVA! Mabyn’s work just affirmed what I already knew – that choosing her as our photographer was our best investment.
– What, specifically, was your favorite part of working with Mabyn Ludke Photography and why?
Mabyn made everything feel natural. During the ceremony she was stealthy! We barely noticed her, but she got some amazing shots! She made the family photos quick and painless for everyone. During the photos after the ceremony, she just encouraged us to keep being ourselves. Mabyn was never fussy about hand placement or the angle of our heads; our photos are just us being us and enjoying the moment. When we ran out of ideas for poses, Mabyn had great suggestions. It wasn’t a bunch of holding perfectly still and keeping a big fake smile plastered on your face for so long that it hurts; it was fun, natural, newlywed bliss.
– If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say?
These are photos that you will look back on and smile – and you only have one chance to hire the perfect photographer to capture this moment! You won’t find anyone better than Mabyn to help you preserve your memories of this day. She’s great to work with, funny, charming – a true diamond in a sea of photographers. You will not regret hiring her – I am certain of it!
Hair: bride and MOB Pam Shuart Steed // Makeup Artist: bride // Dress Designer & Store Location: Charlotte Rousse online // Jewelry: family heirlooms and Alex+Ani peacock feather bracelet // Shoes: Marc Fisher // Grooms Attire: H&M //Ceremony Venue: Cre8 // Florist: Publix flowers, floral design by MOB Pam Shuart Steed // DJ: Spotify
Caterer: MOG Libby Nixon and GOG Barbara Nixon // Cake: Harris Teeter // Lighting: provided by our glorious God // Invitations & Stationary: designed my Bride & Groom – printed at The UPS Store High Point