Syracuse, NY Classic and Fun Wedding Mabyn Ludke Photography


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What do you get when you mix, good looks, charm, and ridiculousness in one couple? You get Liz and Mike, two of the coolest people on the planet!!! Seriously, when we met in Starbucks about a year ago we instantaneously became friends! I know I’m repeating myself from their You + Me post, but I fell in love with these guys so I can’t help but gush! 😉

Finally, their wedding day came along! I’d only been waiting alllll season for it! And after a gorgeous September, what happens? Their day was 50 degrees and rainy!
Now the average couple might get really upset and worry that the rain will ruin their day. Not Liz & Mike! They were totally down for any and all outdoor shots, rain or shine! Is it any wonder I fell in love?! So they not only braved the rain, but cold and broken dresses as well! Yeah!  I know right? They’re completely amazing!

One of a bride’s biggest nightmares is something happening to the dress right before the wedding. Well guess what happened right before the wedding? The zipper on her dress fell off! Did Liz freak out? Did she throw a fit? NOPE! Calm as a cucumber we called Spybaby Boutique and their amazing seamstress fixed the dress in 20 minutes flat! (Cue Superman music here!) We still had plenty of time to get her to the church!

The rest of the day went as smooth as butter, with crazy interloods of Mike jumping in puddles or bench pressing Liz! The reception at Dinosaure BBQ was rockin’ as always! I especially loved when Liz, Mike, and their wedding party jumped up on stage and started throwing beads like it was Mardi Gras!
Thank you Liz and Mike for choosing me to, not only capture your special moments, but become your friend!


Bride & Groom: How did you meet?
We met during orientation at Le Moyne College. Mike’s roommate went to my high school.
How did your fiancé propose?
I had just finished my last final exam of my second year at SU Law and we were excited about leaving for a two week vacation in Italy the next morning. I was craving ice cream so we stopped at Gannon’s Isle in the Valley, but it was chilly so after we got our ice cream we got back in the car and started driving around. Mike drove up to Le Moyne and we finished our ice cream on a bench outside Grewen. This seemed pretty ordinary to me because when the weather is nice, Mike and I sometimes venture up to the benches in front of Grewen Hall at Le Moyne College to talk. This particular night was rather chilly, but Mike and I sat there talking about how excited we were for our trip. Then, out of the blue, Mike says that he doesn’t want me to think that he is going to propose in Italy. I was speechless for a moment since I wasn’t expecting him to. Mike kept talking and suddenly pulls out a ring box, gets on one knee and says that he doesn’t want to ask me in Italy because he wants to ask me right then and there! I was shocked and of course, I said yes
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
Mike and I really like food, especially barbeque, and we wanted a more casual wedding reception. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que was a logical choice and once we saw the Upstairs room we were sold on our wedding venue.
What details at your wedding had special significance?
My dad put together a “Love Chest” based upon an old Italian tradition. About one week before the wedding, my dad asked me and Mike to write letters to each other. The letters were sealed and my father placed them in the box along with a bottle of wine and two glasses. The box has two keys, one for each of us. The box can only be opened on two occasions: (1) on our tenth wedding anniversary or (2) if we ever happen to hit a rocky patch, the box can be opened so that either of us can read the letter we wrote to the other.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
When the zipper on my dress broke as I was getting in it – very shortly before we were supposed to leave for the Church! I will never forget how amazing my bridesmaids were and the great suggestion that Mabyn made reminding us that Spybaby was right around the corner! Maria, Spybaby’s amazing seamstress, not only fixed the dress, but came back to the hotel to help me get in and button it up! I am positive I witnessed a small miracle!
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
Not a thing! I even enjoyed the rain.
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
While we were taking outdoor photos before the reception, it was really chilly and it started to rain a bit. Nate, Mike’s six-year-old nephew, sat in the limo and rolled down the window every few minutes to let us know how warm he was inside the limo.
What was your favorite (or most handy?!)wedding purchase?
Umbrellas! They may not be my favorite, but they really came in handy! I have to give the credit to Mike for finding some cute umbrellas for the ladies.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Aruba, we stayed at Bucuti and Tara Resorts. They have a phenomenal beach.
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
It all works out in the end!

Liz was all smiles despite the crazy! She’s so amazing! I especially loved when Mike snuck a quick peek in the room before Liz got dressed.

Syracuse, NY Classic and Fun Wedding Mabyn Ludke Photography

The church was gorgeous and there were so many sneaky cute moments between Liz & Mike

Syracuse, NY Classic and Fun Wedding Mabyn Ludke Photography

I love when my clients trust me implicitly! It results in awesomeness!

Syracuse, NY Classic and Fun Wedding Mabyn Ludke Photography

What a crazy party and the perfect shot to end a perfect day!

Syracuse, NY Classic and Fun Wedding Mabyn Ludke Photography

Hair: Tiffany DeWald//Makeup Artist: Holly Piselli//Dress Designer & Store Location: Sarah Danielle, style 5563 in Natural – NY Bride//Jewelry: Etsy (Luxe Deluxe)//Veil or Hair accessories: Veil – NY Bride; Hair Accessory – Revlon!//Shoes: NY Bride – Grace “Jewel”//Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff, style 583 in European Pewter//Grooms Attire: Jim’s Formal Wear at NY Bride//Ceremony Venue: Blessed Sacrament Church, Syracuse, NY//Reception Venue: Upstairs at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que//Additional photo Venue: Downtown Syracuse//Florist: Rosebuds Florist//Transportation: Northeast Limousine Service//DJ: Black Tie Entertainment//Cake & Cupcakes: Carol Barletta, Mike’s aunt//Event Designer: none; although my dad did a wonderful job with the paper lanterns!//Invitations & Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas


Introductions: Bridal Party: Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child//Bride & Groom: Bruno Mars – Marry You

Father/Daughter: Tim McGraw – My Little Girl

Mother/Son: Rod Stewart – Have I Told You Lately

First Dance: Adele – Make You Feel My Love

Liz & Mike’s Love Story


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When I first met with Susan we connected instantly. She told me all about her plans for a traditional Macedonian wedding and I just kept getting more and more excited! I love experiencing different cultures and the way they celebrate marriage. I got to her family’s home and was immediately greeted by the jaunty sounds of the accordion. Now I know most people wouldn’t put accordion at the top of their favorite instrument list…but it’s up there on mine! There’s something instantly romantic about it, whether it’s a polka or a love ballad, I can’t get enough! The party was in full swing and It was so fun to capture! The coolest thing was that everything had meaning, from the dances to the bread making to Susan kicking over a glass of water before she left the house. Everything had significance!

The ceremony was just as full of stimulation. My eyeballs were overwhelmed with color, texture, and emotion! After the ceremony we intended to head to a park to do the wedding party pictures & couple’s pictures, but as soon as we stepped on the limo bus the heavens opened up and it poured like you would not believe! So we nixed that idea and went straight to the Genesee Grande to do the majority of the group shots. As soon as you enter the Genesee Grande you feel elegant! It’s always so beautiful and Susan & Tim’s vision came together so well. We had a ton of fun during the reception, Macedonian’s & Italians suuuuuure know how to party! Thank you so much Susan & Tim or choosing me to capture it all! It was wonderful!


How did you meet?

We met on a fourth of July weekend in 2005 (wow, that seems forever ago!). I went with my cousin and her then boyfriend’s friends on a boat ride. Tim wouldn’t leave me alone the entire day (in a good way)! We ended up getting lost in each other’s conversation the entire day. Oh, did I mention he was living in Chicago! He asked me for my number and I was reluctant at first, since he didn’t live here. We haven’t missed a day of communication since we’ve met. Whether it be email, text or a call…or five! We dated long distance for a year until I moved to Chicago for a few years myself and we recently moved back home (he’s originally from here too!), purchased a home together and are starting the next chapter of our lives. We’re truly each other’s best friend. 😉

How did your fiance propose?
He proposed on New Year’s Eve in 2009. We had a low key evening to celebrate our first NYE in our home together. He made a beautiful dinner, and we rang in the new year in our outdoor hot tub under the stars where he proposed (with a beautiful family ring) at midnight. It was totally us and I loved that.

Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
Planning! Yikes. You never really know what you get yourself into when you plan a “traditional’ wedding, until you’re actually doing it and there’s no turning back, LOL! We knew we wanted to keep it relatively small, so the Genesee Grande was perfect in size and elegance…and we both fell in love with the food at the tasting (our favorite part!). Everything else just seemed to fall into place.

What details at your wedding had special significance?
The ceremony was the most important part for us. It was a very traditional orthodox ceremony and sums up what the day is about…vowing our love to each other and taking our first steps as husband and wife.

If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
I think I would get less consumed by all the “have tos” and “must haves”. It’s easy to get lost in all the planning. My advice to future bride and grooms is to keep it simple (if simple is what you want). If barefoot on the beach is your first thought, go for it!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
All of the rain! It’s funny how you hope and pray it doesn’t rain on your wedding day, but when it does, it’s actually comical. Things that are out of your control have to be funny. Besides, my lovely bridesmaids stopped to purchase umbrellas to make the most of our pictures! They’re awesome!

What was your favorite wedding purchase?
My wedding band. My engagement ring has been in my husband’s family for over 100 years and most recently worn by his late mother, Nan Songer, so we had Tom McLaughlin at Lennon’s jeweler create a band that went seamlessly with my ring. It was perfect.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We took a mini-moon and went hiking in the Adirondacks and stayed in Lake Placid. So tranquil. We plan to go to Maui at the end of December to escape the Syracuse winter!

When I got to Susan’s home, the party had already started! Music, dancing, and food were abundant!

Isn’t Susan stunning?!

These are some of my all time favorite bridals. Especially the one on the right. I love the feeling it evokes

Reflective surfaces make for one happy photographer!

This is one of my faves from the day

I’m going to hire her as my new assistant 😉

So the rain held off until JUST before we got the park for pictures and then it POURED!!! So we opted for the elegance of the Genesee Grande

After a bit things cleared up so the ladies opted to go outside!

The rain gave me more reflective surfaces! Woohoo!

After we finished with the couples shots, Susan wanted to keep shooting. Oh geez, really? Twist my arm! Hah! So that’s what we did!

This was alllll Susan’s idea! Brilliant!

The Genesee does it right every time!

I’ve decided that we should nix the “Dollar Dance” that Americans are use to and replace it with the “Pig Dance” from the Macedonian culture. WAY MORE FUN!

Hair: Liz Lanza’s Salon //Makeup Artist: Riki Lebied//Dress Designer & Store Location: Sottero and Midgley Couture from Spybaby//Ceremony Venue: St. George Macedonian Orthodox Church//Reception Venue: The Genesee Grande//Florist: Jen from Price Chopper (she’s great!)//Transportation: S&S Limo//DJ: Black Tie Entertainment//Band: Makedonski Melos//Cake: Biscottis//Invitations/programs/placecards: DIY

Special Ceremony Music: Harpist Susan Morehouse// Father/Daughter: Have I told you lately that I love you by Rod Stewart//Memory Dance: In My Life by The Beatles//First Dance: Better Than Love by Griffin House

Susan & Tim’s Love Story