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!
Sometimes it’s not about the amount of people, a giant venue, or the expense of the day. Sometimes it’s simply about the joy of two people coming together to become one. Jessica and Manny didn’t want a big affair. They simply wanted to be married and have their closest family and friends surrounding them. Their day was quiet, sweet, and so so so special. Though they’re both rather camera shy, they were brave enough to trust me for some epic shots up on top of Highland Forest (and it totally paid off)! Instead of your typical wedding reception, Jessica and Manny just did the things they loved, a little dancing, a little photo booth crazy, and a little Karaoke! It was such a lovely and quiet day, the perfect reflection of such a lovely and beautiful couple! Thank you so much Jessica and Manny, it was so wonderful to be part of your beautiful day!
Photo by Emily Elizabeth Photography
How did your fiance propose? After spending a whole day trying to get each of my parents alone to ask for my hand in marriage, he couldn’t wait any longer and proposed while we were pulled over on the side of the road. I though he “forgot something,” and he popped the question instead. 🙂 He’s horrible at keeping surprises a secret (which was also displayed at Christmas, my birthday, etc. lol)
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): Wedding planning stressed me out from day one, so it was low key from the beginning. My mom heard about Highland Forest and I fell in love with the view, intimate setting, and Melanie from Orchard Vali (the lodge’s caterer) was AMAZING I can’t rave about her enough. Our colors were gray, yellow, and ivory: he loves gray, I love white, and yellow is always a happy color. I’m a dork so I liked the number theme of 10-11-12 so that was actually the first thing decided. We’ve both done a lot of moving around separately (we were young when we met in college, so a lot of “soul searching still had to take place), and we loved the idea of finally getting to spend EVERY holiday together, with our wedding anniversary to start it all off.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? The releasing of the doves was a pretty cool moment- we love the symbolism and they looked beautiful too (even though it was FREEZING!)
Funniest memory from your wedding day? Manny’s little nephew, Noah, playing photographer throughout the day…he was so serious about his duties and it was really cute.
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? Maybe less last minute planning (sure you’ve heard that one once or twice before!)
Any advice for future bride & grooms? It’s your day, do what’s in your heart.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? I like how laid back everything was, like I said the “wedding” concept has always overwhelmed me (we are both camera shy HA) but it was a good time, and I appreciate you working with us stiff boards 😉 Thank you again!
Dress Designer & Store Location: David’s Bridal//Jewelry: Kay Jeweler’s//Grooms Attire: Lord and Taylor//Ceremony Venue: Skyline Lodge at Highland Forest//Reception Venue: Skyline Lodge at Highland Forest//Caterer: Orchard Vali Caterer//Cake: 83 and Company
There’ s no better way to start off a wedding season than doing a friends wedding! Last year I was privilaged to shoot Leah & Patrick’s wedding as my kickoff to wedding season and this year that same privilage goes to Caitlin and Andy!
I have known Andy for 6ish years now. We went to the same church, hung out with the same friends, had card nights at each others apartments, and even worked at the same summer camp (just not at the same time!). So when Andy found the love of his life I was SO excited for him! Especially when they asked me to capture their special day. I couldn’t be more excited about Andy’s wife, Caitlin. She’s a gorgeous little artist who I instantly connected with! Not only did I get to capture a stunning wedding at one of my favorite places in the world (Casowasc0), but I gained a new friend in Caitlin!
So of COURSE with Caitlin being the amazing artist that she is, her wedding day was stunning! We had the perfect weather at the perfect venue and even had a few surprises snuck in! Like when her brother & friend came running up to them with a giant Gatorade jug and dumped it over them (while I’m taking pictures of them…with all of my gear…)…to only find that there was confetti in the jug, not water. I was afraid for their lives, because if it had been water I would have KILLED THEM! 😉
The evening ended with a romantic surprise when Andy and Caitlin found that their friends had set up a romantic lantern launch on the pier for them! They walked down a path lit with torches to find a the pier covered in candles and a paddle boat made for 2 for their “honeymoon” voayage. It was so sweet and stunning! Their day was the perfect display of their love and I was so honored to be part of it all! Thank you Caitlin & Andy!
How did your fiance propose? Five days before Christmas we had made plans to go out for dinner, that night we were on our way to the restaurant and Andy randomly pulls into the parking lot at Chittenango Falls.
It was 7:00 at night and completely dark but we started hiking down to the falls. we were standing on the bridge just enjoying the moment together when he looked down and asked me if I wanted my first Christmas present.
He pulled a long rectangular box out of his pocket and I went and sat down at a bench near by. with only the light of his cell phone to see with I began to open it, inside was a box of five Lake Champlain Chocolate Truffles.
Peeking out of the center one was my diamond wring! He knelt down on one knee, licked the chocolate off the ring and even though I could barely see him, my best friend and love of my life leaned in and asked me to share forever with him. Of course I said yes and we shared our first Kiss 🙂 the story doesn’t end here though, After a little while we hiked back up the hill and he asked me if I wanted my second Christmas present, he then lead me over to a bench where he pulled out a a blanket two snowman mugs and a Thermos of hot cocoa 🙂
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):The planning process was a whirlwind of non stop business, we had decided before hand that we wanted a short engagement so we tentatively set the date for four months from when we got engaged. Andy kinda thought I was crazy, I thought I was crazy! but I had been told by multiple people and wedding planners that I could do it. we later determined we wouldn’t have wanted it any different! It wasn’t too hard though because we already had people and places in mind it was just a matter of finalizing and confirming. The Venue was a no brainier it was already my first choice even before we got engaged. Andy and his family had talked about Camp Casowasco since before we were dating and when I finally saw it for the first time back in October I couldn’t help but imagine a wedding there. Once we talked to them and realized that the 12th was the only weekend they had available in our time frame and that they where giving us a huge discount because of Andy’s previous Employee status, we knew God had blessed us greatly, the 12th was our date and Casowasco was where we were getting married. I picked my colors very early on I think I was walking through a store with my sisters and saw a bunch of teal silk flowers and knew I wanted to go with teal and white. Teal also happened to be a favorite color for all four of my sisters so I knew I couldn’t go wrong there 🙂 I think one of the funniest and most unique things about our planning process was just the lack of craziness and stress despite only having a couple of months to pull it all together. people kept asking us how we were doing? “how was the stress?” and I remember looking at Andy and my sisters and just laughing at how laid back and calm we all were. We were just rolling with it, busy yes, but just one day at a time “yup we’re getting married” Yup we’re planning a wedding” “yup we’ve got a lot to do” ok (shrugs) 🙂
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? The most memorable moment, wow I have to pick one! it was all amazing too have to narrow it down…..I’d have to say just being able to relax during the day on the lake at casowasco with family and friends was wonderful. Walking down the Isle on my Daddy’s arm to the the song I had picked out since I was a little, then looking up and only seeing Andy.
Saying our vows and watching Andy getting a little choked up. The surprise that My brother Tyson and Andy’s sister Laura along with many other friends, we walked out to the pier through lighted archways and tiki torches to find our family and friends lined up on the pier setting free giant Chinese lanterns that grouped together and floated off across the lake, and our get away vehicle a paddle boat decorated with balloons and lanterns with an “Italy or Bust” sign on the back. It was a truly magical end to a amazing fairytale wedding!
Funniest memory from your wedding day? The funniest memory is a toss up between Tyson and Laura’s “Hello Brudder Hello Sister” song they did for us. or Tyson and and our friend Tim charging at us with bucket of Gatorade while we where taking pictures only to dump a bunch of confetti on us 🙂
Any advice for future bride & grooms? The best advice I can give is plan well make lots of lists, surround yourself with a team of family and friends who can help with advice encouragement and delegation. find a great wedding planner or close friend who’s great at organizing and planning. talk to everyone and make sure the key people are all on the same page so that you as the bride aren’t the only one that knows where and what and how it’s all supposed to happen. but MOST of all be patient don’t get caught up in the details and having to have it all PERFECT. Enjoy this time you only get it once, if you can do that you will be greatly blessed and you’re guests will be greatly blessed! what could be more important!
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Well on top of the fact that she is a good friend of Andy’s and now mine which is exciting! Mabyn has a wonderful out going friendly carefree personality that makes working with her a blast. She takes her job seriously and does her best to capture your day so that you can hold on to those memories forever. Oh, and her willingness to risk her life on a pair of skis with a camera in hand to do an engagement photo shoot helps as well.
Hair: MY good Friend Amber Drury//Makeup Artist: Again my good friend Amber Drury//Dress Designer & Store Location: Davids Bridal/ Davids Bridal Syracuse NY
Jewelry: Trifari/JCpenny’s//Veil or Hair accessories: I found my veil for $13 online at Light-In-The-Box//Shoes: Famous Footwear//Bridesmaids Dresses: Davids Bridal Syracuse//Grooms Attire: Suits from Men’s Wearhouse Syracuse//Ceremony Venue: Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center//Reception Venue:Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center//Florist: Silk flowers from Amazon, Hobby Lobby and ACMoore//DJ: Our good Friend Jeremy Holden//Caterer: Casowasco//Cake: Andy’s Aunt Joan Stoughton//Event Designer: Andy and I with lots of help from family and friends//Wedding Coordinator: Our good friend Trina Holden ( Jeremy and Trina make and Awesome Husband and Wife team)//Lighting: Casowasco House lighting//Invitations & Stationary: I designed and painted my own invitations
I am SO excited to share with you all this particular Love Story! Not just because it was an epically beautiful wedding or that my clients are MEGA AWESOME! Mostly I’m uber excited due to the fact that this was my FIRST EVER destination wedding! Courtney and Craig loved my work enough to fly me down to Anna Maria Island in sunny FL to capture their special day! Legit, my jaw hit the floor! I couldn’t believe it, how could I say no?! So off I flew to blue waters and 80 degree weather in February…oh my life is so hard sometimes! 😉
The whole process exceeded any expectation I might have had! I can’t say I wasn’t nervous toting my gear through airports, luckily no one thought I was suspicious and I made it down just fine. Courtney greeted me at the airport and we were off running! We did errands, made plans, and soaked in the weather! I was able to meet both families ahead of time and take part in their rehearsal process! It was SO MUCH FUN! Plus hanging out for 3 days in a mini paradise didn’t hurt either 😉 The actual day of the wedding was perfect! Not too hot, crystal clear skies, a GORGEOUS couple, and a pretty epic sunset to boot! My favorite part was the fact that I shot the whole wedding bare foot! Ahhhhhh exfoliation! 😉 A big thanks to my Bestie Donna for treking out to help shoot the wedding! She did a fantastic job! This whole experience has left me giddy and feeling like another family member! I truly love Courtney and Craig and I am so blessed to be their friend who happens to be their photographer!
Check out Courtney & Craig’s personal story after the pictures! 🙂
Hair/Makeup Artist: Renee Hair and Makeup Studio – Tampa Florida//Dress Designer & Store Location: Allure – Bought from SpyBabys//Jewelry: Swarovski//Veil or Hair accessories: Spy Babys//Shoes: Converse (designed by yours truly)//Bridesmaids Dresses: Victoria Secrets (multi-way dress)//Grooms Attire: Mr.Shop//Ceremony Venue: The Sandbar – Anna Maria Island, Florida//Reception Venue: Same//Florist: Flowers By Fudgie//DJ: Breezin DJ’s//Caterer: The Sandbar//Cake: Dom and Matts Cakery//Wedding Coordinator: Pattie Mckee//Invitations & Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas
Disclaimer: This is one of the longest blogs I’ve done in awhile, but tooooooootaly worth it!
I woke on a cloudy Saturday morning with a giant grin on my face. One of my absolute favorite couples was about to be married, and guess who got to capture it all? Why yours truly! I’ve been good friends with Elaine & Mike for years and when they finally decided to tie the knot I wouldn’t let them choose anyone else as their wedding photographer…literally, it was non-negotiable!
When I pulled up to the Frog Pond Bed & Breakfast in Skateateles it was pouring rain, but that didn’t stop Elaine’s sunny disposition! Today was the day she got to marry her other half, her puzzle piece, her Michael! Even though person after person kept asking to move things inside, Elaine & Mike had faith that their wedding would still go on as planned. Their faith proved founded as the pouring rain turned into a drizzle which then turned into a fine mist. Good enough! People pulled out chairs & umbrella’s and got ready!
During all of the rain hullabaloo, Elaine and Mike opted to see each other before the wedding. We set up the “First Look” session on the front porch of the Frog Pond. I felt so privileged to be the one behind the camera, to witness their love, and document their tears of joy. My heart went to mush right then and there! Their ceremony essentially took place in a cloud! Mist hovered around the tree tops as the bridesmaids bicycled down the isle! Their ceremony was so beautiful & full of emotion from their hand written vows to the foot washing, I was practically tearing up the whole time! As they took their first kiss the sun broke through the clouds like we were at the epic conclusion of a movie! It was such a confirmation of their union! They celebrated by journeying down the isle together on a tandem bicycle while their wedding party joyfully skipped behind them! The sun stayed out in celebration as the rest of the day consisted of photo shoots, amazing home made food, & a rockin’ dance party (which I did eventually partake in)! My eyes and heart couldn’t get enough of this glorious day. Everything was unique, beautiful, and heart felt. Thank you so much Elaine and Mike! I love you guys and it was truly an honor to capture your day!
How did you meet?
We met at a young adults Bible study at our church Faith Chapel in Syracuse. Jesus is spectacular!
How did your fiancé propose?
Michael proposed shortly after our one-year anniversary when we were exchanging Christmas gifts at his apartment. I opened his gift, which was a book that he had printed with all of our stories written in a fairytale fashion. When he got to the end of the book the last two pages were taped together but stated make this be our next memory. I opened the pages to see a picture of him down on one knee asking if I would marry him. He then proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me in person. ☺
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc.):
Well I am a tad bit untraditional in many ways so from the very start of my planning I knew that I wanted a “different” type of wedding. Many of my ideas people (including my fiancé!) thought I was crazy for until they actually saw them pan out including riding Bicycles down the aisle to making pinky promises at the altar to having the bridal party ribbon dance during the first dance. Most of all I wanted a laid back artistic wedding where people could just have fun and celebrate with us.
What details at your wedding had special significance?
A lot of the decorations were taken from my Mom or from vintage things that we have collected over the years so it was special to see things that I saw growing up on my wedding day
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Michael: First Look Elaine: Exchanging Vows
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
If I had a rewind button I’d take pictures of the set up process and make sure it wasn’t going to rain!
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
This memory was technically from the rehearsal the day before but it was hilarious so here goes… At the ceremony rehearsal we were figuring out the kinks of having the bridal party ride down the aisle. After we figured out how the bridesmaids were riding into the ceremony it came time for Michael and I to practice riding away on our tandem bike. Well when we reached the end of the row of chairs the front tire literally exploded and started smoking because it had been pumped up too much. Everyone was looking around because we thought a gunshot had gone off somewhere but then we realized it was the tire of the bicycle. Come to find out the tire had been pumped up to a PSI of 85 because I jokingly told a friend to pump it up to 100 PSI (In my defense I was making a road bike joke). In the end I think Michael and I did a great job considering we only got to practice once haha.
What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Our wedding bands.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
Relax; everything will work out one-way or the other. Save room for dessert!!
Anything else you’d like to add that will help me tell your story?
The wedding was a very big do it yourself wedding with a tight budget. Our families did a fantastic job of helping us make the wedding exactly how we pictured it in our heads. I wanted the wedding to have a vintage feel to it so I made all of the linen napkins and screen-printed old-fashioned bicycles on them. Overall we told our family what we pictured and they did everything in their power to make it happen including hanging candles in mason jars from the trees, helping us fix up a bunch of beat up vintage bicycles, setting up the tables, chairs, and place settings and not to mention making food for 130 people! Thank you to everyone that made our special day possible!
The Frog Pond in Skaneateles was gorgeous! Filled to the brim with antiques and nick knacks galore! I especially loved the vintage camera!
Mike & the groomsmen we rockin‘ the suspenders too! I love the Newsie look!
Isn’t Elaine ridiculously beautiful?! She’s also the most rockin’ DIY bride ever!
Mike constantly cracks me up aaaand you can see why!
The misty rain that encompassed their wedding just added to the romance. Who else can say they got married in a cloud?!
Plus the bicycles were the coolest thing since sliced bread and cheese in a can! AH! Everyone should ride bicycles down the isle!
Seriously some of my favorite wedding formals ever! Who else gets to take pictures of bridesmaids getting chased by groomsmen on bicycles?
Elaine’s vision for the Frog Pond was hands down the coolest thing this season! She spent the whole year collecting cute little vintage things & pictures for the shelves. PLUS she screen printed all of the hand made napkins, made all of the invitations, AND painted a portrait of the two of them….Uh can we say AMAZING?!!!
Here are Elaine’s invitations that she created head to toe! Guess who I’m calling when I get married?
Yes, she sewed paper together!!! Ah! I love them SO SO SO much!
Hair: Mckenzie Macko//Makeup Artist: My Mommy Kathleen//Dress Designer & Store Location: David’s Bridal, Syracuse//Jewelry: Gauges were ordered from a girl from Switzerland off of Etsy, Bracelet was from Ann Taylor, and Ring was Borrowed from my Mom//Veil or Hair accessories: Veil was borrowed from my Cousin Alicia; Flower in hair was from Target//Shoes: Ceremony Shoes I purchased from Lord and Taylor, Reception Flats were from DSW//Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung Style D476 in Pearl Pink , Alfred Sung Style D480 in Dove, and Alfred Sung Style D468 in Ebony//Grooms Attire: Hat from Calvin Klein, Button up from JcPennys, Skinny Neck tie and Suspenders from Macy’s, Vintage fit Trousers from Banana Republic, Clark shoes from DSW.//Ceremony Venue: Back field of the Frog Pond//Reception Venue: Restored Barn at the Frog Pond//Florist: My Aunt Karen did all of the girls bouquets and the boys boutonnières as well as making my bouquet which she incorporated my Papa’s Cuff links that had been a wedding present from my Nana on their wedding day. The flowers on the tables were store bought bouquets that my family arranged in mason jars.//DJ: Our friend and groomsman Ryan was our man on the microphone with a stupendous radio voice. Yay for Itunes!//Caterer: My large Italian family tackled the humongous task of making all of the food except for the Chicken Parmesan, (from Lasca’s) and the Bread, (from Cameron’s Bakery). My family is awesome!//Cake: We had a smorgasbord of deserts ranging from the best homemade pies you’ll ever taste made by my Nana, to a huge homemade cheesecake, and an array of cookies, brownies, cream puffs, and cannolis. The cake that we used for the traditional cake cutting was a carrot cake made by my twelve-year-old cousin Julia, aka Cake Boss junior.//Event Designer: All me baby, Elaine! Though I have to admit that my mom helped with placement of items//Wedding Coordinator: Both my family and Michael’s family were extremely helpful figuring out the kinks of the wedding day as well as making sure everything stayed within the time frames//Lighting: Candles, Christmas tree lights, and paper lanterns.//Invitations & Stationary: I handmade all of the invitations with the help of my friend and bridesmaid Lauren, and yes I did actually hand sew each invitation and RSVP’s, exhausting!
The best man Benjamin made a play list in Itunes for us, which made our lives a lot easier
Special Ceremony Music: The wedding party rode their Bicycles down the aisle to Love and Kisses by Ella Fitzgerald
First Dance: A Summer’s Song by Wavorly