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!
Sun, epic clouds, and a venue that makes me drool every time I set foot on the property. The perfect formula for an epic wedding at the Fontainebleau Inn! Erin & Meaghan’s day was the perfect blend of wedding elements. Then adding on the intense feeling of love by Erin, Meahgan, and their families, well that’s just the cherry on top of the sundae (they had those too!)!
From the moment I walked into the Fontainnebleau, there was a serenity through out. Erin and Meghan were calm, collected, and just so excited to be getting married! The whole day followed suite. We had plenty of time for a gorgeous “First Look,” their ceremony was full of stories and beautiful moments, and lastly the rockin’ party where everyone danced the night away! Amy and I had such a wonderful time capturing moment, after moment, after moment! Thank you so much to Erin & Meaghan for literally planning their event around me! It was so special and beautiful!
How did your fiance propose? Erin proposed to Meaghan on the day she had her wisdom teeth removed. Meaghan was taking care of her all day, running around getting her milkshakes and jello between her Nursing exams and classes. Erin was laying on the couch with a mouth full of gauze, Meaghan was sitting next to her on the floor making sure she was okay. At that moment Erin knew that no matter how sick or ridiculous she ever was, Meaghan would always be right there by her side. Barely being able to get the words out, Erin asked Meaghan to marry her. At first Meaghan thought maybe the question was drug induced, but once she realized what Erin was saying through all of the gauze and that she was 100% sober she said “yes!”
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
The planning process for me (Meag), was really easy because Erin took the reigns and was up to her elbows in emails, phone calls, and websites. I got to make the fun decisions and sit back and enjoy the fact we were getting married (Thank you, Erin!). The most fun we had in the planning process was the tasting–we highly recommend doing it, even if you know you’re going to love the food! It was a great time to meet the caterer in person and really get to know them.
Our bridesmaids wore gray, and that was a surprisingly easy decision, too. Our flowers came from Plenty of Posies, and they use whatever is in bloom at their farm so we wanted to make sure the girls would match whatever blooms ended up going in the bouquets. The flowers were beautiful, and the girls were comfortable. We couldn’t ask for more!
We actually found the venue through Mabyn! One of Erin’s friends had her as a photographer for her wedding, and we loved the pictures and knew instantly we wanted you. Prior to the wedding, we only had about 3 nice pictures of us together (we are so bad at taking pictures!!) and Mabyn did such a lovely job with everything. We were on her website scoping out the pictures and we came across a wedding she photographed in Alpine at the Inn. We googled it and found it wasn’t that far away from us, so we picked a weekend and took a roadtrip. Terri and John are the nicest (the Inn owners) and said they were almost booked solid except for the weekend of July 4th. We were sitting in the room next to library, and we could see the grounds through the windows and the flowers and the lake, and the thought of July 4th weekend made us think of cookouts and fireworks and watermelon ….it really was no contest, and we signed right then and there!
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?:
We had so many beautiful moments during our wedding, but we both agreed that one of the most memorable was our father/daughter dances. Erin danced with her dad to a Billy Joel song (Lullaby), and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place! Erin’s dad is very tall and is a policeman on the side, so to see him so broken up dancing with his little girl was so sweet. I danced with my dad to a Tom Petty song (Wildflowers), and we were both laughing because I kept stepping on his feet (I’m not the best dancer;)). So I asked him if I could stand on his feet like when I was little, and he let me. I’ve never seen my dad cry before, and it was so nice to feel that much love at that moment.
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
One of the funniest things that happened was that our DJ (who did everything else right, and we loved him!) played an Aladdin song as the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. Music is extremely important to us (sometimes I think of my life in terms of what soundtrack I would have;)) and we spent a lot of time planning and picking out what we wanted. We had a beautiful song picked out (Ben Rector, White Dress) that we wanted to play the entire time the party walked down, but I think he thought we only wanted it for us. So when I got to the back door of the Inn for my turn to walk down the aisle, I looked at my dad and said “Are you kidding me??” Several people videotaped the ceremony and you can hear me cackling with laughter the entire time I walk down the aisle to the lovely notes of “Whole New World.” It was good, actually, because it calmed my nerves and made me laugh.
One of our friends also got our grandparents to dance to that Robin Thicke song (Blurred Lines) and now every time it comes on the radio, Grandma says “Whew, that was a long song!”
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
The only thing we would change is to have made the reception longer. We had five hours from the ceremony to the end, and we could have danced longer and enjoyed our guests longer. Otherwise, everything really felt perfect and exactly what we wanted–we are both so lucky to have the support we do from our family and friends, and to share our love with each other and them at such a beautiful place was priceless.
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
One piece of advice we both agree would be to take it easy on the amount of craftiness and things that have to be done by yourselves for the reception/ceremony. We got crazy at first thinking and planning all sorts of Pinterest crafts for tables, favors, shower, rehearsal, etc. We did do some things, but we cut back a lot once we realized that we would be running around in the days prior trying to get everything done. And that our Michael’s bill would be astronomical! Little things that add personality and a bit of yourselves at the reception rock, but there is something to be said for relaxing and preparing just yourselves on the day of. We also were lucky because Terri and John (the Inn owners) set everything up for us, including what crafts we did have!
We would also definitely say to have the first look between the two prior to the ceremony. It was so nice to have that moment to ourselves and getting some of the more formal shots done before the ceremony meant that we could enjoy the cocktail hour/reception more. It was so exciting seeing Erin in her dress before everyone else did, and I got to remind her how much I love her and how I couldn’t wait to marry her.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?:
Mabyn and her assistant were wonderful; they danced with us, ate with us, and by the time they left they felt like family!
Our favorite part, though, was that she made us feel so beautiful and confident in our dresses. We both know that she does this for a living and is so good at it, but we genuinely felt in the moment that we were the only two she had ever called beautiful. She brought such joy and excitement with her that it felt like we were the only wedding party that she had ever been with!
A beautiful princess, a dashing prince (not in disguise ;oP) and a grandiose castle where the princess walked down the asile in her gorgeous gown. That’s what Holly & Jeff’s wedding was like, a perfect fairytale right out of a book! Holly’s hard work definitely paid off, all of her details made me feel like I was right in the middle of their fairy tale. Add in Jeff’s sweet touches, like surprising Holly wearing a cowboy hat and picking one of Holly’s favorite artists for their first dance, made it all the more personal and sweet. The Immaculate Conception Cathedral downtown is as epic as you can get in Syracuse and the Lakeshore did a fantastic job as always! Their day was just so sweet and beautiful and the best part is that Holly & Jeff were so willing to put up with my crazy schemes for epic photos! They even ran through a giant cloud of seagulls, not once, but TWICE in 90+ degree weather! Well their exertion paid off, because look at those seagulls fly! I had such a wonderful time documenting Holly & Jeff’s Story Book day! Thank you so much!
How did your fiance propose? He did it on a cruise vacation we took in May of 2010. The boat had just docked at Key West Florida and we were getting ready to go out for the day. Jeff insisted he spray me with sunscreen so that I wouldn’t get burned. When he pointed the bottle of spray on sunscreen at my face, he then asked me to close my eyes so I wouldn’t get any in my eyes. When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee. There were no doubts in my mind what I would say.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): On the airplane ride back, I bought a bridal magazines and a notebook. I think I had our colors, date, guest list, and a rough sketch of our centerpieces in a few hours. I guess I was just a little excited. We ended up picking dusty lilac for the color ofthe bridesmaids dresses because it was my mom’s wedding color. I also always wanted a fairytale-like wedding in a castle. When I walked into the Cathedral there was no turning back.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? I think the most memorable moment of the day was when Jeff surprised me for our first dance song by putting on a cowboy hat and picking a country song by my favorite artist. I grew up in a small town so country music was a big part of my life. Jeff on the other hand..not so country. So for him to pick my all time favorite band and dance with a cowboy hat on totally shows how much he loves me. I would also have to say another very memorable moment was dancing with my dad. Of course I didn’t even make it through half the song before crying.
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? The day was so perfect and fairy-tale like. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, unless I could have made time go slower.
Any advice for future bride & grooms? You have all this adrenaline, excitement, worry: will I look okay? Will everything go okay? What if?.?s and so on. Then the day comes and when you see your soon to be husband/wife, time stops still and nothing else matters. Looking Jeff into the eyes when walking down the aisle and when saying our vows, I felt like the happiest girl in the world. Seeing him standing there made everything perfect! no matter if our limo bus broke down the night before or any other details which didn’t go as planned.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Mabyn is by far the most amazing photographer I know. She is incredibly creative with her work and puts a 110 percent effort into making your day run smoothly. She knows how to capture lifetime memories, is so easy and organized to work with, flexible and adaptable to your wishes, and her contagious energy adds even more excitement to your big day. She is also great at helping bustle dig puffy dresses!
Hair: Miracles, Fayetteville, NY//Makeup Artist: Miracles, Fayetteville, NY//Dress Designer & Store Location: Dress Your Fancy, Green NY//Jewelry: Dress Your Fancy, Green NY//Veil or Hair accessories: Dress Your Fancy, Green NY//Shoes: I found them online at http://www.lightinthebox.com//Bridesmaids Dresses: I had my dresses made by my sister?s friend, who is a fashion designer. Her business is on facebook called Gee June. Her name is Layne Dann. I wanted the girls to be able to pick their strap style, as well as front and back style so that they would be comfortable as can be J//Grooms Attire: Tuxedo Junction//Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Downtown Syracuse.//Reception Venue: Lake Shore Yacht and Country Club, Cicero NY, overlooking Oneida lake//Florist: Lots of Flowers, Cicero, NY//Transportation: Caz Limos//DJ: Charlie Locke, my amazing and talented cousin!//Caterer: Karen?s Catering//Cake: Lauren Longo, Marcellus, NY//Event Designer: Andrea Arcarisi Pawling//Wedding Coordinator: Andrea Arcarisi Pawling//Invitations & Stationary: We bought our own kits from AC Moores and printed them ourselves. It was fun doing it together!//Other: Chair Covers: Elizabeths Chair Covers
One of the nice things about being a wedding photographer is all of the beautiful places I get to visit. I’ve seen some of the prettiest venue’s in the area! There is literally a place to suite every taste, whether traditional or out of the box Central NY has it all!
Dori and Kyle took full advantage of this fact. They had a traditional Catholic service in Binghamton NY and then we took a beautiful drive to Ithaca NY to take advantage of nature at the Cornell Plantations and Ithaca Falls. After the formals we jaunted over to the Lake Watch Inn, which is always breath taking! The whole day was gorgeous with epic shots galore! The whole feel of the day was peaceful, the kind of peace you encounter when two people are really 2 halves to one piece. It was easy to see why they chose each other! Tim and I had a wonderful time capturing all that Dori & Kyle put together. It was such a tribute to their love! Thanks Dori & Kyle!!
How did you meet?
We met at a party Junior year in college, at a mutual friends house. We were playing a card game and Kyle was getting hit on by another girl. He looked somewhat uncomfortable and annoyed so i decided to help him out. The girl was hanging all over him and I finally looked at her and said would you please stop touching my boyfriend! The girl got really embarassed and walked away. Kyle proceeded to thank me and we started talking after that. The rest is history.
How did your fiance propose?
Kyle knows that I am a very hard person to surprise, especially when it came to something as big as this. Little did I know that Kyle had been scheming for weeks with my friends on the best way to propose. After much thought he decided to propose on the one day of the year that I would never expect, his brithday! I was working the weekend at the hospital, when i decided to call Kyle and asked him to come and have lunch with me. He got to my office with a picnic packed lunch. One of my best friends and bridesmaids Kristin was there as well. We were both starving and as I started to rip through the bag taking out various objects I got to a tupperware container with a box in it. Very confused, and not expecting anything I replied: “What the heck?” Kyle immediately took the tuperware from me and took the box out. Before I knew what was happening he was down on one knee, in my office at work mind you, asking me to marry him! 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..):
We were going for simple! I wanted the least amount of stress in my life as possible. Kyle and I were engaged for a little over a year so I started right away. I knew that I wanted as little as possible to worry about as time got closer and closer to the wedding day. For invitations we just looked at the various websites online. Custom invitations were way to expensive. The online websites varry in price and have a little something for everyone. I like the site we chose was great because you could be as fancy or as simple as you wanted with what you included with the invitations.The church was a no brainer. It is two blocks from our house and is the church that Kyle and I attend weekly. I also loved the idea that I could walk from our house to the ceremony! We picked the venue because it is a beautiful location near Ithaca Ny, where I am from. We really liked this place because they cater the food right there and all of the decorating is done for you at no extra cost. We chose Wegmans for flowers because we had seen their work from a previous wedding we had been to and loved their work! We also chose Wegmans for the cake because we wanted 4 different kinds of cake, knew we loved the cake at Wegmans, and it was cheap! Purple is my favorite color so that was an easy choice for the bridesmaid dresses. I have to say finding the right dress for the girls was the most difficult part of the attire for the wedding. I wanted them to look good with my dress but also be comfortable and light weight for the girls, since the wedding was in the middle of august. I let the girls pick their jewelery and shoes as long as they were silver. We had the guys wear black vests as we felt they would appreciate the least amount of purple as possible. We wanted to do something special for the ties so we ended up buying the guys ties and giving them to them as a gift.
What details at your wedding had special significance?
1. My grandfather played a huge role in my life growing up. So I decided to honor him by stopping half way down the aisle and giving him a kiss. I also carried his handkerchief with me as my something old. 2. We also gave an offering to the Virgin Mary and decided instead of just giving one bouquet that we would have each of our grandmothers give us a bouquet to symbolize the importance of strong and loving women in our lives. 3. We had my stepfathes band play at our rehearsal dinner, they learned to play a song especially for my mom. The night of our rehearsal dinner I had my mom and Kyle dance to the song Momma’s song by carrie underwood – Performed by her husband’s band. This was a special moment that I wanted my mom and Kyle to share. I wanted to thank my Mom for everything she has done for me and to reassure her that I was truely marrying a wonderful person and the love of my life, and that she didn’t need to worry about me. My mom and I were reduced to tears. I know that it was a really special moment for her to share with Kyle. 4. Our gift. Instead of doing favors we donated money to the SPCA of Tompkins County in honor of our two dogs, one of which is from that shelter.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
For me it was when they first introduced us as husband and wife in the church. I got so excited that I jumped up and down a little. For Kyle it was seeing me walk down the aisle and being introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Kyle McGowan.
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
Definately would not have had an open bar all night!
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
When one of the groomsman gave us a pole dance on the party bus.
What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
Enjoy each other! The day goes by fast and can be crazy at times. Just remember why you are there and try to take it all in and have fun!
Dori & Kyle’s home was absolutely gorgeous! I loved all of the light & colors!
Plus, it was only a couple of blocks from St. Patricks so they girls decided to walk to the church!
St. Patricks is beautiful!
We got to visit some amazing spots for formals! Cornell Plantations and Ithaca Falls! Droooooooling! 🙂
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Lake Watch Inn! Look at this set up?!
Hair: White Rose Day Spa//Makeup Artist: White Rose Day spa//Dress Designer & Store Location: San Patrick, Dress Your Fancy in Greene NY – Shelly was so honest and down-to-earth, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience when purchasing my wedding gown. She went above and beyond anything I could have ever imagined.//Jewelry: Pearl Bracelet – Mansour Jewelers – Ithaca NY, Earrings – Etsy.com
Veil or Hair accessories: Veil – from Dress your Fancy, Headband – Etsy.com//Shoes: Colorifics//Bridesmaids Dresses: Eden Maids – Bonjoulie’s in Horseheads NY//Grooms Attire: Calvin Klein Radnor Tuxedo – Sal Sterns in Binghamton NY for Jim’s Formal Wear//Ceremony Venue: St. Patrick’s Church, Binghamton NY//Reception Venue: The Lakewatch Inn, Lansing NY//Additional photo venue: The Cornell Plantations and The Ithaca Falls
Florist: Wegman’s (Johnson City NY)//Transportation: T& Z Partybus//DJ: MEgasounds Music//Caterer: The Lakewatch Inn//Cake: Wegmans (Ithaca NY)//Event Designer: The Lakewatch Inn//Lighting: The Lakewatch Inn and Megasounds music//Invitations & Stationary: Weddingpaperdivas.com
Special Ceremony Music://Introductions: Wedding Party – Rocky Theme song, Beautiful day – U2, The Bills shout song, The way you make me feel – Michael Jackson, Live your life – TI. Bride & Groom – This will be – Natalie Cole.//Father/Daughter: My Wish – Rascal Flatts//Mother/Son: Find your Wings – Mark Harris//First Dance: She’s Everything – Brad Paisley