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 all my travels the past couple of years I still contest that CNY is still one of the prettiest places I’ve known. Maybe it’s the familiar rolling hills or the lush green summers, either way I love it. I even love the little cities & towns where people pay attention to detail. When Erica and Josh told me they were going to get married in the heart of Syracuse, Armory Square, It was a breath of fresh air. One of my favorite couples in one of my favorite cities!
You may remember Josh & Erika came to visit me not too long ago in NC. They too have the travel bug and are always going here and there, so for all of us to celebrate their wedding day where we all met was just perfect. I met Josh years ago through our young adults group and he met (now wifey) Erica in a Starbucks by Syracuse University. The Cuse really has connected me with all sorts of amazing people. I am forever grateful for it’s consistency and love.
Erica’s family flew in from Cali, where I am currently writing this blog post. (See! It’s all come full circle!) And Josh gathered his family and closest friends for an intimate alley wedding behind BC Bistro. I’m a “throw the rule book out the window” kind of girl when it comes to weddings so I loved this idea! It was perfectly suited to Josh & Erika. Because their wedding was so intimate, we all really got to spend a lot of time together just enjoying every moment. It was a very special event and I’m so honored that I got to document it all. Thank you to Josh and Erika, I love you both and I can’t wait to see you again in just a few short days!
Amy Semple nabbed the perfect moment on the left!
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding: We started by getting rid of all the classic assumptions of a wedding and wanted to create an experience representing us and who we are. From there we wanted to have something, in a modern urban setting that showed our taste and affinity for the local atmosphere. After eating at BC Bistro one night we fell in love with the food and ambiance including: the location, the brick, and intimacy it creates. Both of us loving the serenity and peacefulness of the outdoors, we both agreed on green as the main color. Beyond that we wanted a simple yet modern feel to the venue. Having natural light flood the ceremony was important to Erika in creating the experience she wanted each guest to feel. Both of us were working and couldn’t seem to pull the whole thing together to what we wanted. However, once Dutch and Cherie got involved, it really become a wedding. It was their touch that created the experience. We had not planned a lot of aspects since we were not completely aware of what needed to be done. However, thanks to Cherie’s coordination, planning, and aesthetic skill, the ceremony came together beautifully. It was wonderful that Cherie really understood what we wanted to convey and was able to create tangible pieces to create the intangible experience we envisioned.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? Josh – The two moments I’ll never forget are the vows I iterated to Erika… barely comprehensible, and the speech my brother gave. Both touched my heart in a special way and were from people I care deeply about. Erika – The most memorable moments for me were seeing all my loved ones in one place. Being far from home, and having family scattered across the US, this rare opportunity to see everyone talking, laughing, and sharing a meal was beautiful. I’ll never forget Josh’s face when I first saw as I came down the aisle! Like a little boy about to open a huge present.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? When dan explained that to truly understand Erika, you had to know Hector – that was pretty funny. Probably because it was a truth that everybody sitting their knew.
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? It was much more than we thought it would be and had even planned for. We wouldn’t change a thing
Any advice for future bride & grooms? Erika – enjoy the process because it moves so quick. Don’t be too anxious to “get to the wedding”, because that is simply the step… have fun with every step in-between. Josh – Shuck everything you think about what a wedding should be. This is your day and it should represent you, your character, and what you hold most dear to your heart. Start with a clean slate because this day can hold any activity in any location you want. The first step in having the best wedding and one of the best days of your life, is first letting go of all the things you think you “have” to do.
What was your biggest fear before hiring Mabyn? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead? We were desperately afraid that we would have great photos and a fantastic time. We realized this fear during our you + me session as we were able to spend the whole weekend with Mabyn; a true treat for anybody who gets the chance. The quality of the photos we received only enhanced our suspicions, that hiring anybody but Mabyn would have been a mistake.
What, specifically, was your favorite part of working with Mabyn Ludke Photography and why? She made us feel very comfortable the entire time, and what is usually a part of the day that is “in the way” ended up being one of the highlights. We had a blast during photography. You can tell that she loves her work, and this is the best type of service person to hire.
If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say? Forget about money, photos are the only thing (besides your spouse) that is going to carry over and last from that day. You only get one shot to get good ones, and the opportunity will never be there again. Don’t take any chances, get the best… go with Mabyn Ludke.
Hair: Martha Zemsta // Makeup: Erika (me) // Dress Designer and Store: J. Jill at Nordstrom // Jewelry: Bauble bar // Shoes: Manolo Blahnik // Groom: Express navy pants and vest, Shirt from Sacks, shoes from Johnston Murphy // Ceremony and Reception: BC Bistro Armory Square // Additional Photo Venue: Franklin Square // Florist: Wegmans! // Caterer: BC Bistro // Event and Wedding Coordinator: Cherie Schultz // Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Today is my last full day in Syracuse. I plan on spending it with family and friends and soaking up as much of them as possible. These last few days have flown by & I’ve been shooting like a crazy woman. Only 1 session had to be rescheduled due to weather, thanks Syracuse, but otherwise the week was flawless! I can’t wait to share all of the goodies to come, enjoy these little sneaks! See you soon NC!
Kristin & Morgen’s Love Story
Jocelyn & Bryan’s You + Me Session
Josh & Erika’s Love Story
Chris & Lindsey’s You + Me Session
The best way for me to get clients is word of mouth. I shoot one wedding and their friend sees it on facebook and asks “who shot that wedding?” Then I receive an email or a phone call not too soon after. Sometimes I’ll get a cold call from a google search, but most often someone has referred me. Liz and Tom are a little different. Yes, they got referrals from other friends/weddings I had shot, but mostly because they were there at them rather than seeing pictures online.
I remember the first time I met Liz and Tom, it was Julia & Lee’s wedding and Liz was a bridesmaid. I remember Liz’s joyful spirit and sweeeeeet dance moves! She and Tom TORE. IT. UP. Fast forward two seasons later and I noticed a rockin’ couple out on the dance floor of Liz & Mike’s rockin’ wedding party and low and behold it was Liz & Tom! I was so happy to see them again! I really feel our relationship is like Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon…
Then when Liz emailed me after her engagement I was SO EXCITED! Not only did I feel like we were all friends already, but I knew their party would be fantastic! On top of that, both couples who’s weddings Liz & Tom attended were there. Oh and it gets better, Mariel & Jamie were there too! My soon to be couple! Needless to say it was like a mini wedding reunion for me. I had so much fun catching up with all of my couples and dancing the night away! Thank you so much to Liz & Tom. I can’t believe how full circle everything has come!
How did your fiance propose? Tom proposed on July 4, 2012. He had mentioned wanting to check out the west trail at Onondaga Lake Park earlier that week, so I suggested going there. Little did I know he was waiting for a bike ride to propose. He was almost too nice as we got our picnic packed and our bikes in the car. We biked for about a half an hour, found a bench on the west side of Onondaga Lake, and had a picnic. I had asked him to get something from the backpack and he was taking a long time. I was just about to impatiently grab the bag from him when he got down on one knee. I was shocked and thrilled. I made him stay at the bench for two hours as we called everyone.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): Sometimes the wedding planning overwhelmed us when we were at home, so Tom and I scheduled wedding planning dates at Barnes and Noble and Roji Tea Lounge to go over the details and our progress. It sounds very businessy, but it worked for us and forced us to have some coffee dates and time together.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? The coolest part was getting to the cocktail hour after taking pictures. Everyone we love was in the same room waiting for us. It was overwhelming.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? During our ceremony, Tom’s brother and sister in law were seated on opposite sides of the circular chapel. Their daughter, Susanna, our 1.5 year old niece, couldn’t decide which parent she wanted to be with more, so she ran back and forth across the middle of the chapel. It was funny to watch, and it lightened the mood. There was also a spill of a tin of mini Altoids, which our three-year-old nephew Oliver graciously cleaned up one-by-one.
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? Nothing! It was a wonderful day and a great party.
Any advice for future bride & grooms? Remember to take time out during the last few weeks of your wedding to relax and be with friends and family. Most of the big stuff is done. Don’t stress too much about the details.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Mabyn took us out of the reception for a nighttime photo shoot. It was so special because it forced us to appreciate a quiet moment. Mabyn is also super fun and thoughtful. She even showed up on the dance floor at the end of the night. Because of her kind spirit and wonderful talent, I knew I wanted Mabyn as my wedding photographer even before I was engaged.
Hair: Soigne Salon//Makeup Artist: Erica Abdo//Dress Designer & Store Location: Impression from Off the Rack (SpyBabies)//Jewelry: For a necklace, I wore my grandmother’s pearls that she wore on her wedding day. My earrings were family heirlooms; my cousin Rosemary surprised me at the rehearsal dinner with them. They were diamond earrings that had been made from her mother (my great aunt) and grandmother’s (my great grandmother’s) engagement rings. It was special to have jewelry representing both my grandmother and grandfather’s family.//Veil o//Hair accessories: Off the Rack (SpyBabies)//Shoes: Blue heels at the ceremony (brand unknown); New Balance Blue Sneakers at the reception//Bridesmaids Dresses: I asked my bridesmaids to just pick a purple dress and any shoes they wanted.//Grooms Attire: Men’s Wearhouse//Ceremony Venue: Le Moyne College Panasci Family Chapel//Reception Venue: Genesee Grande Hotel
Additional photo venue: Franklin Square. Tom and I used to work at 500 Plum Street in the heart of Franklin Square when we were at Eric Mower and Associates, so it was special to us.//Florist: Wildflowers//Transportation: American Limousine//DJ:Jason Paussa from Salt City Sound Machine//Caterer: Genesee Grande Hotel//Cake: The very wonderful Sally Mitchell//Event Designer: Jamie and Sarah at the Genesee Grande Hotel helped us pull everything together. They were the most fun, chill people to be around.//Lighting: My dear friend and coworker John Haley hooked us up with wonderful up lighting.//Invitations & Stationary: Tom designed our invitations and save-the-dates.
If I had to describe this summer the prime words would be hot and bright! There were very few wedding days where rain threatened to throw our picture plans into a tizzy. Liz & Alton’s wedding day was picture perfect! Literally! As you scroll down you’ll see what I mean, bright blue skies, white fluffy clouds, a gorgeous orange sunset…it’s a good thing Liz and Al like me so much, otherwise I think they’d get sick of all the different photos I had them take! 😉
Their love story wasn’t just picture perfect because of the weather. Those two are always thinking about little ways to make me happy! Number one, Liz and her girls had these great parasoles that really added something special to their formals, number two was the guys wearing these great heather gray suits! I’ve been seeing these a lot more lately and it’s a great choice every time! Add in some bow ties and you’ve got a classic look with just a dash of vintage. Al definitely pulled off that cool Mad Men look that he channeled in their You + Me session! Oh yeah and did I mention Liz’s dress? Did I MENTION HER DRESS? Well her dress and I fell in love immediately, I mean c’mon…ruffles AND feathers! A girl can’t go wrong!
So other than the fact that I was super trigger happy (click! click! twitch! twitch!) I had an amazing time capturing all of the joy and beauty that surrounded this fabulous couple! Thank you so much Liz and Alton! It was an honor to capture your gorgeous day!
(Photo on the right by Amy Semple my fabulous assistant!)
How did your fiance propose? He proposed on Valentine’s Day. I was in my pajamas and we were on our way to get take out food! It was perfect:)
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): I really wanted a very classy, vintage look. The whole planning process was about a year and a half! It was allot of fun planning every detail and all worth seeing it all come together perfectly.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? Probably first walking down the isle at the church. The cathedral was breathtaking and more than I could have imagined.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? Probably seeing my bridesmaid, Kerry, catch the bouquet. She couldn’t have looked more terrified!:)
Any advice for future bride & grooms? Trust your instincts and everything will come together as it should. Don’t stress over the little stuff. It won’t matter in the end.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Mabyn is not only an incredibly talented photographer, she is an amazing person. She was caring, funny, personable, and helped me with sooo many details on my wedding day! I could not have asked for a more amazing photographer to not only capture such beautiful photos, but to be with us on our special day. I am so thankful we found her:) We love you Mabyn!
Hair:Meg Loveland/Jillain Pastella//Makeup Artist: Holly Piselli//Dress Designer & Store Location: Allure Bridal/ Spy Babies//Jewelry: Borrowed from a friend-antique//Veil or Hair accessories: Veil from Spy Babies and hair accessories from David’s Bridal//Shoes: Angela Nuran//Bridesmaids Dresses: Impression Bridal//Grooms Attire: Tuxedo Junction//Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Basilica//Reception Venue: Traditions ant the Links//Additional photo venue: Franklin Square//Florist: The Floral Gardens//Transportation: American Limousine//DJ: Black Tie Entertainment//Caterer: Traditions at the Links//Cake: Michele Swindell//Lighting: Black Tie Entertainment