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!
This is one of my most favorite times of year! It’s CANVAS GIVEAWAY TIME!!! WOOHOO!
Usually I do this right before Christmas, because I LOVE giving away presents! This year though, my schedule was a level of crazy that I was not prepared for. So here we are about a month after Christmas, but hey, belated presents are still presents and we love them ANY time of year!
This season we have 17 fantastic contestants! Here are the rules:
Vote once a day, every day, until midnight of January 26th. The couple with the most votes will win a free 16×24 canvas to feature in their home! Get your family, friends, coworkers, gym buddies, strangers on the street, etc…involved! The more people you can get to vote for you, the better your chances! Only votes on the actual poll at the bottom of this page will count. “Write in’s” on FB are not valid. I will announce the winner next Monday, January 27th.
Now I need to put in a disclaimer here, in past years there has been issues trying to vote from multiple devices. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. I think it has to do with the ip address. If you have any issues voting, please contact me at MabynLudke@gmail.com.
Autumn weddings! Autumn weddings! It’s that time of year where I get to my autumn weddings! I love autumn weddings…if you hadn’t noticed. Even if they’re cold and rainy, there’s just something about the atmosphere that makes my blood pump! Erin & Ben’s gorgeous fall day may have had drizzle, but it didn’t lack that autumn pop that I crave so much!
Funny thing, You might recognize Erin from a wedding I was IN last May. She and I were bridesmaids for her cousin Missy. The 3 of us were reunited again a few months later to celebrate Erin’s big day. This time though, I stayed behind the camera the whole time! Erin and I have a TON in common and when she introduced me to her fiance I had a strange moment of Deja Vu. His name, more than his face struck a chord, and after a few minutes of discussing our past endeavor I was pleased to find out that he and I had both done musical theatre at SUNY Cortland! I knew his parents from my college days and had met him briefly in what seems like another life! Both lives somehow have come full circle and it plopped me right in the middle of Erin & Ben’s amazing wedding day with love, laughter, and MORE laughter! We had so much fun scouring downtown Syracuse for the perfect shots and then dancing the night away with all the little critters at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo! A huge thank you to Erin & Ben for choosing me to capture your fun filled wedding day. It was such a joy!
How did your fiance propose? He took me to the zoo and while we stood in front of our favorite animal exhibit, The Red Panda, he put his arm around me and started to tell me he really loved me. I asked him if he was feeling ok or if we needed to leave because he wasn’t feeling well and he said no, that he just loved me. He started digging in his pocket and I asked what he was doing and he put his arm around me and placed the ring in front of me and asked me to marry him 🙂
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
The planning was stressful but awesome. We picked the venue because we thought it would be fun to have a wedding there and when we found out they did weddings there, there was no contest or need to shop around. We live the fall so the brown and orange came from that.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? seeing each other when I (Erin) walked down the aisle.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? The entire limo experience after the ceremony during photo taking 🙂 After photos at the Most, Ben and I went with Mabyn to take more photos. The limo pulled away from The MOST and didn’t know that we weren’t in the limo. Adam Cayea, a good friend of ours and my cousin and Maid of Honor, Cait Dahls’, Boyfriend, said to the driver, “uh you do realize we don’t have the bride and groom?!” They drove around for a bit until they saw us. At that point, Adam, my cousin, Tim Dahl, and my cousin and bridesmaid, Jess Lalkas’ Husband Jeff lalka came upon us. Adam scolded us and said that they were very worried about us… it was awesome 🙂
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?More decorating in the reception space and the rain staying away…except its good luck.
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
During planning, stress is going to happen. Your going to argue with each other. Don’t think that its your relationship. Always remember how much you love each other and how much you want to just marry that person and be with them for the rest of your lives and nothing else.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?
I love Mabyns’ face!!! (hehe… and the rest of her too) 🙂 But seriously, Mabyns’ awesome personality and willingness to take chances and think outside the box with photos was awesome. She was willing to work with what we wanted and make some suggestions of her own too. Also, I never once had to worry or be stressed about the photography. From start to finish, it was a wonderful, exciting and carefree experience. THANK YOU MABES from the bottom of our hearts!!!
Hair: Aunt Sue (Sue Dahl of Cliptomania Hair Salon)//Makeup Artist: Melissa Wright Mitrevski//Dress Designer & Store Location: Alfred Angelo at Alfred Angelo Signature in East Syracuse, NY//Jewelry: eBay//Veil or Hair accessories: My Veil was my mothers (Kathy Gilbert) when she married my step father (Jeff Gilbert)//Shoes: orange strappy heels from DSW Show warehouse//Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo//Grooms Attire: tuxedo from Tuxedo Junction//Ceremony Venue: Plymouth Congregational Church//Reception Venue: Rosamond Gifford Zoo//Additional photo venue: Armory Square, The MOST//The Genesee Grand Hotel//Florist: Arnold’s Florist, Homer NY//Transportation: Executive Limousine and Sedan, Cortland NY//DJ: Russel Lee (brides uncle) of RDL Music//Caterer: Catering at the Zoo, James Mahler//Cake: Gabe Cruz//Event Designer: bride and groom//Invitations & Stationary: BasicInvite.com
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.
As you might have noticed with my wedding sneaks, we’ve got a bit of a theme going. I’m REALLY enjoying it! So far at every wedding I’ve snagged a nighttime shot. After all of the big events are done at the reception and the bride & groom have gotten a chance to party and say hello to everyone (typically at the tail of everything) I steal the couple away for about 20-30 minutes to do a mini shoot. Not only am I creating epic images for my fantastic clients, but I’ve found that it’s a great way for the bride and groom to get a break and reminisce over their beautiful day! I find that it’s the perfect bookend if you do a “First Look” session. You get to start and end your day with a quiet moment with just the two of you. Here’s a sneakeroo of Liz & Tom’s gorgeous day, this one just screams romance! Enjoy!
Liz & Tom’s Love Story