Wedding

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Liz & Nathen

This has been a wedding that I have been anticipating with bated breathe. Since before their engagement session, I’ve watched Liz & Nathen hope, dream, plan, and then wait. You see Liz & Nathen have literally had oceans between them for the past four years. Liz here in North Carolina and Nathen living in Australia. They fell in love through writing. They traveled halfway around the world to visit each other. They endured tedious government systems all for the sake of love. Could there be a more romantic story? C’mon! To make things legal and final both of them had to jump through an endless row of hoops. But each hoop was worth it all. When you see their dreamy elopement at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NC you’ll understand.

The Providence Cotton Mill

Liz introduced me to this incredible venue. She sent me links to several beautiful locations, but the Providence Cotton Mill was a unique find. I had never seen a wedding venue quite like it and I was immediately smitten. Liz still hadn’t decided where their elopement would take place, but I just had to visit the cotton mill. In fact, I’ll be doing a whole feature on the mill and all it has to offer. So stay tuned!

The Providence Cotton Mill provides a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for a wedding. It’s completely open, no windows and no air, but the aethstic of is breathtaking. The building is huge and can hold hundreds of people! But for Liz & Nathen’s tiny elopement, it was a dramatic contrast. I also have to brag on the staff at The Providence Cotton Mill. Both times I’ve visited I’ve been welcomed warmly. They happily answered my questions and helped Liz & Nathen in any way they needed.

Finally!

After such anticipation, you could not have had a more perfect day for a wedding. The sun was shining, it wasn’t too hot for the venue, and Liz & Nathen were IN ONE PLACE! As the sun set, Liz glided down the longest aisle anyone has ever walked, to see her groom. She paused a few feet away, took a deep breath, and then invited Nathen to turn. Shock quickly turned to joy when Nathen beheld his bride. They shared a sweet moment and then arm in arm walked to their long awaited ceremony.  They both shared hand written vows, befitting their love story. Every word resonated deeply with their long distance love. They sealed it all with a well deserved kiss as we all cheered our approval. The word “finally” doesn’t even cover the relief and joy we all felt as their marriage was made official. Everyone was so happy!

We ended the evening with cake, photos, laughter, and hugs. A beautiful day for my beautiful friends. Thank you Liz & Nathen for choosing me to capture it all for you!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

P.S. funny side story – Liz & I met 5 years to the day that she got married. We both agreed our friendship was kismet from the beginning!

Groom & ring bearers help decorate the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCThe ring bearers race across the lawn at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NC

The Providence Cotton Mill is a unique venue for a weddingA reception table at the Providence Cotton MillWedding decor at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCDreamy Elopement at the Providence Cotton MillBeautiful cake table at the Providence Cotton MillGroom laughs as he waits for his bride at the Providence Cotton Mill in MaidenBride helps decorate the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCBride getting the details just right at the Providence Cotton MillWedding gown hangs in the doorway at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCThe bride's shoes elegantly posed in window light at the Providence Cotton Mill The bride looks lovingly at her gown as she gets ready at the Providence Cotton MillBridesmaids help the bride into her wedding gown at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCA beautiful bride at the Providence Cotton Mill in MaidenA bride puts on her jewelry in the window of the Providence Cotton MillA bride twirls in her wedding gown at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCBride walks down the aisle at the Providence Cotton MillGroom see's his bride for the first time at the Providence Cotton Mill in MaidenDreamy Elopement at the Providence Cotton MillRing bearers snuggle with their mom during this Providence Cotton Mill elopementA peek through the window during this Providence Cotton Mill elopement in Maiden, NCDreamy Elopement at the Providence Cotton MillBride gets emotional during their wedding ceremony at the Providence Cotton MillGroom gives his heart felt vows at his Providence Cotton Mill elopementCouple holds hands during their elopement at the Providence Cotton MillCouple walks hand in hand after the ceremony of their Providence Cotton Mill elopementA sweet kiss after the wedding ceremony at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCThe look of love of a bride and groom at the Providence Cotton Mill in MaidenCouple snuggles in the doorway of the Providence Cotton Mill on their wedding dayDreamy Elopement at the Providence Cotton MillGroup hug at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NC with the wedding partyWedding party eats cake during their Providence Cotton Mill ElopementThe bride and groom walk hand in hand at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCThe bride and groom snuggle on the patio of the Providence Cotton Mill Dreamy Elopement at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NCBride and groom pose in one of the large windows at the Providence Cotton Mill The Providence Cotton Mill near Maiden, NC lit up at night with the bride and groom in it's window

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Dreamy Elopement at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, NC | Liz & Nathen

Wedding

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Nicola & Gabe knew they didn’t want a big fancy affair for their wedding day. They wanted simple and sweet surrounded by those they love most. So when these two started planning their wedding, it was only natural that a civil ceremony would be the perfect fit. They did some research and found that their wedding would take place at the Hickory Police Department. Not the most glamorous idea, but that didn’t matter to these two.

The Hickory Plan

When you have a civil ceremony, you don’t have a ton of control. You can try and plan a day and even a time, but it’s really up to the magistrate and how many other people are waiting in line. So with a little bit of buffer in their schedule, Nicola and Gabe chose a date and time and told everyone to come along. We all knew the risks of having to wait awhile and we were all happy to do so. Just as long as these two love birds got to say “I Do” at the end, we were happy campers!

So we arrived at the Hickory Police Department at the scheduled time. Everyone was all smiles and laughter as Nicola and Gabe walked into the building to start the process. They walked back out moments later with a giant plot twist! The Hickory magistrate had called in sick for the day! No one would be able to marry them there.

The Newton Plan

Well that just wouldn’t do for Nicola and Gabe. So they packed up their family & friends and adventured over to the next town, Newton, to their local magistrate. On the way, they called ahead only to find that Newton was picking up most of the slack for Hickory and the likelihood of getting in before they closed would be slim. But, with their fingers crossed and hope on their side they chose to go for it anyways!

We all arrived at the Newton Police Department with all of our fingers, toes, and limbs crossed that they’d get in AND that we’d get to take pictures. These two had luck on their side…or maybe something a little more. After about a 30-40 minute wait the magistrate squeezed them in! Nicola and Gabe’s excited smiles were the biggest I’ve ever seen! IT WAS HAPPENING!

12 guests, two vendors (the magistrate and myself), and one head over heels couple squeeze into that tiny conference room. Just as they kinda…sorta… planned, Nicola and Gabe were surrounded by those they love and were married right then and there. It was PERFECT!

The Perfect Unplanned Plan

We managed to find a beautiful walking trail right behind the building where they were married. What was one more advenutre on this crazy wonderful day right? We gathered everyone together, celebrated with rose petals and group hugs. Then off to the woods we went for a few sweet photos of this new husband and wife!

Thank you Nicola & Gabe for choosing me to capture your amazing adventure of a wedding day! It was truly unique and truly YOU and I loved being part of it all!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Vendor shoutout to Becca Easterling for Nicola’s gorgeous hairstyle. Thistle Dew Nicely Florals & Gifts for a beautiful floral boquet.

Couple waits at the Newton justice of the peace for their civil ceremony Nicola gazing lovingly at her groom at the Newton Justic of the Peace

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Romantic Civil Ceremony in Newton, NC | Nicola & Gabe

Woodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke Photography

Wedding

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Ayla & Brinton’s woodland wedding in Burnsville, NC was fantastic!

Burnsville is quickly becoming one of my favorite little towns in North Carolina! It’s small, sweet, but has everything you need to feel welcome in this cozy little town!
 
Ayla & Brinton are a big reason why it’s so welcoming. From the moment I met Ayla at the Burnsville Bridal Expo, there was an instant connection. Since then, the four of us bonded over dinner and were welcomed to their wedding like we were long lost family. We love weddings where we feel “at home” with everyone. It’s so special.

Planning can be overwhelming

When Ayla first started planning her wedding, I remember how overwhelming it was for her. Trying to find the right vendors who were kind & helpful was actually pretty hard. I remember several phone chats where we discussed location, how many guests to invite, and how not to throw up in the middle of her ceremony!
 
You see, Ayla had a lot of anxiety leading up to the day. And I find that this is more common with our brides than it use to be. It doesn’t have to do with their grooms, they’re set on getting married. It’s he idea of all of those eyes during the ceremony that is so terrifying.

Unique & Perfect!

Happily, you’d never know that Ayla was nervous on her wedding day. From the moment we saw her to the walk down the isle she was calm & collected. Most of that was due to her hard work in finding the right people & vendors to surround herself with. She made the schedule the way she wanted and everything fell into place perfectly! One of my favorite parts of the day was when Ayla & Brinton walked down the isle as husband & wife. The first thing Ayla said was “I didn’t throw up!” Everyone laughed and clapped for her success!
 
I loved how different and meaningful everything was for Ayla & Brinton. They chose to get married in the most beautiful field at their home. Social Grace Events did an incredible job marrying the decor for their wedding. Book page runners for Ayla’s love of literature & antlers for hunter Brinton. It all came together so elegantly! Pigs & Grits provided the exceptional brunch. I LOVE my breakfast food! My oh my!
 
I can’t stop grinning when I think back this sweet little wedding. Thank you Ayla for trusting your gut & booking Daniel & I. We were so honored and just adore you & Brinton! I can’t wait till the next time we all get to hang out!
 
XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Woodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke Photography

Woodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke Photography

Woodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke PhotographyWoodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC by Mabyn Ludke Photography

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Woodland Wedding in Burnsville, NC

Wedding

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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!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn An epic view of Armory Square from the Courtyard Syracuse Downtown Elegant shoes for an elegant bride at the Courtyard Syracuse Downtown Gorgeous wedding details at the Courtyard Syracuse Downtown Marriott HotelA gorgeous bride getting ready at the Marriott hotel in downtown SyracuseA gorgeous bride getting ready at the Marriott hotel in downtown Syracusethe last touches at the Courtyard Syracuse DowntownNot every bride can rock a short and sassy lace wedding dressA happy moment when a groom see's his bride for the first time at BC Bistro

Amy Semple nabbed the perfect moment on the left!

A happy moment when a bride see's her groom for the first time at BC BistroAn emotional wedding ceremony at BC Bistro in Armory SquareA unique perspective of the wedding rings at BC BistroOfficially married and officially happy at BC Bistro in downtown Syracuse, NYRomantic wedding portraits in Armory SquareSpring foliage is perfect for beautiful wedding moments in Franklin SquareThe bridge in Franklin Square is the perfect spot for epic wedding formalsBC Bistro hosts an elegant and intimate wedding receptionFun moments when the Father of the Bride sings the first dance song at BC BistroA funny first dance moment with the Bride & Groom at BC BistroA beautiful first dance at BC BistroGet your wedding dance on at BC Bistro in Armory SquareBC Bistro at Armory Square Syracuse, NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyRomantic backlit wedding portraits at the Courtyard Syracuse Downtown lobby 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

Josh & Erika’s Love Story – Armory Square Syracuse, NY