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!
It’s so funny to me how some things work out. Erin is originally from upstate NY, she lives in Raleigh, NC, but her wedding was back up in NY…Still with me? Her wedding coordinator contacted me about her wedding and I was inclined to turn her away thinking that they wouldn’t want to hire me now that I was in NC. It was then that I learned of Erin’s move to Raleigh. So as a fellow upstate NY transplant, I agreed to meet with her and see if flying me up was even on the table. Low and behold we got along immediately and the rest, as the say, was history!
One of my favorite parts about Erin & Brian’s wedding weekend was how much thought went into the little things. There were planned moments or mementos that held an importance that no one knew, but the people closest to the Bride & Groom. As I learned more about their families, the more these little things took on significance for me too. I was on a mission to capture these events in the best way possible! On top of that, Erin and Brian did an amazing job planning a wedding (with lots of help from the lovely Caitlin Jurinich) all the way from NC! I can barely plan flights let alone a wedding from 600 miles away!
Their weekend was lovely and hilarious. There were so many moments that just made me crack into a smile, like when the peacocks at The Apple Station decided to talk to everybody at the rehearsal wedding (they’re surprisingly loud)! Or whenever the ring bearer wanted to be incredibly cute…which was EVERY MOMENT! Then, there were those beautiful moments where you just see the love two people have for one another. During their ceremony, Erin and Brian missed saying their written vows. So when we snuck away for our private lakeside photo shoot, we opted to record them instead. It was a raw and beautiful moment that they’ll have forever.
Overall, Erin and Brian’s wedding weekend was an incredible success and I’m so honored that they were willing to invest in me and my photography! Erin and Brian, I can’t thank you enough and I can’t wait to see you again in just a few days!
Erin’s face just lit up when they practiced walking down the isle. I can just see her thinking “THIS IS REAL!”
The pastor that married Erin & Brian also married Erin’s parents. I found his hands fascinating, so many stories to be told.
I was also thoroughly enamored by Erin’s nephew & ring bearer. We became fast friends!
Oh Erin! How you’ve changed! 😉
This shot entertains me to no end…hahaha! Oh I’m punny!
Though we didn’t get a formal You + Me session, we snuck a few beautiful shots at Pumpkin Hill before the rehearsal dinner started
This may be my favorite location to hang a dress yet!
Erin had so many personal touches to her wedding day. They all had extreme significance. For instance, the necklace she wore had a beautiful vintage photo of her grandparents!
Another little spot of significance. Erin has a photo from when she’s a little girl pinning a boutonniere on her pastor. One of the most important parts of her wedding day was getting to recreate that moment as a bride.
I love when couples intentionally schedule “alone time” on their wedding day. I know it’s not the normal thing to do, but it slows the day way down and gives you a moment to breathe….OH and you get some awesome pictures to boot!
Sometimes things don’t work out as planned…but the alternative is even more perfect!
– Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding:
May 2013, Brian and I took a trip to New York to find a venue for our wedding. For two days we drove around Cayuga and Seneca Lake looking for the right place. Then my Mom mentioned that we should stop at the Apple Station, so we did. At the time Kathy and Bob only had the addition for the wine tasting room finished. The room for the reception was built, but it didn’t have interior walls and there was plastic on windows. Regardless of the work that still needed to be done, it was the first time I saw Brian’s face light up. It was then that I knew that was the place we were going to get married.
– What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
The pictures we took for our first look in the apple orchard and saying our vows at the lake.
– Funniest memory from your wedding day?
My father dancing! My wedding was the first time I have ever seen my father dance, and just like everything else he thinks he’s amazing at it and I’m inclined to agree with him (this time). Since the purpose of dancing is to feel good and encourage others to do the same, he nailed it!
– If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
The only thing I would change would be my organization. I should have been better at writing things down that other people can follow. Although I thought I had everything organized, something did go wrong two days before the wedding (we didn’t have table linens). Which meant that I couldn’t be there to help set up the venue on Friday. Without any directions or details written down for other to follow it was difficult and I’m sure stressful for everyone who came to help. I deeply appreciate how well Brian, his family and friends did, despite my lack of preparedness.
– Any advice for future bride & grooms?
Schedule moments to be alone. During the week leading into the wedding and especially the wedding day everyone wants time with the bride and groom. Whether it’s to gush over their excitement that the two of you are in love or more simply to ask a question or clarify details, you’ll both be pulled in a hundred directions. The few times Brian and I did get alone time, were our favorite moments.
– What was your biggest fear before hiring me? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead?
I didn’t have any fears. I found a lot of comfort in being able to meet with you in person before you were hired (not a luxury I had with other vendors). Our initial meeting, at Caribou Coffee, definitely left me feeling confident that you were the perfect photographer for our wedding.
– What, specifically, was your favorite part of working with Mabyn Ludke Photography and why?
I love Mabyn’s personality. She felt like she was part of the family from the minute she arrived.
– If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say?
I have already recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to friends who are starting their wedding planning process. I’ve told them, and will continue to tell others, when you hire Mabyn Ludke your getting an extremely knowledgeable photographer with an artistic eye that is willing to go into waist high weeds to get the perfect picture.
Hair: Michele Taber, owner of Meeshe Salon in Aurora // Makeup Artist: Lauren Brewster, makeup artist at Meeshe Salon in Aurora // Dress Designer & Store Location: Alfred Angelo, Disney Princess Line (Belle) Purchased at the Syracuse Location // Jewelry: After my maternal grandmother passed, my sisters and I had a necklace made for our mom, by Kari and Diego at Copperesque in Union Springs. It’s a beautiful pendant with a copy of an old picture of my grandparents when they were young with the words “God Bless and Love”. My Mother, the following Christmas, had one made for each on of us. Since my grandmother had meant the world to me and I wanted to feel like she was still apart of the big day, my sisters, my mom and I all wore our pendants. // Veil or Hair accessories: I made my veil for $15 and it took about 40 hours. I cut out a pattern from some lace and hand sewed each embellishment onto the tulle with clear thread. Each embellishment took about 2-3 hours and there are 11 in total on the veil. My hair accessory was a headband I purchased from Alfred Angelo // Shoes: My shoes were my something blue and I LOVE them! // Bridesmaids Dresses: The bridesmaids’ dresses were also purchased from Alfred Angelo (Vintage Line) in the color “ink”. Each dress had the same strapless cut for the frame and each bridesmaid had the choice of the net overlay they wanted. // Grooms Attire: The groom wore a dark grey suit from JoS. A Banks // Ceremony Venue: The ceremony was held at the same venue as the reception, The Apple Station, an apple orchard/winery in Union Springs NY. The owners are a wonderful family that I have had the pleasure of knowing since I was 10 years old. The ceremony was outside, nestled in the shade between the apple trees and the pond. // Reception Venue: The reception was indoors at The Apple Station. // Additional photo venue: We chose to go to Frontenac Park where we took additional photos. This also gave Brian and I some time to take in the moment and appreciate each other and our marriage, before rejoining the festivities. // Florist: Gretchen Weir, who also lives in Union Springs. She is a local teacher who does flower arrangements on the side. // DJ: Tommy D // Caterer: Ithaca Bakery, we couldn’t have asked for better food!! // Cake:We didn’t have a traditional cake. Instead we had individual cheesecakes made from the local bakery, Man in the Moon Bakery in King Ferry; 50 blueberry (my favorite), 50 blackberry (Brian’s favorite), 50 strawberry (crowd pleaser). In addition to the cheesecake we also had delicious cannolis and cookies from Ithaca Bakery. We chose not to have a traditional cake because Brian doesn’t like cake at all and I don’t like frosting. // Wedding Coordinator: One of my best friends, Caitlin Jurinich, helped me coordinate everything from the details of the flowers to finding my photographer, and DJ, as well as the overall organization of the big day. Most importantly she was there the whole time with emotional support and ready to take care of anything when I got over stressed. I don’t know what I would have done without her. // Lighting: Candle lit tables and the venue already had icicle lights strung around the room. // Invitations & Stationary: Brian and I created and designed our own save the dates and invitations. // Other: My stepfather drove his motor home down to the venue and parked it in back. This gave us more space for the bridesmaids and I to get ready. My sister, Kara, made the table names that were personalized to the venue with various apple and wine names (instead of the traditional numbers). I hand wrote the escort cards using calligraphy pens. Instead of a guest book, I painted a 24×36 canvas with a sunset covered with clouds. Kara’s fiancé built the frame and Kara painted it. Then the guests filled it in with well wishes using acrylic paint pens.
Every year I set a list of goals for myself. Personal, financial, and especially business oriented. One of the bigguns on my 2011 list for business was to get published on a wedding blog. So when Leah & Patrick told me about their Style Me Pretty inspired wedding I was ready to go! Their wedding was overflowing with amazing little details and I tried my best to capture each one along with the gorgeous moments that seemed to happen the whole day! I submited their wedding with bated breath to Style Me Pretty and waited to see what would happen.
For those of you who aren’t in the wedding blog loop, wedding blogs are quickly becoming more popular than wedding magazines. They’re more informative, updated several times a day, and they’re free to access! Style Me Pretty is not only one of those blogs but it’s the PREMIER one in the country…dare I say the world? For brides to visit! So when I was waiting with bated breath in the above paragraph…lets just say I didn’t get my hopes up too high.
I submitted on a Friday afternoon and received an email on the following Monday. I clicked on my inbox message not expecting much, but to my delight I received “Congratulations, this submission has been selected for publication on one of our LOCAL blogs!” If you were a dog then maaaaaaybe you heard the squeal emanate from my lips! I was literally bouncing in my seat! The cooler part? They featured it TODAY! Talk about fast! I expected them to have a queue a mile long!
Not only was this a huuuuge check off the goal list, but it meant a lot to my bride Leah who, like me, stalks Style Me Pretty on a regular basis.
I am so grateful to everyone who’s already wished my the warmest of congrats on Facebook! You’re all too kind. I’m just so glad that I can see myself achieving the goals I have set ahead. Anything is possible! I just have to believe it and keep trying!
I also get to display this cool little seal on my website! Oh the joy never ends! 🙂
I considered making my wedding features smaller this year…and then I went to Leah & Patrick’s wedding…yep, they’re now LONGER! Oh goodness, I hope you can put up with me! 😉
If you didn’t get a chance to see Leah & Patrick’s You + Me session, you should totally check it out!
Now onto the story:
I couldn’t have asked for a better kick off to my wedding season. It was about an hour & 1/2 drive to reach the Fontaine Bleau Inn, but I loved every minute of it! There was a warm breeze was in the air, the ominous clouds held off their rain, and the country side s displayed it’s splendor. When I finally reached my destination I was welcomed by a friendly voice from a second story window. Leah’s face glowed with excitement waving down from her bed & breakfast nook. The whole place was a buzz with last minute details. Chairs being set up, flowers being placed, & cute little touches EVERYWHERE! Leah & Patrick had thought of everything.
I came into Leah’s room while she wrote in her journal (or so I thought). Upon further discussion Leah revealed that it wasn’t just a journal, but a book of love letters she had been writing to Patrick since they had started dating. She had even tucked in letters from when she was a little girl & teenager. Leah’s room that morning was a refuge of peace. Everyone rallied around her to get her put together from her dress all the way to her great grandmothers cameo necklace & earrings. Patrick’s room however, was electric with excitement! From the grin on his face to the jitters in his fingers, Patrick was alive with the thought of marrying Leah. His energy was undeniable!
We put together a “First Look” session for Leah & Pat. We ventured down a sweet little woodland path where we were greeted by a gorgeous old stone church. I had my assistant tuck Patrick away there while Leah made her way through a field of little purple flowers. When Patrick turned to see Leah all of that electricity burst out into tears and laughter. Both Leah & Patrick couldn’t hide the intense love they felt for one another.
I was so overwhelmed with emotion and the ceremony hadn’t even started yet! We made our way back just in time. Leah walked down the isle to “Hymn” by Brooke Fraiser with her bare feet & her parents to support her. Tears streamed down both couples faces as the reality of their dream finally set in. It was no surprise that the ceremony was just as emotional as the first look. Tears of joy were falling everywhere! Leah, Patrick, both sides of parents and even the guests! In hindsight maybe their favors should have been handkerchiefs! The ceremony ended with two very important details. The first was Leah washing Patricks feet like Jesus washed the disciples. It was a surprise gift to Patrick and touched the whole wedding congregation. The second was their first kiss. Up until that point, Leah & Patrick hadn’t allowed anyone to see them kiss! So when they were announced husband & wife the kiss was of epic proportions!
The rest of the day was filled with more chatter & laughter than tears, it was a gorgeous celebration of their love!
Since I am friends of the couple I stayed after my designated shooting time to celebrate with them. My assistant Martha Swann caught some excellent shots of my dance moves!
Thank you so much Leah and Pat! I adored being a part of your wonderfuly creative & emotional day!
hair: was done by Leah’s sister, Hannah Heath, who is a hairdresser in Albany
Makeup: Also done by Leah’s sister
Dress: Bought online from Ann Taylor
Jewelry: Leah’s Great-great-great grandmother’s jewelry that she had worn in her own wedding. Also Leah’s “something borrowed”.
Veil/Hair accessories: Hippie floral crown was designed by Leah and her florist
Shoes: Bride: Barefoot in the ceremony and Banana Republic flats in the reception
Bridesmaids Dresses: Maid of Honor wore JCrew and Bridesmaids wore Davids Bridal
Grooms Attire: Calvin Klein grey tux from Men’s Warehouse
Ceremony Venue: The Fontainebleau Inn (Alpine NY).Our ceremony was by the lake under a huge tree
Reception: indoors/on patio of The Fontainebleau Inn
Additional Photo venue: We did our first look in the woods beside a chapel near the property of the Inn
Florist: Plenty of Posies (she does not have storefront, she grows her own flowers in Ithaca NY)
DJ: Ormond Entertainment
Caterer: Ithaca Bakery
Cake (cupcakes): Ithaca Bakery
Lighting: Ormond Entertainment
Invitations and Stationary: Michael’s Craft Store
Special Ceremony Music: Guitar by Seth May, Cello by Amy Danials and Voice by Skylar Ruth. They played “The Theif” by Brooke Fraser for the wedding party, “The Hymn” by Brooke Fraser for the processional and “Oh Happy Day” for the exit
Introductions: Pretty Young Thing (“PYT”) by MichaelJjackson
First Dance: “The Prayer” by Andre Bucelli and Celin Dion, with a BIG surprise addition of “Cosmic Love” by Florence and The Machine
Father/Daughter: “What a Wonderful World”
Mother/Son:“The Man You’ve Become”
Bride and Groom:
How did you meet?
We met at an event Leah’s family was hosting called “Break the Chains” in the Syracuse Inner Harbor, which brought awareness about modern day slavery and human trafficking. We caught each others eye from across the lawn and then a mutual friend introduced us. We started talking and never stopped 🙂
How did your fiance propose?
We went to our friends wedding in Chicago in July 2010, just one week shy of our one year anniversary. Patrick changed his plans of asking me on our anniversary and totally surprised me when we were walking through a wildflower garden beside a wishing well in Millennium Park, downtown Chicago. When we were soaking our feet in the wishing river that ran through the park, Patrick handed me a card, which was not out of the ordinary. As I read it I reached a point where it said “Now stop reading and look at me”, and when I looked up Patrick was kneeling in the water in front of me with a ring in his hand.
What Details at your wedding had special significance:
We had a very close knit guest list of mainly family and only a couple friends, so it was very fitting that both Leah’s rings and her jewelry had been passed down from her family. The wedding party consisted of our siblings and each of our best friends, and all of our musicians were either family of close friends as well… even our guestbook was handmade by our close friends!We were married by Leah’s aunt, who had taken her on her first missions trip to Africa. Both of us have a really wonderful relationship with her,and she even flew back from Ghana the week of our wedding in order to marry us! We also had Patrick’s father pray over the ceremony and Leah’s father say a blessing before dinner. Leah had a surprise for Patrick during the ceremony by washing his feet which was very deep and intimate for both of us, and significant to our relationship and journey together with Christ.
What was the most memorable moments of your day?
Bride: the “first look”
Groom: When Leah surprised me by washing my feet during the ceremony
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Bride: shoving the cake in Patrick’s face!
Groom: Wedding party entrance to “PYT”
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
No, it was absolutely perfect. Maybe we would have married each other a long time ago 🙂
What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Our awesome photographer! 😉
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We fly to Puerto Rico the morning after our wedding at 6AM where we caught a cruise ship that traveled around the Southern Caribbean for 7 days. After the cruise was over we went back to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a couple nights before returning home
Any Advice for future bride and groom?
Bride: I know everyone probably says this, but make sure you make decisions about your wedding that reflect YOU! Lots of people will have opinion and try to change your mind, don’t let them! When you look back you want to feel like it was your day and held significance
Groom: Keep it small and intimate, it was amazing to have little conversations with our families throughout the night and not be overwhelmed with the amount of people or people we didn’t know.
The dapper Patrick King!
Sweet little love letters
The lovely ladies of Leah’s wedding party
Aren’t they just gorgeous! I’m so lucky! AHHH!
Great shot by Martha Swann!
Peek-a-boo! I see you!
Leah & Patrick wrote their own vows, man were the tears ever flowing then!
I wasn’t exaggerating! EVERYONE was crying!
Both of them ran down the isle barefoot, I have to remember that for my wedding!
Typical Leah & Pat 🙂
They love to hold pinkies when they walk…could they be any cuter?!
The stunning Fontaine Bleau Inn!
I love all of the little DIY touches and the flowers by Plenty of Posies were gorgeous! Peonies & Tulips are my FAVE!
This is one of my faves! Notice sister & mom in the background
Ormond Entertainment brought the party! They were wonderful!
Thanks to Martha Swann for these few shots!
We love us some Journey!