Belhurst Castle Geneva NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography


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Jen and Sean are lovers of the unique! Their wedding was a mix of whimsy, color, and FUN! The Belhurst castle was such a perfect setting for this Philly couple. You may remember their You + Me session when I went to visit them in their home town! They gave me the grande tour of some of their favorite Philly spots! So you can imagine my excitement when I drove up to the Belhurst and got to give Jen a HUGE hug! The day proceeded beautifully! The sun was shining and people seemed content watching this happy couple tie the knot, despite the heat! They even had this great bluegrass band provide the music during their ceremony which was the perfect touch

! Once they were officially wifey and hubby we spent some time with the family and bridal party but we wanted to save the super special couple shots until the sun went down a bit more. I live for that yummy buttery light, and their formals are the perfect example of why! Their party was amazing! I shouldn’t have expected anything less from them. They danced and danced and danced and I had so much fun out on the floor with them! It’s couples like Jen and Sean that make my job so worth it. Not only are they so in love that it makes it easy to take gorgeous pictures of them, but I feel like we’ve been friends for ages! That alone is worth it’s weight in gold! I get to spend my days capturing beautiful moments of my friends happiest days! I will never stop being so thankful to do this every day! ūüôā


Belhurst Castle Geneva NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Belhurst Castle Geneva NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Belhurst Castle Geneva NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Belhurst Castle Geneva NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

How did your fiance propose? Sean proposed while we were vacationing¬†in Ogunquit, Maine in August 2010. We were aboard the “Silverlining”¬†sail boat for a sunset cruise when he pulled an envelope out of our
picnic basket. The envelope contained a poem that Sean had written (I¬†had no idea that Sean could write poetry!) called “Finding the¬†Right Girl.” At the end of the poem, Sean presented a gorgeous¬†filagree ring!
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): The colors for the wedding were inspired by what I imagined the forest in “A Mid Summer
Night‚Äôs Dream‚ÄĚ to look like. We also wanted the wedding to feel like¬†‚Äúus.‚ÄĚ We used a lot of our own items and items belonging to our¬†families in the d√©cor. We picked Belhurst Castle because it had¬†beautiful grounds and it (and Geneva) offered our guests who were¬†traveling a place to congregate together and enjoy the beauty of¬†Upstate, NY.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? Walking down the¬†aisle and seeing Sean for the first time on our wedding day! This¬†moment was made even sweeter by the music that was provided by my¬†talented friends, Jess & Jess who sang a gorgeous version of ‚ÄúTime¬†after Time.‚ÄĚ
Funniest memory from your wedding day? My parents had two bats flying around their room the night before the wedding-it wasn’t so funny for them at the time, but we get a kick out of it now!
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? Nothing
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? We loved each of our interactions with Mabyn! She was professional, creative and can create magic with her camera and her
eye for photos! We especially loved that she was willing to come to Philly for our engagement shoot- we had a blast & have so many wonderful photos of the spots where Sean and I fell in love.

Hair:Isabella Spa at Belhurst//Makeup Artist:Isabella Spa at Belhurst//Dress Designer & Store Location:Maggie Sottero/ NY Bride//Jewelry:My Grandma’s pearls.//Veil or Hair accessories: “Which Goose” shop on Etsy.//Heels: Nina and Converse All-Stars//Bridesmaids Dresses: J. Crew//Grooms Attire: Jos A Bank//Ceremony Venue: The lawn at Belhurst Castle//Reception Venue: Castle Ballroom at Belhurst Castle//Florist: Sue at Lake Country Florist//DJ: Music Masters//Caterer:Belhurst Castle//Cake:Biscotti Cafe and Pastry Shop//Wedding Coordinator: Carmen at Belhurst//Invitations & Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas

Jen & Sean’s Love Story


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Most wedding photographers goal is to make it big so they can travel the world to gorgeous destinations and shoot over the top weddings. That is not one of my goals, though i’m not knocking it either! ūüėČ
My goal is to shoot the weddings where my clients have really put thought into what their day will look like, feel like, & taste like. It could be 5 people on top of a mountain and as long as my clients have thought through their vision I know it will be an amazing wedding to shoot!
Catharine & Ben did just that. Their sweet rustic wedding came together so perfectly. I met them both at Notleymere Cottage in Cazenovia and was greeted by an opulent spread of photo opportunities! I set up Catharine & Ben’s sweet “First Look” and got some of my favorite images from the day. You can tell that they are a fun, easy going couple, who share an intimate love. The photo opportunities didn’t stop at Notleymere. We ventured up to Deer Hill for their ceremony & reception and as soon as I saw the view I knew why Catharine & Ben chose that venue. It was breathtaking! The rest of the day was a relaxing expression of Catharine & Ben, we then snuck away from the reception briefly to take a few epic shots of the area. The day was so lovely & heart felt. I was so blessed to be a part of it! Thank you Catharine & Ben!

How did you meet? 

In a old airplane hangar down in Austin, Texas.  We both had independently signed up to work on a project to build an off-grid, solar powered house with The University of Texas.  The summer was spent constructing the house in that hot old hangar.  The discovery was made of a fantastic view of the Austin sky line from the roof.  So, one evening after a long, hot day of work, we shared a Shiner and watched the Texas sun set.  The rest as they say, is history.
How did your fiance propose?  
He subtly suggested that we should spend our lives together while we took a walk at sunset.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..): 
Picking the venue was simple.  We knew that we wanted everything to be outside because a perfect upstate New York evening can be pure magic.  The view from Deer Hill and the grounds sold us instantly.  As far as colors and general design, I knew that I wanted simple sophistication.  This translated to warm grays, champagne colors, and a pop of orange which showed up in the form of fresh cut tulips.  I also wanted to make sure there was plenty of mingling so we opted for a stations style food display and a variety of table sizes.  It felt more like a fancy picnic.
What details at your wedding had special significance?  
Well, we can’t say that there was one particular detail.¬† The entire evening was really special because we kept the whole thing pretty small (under 100 people) and just invited our family and very close friends, so there was time to chat, time to eat, and time to dance! Which¬†everyone¬†did.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?  
There were many of course, but one was the speech given by Andrew, Ben’s younger brother.¬† It was funny and sweet and made everyone happy.
 If you had to do it all over, would you change anything? 
Not one single thing.
Funniest memory from your wedding day?  
A good friend was so overjoyed by the music that he broke out in dance…literally he took over the dance floor and started breakdancing.  
What was your favorite wedding purchase? 
My dress.  It had pockets.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?  
We were limited on time, so we took a couple nights at The Sagamore in the Adirondacks.
Any advice for future bride & grooms?  
Just go with the flow because people will undoubtedly remember the fun that they had and not the fact that the napkins were not cotton.  Hire reputable people to work with and let them do what they do.  Also, eat some of that food you spent hours deliberating over…and definitely have fun!
Catharine & Ben opted for a “First Look” session. It made me melt a little bit, aren’t they the cutest?!
Then we got to spend some time bashing around Notleymere, it is a seriously cool place to take pictures!

We then ventured over to Deer Hill and as soon as we got there it was easy to see why Catharine & Ben wanted to get married there. Woweee, wow, wow! Was it ever beautiful!

The reception tent as absolutely gorgeous, all of the details fit so perfectly with the day! Plus Catharine & Ben were up for more pictures around Deer Hill. It was TOTALLY worth it!

Hair:¬†Hanna at¬†Matthews Salon in Cazenovia, NY//Makeup Artist:¬†Matthews Salon in Cazenovia, NY//Dress Designer & Store Location:¬†J. Crew, Manhattan//Jewelry:¬†Imagine¬†in Skaneateles//Veil or//Hair accessories:¬†Flowers from 5 Seasons Florist in Fayetteville, NY//Shoes:¬†a sparkly little pair from Paul Karaz in Fayetteville, NY//Bridesmaids Dresses:¬†J. Crew dresses in fawn and champagne//Grooms Attire:¬†J. Crew, Ralph Lauren//Ceremony Venue:¬†Deer Hill in Cazenovia, NY//Reception Venue:¬†Deer Hill in Cazenovia, NY//Additional photo venue:¬†Notleymere Cottage in Cazenovia, NY//Florist:¬†Dan McCann at 5 Seasons in Fayetteville, NY//Transportation:¬†the maid of honor’s white Escalade hoopty//¬†DJ:¬†Jim with Black Tie Entertainment//Caterer:¬†Lucy Townsend with Townsend Catering in Cooperstown, NY//Cake:¬†Connie Decker in DeWitt, NY//Lighting:¬†giant paper lanterns supplied by designer, additional ambient lighting by Hank Parker Rentals//Invitations & Stationary:¬†CL DeForest//Other:¬†All Rentals were through Jacob at Hank Parker¬†
First Dance: Got Your Back by Matt the Electrician

Catharine & Ben’s Love Story