Belhurst Castle Geneva NY Wedding Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography


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I’m writing this current Love Story from the Miami airport! I finally have internet access again after being in St. Thomas for several days! Next stop Long Island for a gorgeous black tie affair.

Ok enough of that, let’s focus on this next AMAZING Love Story!

I can’t tell you what joy it brings me when I open up my car door, step outside, and the first thing I see is my bride skipping and dancing towards me with a giant smile on her face! Then to be greeted with an enormous hug and excited squeals! I in turn squealed back and skipped…ok maybe more like rolled…my camera bag is heavy! 😉 back into my brides home to help her prepare for her day! Combine all of that energy with an already glowing bride you get Katie, who was positively RADIANT! We had so much fun getting her in her gorgeous gown and taking bridal  after bridal, after bridal! I just couldn’t stop!

Then we whisked off to downtown Union Springs where we sneakily set up Katie and Mike’s first  meet up. Of course they couldn’t see each other, but that didn’t matter! The tears and smiles were a flowing! Then came the ceremony in the cutest little country church where everyone cried tears of joy! Add in a dash of epic with their gorgeous vineyard formals and their rockin’ Belhurst party…well…lets just say the whole day went by WAY TOO FAST and resulted in so much goodness it was hard to narrow down!

Thank you Katie and Mike! I am so overjoyed to know that not only did you have a spectacular wedding day, but that we are truly friends after this whole experience! Thank you so much for choosing me!


P.S. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should totally check out their NYS Fair You + Me session! The newspaper on their wedding day was WAY too perfect! 😀


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?
Mike and I went out for drinks, talking about our weekend plans, I wanted to go to the Renaissance Festival, he said we are going to the ADK’s for a surprise instead. We got up early and hit the road. I had no idea where we were going, we drove through Old Forge and past all civilization. To my surprise, we ended up in Long Lake, parking in front of the sea planes that I said to Mike I would never fly on, not knowing his planes. Next thing I know, we are walking toward the planes, Mike said this is my surprise (I am not adventurous, so I was a BIT terrified). After a breathe taking- white knuckled flight over the ADK mountains we headed into Old Forge for tapas and wine at Sisters Bistro and then we took a walk near the lake at sunset where Mike asked me to be his wife! I of course said YES, after some screams and tears, we headed back to Sisters Bistro to celebrate!
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
Mike and I are both from the Finger Lakes,, after searching around NY, we decided there was no better place to get married than at my childhood church. One Saturday, we went to Belhurst for some local wine and lunch and decided that it felt right, so we booked our reception!
Our “theme” was navy blue damask and flowers. We love nature and being outside so we wanted a variety of flowers, my mom even went out and bought 11 trees for the church and reception (she was a HUGE part of the planning and implementing!!!). We both really love pickles  and wanted to find a way to incorporate them into the reception. We made homemade jars of pickles decorated with a damask cloth to tie in our theme. We also had deep fried pickles served as a late night snack at our reception.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Bride: First, being with my dad from our ride to our church in his corvette with my dress taking up the entire car and having him by my side as all the emotions came over me. Second, the moment I am standing in the back of the church and see Mike for the first time. All of my emotions poured out as I walked down that aisle to him, I wasn’t expecting mine and his reactions. (And) Third, before being introduced into the reception, standing in the foyer with my HUSBAND, our parents and all of our siblings, seeing everyone laugh and create memories together.
Groom: The most memorable part of the day was definitely the ceremony, I loved the entire ceremony, from walking into that tiny, sunny country church and seeing it completely filled it friends and family, and standing in front of everyone waiting to begin, then seeing my beautiful bride walk in through the front doors of the church. It was a truly overwhelming moment that I’ll never forget.
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
The moment when we took a step back and saw all of our guest having a blast: people being lifted up on shoulders, ties around their heads, dresses being ripped from the hard core dance boogie marathons. Also, the next morning looking at the photo booth pictures and how much fun our guests had!
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?  Not at all, it was exactly what we wanted. We wanted our ceremony and reception to be personal, we wanted our families involved and for our guest to feel our love for each other and them. If anything, I wish we could have slowed time!
Any advice for future bride & grooms?  
Savor the moments before the wedding, it does fly by and it will be over before you know it. Don’t get wrapped up in the pre-wedding stresses. We are so thankful to have had all the support and help from our family. We couldn’t have made these beautiful memories without them.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography?
Mabyn is a jack of all trades, from capturing breathe-taking moments to bustling my dress to picking leaves out of my train after pictures in the vineyard. We knew we wanted to hire Mabyn before we were even engaged because of the gift she has, but after meeting her, we wanted her apart of our day for more than that. She is full of passion and positive energy that affects everyone around her. We cannot wait to work with her again when we eventually have a family!

Hair: Gemini Salon, Auburn NY//Makeup Artist: My Mom- MAC from Macy’s//Dress Designer & Store Location: Justin Alexander 8557, NY Bride Syracuse, NY//Jewelry: My Mom’s Pearls, ETSY, bracelet//Veil or Hair accessories: Veil was my mom’s from 1976, hair comp from ETSY//Shoes: Nina, I added the bling and feathers (etsy)//Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Aneglo, NY Bride and Groom Syracuse, NY//Grooms Attire: Men’s Warehouse//Ceremony Venue: Trinity Church of Christ, Union Springs, NY//Reception Venue: Belhurst Castle, Geneva, NY//Additional photo venue: White Manor, Geneva, NY//Florist: My mom did the recepetion, church and bridesmaids, Foleys’s in Auburn, NY did my bouquet and boutonnieres.//Transportation: J&J Limo, Auburn, NY
//DJ: Black Tie Entertainment//Cake: Maria Giacona, La Dolce Vita, Auburn, NY//Event Designer/ Wedding Coordinator: Bride’s Mom, she is the creative/crafty one that went above and beyond on every detail!!!//Lighting and Photo Booth: Black Tie Entertainment//Other: Bride’s two cousins sang at the ceremony with the String Tio.

Katie & Mike’s Love Story