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If your thinking of going the DIY route when planning your wedding, this next post will prove to you how it pays off! Denyea & Brandon’s wedding was a DIY Bride’s dream! I was dooling from the moment I drove into the driveway! Their wedding was the epitome sweet rustic joy! From the cotton blossoms in the bouquets to the wagon ride leading to our photo location! Denyea really thought of everything!

Take that and then top it off with two of the sweetest people I’ve had the opportunity to photograph! Their day was a beautiful reminder of sincere love. The testaments of all of their guests mooning over them is the proof! I loved listening to their story and how this has been an event in the making that everyone was overjoyed to be a part of! I sure was too and I am so thrilled to be able to share these images with you! Thank you so much Denyea & Brandon, it was an honor and a joy!


How did you meet?
We met at LeMoyne College, Brandon sat down on a couch next to me and we started talking, then I met him a few weeks later in a kilt and I knew it was love 🙂
How did your fiance propose?
We rode out to my parents hill overlooking Jamesville Beach to watch the balloons come up during the balloon festival… when the balloons had all gone up and the sun started setting, Brandon was on one knee
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc..):
We got enganged and were about to leave for Germany for a bit, so we knew we had to act quick. The very night of the engagement, we were so excited we picked the date and the colors, and picked everything out before our trip. Justin’s Grill has great food and one of our friends had a beautiful wedding there, so we were sold. As the planning continued, our original black and white wedding turned into a black and white and… taupe and pewter. Most of the wedding was handmade as I perused the shelves of the Rescue Mission for over 100 vases, created mercury glass candle holders from clear ones, or made the invitations. I became such a DIY bride… which made it ever so special!
What details at your wedding had special significance?
Instead of doing a favor, we made a donation to the CNY SPCA. It felt so good to walk in there and make a donation. We love animals and want to do whatever we can to help! Our wedding song was also really special. Although it is kind of a sad song, it meant something important to us at the very start of our relationship. I can keep going by the way… everything was special!
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Walking down the aisle to meet Brandon- so much excitement, anticipation… everyone is looking at you, but you are looking at him! (Denyea) My best moment was when I got to kiss my wife Denyea. (Brandon)
If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Brandon was accidentally called a wife as the priest was going over the vows.
What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Our HONEYMOON! It was a surprise for Denyea!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Exuma Island in the Bahamas
Any advice for future bride & grooms?
It goes by fast, take every moment in!

Denyea was a stunning bride and I fell in love with her family! Her dad wiping away a tear gets me every time!

St. Matthew’s is absolutely gorgeous! So many beautiful angles to snap moments from!

We had 2 locations to do photographs after the ceremony. The first was the dorm at Le Moyne where Denyea & Brandon first met. The second was a field at Denyea’s parents home. The whole wedding party, parents, family dog, myself, assistant all jumped on in for one giant & amazing wagon ride! How many weddings do that?! My job is AWESOME!

Denyea was a DIY fiend! My jaw literally dropped when I walked into Justin’s Grill! All of the sweet country details that she put so much time & effort into really paid off! I was SO IN LOVE!

Hair: Joseph Anthony and Co.//Makeup Artist: Myself//Dress Designer & Store Location: Enzonie, New York Bride//Jewelry: Swavorski//Veil or Hair accessories: My mom’s veil redesigned by New York Bride//Shoes: Nina//Bridesmaids Dresses: Impressions, New York Bride//Grooms Attire: Mens Warehouse//Ceremony Venue: St. Matthew’s Church, East Syracuse//Reception Venue: Justin’s Grill, East Syracuse//Additional photo venue: Bride’s Parent’s Home//Florist: Melanie Daly//Transportation: S and S Limo//DJ: J Hatch DJ//Caterer: Justin’s Grill//Cake: Sweet Endings Bakeshop, Jamesville//Event Designer: Myself//Wedding Coordinator: Myself and Heather MacArthur and Justin’s Gril//Invitations & Stationary:  Myself//Other: All me!

Special Ceremony Music: Ave Maria sung by college friend Ellen Romano//Introductions: Each member of the bridal party had own based on personality and personal memories//Father/Daughter: “Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins//Mother/Son: “Edelweiss” from Sound of Music//First Dance: “The Scientist” by Coldplay

Denyea & Brandon’s Love Story


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Megan & Duke originally booked me (through Picture Infinity) with out actually meeting or talking with me because they lived out of state. This always makes me a little nervous, I like to get to know my clients. So we set up a pre-wedding meeting to do just that! Right away I could tell that Meg & Duke were my kinda people! We got along just like peanut butter and jelly! We chatted for awhile as they told me all about themselves and their amazing day! I was especially thrilled that they chose January in Syracuse to get married…Crazy! Totally my kinda of people!!!

Finally January rolled around & there was a good 3 feet of snow on the ground. PERFECT for a winter wedding! They were married in St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church. When I got there I was in awe of how beautiful it was. All of the ornate icon’s and history. When Meg & Duke arrived (separately), they were full of joy and anticipation! Watching them both prepare for one of the biggest moments of their lives was wonderful. You could just taste their affections for each other (even though they were on separate ends of the building)! The ceremony was a gorgeous traditional event and their reception, at Justin’s Grill, was a relaxed afternoon of family & friends mingling. They opted not to dance and just have a wonderful heart felt dinner together. My favorite part of the day had to be the formals though. Meg & Duke came ready to brave whatever weather might be in store (we all know how Syracuse can be!). Luckily we had a beautiful winter day with a light snow falling in the air, again PERFECT for winter wedding shots! PLUS they braved the snow TWICE! Once for the middle formals and again at the end of our time together. These two were completely amazing!! It was a fantastic day! Thank you so much Meg & Duke! I wish you lived closer so we could hang out more! ;oP


The Details:

Hair: La Tresse by Renee

Makeup Artist: La Tresse by Renee

Dress: Alfred Angelo

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse

Venue: Ceremony: St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church Reception:Justin’s Grill

Florist: Designs of Elegance

Transportation: Us!

DJ: None

Caterer: Justin’s Grill

Cake: Justin’s Grill

Bride & Groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day?
Bride: My favorite moment was standing with Duke during the ceremony. We were both so nervous and he kept telling me jokes to calm our nerves.

Groom: The most memorable moment for me was walking up the aisle after we were announced husband and wife.

What was you favorite detail?
Bride: The dinosaur cake toppers!

Groom: Our cake toppers.

Any advice for future bride & grooms?
Bride: Don’t stress about the details. Focus on the importance of the day…years from now you won’t care about the color of the napkins. It’s all about sharing your special day with the people you love.

Groom: Start your planning early! Don’t leave things up to the last minute. You will be amazed at the small things that need to get done in the few days before the wedding. And have fun!

Funniest memory from your wedding day?
Bride: My funniest memory was smashing the cake in Duke’s face!!

Groom: The look on everyone’s faces after taking a shot of ouzo

If you had to do it all over, would you change anything?
Bride: No, we had a great day.

Groom: Nope, I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

What was your favorite wedding purchase?
Bride: Our photographer!! 😮 )

Groom: My favorite purchase was Meg’s engagement ring. I spent a lot of time making sure it was perfect and I was glad that she loved it too.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We took a “mini-moon” to Mirbeau Spa in Skaneateles, NY

I’m sorry Meg, I couldn’t resist! It’s such a great face!!

Duke has amazing taste in jewelry!

There were so many yummy spots to shoot in this church! Just look at the light from the stained glass! YUM!

So sweet…and their warming each other up! ;o)

Have you noticed all of the little dinosaur accents yet? SO CUTE!!

I think this is one of my fave shots of the day…Duke being Duke!

Woohoo! Goooo Bridal party! Thanks for braving the snow guys! You rock those suspenders!

Sweet Snowy Love!

Megan & Duke’s Love Story : Real Love : Syracuse, NY Wedding Photography


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I had an amazing winter wonderland wedding this weekend and I can’t wait to show you the rest! Megan & Duke are an absolutely fantastic couple, I had such a blast capturing their special day!

Megan & Duke’s Sneak Peek! : Real Love : Syracuse, NY Wedding Photographer


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Mary & Charlie’s stories is one of my favorites from this wedding season. I don’t like to pick favorites because every wedding is so different and personal based on the couple, but this one has special meaning for me.

One day, back when it was very cold outside I met Mary & Charlie for a consultation. Mary proceeded to tell me a story that broke my heart and reaffirmed why I’m a photographer! She had her heart set on my photography for her wedding but, I was a bit out of her budget. So like any other savvy bride, she looked into other photographers. She and Charlie found someone whom they believed would do them justice and fit their needs. So off they went to an engagement session. Unfortunately, Mary & Charlie were not at all pleased with the end result of their session. So they reevaluated their photographic wants & needs and came to me.

***NOTE*** It’s important to make sure your photographer shows you an ABUNDANT amount of work. Not just a handful of nice photos. Look at albums, prints, websites, etc…Also express to your photographer what you’re looking for, if they’re good then they’ll asses whether or not they’re the right fit for you. For example, I am primarily a photojournalistic photographer. I don’t shoot large group shots of every table at your wedding. If that’s something that’s important to you, well I might not be the photog for you and that’s OKAY. Finding the photographer who is tuned into your style and personality is WAY more important than pinching pennies. This is your ONE DAY. Make sure you invest in the things that will last!

Okay, my rant is over, back to the story! 😉

So, when Mary & Charlie told me this story I just HAD to be their photographer. We worked out a budget that fit their needs and I was able to capture their amazing day. Mary has been a PHENOMENAL bride! We started a friendship during her wedding planning process, so that when I arrived on their wedding day we already had a strong bond that helped the day go SO smoothly! We have since carried on our friendship and I hope it will continue to flourish in the years to come! Mary & Charlie are exceptional people and I hope their photographs reflect how amazing their day was! Thank you Mary & Charlie for allowing me to help your wedding dreams come true!

The Details

Hair: Jen (a friend of a friend)

Makeup Artist: Donna Cuoco

Dress: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff from Spybaby Bridal

Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse

Venue: Ceremony: University United Methodist Church

Reception: Justin’s Grill

Florist: Ron’s Creative Florist, Cicero

Transportation: My aunt. We drove faster than any limo to (almost) be on time and had a lot of fun. The best part of it all was walking out of the church and finding beer cans tied on the back in lieu of tin cans!

DJ: Black Tie Entertainment

Cake: Pascale’s Bakehouse

Wedding Planner: Me!… and several incredible women in our lives.

Their Songs:

First Dance: Mike Schmid-“To Show You My Love”

Father/Daughter: Fred Astaire- “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”

Mother/Son: Nat King Cole- “Unforgettable”

Introductions: “Whoomp! (There It Is)….a last minute change by our groomsmen!

Bride & Groom:

What was the most memorable moment of your day? We both agree that seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle was the most memorable moment and one of the best of our lives. It was amazingly surreal.

What was your favorite detail? The Spanish-style mantilla veil my mom made by hand.

Any advice for future bride & grooms? Enjoy the process no matter how un-enjoyable it may seem at times. I kept telling myself and those around me (who seemed much more stressed out than we were) that in the end we’d be just as married as the rest of ‘em. It helped keep things in perspective

Funniest memory from your wedding day? It was, by far, THE cake incident.

If you had to do it all over, would you change anything? There are a few details that could have been different but in the end wouldn’t have changed the outcome so we would have liked to slow down and have had more moments to soak it all in.

What was your favorite wedding purchase? Our honest immediate response was Mabyn and Tim! We were completely at ease knowing they would do an amazing job and they made the day even more fun than we expected. Then we realized they were actually our favorite investment, not purchase. Mary’s favorite purchase was her wedding gown and Charlie’s was the wedding rings. They were the moments when we were hit with the feeling that we were actually getting married!

Where did you go on your honeymoon? Maui! We were able to spend a week in paradise by the pure grace and generosity of our family.

1 & 2)

3 & 4)

This is one of my faves from the day, reflection & spanish veil! The colors just dance!


Mom was so sweet!


Mary’s Mom (above) made her veil! Look at that detail! Amazing!

7 & 8)

Charlie’s reaction when he first saw Mary walking towards him! *sigh* Love!





13 & 14)

Mary & Charlie allotted A LOT of time for formal photos in between so that meant PLAY TIME for Mabyn!

Mary is absolutely STUNNING! I couldn’t help but take bridal after bridal!

15 & 16)

17 & 18)

19 & 20 )

Mary & Charlie love their beer (who can blame them?) So their formals reflected their love…for beer…haha!

Inside joke, You never would have known there’s a trashcan behind them ;oP oooo I’m bad! Love you two!

21 & 22)




Hahah, I love these guys! Are you hitchin’ to wing night?


There were so many details!


The toasts I’ve witnessed this year have been fantastic! Mary & Charlie’s was no exception! Look at these moments!


Charlie, you’re such a cheeser!



During the prayer…sooooo sweet!


32 & 33)



Ok, this has to be one of my favorite moments caught on film! Mary’s cake wasn’t quite right, so instead of being bridezilla she shrugged her shoulders and went on with the night. Then when it was time for the cake cutting and she couldn’t get the slice to come out…her solution was…THIS!


How’s the cake hunny? WHAMMY!!!



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Mary & Charlie’s Real Love Story : Syracuse, NY Wedding Photographer