From the moment I met with Ashlea & Ting I knew we were going to have a great time together! We were all smiles and laughter during our initial consult and when we spent the majority of their You + Me session cracking jokes and doing silly things I knew that their wedding was going to be one for the books!
When their special day did arrived, the rain came tumbling down (apparently Greek Lakes State Park doesn’t like me! It happened the last time too!), it didn’t damper Ashlea & Ting’s amazing energy! Their excitement to finally be wed out shone any drizzle that threatened their day! Luckily, only 1 storm came through and by the time the ceremony was over the rain had past and the party moved outside!
Their reception was a memorable mix of impromptu photo booths, some seriously awesome dance moves, an epic sunset, and a sparkler homage that created some epic pictoral moments! The best part of Ashlea and Ting’s wedding is how involved all of their family and friends were! The whole family pitched in to help create all of the gorgeous details and then their good friends helped coordinate, serve, and join in on the fun! What an incredible way to start their journey together! I am so honored that I not only did I get to capture all of their amazing moments but that Ashlea, Ting, and I are now great friends! Seriously, I was just at their house for halloween! It was AWESOME!!! 🙂
How did your fiancé propose? I work at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse and Ting was looking for a very memorable way to propose. He coordinated with some of my coworkers at the zoo and worked it out so that Siri, our oldest female Asian elephant would carry the bag with the ring in it out to us in front of the elephant exhibit where he planned to propose. He worked on this plan for weeks without my knowledge and even invited my mother and sister to be there to witness the proposal without my knowledge. I have tremendous respect for all those involved. I had absolutely no idea what was going on! Apparently the zoo keepers had to choose the specific type of ring bag that Siri would be able to carry and then did special training sessions with her to make sure everything went smoothly when the special day arrived. We went to the zoo that day under the ruse that Ting’s sister and boyfriend had never been before. We came up the elephant exhibit and after a few moments Siri came walking over carrying something with her trunk. As she walked Ting began his proposal with a zoo joke. He asked “What did one elephant in love say to the other elephant?” As I realized what was going on I was in total disbelief. Siri went to hand me the ring bag and I dropped it! Ting went on to say “I love you a ton…” and then as he got down on one knee with the ring Siri bowed as well and he proposed. It was absolutely incredible. It is something that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding (how did you pick the venue, colors, funny stories, etc):Ting and I both agreed that we didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on our wedding so I made it a personal mission to plan our wedding on a tight budget. This involved many Sunday’s of clipping coupons for craft stores and purchasing things as they went on sale. One of my favorite stories is that my mom wanted to make wreaths to hang on all of the 16 doors of our reception venue. She purchased the wreaths one by one as the weekly craft coupons came out in the newspaper. She would buy 1 or 2 wreaths per week until she ended up with all 16! She was extremely dedicated to the coupon cause.We wanted a natural rustic wedding feel, so we absolutely feel in love with the recently renovated stone Administration building in the beautiful Green Lakes State Park. It was the first and only venue we visited.Another one of my favorite stories was how we came across our circular tree slices that were used as centerpiece placemats. We were driving one day and came across a man cutting down a tree in the front yard. We pulled over and introduced ourselves. We asked him what he planned on doing with the tree trunk pieces he was cutting down. By the end of the conversation he offered to cut up all the left over pieces for us with his chainsaw so that we could use them in our wedding! The entire wedding was truly a family affair. Everyone pitched in one way or another. My aunt became an ordained minister online to do our ceremony; we took complete advantage of my mother’s recently retired status; we borrowed twinkle lights from all of our friends; and our friends even tended bar and acted as event servers. It made us both feel incredibly loved to know that we are surrounded by so many wonderful loving people that were willing to give of themselves to make our wedding absolutely perfect.
What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day? Gathering our friends and family outside to light sparklers together in honor of all our loved ones that could not be there to celebrate with us is a moment that I will never forget. I will also always remember the final song that was played at the reception and how the wedding ended on the dance floor with everyone embracing us in a giant hug. It was so special to see all of the different members of our families join together in celebration.
Funniest memory from your wedding day? Finding out my husband could play the recorder! We opened a gag gift on our wedding night and Ting whipped out the plastic toy recorder and started playing legitimate music! Who knew?!
If you had to do it all over again would you change anything? I loved that we did a DYI wedding. It all came together in the end, and was absolutely perfect.
Any advice for future bride & grooms? If you’re planning a DIY wedding don’t be afraid to delegate some of your responsibilities to professionals. It will be worth a little extra money for the peace of mind it may bring you. Enjoy your family and friends and take time to breathe. Revel in the love that will inevitably surround you on your special day.
What was your favorite part about working with Mabyn Ludke Photography? Mabyn was absolutely fantastic to work with. MLP was one of the best decisions that we made during the whole wedding process by far. She is incredibly professional, but personable and fun at the same time. You instantly feel like you’re best friends and she makes the entire process smooth and worry free. She’s just as goofy as we are so from our first You + Me session we knew it was a great fit for us. I am positive that we will continue to use Mabyn Ludke Photography
Hair: Cut- Continental Coiffures; highlights- Industry Salon//Makeup Artist: Tricia Wede
Dress Designer & Store Location: Allure bridal- New York Bride//Jewelry: Necklace and bracelet- pearls from our trip to Italy. Necklace pendant custom created by Todd Haley at Upstate Gold and Coin Center with the diamonds from my mother and grandmother’s engagement rings//Veil or Hair accessories: Hair piece- Alfred Angelo//Shoes: Macy’s
Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy Collection- New York Bride//Grooms Attire: Tuxedo Junction//Ceremony Venue: Old Administration Building- Green Lakes State Park//Reception Venue: Old//Administration Building- Green Lakes State Park//Florist: Reginal Market and Wegmans//DJ: Whirlin’ Disc SJ//Caterer: Dinosaur BBQ//Cake: DIY mason jar fruit crisps- my mom baked them//Lighting: DIY//Invitations & Stationary: DIY designed by groom