10 Year Anniversary Session: An Italian Portrait Session

I told him we had to get up at 5:30 am for our session...on our vacation. He winced and said "ok." I know that after 10 years of marriage, there were more words he'd have liked to add to that. But he didn't and I love him for that.

"It feels like our wedding was just yesterday" isn't a true statement for me. It feels as though it was rightfully ten years ago, but not in a bad way. In a lot of ways, we're not the same people we were then.

And we're definitely not a perfect couple. Honestly, I don't know that such a thing exists. We procrastinate. We leave laundry in the basket for weeks. We have our bad habits that drive each other nuts. 

But we also have 10 (plus) years of history. He's my saving grace in times when I just can't. He lets me vent, cry and sometimes yell. He brings me flowers when I've got the flu. He's a terrific daddy to our son. He takes care of us, and loves us in his own quiet, daily ways.

To me, it feels like 10 years of building something, together - a home, a life, a family.

The quiet, practically empty square at Piazza San Marco greeted us, and all at once we knew it was worth it. There were no tourists, no vendors, no crowds - just us, and Siza (our photographer, who was amazing!!) and the beauty that is Venice in the morning.

It was instantly easy to let the romance of this moment wash over me. Was it Venice? Maybe, but more likely it was because of the realization of a dream we had shared for all 10 years of our marriage.

These photographs top any souvenir or bottle of wine we brought home from Italy. They'll live on long after the case of wine will. And they were worth every step of the last ten years.

Here's to the rest of our story,

~ Erin

PS - For you Matt, save this dance for me.

Vendor Spotlight: Flower City Nuptials

Unless your ceremony venue comes complete with an officiant, selecting that special person to help you make your marriage official might seem daunting. Like any other part of your wedding day, you want to find that person that you click with.

I can tell you now, Keri Klein from Flower City Nuptials is someone you'll click with easily. We've worked with her on a few occasions now, and each one is unique and beautiful. She'll help you create a ceremony that's yours and not a cookie cutter wedding.

We asked her a few FAQs recently, here's what she has to say. If you're looking for your wedding day officiant, you should definitely give Keri a call!


How do you customize a ceremony for a couple?
I like to meet with my couples in person.  If they are out of town I offer phone or Skype calls too.  I try to ask them questions to get to know them as a couple: how they met, about the proposal, what they love about each other, etc.  Everyone's love story is unique, and I love hearing the couples tell it in their own words.  I often pull elements from their answers to incorporate into my ceremony.

Can a civil ceremony include religious moments?
Yes, it can.  As a minister I can do anything a couple would like but give communion.  And, since I am customizing each ceremony for each couple I can make it as religious or non-religious as they would like.  

Are there opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony to add a personal touch?
There are lots of opportunities for friends or family members to participate in the ceremony.  One way is through readings.  We often think of readings as being religious; this is where the idea stems from and people often use Corinthians ("Love is patient, love is kind..."), but they don't have to be.  One way to individualize the ceremony AND include loved ones is through choosing readings that speak to the couple.  I have had people use poems, excerpts from books, and even song lyrics.  I can offer suggestions if the couple wants to do a reading but they don't know where to look.

Another way to include loved ones is through a unity ceremony.  One of the most traditional is the unity candle.  This is a great way to incorporate parents with having them light the taper candle to show the couple where they have come from.

Ultimately, talk to your officiant and voice your desire to have people included - there are many really special ways to do this.

Can we write our own vows? Is that something you might help with?
Yes, couples can write their own vows.  If the couples don't want to write them together and have them be a surprise, I am happy to read through them to make sure they are the same length, sentiment, etc.  If one or both people are "stuck" and don't know what to write, I am happy to give suggestions and help craft those.

Do you have any guidance on when to apply for a marriage license?
Marriage licenses are good for 60 days in NYS.  I tell my couples go at the 30 day mark - it is a great way to kick off the home stretch to walking down the aisle and something you can cross off the last-minute to-do list.

The Arbor Loft, Paul and Steph: Rochester NY Wedding Photography

Stephanie and Paul have been together for over ten years, since meeting at RIT. Despite the long courtship, their engagement was pretty brief. With so much going on in their lives, Steph didn’t want to drag out the planning. By the way everything pulled together, you’d never know that it was planned in 6 months!

The floral decor was excellently executed by I do Wedding flowers and complimented the feel of the Arbor Loft perfectly. The food, vegan, was delectable. The crowd was full of smiles, and Paul and Steph were full of laughs. It was such a wonderful evening, no one even noticed the rain.

Paul and Steph, I am so glad to be able to call you friends, and so excited to be there with you as you continue this journey together. Congratulations!! 


The Vendor Team!
Venue: The Arbor Loft
Coordinators/Planners: Laura Bliss and Agathi & Co.
Florist: I Do Wedding Flowers, Nicole Beryle
DJ: Showcase Sound
Officiant: Willie Osterman
Wedding Dress: Bridal Chateau
Hair & Makeup: Gallery Salon
Groomsmen Attire: Incognito Menswear
Bridesmaids Attire: David's Bridal
Catering: Orange Glory Cafe
Bakery: Get Caked
Stationary: Etsy

Wintergarden by Monroes: Rochester NY Heirloom Album

Joann and Steve's wedding at the Wintergarden by Monroes was nothing short of amazing.

Since then, I've been patiently waiting to design their heirloom wedding album. Finally, my chance arrived! And it came together perfectly.

Their wedding story, from the first look to end of the night dancing looks amazing as you turn the pages in this 12x9 lustre album.

There's something about this album that pulls our couples in. The design, the size and the story - it all works together to create something beautiful. Every single time.

Enjoy a peek at this wedding day story, told in the pages of Joann and Steve's heirloom album.

~ Erin


Rochester NY Elopement: Josh and Kellyanne

They love the woods and outdoors - zip lines, ropes courses, hiking. So naturally, Josh proposed to KelleyAnne on the top of Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire. Kelleyanne had an idea that his proposal was coming earlier on Mt. Wachusett but Josh thought the mountain was too small.

Their love is full of happiness and laughter. There was no lack of either on their wedding day at The Edward Harris House in Rochester NY. With close friends as their witnesses, they said their vows to each other - laughing the whole way.

Congratulations Josh and Kelleyanne! We wish you a life full of adventure and even more laughter!

~ Erin & Lori

Rochester Indie Weddings Bridal Show

We work closely with other vendors on a regular basis. Every wedding we photograph requires a team of people, each doing their part to create something spectacular.

In a way, a Bridal Show is not really that different. There are event designers, caterers, bakeries, dress designers, florists, hair and makeup stylists and models. And then there's us as well - the photographers.

We had the unique opportunity to work with models and vendors alike at The Historic German House in Rochester for the most recent Rochester Indie Weddings Bridal Show. Everyone created something special to display.

It's rare for us to work with professional models instead of actual brides, so it was definitely a fun learning experience!

Here's a few of our favorites from the afternoon. To see a full lineup of the amazing vendors at the show - go check out the Rochester Indie Weddings blog post, which features all of our images from the event!

~ Erin

Colgate Divinity School: Heirloom Album

Before they'd even seen their wedding photographs, Ryan and Stephanie knew they wanted to remember their Rochester NY Wedding for generations to come. Even more importantly, they realized they would need a way to do that; one that held a greater value than a drive of digital files.

Cue their signature heirloom album. They will be able to feel the feelings of their wedding day over and over again within the pages of this album. Not just now, but years from now when they're sharing their experience with their theoretical children.

There is something special about physically holding your memories in your hands. It's an experience, and a feeling you cannot recreate with a thumb drive.

This classic slate grey album will be what they turn to on their tenth anniversary.

The story inside is uniquely theirs, and we are so grateful to be able to tell it the way it deserves to be shared.

~ Erin


Travel Theme Wedding Details: Finger Lakes Wedding Photography

Last year we photographed some pretty awesome weddings. After going through some of our favorites, I noticed something pretty interesting. Many of our couples have a love for travel.

Coincidentally, so do we. Swapping travel stories is actually one of Lori's favorite things to do. So our conversations with our couples roll pretty easily about all of the different places we've been to or want to visit in the future.

Even better though has been all of the ways our brides and grooms incorporated their wanderlust into their wedding.

We've seen world maps and globes used as guest books. We've seen favorite Finger Lakes vacation spots used elegantly as table numbers. Vintage vacation photos adorned dining tables. We've even photographed a garter complete with a compass decoration.

I think the moral of the story is - if you want to go places with your wedding day there are so many ways you can do it!

Safe Travels!

~ Erin

Flowers and Rings: Wedding Inspiration in Rochester NY

Let's talk about a few more details. Both the bright and bold and the small and sparkly. Your flowers and rings.

First we'll talk flowers. From what we've seen, there's no wrong way to brighten your wedding with flowers (real or fake). We've seen some amazing work from our local florists and even some very creative DIY from brides themselves. I love how many different ways you can create a bouquet, boutonniere or centerpiece. Some of our favorite floral vendors are shown below, including In Bloom, Rockcastle and Stacy K Floral. Check them out some of our favorites from 2017!

And then there's your rings they're the symbol of commitment, and traditional element that binds you together. The best part about photographing your rings is always trying to incorporate a little piece of you or the day into the image. For example, raindrops on garden flowers on a rainy wedding day, or between the ropes used as boating decor from a wedding day on the Erie Canal. Setting them up somewhere unique, (maybe using an elegant reflection) is a fun part of our job.

Whatever style you choose, whatever colors suit you - the most important factor in all of this is you. Be yourself, choose your style because you love it, not because it's what's the latest craze.

We can't wait to see what you come up with!
~ Erin


Wedding Cakes and Sweets: Rochester NY Wedding Photography

Let them eat cake!

Or cookies, fruit covered tarts, donuts, pie, or s'mores. When it comes to wedding cakes in Rochester NY - there are no rules when it comes to personalizing your wedding day sweets with your sweet.

It's oh, soooo delicious. Personally, I think doing cake / dessert tastings is one of the best parts of wedding planning. Taste ALL the cake!

Obviously we have a sweet tooth or we wouldn't have written a whole blog post devoted to wedding cake ideas. So if you're in planning mode, and need some wedding inspiration - check out some of the fun options we've photographed in the last year.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for dessert.

~ Erin

New York City Heirloom Album

What do you do with all of the iphone photographs you have stored away? Have you ever done anything with them? What would you do with them if they were photographs of your wedding day, in Central Park, in New York City?

Those big and little moments captured with your favorite people are most often captured on your phone. After all, it's your go to camera, right? We are professionals, but we believe that all photos deserve to be printed.

Thankfully, Andy and Elizabeth did too. So they came to us with their own photographs (taken by both phone and DSLR) from their wedding day in New York City and asked us to design them an heirloom.

So we helped them curate their story and design an album from our Artisan album series. The resulting book is both beautiful and stylish, a perfect match Andy and Elizabeth's personalities.

Do you have a story of your relationships that only lives on your phone or on social media? Just ask - we can help bring it to life.

~ Erin

One Bride's Favorites: Finger Lakes NY Wedding

Today's post comes to us from Cailee, one of our amazing 2017 brides. Her spring wedding day at Ventosa Vineyards made our hearts so full. We asked if she would mind sharing some advice and a favorite moment of the day - and here's what she shared with us.

My favorite moment of the entire day was when James and I shared our “love” letters with each other (during the ceremony). It was such a personal moment for the two of us, and it felt like it was just the two of us standing on that vineyard, instead of in front of 175 people. Seeing the pictures of us both crying (him more so than I) brings back a flood of emotions.

I remember looking at him and thinking "This is the moment that I am going to want to carry with me forever – the one where he is speaking straight from the heart, in front of everyone we know, speaking his love and truth for me." It was the most profound moment, and one that was captured beautifully through your pictures.

My piece of advice for new brides/grooms would be the following:
I know EVERYONE says it, and I honestly didn’t believe it until after our wedding day but…the day ABSOLUTELY FLIES BY. You HAVE to take a few moments just the two of you to be able to really soak in the moments.

You will be pulled in twelve different directions, at all times by friends and family wanting to congratulate you (you might not even be able to eat!), listening intently to speeches, doing your first dance(s), cutting the cake, and then grooving all night long…but do not forget to take a few moments alone to step back and look at the beauty of that day. You both did an amazing job of that, specifically when you pulled us outside of our venue and had us dance in the dark. At first I was confused, thinking “Why are we doing this when we can be inside partying!”

But the second we had a moment alone, it was so nice to breathe, get some perspective, and remember why we were really “partying”… because of our love, and our marriage. It was such a sweet, almost serene moment, to be alone and think about the day, but more important cherish exactly where we were in that moment in time. And it was a chance t0 get excited about our honeymoon!

Thanks Cailee for reliving a little of your day with everyone! :)

~ Erin