Being a Guest at a Wedding: Rochester NY Weddings

A few months ago, an invitation came in the mail. John and I were invited to a wedding, as guests! I filled out that response card as though I wanted to be the first RSVP, because I did. I was going to be there with bells to cheer on one of my oldest friends and his new wife.

I know you are thinking it, so let’s get it out of the way. I knew they had hired a talented photographer, and I trusted the pros to document their day. So, no. I did not bring a camera with me. I barely even took any photos, and most of the ones I did take (with my phone) were blurry.

Don’t get me wrong, I love photographing weddings! There is nothing like documenting a wedding day. From the nervous energy we see at the beginning of the day, to the tears and love during the vows, to the unbridled dancing at the end of the night. It’s a great job, and I feel lucky every time a couple chooses us to be the ones to do it.

Throughout the night, it came up as I chatted with old friends. I have to admit there are pros and cons to being a wedding guest. I thought it would be fun to share a few of those with you!

 The view from the cheap seats :)

The view from the cheap seats :)

Being a guest rather than photographer:

Pro: I could clap and participate in the wedding. This may seem silly, but for the first kiss, pronouncement as man and wife, introductions… those are all moments I am normally capturing with a camera. As a guest, my hands were free to clap and cheer, and that felt wonderful!

Con: The view isn’t as good. When I am the photographer, I get to move around to find the best angle. That’s my job in fact. Without looking through a 200mm lens, it was harder to see the bride or grooms faces.

Pro: As a guest, I could eat without feeling self conscious! It’s kinda funny really. As a guest, I wasn’t nearly as hungry, but probably ate 3x as much as I needed to. As a photographer, I am often staring longingly at the hors d'oeuvres, wondering if anyone will judge me for grabbing a carrot. It’s not to say that we don’t eat when I’m working, but we eat much faster. Often, when we have time to be seated for a meal, I feel guilty, as though I should be doing something, rather than eating.

Con: There were a few moments I wished I had a camera in my hand. Watching Mike wipe tears from his eyes as Abby walked down the aisle, I was torn. Part of me was so happy to be there as a witness, and part of me wished I could freeze that moment with my lens.

Perhaps my favorite part of being a guest though, was that I had my husband by my side. Working weddings every weekend, I get to hear lots of amazing love stories, romantic songs and see beautiful venues. They often remind me of my own love story, and make me wish I could dance that slow song with my husband. Well, this time, I did. I could hold his hand during the vows and laugh with him during the toasts.

It was such a wonderful way to end “wedding season.” So thank you Mike and Abby! I am so glad you found each other. Your love is a beacon and an example to others. Thank you for inviting us to bear witness to it on your wedding day.

Love always,

Lori

 Blurry Selfies: Left with the hubby, Right with friend Kaitlyn

Blurry Selfies: Left with the hubby, Right with friend Kaitlyn

Bright Heirloom Wedding Album: Patrick and Laura

Sing with me now - “It’s the most wonderful timmmmme of the year!”

As fun as it is, I’m not singing about Christmas. It’s album delivery season!

The weddings are done for the year, which you might think means I to sit back and eat Christmas cookies from here on out.

Nah, not me. I sit back, eat Christmas cookies and design custom wedding albums. Albums like Laura and Patrick's from their gorgeous July wedding in Geneva NY at Ventosa Vineyards.

The bright, blue sky and amazing sunset on their wedding day just shines colorfully in this album. I know they’re excited to have it, to cherish those moments and someday hand them down to their own children.

If you’ve been on the fence about giving yourself the gift of a wedding album, trust us, it’s worth it. It will only increase in value to you as the years pass by.

In their own words:

“Having photos in an album truly brings life to them and does not compare to looking at them online.”

We couldn’t agree more.

~ Erin

Palmyra Wedding Photography: Monica and James

Monica called me in September for their wedding in October. I’m so thankful we had their date available because while I barely knew them, I could tell they were so sweet and so in love.

They were ready for their married lives to begin and I was happy to document it for them. From the moment of their first look to their first dance hours later, they were nothing but eyes full of real love and adoration for each other. It was so inspiring to be part of this day with this amazing family.

Congratulations Monica and James, we wish you a blessed and beautiful future together!

~ Erin

Highland Park, Rochester NY Vow Renewal: Juanita & Ronald

It’s been 30 years of ups, downs and all arounds, but here they are. In the same spot where they said the original wedding vows, 30 years ago. The trees are a little taller, their love a little stronger. Surrounded by their closest friends and family, they shared their love publicly and yet intimately.

I felt honored to be there as a witness to this moment. This renewal, this promise repeated. We often see the start of a marriage, the first few amazing hours of it. It’s lovely to revisit that love over time and see how it matures.

Thanks for letting us bear witness to your journey. Wishing you 30 more!

-Lori

Norvella and Cindi: Anniversary Session at Durand Eastman Beach

They’ve been married now for five years, but this was the first time they’d seen each other in their wedding attire. You see, five years ago they went to City Hall and eloped - no photographer, just them, and officiant and witness. They never really got the chance to have the wedding day they had always wanted.

So for their anniversary, they decided to gift themselves this evening together. They got glammed up and we set up a special “first look” for them at their portrait session.

These two make me smile. A lot. They’re fun and sweet and a little bit sassy together, and I loved every minute of their session as the loved on each other at Durand Eastman Beach. It was a well deserved moment for the two of them, one which I was thrilled to play a role in. Cheers Norvella and Cindi on your anniversary!

~ Erin

Toganenwood Estate Wedding: Daniel and Lyla

Together, Daniel and Lyla created a book themed, fall barn wedding in the Finger Lakes. They included a beautiful mixture of culture and heritage, both traditional and non traditional. They created a wedding that displayed who they were, both individually and as a couple. It couldn’t have been more perfect for you.

Well, I mean it could have been warmer and with less of a threat of rain - but not even love can control the weather forecast. Despite the looming clouds, the day flowed perfectly for them.

Traditional touches filled their unplugged ceremony while more non traditional elements filled the barn during their reception. Thali of India provided a fantastic dinner. Rather than a traditional dance floor, Contra dancing (line dancing) as well as the Horah was a huge success for this group of family and friends.

They did everything their way, and it was a fantastic day to end this year’s wedding season. Congratulations Lyla and Daniel!

~ Erin

The Vendor Team
Venue: Toganenwood Estates, Lyons NY
Wedding Coordinator: MaryAnna Digancci, Stardust Events
Caterer: Thali of India
Reception Band: Wild Root Band
Rentals: Spatola Party Rentals

Halloween Portraits at Wickham Farms: Fairport NY Photographers

For three years in a row now, we’ve descended upon Wickham Farms on the last Sunday of October. And in all three years, it has been raining. I’d say it’s depressing - but after all the rain we’ve had lately, I think we’re getting used to it.

Regardless of the weather we go, and we dress up in our Halloween costumes for fun and photographs. What better way is there really to capture your family’s Daniel Tiger, dragon, or Star Wars costumes than with us? Needless to say, we were thrilled to see so many of our cute faces in their costumes!

We did our best to not let the rain stop of us from playing in the pumpkins or on the tractor. There was even some mini golf and ice cream…yes, ice cream. Because kids don’t care if it’s 36 degrees outside when it come to ice cream.

These are the real life photographs we will remember someday - when your kids no longer want you to dress in costume with them. Because try as hard as we might, they keep growing up.

Thank you to our portrait membership families for a great afternoon!

~ Lori and Erin


Daniel and Laura: Rochester NY Wedding Ceremony

When I arrived to The Baptist Temple in Rochester, NY for Daniel and Laura’s wedding, I didn’t know them one bit. They’d called just days before in need of someone to document their wedding ceremony. I quickly learned that they’re the sweetest, kindest couple with a warm loving family.

They’re also a very musically inclined family. As the ceremony began, members of the family played piano and string instruments, and sang with precision and beauty. As it echoed through the church, I found myself wishing I could record the beautiful music within my still photographs.

I left as they headed off to a brunch reception. It was a short and sweet event, but even the shortest weddings are always filled with beautiful relationships, love and happiness worth capturing. Congratulations Daniel and Laura!

~ Erin

Becker Farms Wedding: Heirloom Album

It’s been a year since Rich and Shay held their gorgeous wedding day at Becker Farms and Vizzcara Vineyards. I still remember vividly how Shay laughs, and how Rich gazed at her with adoration that day. These are the little things I’ll always remember.

Of course, having just completed their wedding album doesn’t hurt the memories either. While we aim to always have your album completed as quickly as possible after the wedding, sometimes it takes longer for our couples to decide on certain things. And that’s ok, because we’ll be here when they’re ready.

In this case, telling Rich and Shay’s story took a 40 page, Lustre Album. There were just so many beautiful images, we had to expand it to do it justice. I’m so glad they chose to, because their story is their own personal fairytale and deserved the additional pages.

What you do with the images is just as important as having the photographs taken in the first place. There’s nothing like holding your wedding album in your hands, reliving it whenever you need to and then handing it down as a piece of your history to your family.

I’m so glad that Rich and Shay will be able to do just that with their story.

~ Erin

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Below: The Story Inside

Ventosa Vineyards: Katie and Tyler's Fall Finger Lakes Wedding

Peanut butter and Jelly. Salt and Pepper. Chips and Salsa. There are some things that just naturally go together. Katie and Tyler are two of those things - their officiant told us all as much. They’re different, but a perfect fit together. We couldn’t agree more.

As our last Ventosa Vineyards wedding of the year, it was a little bittersweet, but the perfect ending to a fantastic year with their amazing team of great people.

With a fun loving bridal party and fantastic family, the cloudy, chilly day was filled with warmth. There were funny moments, lots of inside jokes, fantastic food and an amazing dance floor courtesy of Q Music Productions.

Katie and Tyler, we’re so grateful for you and your families. Thank you for welcoming us into your day with humor and love. Congratulations!

~ Erin

Finger Lakes Wedding Photography: Sara and Larry

What I love about Sara and Larry could fill an entire book. They are the kindest, most genuine couple. They’re sweet together and super fun to be around. They’re individuals and also equals.

I only wish they lived closer so we could continue to be around them all the time. They each have a sense of humor that matches ours perfectly. Every time I think of them, I smile a stupidly happy grin.

I haven’t even gotten to their wedding yet, which was perfect in it’s own Sara and Larry way. We’ve spent a lot of time at Ventosa Vineyards this year. Each time we’re there, it gets better and better. No two sunsets on Seneca Lake are the same which is why we love being photographers in the Finger Lakes (and Rochester too for that matter).

From first look to the wine cellar, to the dance floor and sparkler exit - the day was filled with amazing moments for a truly amazing couple. Congratulations Larry and Sara and thank you, for coming into our lives. Enjoy Italy!

~ Erin

Vendor Team:
Hair & Makeup: Isabella Spa, Belhurst Castle
Officiant: Jim Gerling
Venue: Ventosa Vineyards
Florist: Don’s Own Flower Shop
Bakery: Bagels and Cakes
DJ: Paradise Entertainment
Transportation: S & S Limo

Wild Wood Country Club Wedding: James and Sarah

James and Sarah had one goal for their wedding day - they wanted to keep it simple.

When I say that, I don’t mean that it was boring. Rather the opposite, it meant so much more to them because they could focus on what was important - their marriage to each other.

I arrived at Wild Wood Country Club to greet them both just before their ceremony. They had no bridal party to worry about and a small group of the most important people in their lives. There was a casual feeling to the day, as if this was any other moment in time.

They laughed and cried their way through the ceremony together, surrounded by family and friends. We then headed by golf cart for some time alone, both on the course and also near the edge of their own home.

You could tell what was important to them, and they had achieved that goal. Their love is real and true, and it was a pleasure to showcase that for them in photographs.

Congratulations James and Sarah!

~ Erin