Proposal Photography Rochester NY: John and Nicolette

If you're about to propose to your significant other, take notes. John Luke has that milestone mastered. I mean, wow.

Photographing a proposal was new to me until now. It's been a bucket list session type for me, so when John Luke called and told me his plans I could not wait.

He reserved the space at the Sunken Gardens, and planned an "art show" called Grounded Garden for his fiance to be, Nicolette. He had created seven paintings, which follow along the seven Chakras, and also were significant moments in their relationship. He had music, mimosas, and even a fake brunch reception that made the whole plan believable. I have to admit, playing my role as the "event photographer" was a little scary, but my minimal acting skills were on point that day.

Even as Nicolette commented on the the artwork, she never saw it coming until he got down on one knee. It was soooo beautiful.

Despite the 98 degree weather, it was a beautiful moment to capture for these two. I can't wait to see where their love takes them next as they plan their future together. Congratulations Nicolette and John Luke!

~ Erin

Seneca Lake Wedding Photography: Laura and Patrick

The heatwave that had been lingering lessened for one day, as we met the bridal party getting ready at the stunning Del Lago Hotel & Casino. It was a gorgeous start to another great Finger Lakes wedding day.

The groom and his guys were up for anything, even a quick trip into the Casino, while the bride and her ladies finished getting gorgeous.

And then, off to Ventosa Vineyards we went where it was the most perfect day for Laura and Pat to have all of their loved ones gather together to celebrate with them. It's such a beautiful and rare moment in life to have all of your favorite people in one place at one time.

I have so many memorable moments from their wedding day - from reading and writing their vows, their sweet first look, the cutest flower girl ever, some stellar dance moves and the feeling of love surrounding them.

And that SUNSET though...seriously, sailboats and everything! It was goooorgeous - just like Laura and Pat. Congratulations you two!

~ Erin

Finger Lakes Wedding Photography: Melanie and Chris

I've never met someone quite like Melanie - she's sweet and playful with her own brand of confidence. When she was told they had to use the rain plan on their wedding day, she was downright happy about it.

That's what it's all about - even when she could have been disappointed, she smiled and danced and still felt all the feels on their wedding day. Because at the end of the day, she had exactly what she planned for - she was married to Chris.

But here's the thing... it didn't really rain. Not during their emotional first look at White Springs Manor. Not through their family and bridal party pictures. And it barely sprinkled during their ceremony and reception at Ventosa Vineyards.

Whenever they looked at each other, it was with love - usually followed by laughter.

As Finger Lakes NY wedding photographers, we're so lucky to know and work with the best couples. They roll with the circumstances and always with love and grace. Melanie and Chris are no exception.

As they celebrate their Italian honeymoon, we're happy to share the story of their day with you. Congratulations Melanie and Chris!

~ Erin

Vendor Love
Hair & Makeup: Bombshell Salon
Wedding Dress: Allure / Xenas Bridal
Accommodations: White Springs Manor
Wedding Venue: Ventosa Vineyards
Florist/Decor: In Bloom Florals
Officiant: Judge Frank Geraci
Bakery: Bagels and Cakes
DJ: Paradise Entertainment

Ventosa Vineyards Wedding: Matt and Sarah

Matt proposed to Sarah on a weekend trip to visit her family here in New York. I think she knew it was coming, but wasn't expecting it that particular weekend, in front of the family she loved.

Then, in front of everyone they loved they said their vows and began their marriage. It was the perfect June day for a Finger Lakes wedding.

Getting ready in Sarah's hotel room felt peaceful from the minute we arrived. They laughed, ate and put the final touches on their makeup as if this was any other Saturday.

Their first look was priceless, Matt's reaction couldn't have been more perfect. And he gave her that same look of love as she walked down the aisle as the ceremony began.

They took it all in, every minute they could, with laugher and love felt emotions for all who came to celebrate with them.

And that sunset walk in the vineyards - yes, please!

Matt and Sarah - thank you for allowing us to share this time with you and congratulations again!

~ Erin


The Vendor Team
Hair Stylist: Julie Pagano
Makeup Artist: Bridal Biz, Linda Vaskoski Howard
Wedding Dress: Sophia Tolli
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Wedding Venue: Ventosa Vineyards
Officiant: Peter Sielaff
Entertainment: Nathan Baker, Fingerlakes Entertainment
Florist: In Bloom Florals
Bakery: Felicia's Atomic Brewhouse & Bakery

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!! 

-Lori

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

INSIDE THE ALBUM


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

INSIDE THE ALBUM


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