Wedding planning

5 Tips for great wedding photography : rochester ny photographers

We've been the Bride, we've been the bridesmaids, and we've also been the wedding planners. On top of that...we're in the market to make great wedding photographs for you. It's our goal to give you a great experience and awesome images. That being said, there are a few things you can do to get some great images from your big day. We've compiled a few tips that might give you some things to think about as you plan your day, from our humble perspectives.

1) Consider doing a first look on the day of your wedding. We talk a lot about them. Get all of those important photographs done in advance, while you look your best! And have a special moment to yourselves before the guests arrive. 

2) Do an engagement session. It's a great chance to practice being in front of the camera! You'll get comfortable in front of the camera, on your own terms, doing something fun together with your fiancee! Knowing how your photographers will work with you will make your actual wedding day so much smoother, and your photographs will reflect that. Besides that, it's a lot of fun!

3) Work together. We make it a point to go over the timeline of your day with you. We want to make sure there's enough time for all of the important details. We'll tell you if you have enough time planned for photography because it's important that you and your photographers are on the same page all day! From working with you on your list of family photographs, to planning driving time in between locations. There's so many things that a Bride and Groom can overlook in timeline planning.

By planning ahead with us, we'll make sure that your day is as stress free as possible because we already know what to expect! That way you'll be able to enjoy that time in front of the camera so much more!

Bristol Harbour Wedding Photography, Canandaigua NY Wedding

4) Don't rely on a pinterest "shot list." We love Pinterest for gathering ideas. It's a great place to share and learn, and to design your flowers and wedding color scheme. But when it comes to specific photographs you want taken, don't rely on it completely! It's perfectly ok to share your ideas, but it's less ok to expect that exact same photograph you found on Pinterest. You are hiring photographers based on their style, and their unique vision for your day. And while I'm on that note, be sure you know what your photographer's style is!

5) Request an unplugged wedding At the VERY least, unplug your ceremony. It makes us sad when a camera sticks out in that perfect moment of you seeing your fiance, or looking over at your dad. Let your guests have their hashtag fun at the reception, but ask them to stay in the moment with you when it counts. Your photographer is there to get the shot. We have a variety of ways over on Pinterest to help you get your point across.


Bonus Tip - Most importantly, trust us.  If your photographers come to you with what you think is a crazy idea - trust them! Sometimes the craziest ideas create amazing artwork for your walls. Again, you hired them for a reason...let go, trust them, and just have fun with the whole experience!

Q & A with a Wedding Planner: Rochester NY Weddings

Every day we meet new people. We meet new families to photograph, new couples getting married and new vendors in the wedding and photography industry.

It's just one of the perks of our job. We love working together with everyone we meet to create something wonderful. 

Today we're excited to introduce Denise to you. She's the owner and creative brain behind Muse Coordination + Design here in Rochester, NY. Wedding and event planning are her specialty as she believes that love inspires life and everything we do in it.

She's a self proclaimed coffee addict with a love for the tv show I love Lucy. She has two talented children and believes in serving her community in whatever ways she can.

We're enjoying getting to know her better all the time, and can't wait to work on a few projects with her in the near future.

So we recently had the chance to sit down with her to work on a project of ours, and we also asked her to answer a few questions about herself and about wedding planning. 

Here's what she had to say.

~ Erin

How did you get started?
It’s something I began doing through various jobs, or for friends and family for years. I genuinely enjoyed it, and I thought ‘this is your passion, you should be doing this.' My husband Terrell and my kids have really supported and pushed me to do it, so here I am, "Denise the Muse Lady" as some of my past clients call me. (I kinda like it.)

What is your general philosophy about weddings?
My philosophy in general is that being different is not a bad thing, but a beautiful thing. I find that I have to stress this more with my wedding couples because there are so many people involved in the overall planning process. Ultimately the wedding should be a reflection of the couple.  

What do you love about what you do? 
I love the act of service that comes from working with a couple on their wedding. I am not only there to help them plan, but to be the person they can vent to when things don’t seem like they will work out the way they want, or when a family member is over stepping boundaries (and yes that happens) but most importantly I love see the smile on their faces when they see what their special day looks like all put together. 

Who is your ideal client? 
My ideal client is not afraid to think outside the box. They tend to respect classic over trendy. They’re open and they know that being themselves is the only way to be. 

What is the one question a couple should ask a wedding planner, that they never do? 
That’s a great question, there are so many I could list, but I think a question that they should asked would be “How many hours does it typically take to plan a wedding?”

Here’s why I think that’s important - because although every wedding is different, some are small and some are of a larger scale, it gives you a guide to better understanding what your planner is doing for you. Understanding all of the time, energy and love that your planner puts into making the day you have envisioned your whole life as special as you want it to be, helps you understand not only the cost associated with hiring a planner but the importance of having one in general.

To be honest it takes a planner less time to plan a wedding then it would take a couple to plan their own wedding. But that is because of our experience and the relationships we have with other vendors. So even if you think it’s a superfluous cost a planner can save you time, energy, money and most importantly peace of mind. 

To contact Denise and Muse Event Coordination + Design:
Email: or Call: 585-484-9722

Becky & Dan: A Wedding Album


Their wedding was stunning. We loved it. It was the first time we'd ever seen a bride and groom transform their own barn into a beautiful reception space, perfect for their own wedding day. There were so many amazing details, it made it hard to leave any of them out of their wedding album when we designed it. See for yourself on Becky & Dan's blog post. When it came to designing their album, it was easy to let the photographs tell the story. They chose this great two-tone brown leather cover, which fit their country wedding theme perfectly. We were thrilled to put this heirloom together for Becky and Dan. I hope they'll enjoy it for years to come, and share it with their family as it grows. Enjoy this peek at their awesome wedding album! ~ Erin



Elegant Wedding Album: Welch Allyn, Skaneateles Wedding Photography

Another gorgeous wedding album is in the hands of one of our couples. Their spring wedding at the Welch Allyn Lodge, in Skaneateles was absolutely stunning. So it shouldn't be a surprise that their wedding album is just as beautiful. They chose to build the cover of their album around the colors in their wedding, with a modern metal cameo and pink stripe on a traditional modern black leather. You could say it's the best of both old and new album worlds.

Jessica and Keith also decided to give their parents a duplicate copy of their album as a thank you gift. It was a great gift for a wonderful set of parents. Even there we managed to customize their cover to match their wedding.

I loved the whole thing, from the cover to the story inside. Gorgeous...just like Keith and Jessica.

~ Erin



Becky and Dan: Waterloo NY Barn Wedding, Finger Lakes Wedding Photography


Last September, Becky and Dan's barn looked like this:2014-06-19_0034.jpg

This month, it looked like this: 2014-06-19_0007.jpgTalk about a true labor of love! What a transformation! I mean, I admit when Becky said they were completely renovating a barn on their own property for their wedding, I didn't see this level of gorgeous coming. It was absolutely stunning, this was a true DIY wedding. They baled every hay bale themselves, assembled each of 50 tables as well as a balcony to hold them, bought every vintage plate and glass, and strung every chandelier and light. And all of their little details worked together beautifully - they left nothing untouched.

From the smiles, tears and laughter we captured on their wedding day, you could clearly see that every ounce of sweat was worth it. If you ask them today if they agree, I'm guessing they'd say yes. What a beautiful day, and wonderful plan to get married in your own backyard.

Imagine the stories that Becky and Dan will get to share with their children and grandchildren - that all started at home on their farm. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones talking, but that get's me a little teary eyed.

Take a look at the rest of these images - you'll see what I mean! Congratulations to the sweetest, warmest and most welcoming family on such a spectacular wedding day! ~Erin

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Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography

Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography

Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography

Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding PhotographyWaterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography2014-06-19_0032Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography2014-06-19_0031Waterloo NY Wedding Photography, Finger Lakes NY Wedding Photography

It took a village to pull this wedding's the cast of family, friends and vendors! Venue: Bride, Becky & Groom, Dan (and family!) Wedding Planner: Mom, Laurie Absolom Wedding Day Coordinator: Patricia Stevens Officiant: Pastor Leslie Apetz Caterer: Simply Elegant Catering, Frank and Maria Schmitter Baker: Bagels and Cakes/Club 86 Florist: Wegmans Hair Stylist: Kim's Creations, Kim Casasanta Make up Artist: K'Bella Spa DJ: RD Entertainment Videographer: Duprey Video Productions Photographers: Lori Coleman and Erin Perrotta Photographers Assistant: Linda Hayes

Rustic, Winery Barn Wedding Published!


Yay! We've been published again! It's so exciting to see our work featured on other blogs and in publications. This time, Nicole and Chris's, Virginia Wine Country Wedding was featured on Love & Lavender  as part of their "Winery Wednesday" blog series! Check out the full post here!

In the blog, they give some great DIY tips, right from the family of the Bride. It's really great to know that some of the details and ideas we've photographed can go to helping others plan for their own wedding day.

Here's a little screen image of the published blog - which included a snippet from our own blog post about their wedding. Check that one out too!

rochester ny wedding photography, published photography

Contest time and a small request : Rochester NY Wedding Photography


Rochester Bride & Groom CoverI have a's an easy one. It's a request you could have completed in the time it takes to finish reading this sentence. Please support us, and our amazing couple in hopefully winning the Spring Cover Contest for the Rochester Bride & Groom Magazine.

All  you have to do is click on the link below, like the image, then share it on your own facebook page: Kim & Mike

It appears that as of now, we're a little behind in this contest, so every vote you could help us gain would very, very appreciated!

Kim and Mike's day was a great one. Their amazing Wingate Barn wedding had many beautiful DIY touches. On top of that, they're also an amazingly fun group of people. They worked so hard to make their wedding day a success. So it's because of that, I believe they deserve to be this spring's cover winners.

It would really mean a lot to me to see one of our own on the cover of this magazine again. We've been fortunate to be a part of this contest a few times now, and each time it's exciting to be a part of. But we haven't won the cover in WAY too long! So we really need your help!

I've already thrown out the "I'm pregnant" card, but I won't hesitate to use it again and again...

So pretty please? Won't you support a fantastic couple? All it takes is a few clicks and a share!

To see more of Kim and Mike's day on our blog - check it out here!


spotlight on : q music productions


Have you ever noticed us dancing along to the music at weddings? If you haven't, you're missing out on some amusing entertainment! :) We love it, even if our moves are less than stellar. And we know that music and entertainment are vital to a successful wedding. Like any other vendor, it takes a true professional to make your day perfect.

Joe, from Q Music productions is one of our favorite DJ's to work with. He's trained, professional and always keeps the party going! I know from experience, he never lets the music stop. He seamlessly transitions one song right into the next. Before you even realize it you've danced for 20 minutes straight.

Q Music Productions wedding DJ Rochester NYQ Music Productions wedding DJ Rochester NYQ Music Productions wedding DJ Rochester NY

We asked Joe a few questions, here's what he had to say!

How did you get into the music industry and being a DJ? Funny how it all started, I always wanted to play a musical instrument. I started with the trumpet, and when that didn’t work out, I then decided that drums were for me! I bought a drum set, got all set up in my parents basement and later found out that maybe guitar was the better answer! It turned out that I had no musical talent and traded all my gear for dirt bike and a train set. I graduated from high school and went on to college where I decided that maybe photography was for me. Well, it turned out that I had the love for the arts but had no patience for camera settings.

I started going out to clubs in the early 80’s and discovered the art of mixing songs. While everyone was dancing I planted myself near the DJ booth and listened and watched different DJ’s mix music and make great transitions, so I said to myself “this is it!!” I bought some DJ equipment and practiced and practiced, but never worked a wedding or a club. I continued to purchase bigger and better equipment from a local source, where one day the clerk at this particular store asked if I was interested in working for a local DJ company to which I replied YES!!

I trained for 2 years, before I was given a shot at my own show; you see, I was microphone shy at the time. I'm not sure when it happened, but I overcame my fear of the microphone, and the rest is history! I worked at several nightclubs; I worked with radio stations WPXY, WCMF and WDKX in Rochester and also worked at several record shops around the area, as well as several major record labels, until my kids were born and then it was time to be a dad.

Today, I have a very supportive wife who helps me with the business, my son is a drummer and my daughter is going to be a photography and communications major. I'm living my dreams through my children.

What do you feel sets you apart from others in the industry? I'm honestly not sure, I’m not flashy; I don’t believe I’m the star of the show. I love dealing with people and love to make a special day, a memorable day. I feel that it is very important that you work closely with venues and other professionals to ensure a successful event. I love to entertain!

What is the secret to a great party? Planning and being able to adjust to certain circumstances. I love a challenge and I love to have a great time, so I treat every reception the way I would if it were mine. As of matter of fact, the DJ at my wedding was so nervous that I had to get up on stage and DJ my own reception! (mind you that this was the same guy I trained with for 2 years) We danced the night away and the venue begged us to stop, because it was 2:30 in the morning. That was the best night of my life!!

What advice do you have for brides and grooms to be? Relax and enjoy the day! Choose music that would be a hit with your family and friends and go out and have the time of your life. I always recommend that couples take a couple of dance lessons. There’s nothing more elegant and exciting than when your family and friends witness the first dance, it sets the tone for a great evening. This is one of the best days of your life!

People always wonder, what’s the DJ’s favorite music? I love the sounds of the 80’s, Italian and Spanish, and at the end of a show; I love to listen to talk radio to clear my head :)

To contact Joe, visit their website:

Q Music Productions wedding DJ Rochester NY


spotlight on : Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo

Every bride dreams about what her wedding dress will look like, and what the bridesmaids will wear. It's not everyday though, that the Groom and his guys, get the spotlight. Well, today we're going to change that a little and share some insight into the world of men's formalwear. We recently visited Vittorio Menswear and Tuxedo in Rochester for some new portraits of the owner, Matt McDermott. Vittorio's is a local, family owned shop with a nationwide network, and all the latest styles of suit, tuxedo and even kilts. Whether for a wedding party or a prom, they have it all.

They have all kinds of fun stuff going on too - including a great idea for "proposal" tuxedos and even a high school senior scholarship program. They love to be a part of the community around them, and make them look good in a tux at the same time. :)

They're on Facebook and have their own blog - so it's easy check them out and stop in for your big day.

groomsmen tuxes, vittorio formalwearvittorio1vittorio2

Here's a quick Q&A with Matt! Enjoy!

1) How long have you been in business? How did you get started in the world of formal wear? Vittorio’s has been in business over 40 years. My wife Jennifer and I purchased the shop just about two years ago. I worked at a men’s shop in high school and college and really enjoyed the work. I did some other things after college but wanted to return to the industry so when the opportunity to buy the shop came up we jumped on it.

2) What's your favorite look right now? Well-tailored, fitted looks and higher end fabrics are really popular right now. It’s a nice contrast to the boxier looks and cheaper fabrics that most people think about when they think tux rental. Grey has been very popular color-wise over the past few seasons but I’m really partial to the classic black and white tuxedo with a self-tied bow tie. After all, what guy doesn’t want to look like Brad Pitt or George Clooney?

2) How does a couple figure out their style? What if the groom has very different ideas than the bride? Do you have any advice on negotiating as a couple? We start by trying to understand the couple’s vision for their wedding day – recommendations for a rustic barn wedding are different than a classic black tie affair at a high-end venue or a destination wedding on the beach. It’s often no different than other wedding planning decisions and there can definitely be some give and take between the couple on colors or styles.

I’m a big advocate of being able to try on some styles or colors to see how it actually looks in real life. The models in the designer’s photographs or catalogs always look great – the real test is how the groom looks in the suit or tuxedo.

Sometimes compromises involve things like reducing the amount of color – for instance matching that bridesmaid dress in Malibu Blue or Coral with a vest, tie and pocket square can sometimes be a bit much for a more conservative groom. A more subdued vest with the color picked up by just the tie and pocket square can still provide a unifying theme without overwhelming the guys with colors they may not be as excited about.

3) Are there any do's and don'ts of wearing formal wear? There is etiquette around formal wear but at the end of the day, most couples aren’t planning a scene from Downton Abbey. That said, most guys don’t wear formal wear every day so relying on a specialist to help navigate things can be helpful. A wedding is a milestone event and having specialized clothing like the tuxedo is a time-honored tradition.

In my view, your groomsmen shouldn’t be confused with a foursome on the golf course or guys going to a Monday morning meeting at the office. A wedding is a special event in people’s lives and the clothing selections should reflect that.

4) What's your best tip on how to choose the right tux or suit for a groom? Take into account your body type and skin tone when selecting a tuxedo – slim fits can look great on slimmer body types but not as good on a fuller frame. Conversely, a classic fit tuxedo on a slimmer guy can give the impression that you’re wearing your big brother’s suit. White tuxedos or dinner jackets look great with darker skin tones, but aren’t as flattering with very light complexions.

groomsmen tuxes, vittorio formalwear

Visit them at 1900 East Ridge Road, Rochester NY 14622 or schedule your appointment at 585-467-7711.

Lori dodging the hats for an awesome portrait!

Wedding Reception Locations | Where we've been and where we're going

Rochester is home to so many beautiful locations to host a wedding. From grand formal to beach casual and everything in between. We have had the pleasure of working at several of them. For those of you still looking for venues, we thought this might be a helpful list of some of what is out there.

Where We Have Been:

Hyatt Regency, Rochester NY The Hyatt is beautiful because of it's modern feel. There are so many neat little locations, perfect for photography and the food is always outstanding. Hyatt Rochester Wedding Photography, Rochester NY Wedding Photography

Colgate Divinity School, Rochester NY Everything from the chapel to the ballroom gives this space a classic feel. It's proximity to Highland Park helps too! Colgate Divinity School Wedding Photography, Rochester NY Wedding Photography

Bristol Harbour, Canandaigua NY If you're looking towards Canandaigua Lake, Bristol Harbour has amazing views and a fun rustic decor. bride and groom alone bristol harbour wedding ceremony

Harro East, Downtown Rochester NY Harro East has a great set up for large weddings, and a stage for live entertainment, if that be your heart's desires! harro east wedding photography, rochester ny

Genesee Valley Club, Rochester NY Custom designed weddings from start to finish! It's another one of those historical, and classic beautiful spaces that just takes your breath away. Genesee Valley Club Wedding, Rochester NY

Casa Larga Vineyards, Fairport NY It's the perfect vineyard setting, right here in our own backyard. It's got vineyards, it's got wine, it's got a grand ballroom. Love it. Casa Larga Wedding Photography

Barn Weddings, Rochester NY We've had the opportunity to work at two different barn locations recently. One was Kindred Ground Farm, and the other was the Wingate Barn. The rustic theme lovers will feel right at home at either of these two locations. Wingate Barn Livonia NY, Barn weddings rochester ny

Here's some of the other venues we've been too: Radisson Riverside Hotel, Rochester Plaza Hotel, Plantation Party House, Eagle Vale, Deerfield Country Club, Woodcliff Hotel, Burgandy Basin Inn, Cobblestone Creek Country Club, Steamboat Landing, Lakeshore Country Club, Tapas 177, Belhurst Castle, The Rabbit Room, Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Ravenwood Golf Club

This year's weddings are taking us to some new places like Midvale Country Club and the Avon Century Barn. We always love new locations, because it gets our creative juices flowing, allowing us to see things in a new way for you.

My suggestion to you is - think about your style, and what you want your day to look like. Then, come talk to us! We can give you ideas and a direction that will get you on the right path for you. No, we're not wedding planners - but we have enough experience in wedding industry that we can maybe help guide you towards your dream day.

And while this short list focuses solely on Rochester, we do enjoy working all over. Here are some other places we have had the pleasure of working:

Syracuse and Buffalo - These two destinations are not too far for us to photograph a wedding day! Melbourne, Florida - What a treat to be a part of some warm sunshiney wedding fun. Virginia Wine Country - A destination worth visiting, especially for a wedding! Our trip there was certainly memorable!

On that note, we love to travel and are looking forward to new experiences in new locations. We hope to someday visit: The Carribbean, Italy, Hawaii, France..anywhere really! We have our passports ready, and are willing to travel with you and your bridal party! There are so many benefits to taking us along for your destination wedding. For example, wouldn't be nice to know your photographers in advance of the wedding day? Also, not only would you have wedding coverage, you'd have rehearsal coverage, and even some vacation photographs too! What's not to love about that idea?

Having a destination wedding or looking for the perfect venue? We might be able to help, so say hello and let's start a conversation!

the "why" behind engagement portraits : engagement sessions rochester ny

You've shared the news with your family and friends and started the wedding planning; getting engaged is such an exciting time. We're really enjoying getting to know so many great, newly engaged, couples so far this winter. However, with each couple we meet, a popular question keeps arising - "Is an engagement session really necessary? I mean, we're just going to have the wedding photographs soon after, right?" Well, since it's been a hot topic for us lately, here's our two cents on why we feel engagement sessions are important. First and foremost, it allows you as a couple, an opportunity to feel more comfortable. Not only in front of the camera, but with us. We know that no one starts out feeling comfortable with a camera aimed at them. Getting a chance to work with us before your wedding will definitely help you feel better about the camera on your wedding day. Consider it a practice round. The more we get to know each other, the better your photographs will be. You'll be more willing to open up to us and be yourselves, which is so important.

Beyond that, an engagement session is a great way to really show off your personality in a more casual way. We encourage our couples to pick the location for their session based on who they are, and what they love to do together. Maybe it's where you first met, or first kissed. It could be at home in front of your fireplace, or on a hike with your dog. It could even be in your favorite downtown Rochester location. Or if you're having a fall wedding, but LOVE spring flowers, we can set your session up during the spring, to show you as a couple in multiple seasons. If you have a puppy you want to include, but can't bring to the wedding, your engagement session is that opportunity! The options are truly never ending.

Even some of our most bashful grooms have walked away from their engagement session saying, "Wow, that was more fun than I thought it would be."  We take that as a huge compliment!

Ultimately, it's a chance to be you, while creating some fun, memorable image for wall portraits, your guest book, and save the date cards. If you choose to, these images can also add another dimension to your wedding album - telling your story from fiancees to husband and wife. What we love is getting to know the real you, before the nerves of the wedding day set in.

If you're still on the fence about an engagement session, have a peek at some of these images...

Keuka Lake Engagement Session, Keuka College

Even winter engagement sessions are fun!

Will we travel for an engagement session? You bet...Skaneateles and Alexandria Bay are just two places we've been.

A Park Avenue engagement session, fun and a unique location to the couple!


making you comfortable and having fun are our engagement session goals!

Questions? Let us know! -Erin