rochester ny wedding photography

Vineyard Wedding Venues Series, Skaneateles NY: Anyela's Vineyard

We’ve worked at so many wedding venues in the Finger Lakes and the Rochester NY area. So many in fact, that we thought it might be helpful to engaged couples to show you a series of some of the vineyard wedding venues we’ve had the pleasure of working at in the area. In the next few weeks we’re going to show you one at a time - so if you’re on the hunt for your perfect Finger Lakes vineyard wedding, follow along!

We’re going to start with Anyela's Vineyard in Skaneatles, NY. It’s a beautiful setting for a wedding. There’s a great gazebo space for a ceremony on a beautiful garden filled lawn. The view is spectacular.

What’s great about Anyela’s is that there’s a separate space for each portion of your wedding. From the ceremony, you head inside to the winery for cocktail hour and then from there, into the beautiful pole tent where the reception will take place. It’s been a bit since we’ve been there, but we remember the meal like it was yesterday.

We love that there is a huge variety of photography options on the grounds of Anyela’s. The flowering beds, the view, the vineyards, and the cellar doors all make for great photo locations. And the sunset scene was to die for. Gorgeous. Enjoy a tiny glimpse of what we loved!

~ Erin

Ventosa Vineyards Wedding, Advice for Wedding Couples from Sara and Larry

Sara and Larry’s Ventosa Wedding was like being at one of our own family weddings. These two and their families made us feel so at home. So when they said they wanted to write up some advice for wedding couples I was so excited. But when we saw what they wrote, I swear it put us over the moon with happiness. We’re so, so honored and I swear to everything, we did not solicit these exact words.

Read on to find their advice for engaged couples:

I have so many favorite pictures, but I  wanted to share the one I attached because I love how it captures so much happiness and fun! I honestly believe that the most important part of our wedding was having you guys share the day with us. 

Sara's advice: Do not, under any circumstances, skimp on having the BEST photographers.  This is the most important decision you can make for your wedding. Having an amazing venue is certainly extremely important, but even with the best venue, if you and your photographers don't mesh, or if they don't share your wedding day vision, you will miss out on so much you didn't know was happening throughout the day. 

Larry's advice: Take time and enjoy the day because it really does fly by!

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Thank you, Sara and Larry, for your amazing words. Are you one of our past couples? Would you like to share your favorites with us? Just get in touch - we’d love to hear in your words what your favorites were!

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

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

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

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


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

 

6 Healthy Habits for Feeling Great on Your Wedding Day

Today we have a special guest post for you, coming from local strength coach Kurtis Bednarcyk, CFSC of Next Level Strength & Conditioning in Fairport, NY.

We believe that no matter what you look like, you deserve to be photographed beautifully. But we know that we all have our insecurities as well, especially if your wedding day is right around the corner. So Kurtis wrote some tips for us, on how to look and feel your best on your wedding day.

And there is a special offer for our blog readers at the bottom, so be sure to scroll down! Take it away Kurtis!
-Lori

Kurtis Bednarcyk, Certified Functional Strength Coach of  Next Level Strength & Conditioning

Kurtis Bednarcyk, Certified Functional Strength Coach of Next Level Strength & Conditioning

The Next Level Bride Guide: 6 Healthy Habits for Wedding Day “WOW!”s

Congratulations, you’re planning a wedding! Nobody told you there’d be so much to think about: guest lists, table settings, music and reading selections...it goes on and on. And of course, you want to look your best on the big day; there will be SO. MANY. PHOTOS.  - p.s. if you haven’t chosen a photographer yet, we happen to know someone. :)

We’ve all witnessed plenty of radical approaches for the wedding “transformation,” but unfortunately most are either unsuccessful or unsustainable. Good news is, we’re here to help! This isn’t your typical “10-Day Detox Plan,” which will only serve to add to your stress as the big day nears; instead we’re offering 6 simple practices you can pick up today, so you can bring your best self to the altar, the honeymoon, and every day after that. Let’s do this!
 
1) Prioritize protein and healthy fats
All too commonly in our daily lives, a meal or snack is dominated by carbohydrates – think bagels, bread, chips, pasta, etc. A diet too high in carbs can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and hormones, and is a common driver of excess body fat as well as the emotion appropriately termed “hangry.” If you’re looking to lean out a bit, each of your 3-5 meals should contain at least a palm sized portion of protein - fish, poultry, lean meats, eggs, or legumes; and a thumb sized portion of healthy fats – avocado, olive oil, coconut, or grass-fed butter. A small handful of nuts can work here, too.

2) Taste the rainbow
Time to make your plate look pretty! Supplement your protein and healthy fats with as many vegetables and fruits as you can handle, and set a goal to eat at least 5-6 different colors each day. Don’t stress over these calories; produce is full of vitamins and minerals and is next to impossible to overeat! The fiber will assist in satiety andt you’ll likely see an improvement in mood and productivity as well. 

3) Plan and prepare your meals
To borrow a quote from Josh Hillis, “fat loss happens on Monday.” That means preparation is key; don’t purchase all this healthy food only to have it spoil in the refrigerator because you had a few long days at work. We recommend putting aside an hour or two at the beginning of the week to chop your veggies and cook your proteins. Also, invest in some convenient containers to pack each serving so it’s as simple as grab and go.

4) Strip down your coffee
What if  we told you your daily morning treat may contain up to 7 or 8 HUNDRED calories?! Whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle don’t belong in your coffee cup, ladies – that’s a milkshake! If the thought of a cup of black joe makes your hair stand on end, try adding 1-2 creams/sugars to start and titrate down over time.

weights

5) Hit the weights
While most changes in body composition will hinge upon improving your dietary routine, a proper strength training program will enhance them by exciting your muscles and kicking your metabolism into high gear. You may have heard that aerobic-based exercise – or “cardio” – is the most efficient option for fat loss and that heavy weights add unwanted “bulk,” but to be frank, those reports are flat out wrong; a functional body looks the part. An added benefit: the empowerment factor - strong is the new sexy!

6) The 6-minute morning hack
Rather than hitting the snooze button (3 or 4 times for some), instantly charge your morning with 5 minutes of light stretching or meditation followed by a big glass of water. For best results, do this right on your bedroom floor before checking your phone or even turning on the lights. This sets the tone for the entire day, and puts you on track to maintain the rest of these habits.

Pretty simple stuff, right?! Now the challenge is putting this into action TODAY! We’ve called this the “Bride Guide,” but your partner – and everyone else, really - would benefit from adopting these habits too.

The take-away is this: don’t chase the “quick fix,” but rather, develop a lifestyle that will continually add value to your life…until death do you part!

Cheers to forever!

You can find more from me on Facebook @ Kurtis Bednarcyk, CFSC or on Twitter @KBinatree

Next Level Strength & Conditioning is also very active on instagram and facebook. Check them out for all your fitness needs!

Next Level Strength & Conditioning, Fairport, NY

Free Fitness Training!

Try Roots (adult group classes) for Free for a week! Just mention you were referred by Lori & Erin! Email us at Info@trainatnextlevel.com or visit us at TrainAtNextLevel.com to learn more.

Valentine's Day is For Everyone: Fairport NY Photographers

Valentine's Day. Whether your totally for it or tend to call it "amateur hour," it's a holiday that as photographers, we do not ignore. It doesn't come in one shape or size, but it does fit everyone.

We stand for love. And while yes, the traditional holiday is meant for romantic gestures between loves - it's also so much more. Romantic love isn't the only game in town.

Yes, love is a first kiss and a first dance.

But it's also a 60th wedding anniversary dance.

Love is cuddling your kids.

Love is cherishing time with grandparents.

Love is having everyone in the same place, because it's rare.

Love is sisters and brothers.

Love is an adorable pet.

Love is your girl squad.

Love is reminiscing over first dates together.

Love is holding hands through the hard stuff.

Love is enjoying the silly things.

Love, is whatever you want it to be. It's whatever moment means the most to you, with those you truly treasure.

Valentine's Day is for everyone, because love is everything.

Happy Valentine's Day!

~ Erin

Elopement in Rochester NY: Melissa and Will

In the short time I spent with them, Melissa and Will made their wedding day as beautifully full as possible. They arranged a heartfelt ceremony, and family "first dance", a cake cutting, and fantastic dinner with their immediate families at The Edward Harris House.

The cherry on top - was the 50 degree day at the end of November, which allowed us to sneak outside for a few moments of portraits.

Not only did they say their vows to each other, but also to the children who were included on every part of their wedding, as well as their lives as a family of four.

The kids were so excited for the ceremony, and naturally the cake that came afterwards.

Congratulations Melissa and Will - It was a joy to be part of something that so clearly emphasized love and family. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to capture and give it back to you.

~ Erin