Oh Syracuse, even though you’re almost as warm as NC right now I still miss you around the holidays. This will be my first Christmas in my new home with my new hubby, which is exciting in itself, however a piece of my heart is definitely in NY. Daniel & I haven’t had too much time to think about what Christmas (and holidays in general) is going to look like for us. We’re excited to figure out what “traditions” we want to implement in our home. I’m hoping egg nog & Christmas movies might be in there somewhere!
Since I’m missing the ‘Cuse right now, I thought it’d be appropriate to share one of my NY weddings with you all! Not too long ago I had a quick trip up for Alida & Matt’s absolutely incredible wedding day. Like wowzah people, these two have such a beautiful story to match their beautiful hearts!
Alida & Matt met and started dating in 9th grade. NINTH GRADE people! I don’t know that I’ve kept in contact with anyone from school, let alone in a relationship with them! They stayed together through their tumultuous teens, college years, travels for lacrosse, ups, downs, and everything in between. Their wedding day was such a celebration! Everyone who attended seem to radiate joy that these two were finally to be wed! I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a wedding where so many stories were shared of how generous, kind, welcoming, beautiful, and loved these two have always been. It made my heart happy to capture such sincere and heart felt moments for Alida & Matt.
You know how in Christmas movies there is always that moment where the main character gets overwhelmed with the love of his or her family? Well that was Alida…pretty much all day long…and it was fabulous! Almost every time I turned around during the “getting ready” process, Alida was holding back tears, hugging someone, and soaking it all up! The ceremony was just as emotional for both Alida & Matt and all of their beloved family and friends.
The reception was unreal people! Not only was Sky Armory decked out, but there was a celebrity appearance by none other than Otto the Orange! He kicked the night off with a grand entrance and it sure set the tone for a party to remember! Alida & Matt’s celebration could have gone on for days and I think everyone would have stayed to dance it out! All in all it was so much fun and I’m just in awe of this beautiful couple and their love that has already weathered so much and stood the test of time. Thank you Alida & Matt for your trust and love, it was an honor to capture your Love Story!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
A huge thank you to my bestie Emily of Emily Elizabeth Studios for being my awesome 2nd shooter and pulling a double header weekend. 22 hours of shooting and you didn’t die! You’re amazing! <3
– Tell me a bit about the planning process for your wedding:
The planning process began back in 2002, when we started dating in 9th grade and I knew that Matt was going to be the man I would eventually marry. From day one, I started to set aside ideas of color schemes, wedding verses and decor ideas and the theme. Hey- I had a LONG time to plan to make my wedding dream a reality! We both agreed that the ceremony would take place in my home church and for the venue we knew that we wanted something unique. SKY Armory was still a shell of a gutted department store when we first saw it, but Matt and I knew that it would ultimately be the perfect setting for our celebration. We knew that we wanted the wedding to reflect who we are as individuals as well as a couple and really be a wonderful reflection of our love.
– What was the most memorable moment(s) of your day?
Our first look was one of the most memorable moments for us. Just having that time for the two of us and then being able to pray together before we set off for the church was pretty special. Another unforgettable moment took place on the corner of Walton and S.Franklin while we were taking photos. We were walking down Walton Street and stumbled upon a saxophonist. Mabyn had the wonderful idea of asking him if we could pose with him for a photo and he started to play “Here Comes the Bride.” After the photo, we tipped him and started to cross the street to S. Franklin for more shots. As we were walking across the street, the saxophonist started to play “Always & Forever” by Heatwave as well as Luther Vandross. We stopped at the corner and realized that he was playing OUR song! Nobody that was outside with us knew that it was our song, our first dance! So we started to dance on the street corner, just the two of us.
– Funniest memory from your wedding day?
That I couldn’t stop crying! Tears of joy were flowing left and right. Watching all my girls get ready-tears. Opening my gift from Matt- tears. Watching all my girl’s all read the notes that Matt had written them- water works. Explaining to my cousin (flower girl) that her bouquet was modeled after our grandmother’s wedding flower and the wrap around our bouquets was a piece of her wedding dress- TEARS. The first look with my father- There wasn’t a dry eye in the room! It was also pretty funny that Matt, Mabyn, Emily and I were locked out on the parking garage roof for just a brief moment!
– If you had to do it all over again would you change anything?
I would ask for God to add a few more hours to the day!
– Any advice for future bride & grooms?
Try not to sweat the small stuff, like arguing over invitation wording and fonts. And really try to be in the moment- take just a few minutes that you can stand with your spouse and look at all that came of the work of planning a wedding and all the people that are there to support you guys as you venture into a great new journey.
– What was your biggest fear before hiring me? Did it come true, and if not, what happened instead?
I think my biggest fear was letting go of the reins and letting Mabyn do what she does best! Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a planner and of course I had a whole Pinterest board of the “must have shots.” I tossed out all but one or two of those ideas and really put all my trust into Mabyn. That’s why we hired her of course!
– What, specifically, was your favorite part of working with Mabyn Ludke Photography and why?
Mabyn has a wonderful eye for the beauty all around us. Whether it’s capturing a reflection in a window of marriage prayer, the pure joyous expression of having just walked down the aisle, or just the magic of dancing on a street corner, Mabyn captures it all beautifully!
– If you were to recommend Mabyn Ludke Photography to your best friend, what would you say?
I would say that it was hands down the easiest and smartest decision in wedding planning! Mabyn is a true gem, an instant friend and an absolute joy to work with!
Hair: Joanna Rizzo owner of My Salon // Makeup Artist: Serenity Kucharski // Dress Designer & Store Location: Enzoani & Mirror Mirror Inc // Jewelry: Her wedding rings from Tacori from Skaneateles Jewelers and his from Littman/Skaneateles Jewelers. Bridal earrings from Mirror Mirror Inc and bracelet from Matt’s parents Lorie & Tom. // Veil or Hair accessories: Mirror Mirror Inc and the clip was my something borrowed from my bridesmaid Emily // Shoes: Angela Nuran // Bridesmaids Dresses: thedaintyard from Etsy // Grooms Attire: Calvin Klein from Men’s Wearhouse. // Ceremony Venue: Erwin First United Methodist Church // Reception Venue: SKY Armory // Additional photo venue: Armory Square, downtown Syracuse // Florist: The Floral Gardens // Transportation: J&J Limousine // DJ: Black Tie Entertainment // Caterer: SKY Armory // Cake: Biscotti Cafe & Gelateria // Event Designer: Most of the design was my own vision with the help of Nicole. // Wedding Coordinator: Nicole Samolis from SKY Armory // Lighting: SKY Armory // Invitations & Stationary: Wedding Paper Divas & home made by Matt & Alida // Videographer- BVCinematic