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Megan & Brendan – The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, New York from Janelle Bonagurio on Vimeo.

There’s so much to say about Megan and Brendan. They’re amazing people in so many ways. I really started to understand who they are at their engagement session. If you haven’t seen it, check it out! Because who can’t get enough of how sweet and stunning they are together? What really strikes me about Megan and Brendan is how they are always thinking of others. At our engagement session together, they asked about my life and took a unique effort to get to know more about me. And usually it’s the other way around! I told her about my marriage and the expectance of our first daughter. Then shortly after, I receive a baby present in the mail from them. I thought, “wow, they really know how to make someone feel special.” And at their wedding I was listening to their maid of honor’s speech and she nailed it. She said Megan and Brendan have a gift. A gift of observance and the gift of displaying kindness. Together, they make such an admirable team and one of the most inspiring loves I’ve witnessed. And yes, Megan does remember everything!

The morning of the wedding day, I packed up my equipment and headed to Cooperstown, New York. Cooperstown is one of my favorite places in New York State. The architecture is full of history and well kept. There are all kinds of beautiful parks along the Otsego Lake. But one of the most famous establishments along the lake is definitely The Otesaga Hotel where Megan and Brendan began their day. I walked right into the best vibes. Everyone was happy and Megan was so relaxed. Every stress or anxiety that is usually tied to being a bride, Megan was the opposite. And I loved that energy because it allowed her to simply take the day in and enjoy every moment. Also, she is the better version of Charlize Theron. The return of the MACK has my back on that one.

Megan stepped into her father’s vintage Mercedes and headed to the church. I ran to the back of the church to see how Brendan was doing and he was eager to see Megan. And perhaps knowingly anticipating some tears. It was a beautiful ceremony that ended with the sweetest kiss and Megan and Brendan officially became husband and wife! They rode off in the Mercedes back to the Otesaga Resort Hotel and we all took photos in the Summer sun. Relieved that the rain held off for us, we basked and stopped to feel every breeze. And perfectly enough, as the reception began, the rain began. I love rain during receptions. It creates the coziest feel. The candles in the ballroom were lit and goodness, Megan and Brendan were beaming. They got on that dance floor immediately and got the party started which led to great food, drinks, dancing, and a spectacular fireworks display. I loved every moment of this day and more importantly I loved seeing Megan and Brendan so incredibly happy. Cheers to these amazing newlyweds! You have such a great future together ahead of you!

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Photography: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

Secondary Shooter: Sara Hulse

Makeup: Ashtyn McMichael

Hair: The Church Salon

Florist: A Rose is a Rose

Coordinator: Bisou Weddings and Events

Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Church

Preparation & Reception Venue: The Otesaga Resort Hotel

Catering: The Otesaga Resort Hotel

Entertainment: Soul Injection

It drives me crazy when beautiful couples tell me they aren’t great in front of the camera or they don’t take a lot of photos of themselves. Amra and Stefano told me this and I took it as a challenge. Well, then I’m going to try my hardest to capture exactly who you they are and what their loves represents. And what does it represent exactly?

Stefano: She almost showed me her wedding dress!

Amra: Well, he’s my best friend! I just want to tell him everything!

And I could not relate more! When you’re in love with your best friend you tell them everything! Surprises are difficult to keep and you know everything about each other. I’m very excited for these two long time sweethearts to be getting married.

We shot their engagement session at Yaddo Gardens in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was the peak of the roses blooming on a beautiful afternoon. And Amra and Stefano even brought a vintage styled bike to play around with. They ARE beautiful, aren’t they? I look forward to photographing them more on their wedding day. Congratulations to Amra and Stefano on their engagement!!

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Kailey & Eric – Celebrations in Ithaca, New York from Janelle Bonagurio on Vimeo.

Sometimes I meet couples that inspire me and Kailey and Eric are one of those couples. Why? They inspire me because they love to it’s full capacity. They aren’t afraid to show it and it’s positive energy is just contagious. I watched these two on their wedding day in absolute bliss and came home feeling inspired to be more playful and free spirited. These two are incredible individuals and make an even more powerful team.

Kailey and Eric are both musicians and also teach music. They met at Ithaca College and if you haven’t already seen it, we decided to do their engagement session back where it all began. That engagement session was the perfect insight into how their wedding day would unfold. It was packed with great emotions and joy and dancing!

The day began in the heart of downtown Ithaca, New York at a Victorian Bed & Breakfast called The William Henry Miller Inn. Kailey and her maid of honor met me with the best energy. They were jumping on the bed and dancing to music. Such a great start to the day! As Kailey got dressed, Eric arrived for their first look. I’m so glad that I captured those expressions because it’s crying, laughter, and pure joy all rolled into one. The weather was fantastic, not a cloud in the sky, and lovers were awaiting to be wed!

We all headed to Celebrations Banquet Facility & Catering. This venue is a photographer’s goldmine by the way! It has hedges of grandeur, a beautiful garden, and a field to frolic in! The tent for Kailey and Eric’s guests started to fill up and the ceremony began. I loved everything about their ceremony! There was a Vietnamese tea ceremony and blessings of the rings. I always appreciate ceremonies that blend some modern with some traditional. It was just perfect! And wallah! Kailey and Eric are married and they literally jumped for joy.

Next on the agenda was party time. Everyone entered the building for what was an awesome time. The speeches were heart wrenching and the dinner was delicious! The drinks began to pour and the dancing commenced. Kailey gave me a heads up that it would be a dancing crowd and she was absolutely right. What she  didn’t mention was that she’s a dancing queen! She killed it on the dance floor. And yes, I even saw Eric busting out some sweet moves! The day in its entirety was so much fun and I feel so blessed that I was there to capture it all. Congratulations to Kailey and Eric on their new marriage!

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Photography: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

Secondary Shooter: Gavin Law

First Look Venue: William Henry Miller Inn

Reception Venue: Celebrations Banquet Facility & Catering

Catering: Celebrations Banquet Facility & Catering

During my consultation with Laura, I was feeling blessed that we hit it off really well. She’s an awesome balance of sweet, intelligent, and strong and on top of that, a furious beauty. That’s a force to be reckoned with so of course the man she’s going to marry has got to be awesome. She told me the story of how she met Jobin at Geneseo College. They were friends at first and then they grew on each other! 5 years later, they’re planning a romantic, intimate wedding in Albany. This day, I cannot wait for!

I met Laura and Jobin at Yaddo Gardens in Saratoga Springs, New York. Jobin was exactly as I expected. He has a calm about him that is warming and he looks at Laura with unwavering love. Together, they light up and I really enjoyed watching them laugh and blossom in front of the camera. It’s as if each photo kept getting better and better. We ended our session at Saratoga Spa State Park where Laura and Jobin often go to hang out. Amongst the beautiful green trees and the creek where the Saratoga springs flow, we hung out and finished up our session with excitement for their wedding this Fall. Congratulations to Laura and Jobin!

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Meagan & John – Hayloft on the Arch from Janelle Bonagurio on Vimeo.

Meagan and John’s story began 6 years ago at a grocery store. They were both employees and Meagan being the strong and daring woman I’ve come to know, asked John where the pistachios are. You know, “for a customer”. Wink. Wink. Truthfully, Meagan had her eye on that handsome devil and just had to strike up a conversation. That single moment of bravery turned into 6 years of a beautiful relationship and now a cherished marriage. They have stayed together through college, moving to Minnesota for John’s career in forest conservation, and then to New York City to be an urban forest restoration supervisor while Meagan works as a pediatric occupational therapist. Whoo! Talk about going strong!

Meagan and John have smiles and energy that is infectious! I entered their wedding day with pure excitement for witnessing them tie the knot. Meagan and her girls were busy bodies getting ready. Her parents were anxiously awaiting all of the emotions that were bound to emote. The moment Meagan stepped into her Kleinfelds dress, those that were present were blown away, including myself. They had a church ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in New York Mills, New York. John was beaming when he saw his bride walking down the isle. I swear, he was going to explode somehow. But I suppose he had to save that energy for the dance floor later on. The ceremony was beautiful and spoke many truths about the meaning of marriage.

Once Meagan and John were officially newlyweds, the party was ON. We had an incredible time taking photos at Hayloft on the Arch in Vernon Center, New York. The Summer sun was shining and everyone was having fun. As the reception began, the barn filled with rambunctious guests! Every single person there was ready to celebrate Meagan and John with great food, plenty to drink, and dance moves galore! Megan and John proved their moves. Even Meagan and her father surprised us all with a heartfelt dance that broke into a fun choreographed dance! Everything about this day was joyous and I’m so happy for Meagan and John. Congratulations to these beautiful newlyweds!

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Photography: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

Secondary Shooter: Elisha Hill

Church Venue: St. Mary’s Church

Reception Venue: Hayloft on the Arch

Catering: Pumpernickel’s