I was so excited to meet Carolyn and Andy because lots of times I don’t get to meet people who book me for their weddings until their engagement session! So it’s a fun time connecting the dots and getting to know their stories in person. Carolyn invited me to her father’s private camp that he purchased up North. And I was blown away as we entered through the gates. We began driving around an entire lake down a gorgeous path of Fall yellows, oranges, and reds. The property is mind blowing and really, the best of the best if you want to own a camp and really enjoy nature. I had an awesome time with Carolyn and Andy talking about their wedding next year (in now less than a year!) and their love for SU basketball. Congratulations to Carolyn and Andy on their engagement!!

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So a while ago I blogged about having a lifestyle engagement session in Krystal and Chris’s home. They welcomed me with so much warmth. We just sat on their couch and talked for awhile. We got to know each other better and then they gave me a tour of their house. Since they are huge foodies they even made a spread of food for both the lifestyle shoot and for me! So, if that doesn’t establish the type of people that Krystal and Chris are, I’ll just say it bluntly — Krystal and Chris love each other and they love people! How could I not instantly fall in love with them? They are the sweetest people you will ever meet and they are SO in love. They treat each other with such respect, they take on the world as a team, and they perfectly balance each other.

I met Krystal and her girls at The Lodge at Turning Stone Casino. Everyone was buzzing around getting ready and I love this part of the day. It’s full of excitement, anticipation, and a lot of emotions getting built up. Krystal was more than ready to see her husband to be and he was certainly ready to see her. We did a first look and I’ll never forget his reaction to seeing her. He said loud and clear, “DAYAAAAM!” I would take that reaction any day!

Krystal and Chris got married at Wolf Oak Acres, right by the beautiful pond. They had a romantic ceremony given by Krystal’s godmother which was so unique. They blended soil from each family’s home. I absolutely love that! And once they became husband and wife, they looked at each other with utter bliss! From that point on it was time to par-tay!!!! The reception was boisterous with lots of impressive dancing, delicious food, and drinks flowing. There was even a cigar bar to compliment the prohibition theme. At the end of the night everyone lit sparklers for their exit and the newlyweds went on their happy way. Congratulations, Krystal and Chris!!!

Preparation Venue: The Lodge at Turning Stone Casino

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Wolf Oak Acres

Event Planning & Design: A Mad Affair

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When looking back at Jacqueline and Mike’s engagement session, I could not wait to photograph their wedding. They are just so warm, full of kindness, and clearly in love. The day of I immediately felt that same warmness from all of Jacqueline and Mike’s family and friends. At their family home I couldn’t stop looking at their hallways covered with photographs of them. Each one told a story of Jacqueline and Mike’s life together. It showed so much of the behind the scenes joy and laughter that was about to be celebrated.

At Historic St. John’s Church in Utica, New York, Jacqueline and Michael locked eyes as Jacqueline happily walked down the isle. She looked beautiful and Michael was handsome as ever. They had a wonderful ceremony full of memorable moments and even lots of laughs. I always appreciate a officiant that can make everyone both laugh and grace wisdom about love. They were married!

We then headed to Forest Hills Cemetery which if you are a Utica local, you know it isn’t what a cemetery usually looks like! It’s actually stunning with impressive stone structures and gorgeous foliage everywhere that you look. I absolutely love shooting there! Then we headed to The Radisson hotel where Jacqueline and Michael celebrated their new marriage. I have never seen that ballroom look so beautiful and everyone was astounded as they entered the room. The night was filled with delicious food, spirits, and dancing. It was the perfect day and Jacqueline and Mike were absolutely beaming. Congratulations to these two!!!

Ceremony Venue: Historic St. John’s Church

Photography Venue: Forest Hills Cemetery

Reception Venue: The Radisson

Catering: The Radisson

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Shannon and Andy contacted me to photograph their engagement session and I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate an engagement with two people in love! We met at Chittenango Falls State Park in Cazenovia, New York on a gorgeous day. They were sweet as pie and told me about how they have known each other since high school, fell in love, and now are planning a beautiful wedding next year. The two giggled their way through their engagement session and into the beautiful sun setting. We explored the park which had so much to offer for photography including beautiful stone staircases, preserved fields, and of course, waterfalls. I loved spending the afternoon with Shannon and Andy and I’m so excited for their lives together as husband and wife! Congratulations!!!

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I’ll start with Ryan because I met him first. His best man got married a few years ago and I was shooting his wedding. At the reception this tall man picked me up, then took my camera, and started taking pictures! I thought the whole situation was hilarious and he continued to dance all night long with his best guy friends. Now that brings us to Jenna. I’ve known Jenna through her modeling career here in New York and also on America’s Next Top Model. She has worked for me for an art series and eventually became a dear friend. She messages me one day to tell me that she’s dating someone that I kind of know. Who? RYAN! The man who picked me up and started using my camera at a wedding reception. This whole thing is making me laugh so hard. Not only is it a coincidence that I know these two but I think they are perfect for each other! And of course, Jenna just knew the love between them was no joke. They were going to get married and she had to have me photograph her wedding one day. You can only imagine my excitement when the engagement happened!

Jenna and Ryan had an amazing wedding day in Saratoga Springs, New York. Ryan and his gentlemen were cool, calm, and collected. Jenna and her girls were excited and buzzing around getting ready. It’s always a room full of laughter when Jen McCarthy and Chris Burt of True Grace Makeup Artistry are there! Everyone finished up getting dressed at the Embassy Suites and then headed to Congress Park for some photos. The day was perfect with clear skies, warm air, and joyous spirits. Jenna and her father hopped into a Rolls Royce and headed to The Saratoga Polo Association for her ceremony!

Amongst polo players, a stunning flower arch, and their loved ones, Jenna and Ryan declared their forever love to each other. They delicately held hands through a beautiful ceremony given by their officiant, Margie Nowak. Many laughs, smiles, and adoring glances were shared and like that, they became husband and wife! The reception looked magical thanks to the talent of Rena’s Fine Flowers. And the party quickly began as Paul Knox of SCE Events introduced the wedding party and Jenna and Ryan! The crowd roared and after their first dance, champagne and fabulous food was served by Old Daley catering. As the sun began to set, toasts prepared the mood for the night which was heartfelt, hilarious, and fun! The dance floor quickly filled and never emptied the entire night. Jenna and Ryan’s people KNOW how to dance! It was an amazing time that ended with everyone going out onto the polo field to enjoy a fireworks show. The finale is best left explained by the last photo! This was an amazingly perfect day for Jenna and Ryan. Congratulations!!!

Videographer: Gavin Law

Caterer – Old Daley

Day of Planner – Susan Minahan

Pianist and Vocals – Christopher Dollard

Officiant – Margie Nowak

Rolls Royce and Limo – Advantage Transportation

Guestbook – Rustic Rose

Paper – Paperdolls

Maple Syrup Favors – James Hotaling

Dress – Lazaro

Dress shop, Veil, and Hair Chain – Kleinfeld 

Robes, Jewelry, MOH belt, Shoes – Lily Saratoga 

Shoes – Bagsley Mishka

DJ- SCE Events, Paul Knox 

Suits – Jos A Banks

Venue & Polo Players – Polo Association

Fireworks – Jeff Alonzo

Florist – Rena’s Fine Flowers

Makeup Artist – Jen McCarthy of true grace makeup artistry

Hair Stylist – Chris Burt

Save the dates – Wedding Paper Divas

Tent – Rain or Shine

Bridesmaid dresses – Jadore from The Dressing Room

Cake – Make Me a Cake Next Door

Garter – La Gartier

Rings – Egon Ehrlinspiel jewelers

Watch – Breitling from Northeastern Fine Jewelry

Earrings and Bracelet – Lily and David

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JANELLE RODRIGUEZ PHOTOGRAPHY

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