Janelle Rodriguez Photography Blog » Award Winning Wedding Photographer

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5 years ago Dana and Jonathan were married right in Utica, New York at Historic Old St. John’s Church. Since then they’ve been station to live in Germany for the army. Dana contacted me from over seas to see if I’d be able to photograph their vow renewal and take some photos for their 5 year anniversary. My answer of course was yes! Being the romantic that I am, I’m down for anything involving two people in love. So Dana and Jonathan planned a trip back to the United States and contacted family members about returning to the exact same church to watch them renew their vows. And it was awesome!

They stood there by the alter, hand in hand, declaring their love once again. It was beautiful! Afterwards we all got together to take some family portraits and everyone looked great! And we adventured through the beautiful, newly renovated church for photos of Dana and Jonathan. The work they did in that Church is beautiful. It was a wonder time and I am so glad I was able to witness that moment. Happy 5 year Anniversary to Dana and Jonathan!

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Danica and Matthew are both from my hometown. Whenever I work with people that have the same experiences that I do with my hometown and schools, I can’t help but have a bit a soft spot for them. From understanding what it’s like to know every single person (yes, it is that small) to which teachers impacted my life growing up to being just as confused as I am that our high school mascot is a Magician. A Magician? Yes, quite intimidating! So from my first meeting with Danica and Matt I was excited to work with them and of course see what familiar faces I would run into at their wedding. Which there was many!

Not only did Danica and Matthew live in the same town, they were high school sweethearts! And I’ve said this before but I will say it again, I admire that so much. For two young hearts to be able to stay strong and grow together is amazing. That love made it through years of change and distance and now marriage! It’s a beautiful thing. And it was a true honor to be able to spend the first day as husband and wife with them.

Danica and Matthew got ready for their wedding day at The Sheraton at Syracuse University. I’ve never been there before and I’m so glad that I did because the lobby is a splendor for detail shots. I walked into a room of giggling girls and beautiful flowers arranged by Wegmans, one of my favorite places in the world! The flowers of deep reds and purples were filling the room! As their hair and makeup was done throwbacks played as the tunage and Danica got excited to tie the knot.

The ceremony took place at one of my favorite chapels, Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University. This gigantic chapel has an entrance like royalty and ivy hugging every single wall. Talk about an ambiance of romance, right? Tears were shed, vows were said, and new husband and wife strolled down the isle! I loved seeing Danica and Matthews joy right after their marriage. I know that feeling, shock, excitement, LOVE! And after greeting their guests we took photos around the campus and took advantage of the perfect day.

The beautiful day turned into a colorful sunset and then a warm night. The wedding party and newly weds were introduced and the dance floor opened. I think all their guests were prepared for dancing the moment they awoke from their beds because it got crazy! Danica and Matthew’s wedding was such a fun day and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it. They honeymooned in Vancouver and I’m soon jealous! Congratulations to Danica and Matthew!!!

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Florist – Wegmans https://www.wegmans.com/

Jewelry – Boom Babies http://boombabies.biz/

Hair & Makeup – Hair n There http://www.hairanthere.com/

Chapel – Hendricks Chapel http://hendricks.syr.edu/

Reception – Sheraton at SU http://www.sheratonsyracuse.com/

Photography – Janelle Rodriguez Photography http://janelleshootsphotos.com/

Photography Assistant – Sara Hulse

I met Olivia and Chris at a gazebo that rests in the heart of Sackets Harbor, New York. I’m glad they took me to the area because it’s a gorgeous Harbor tucked between Henderson Bay and Black River Bay. Scouting the location I found incredible historical buildings and my favorite part, a trail along the water on the Sackets Harbor Battlefield Alliance. I was excited to meet Olivia and Chris during sunset to celebrate and photograph their engagement!

Olivia and Chris met in high school. Yes, high school sweethearts that actually began their journey at Honors Society during their Junior and Senior year. They stayed together through out high school and moments of distance. And now Olivia moved to Long Island with Chris to support his studies in medical school. Now that’s love! I loved meeting and getting to know these two because they are both so kind and down to Earth. They both love sports like golfing and being foodies (I totally agree with this!). When Chris isn’t playing sports he’s studying hard to be a doctor. And Olivia is an artist! She draws, paints, and even redesigns old furniture for their home. She’s going to have to teach me how to do this someday!

I’m so very happy for their engagement and their lives together! Congratulations to Olivia and Chris! I look forward to working with you both again for your wedding which sounds like so much fun! Enjoy the celebrations and wedding planning until then, see you in June!

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Courtney and Ryan met while Courtney was working at Griffis Air Force Base and Ryan is in the Air Force. After that interaction they were constantly in communication with each other and Courtney could not stop talking about him. It was clear that something has changed in their lives. Love was amidst! Meeting the two for the first time I just think of the word “smitten”. They have an eternal fondness for each other that is clear as day when they simply look at each other. They understand one another, enjoy each other’s unwavering love, and appreciate a good sense of humor.  My kind of people!

Their wedding had a classic, rustic, charm that was done right! At Hayloft on the Arch rests a beautiful barn amongst fresh hills of green. The venue is amazing as it has a lot of photography spots to work with and the decor in the barn is perfection. After Courtney and Ryan got ready at The Tower at Turning Stone Casino & Resort, we all headed to a small old chapel tucked behind the hill of Hayloft on the Arch. There they had their First Look as bride and groom. And their wedding day officially began!

The weather turned out perfect for their outdoor ceremony right behind the barn. The sun glanced down at us through passing clouds and I loved seeing a lovely breeze flowing through Courtney’s veil as they vowed their love to each other. Courtney became Mrs. Watson and Ryan became Courtney’s husband! The celebrations began! After a relaxing cocktail hour everyone scurried into the barn. The reception started off with some amazing laughs as Courtney’s dad, sister, and Ryan’s brother gave hilarious speeches! It was the best way transition into great food, drinks, and dancing! Entertainment by the wonderful Gary Johnson

Overall, such a beautiful day that I’m so glad I was able to witness and photograph. Courtney and Ryan have quite the journey of a honeymoon. They went to Saratoga Springs to see Brad Paisley, then the Dominican Republic for some R&R, and last but not least, Las Vegas to see Britney Spears! Yes, I said Britney Spears! Courtney is a huge fan and so Ryan insisted they go. Now talk about a great husband! Congratulations to Courtney and Ryan!!

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Venue: Hayloft on the Arch

Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist: Tease & Makeup

Florist: Affections Floral Design & Event Planning

Dress: Phiajames Wedding – David Tutera

Bride’s Shoes: Adrianna Papell

DJ: Gary Johnson

Photography: Janelle Rodriguez Photography

In high school I was blessed to be really happy throughout the years. I had great friends and loved being involved in theater and tennis. Through those times I got to know Jessica who was always intelligent, passionate, and had a stunning singing voice. I remember being in awe of her talents on stage. And it was the most pleasant surprise to hear from her when she got engaged. 

She introduced me to Michael and it all made sense. This was certainly the man she is destined to spend her life with. They fit perfectly like puzzle pieces. Michael is sweet and caring. And because I love basketball so much, I loved the fact that he coaches. Getting to know them as a couple during their engagement session made me realize how when they’re together, nothing could bring them down. They are simply happy together and that kind of love is what makes the world go round.

Their wedding was an amazing trip. I brought my team who happens to be my close friends. So we got there a day early to scout locations and even had time to jump into the hotel pool to play good old Marco Polo, like the adults we are! Location scouting was incredible as I immediately fell in love with Chateau Briand in Long Island, New York. Talk about beautiful lighting, elegance, and great food! After Jessica and Michael got dressed they met for a romantic First Look. I loved seeing Michael’s reaction to seeing his beautiful bride for the first time! Jessica was a stunner for sure! We took photos around the venue, added their rowdy wedding party, and then met with their family in the Monet Studio Room. I can’t tell you how fun it was to see so many familiar faces and laugh about old high school stories.

Jessica and Michael are huge Game of Thrones fans. Their ceremony started off with huge smiles and laughs as the procession began to the Game of Thrones theme music. After a beautiful wedding ceremony Jessica and Michael were not messing around about having a fun reception. Dancing began from the very beginning and intensified through the night. The band came equipped with a drum set and wild saxophone player. And yes, that last photograph is Jessica and Michael taking over the drums and killing it! I am so incredibly happy for Jessica and Michael. I will never forget being a part of your first day as husband and wife. Thank you so much for the opportunity and have fun on your honeymoon to Hawaii, congratulations!!!

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