Adirondack Scenic Railroad | Sarah, Jenn and Mary go on an Adventure!

Posted by / October 16, 2017 / Categories: Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Every year I take on the adventure of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad with the layover in Thendara! This year was no different, well, other than the fact one of my best friend’s couldn’t get time off of work and I missed her dearly. My pal’s Jenn, Mary and I headed to Utica from Syracuse to catch the train, not without a thruway rest stop jaunt to Starbucks!

We boarded the train and enjoyed the scenery from the dining cart (my go to train car for this adventure). Once we arrived in Thendara (about 12pm) we noticed that the shuttles to Old Forge were all full and it would be 15-20 minutes until the next ones so we called an Uber (the only Uber in the area, haha) to bring us to Old Forge. Our first stop was to the Front Door Diner for lunch. We know Old Forge is a small town, but we were reminded of this fact when we were told by our Uber driver that the diner we picked for lunch was run by his son! Ha. Guy, our driver, knew we wanted to hit up the McCauley Mountain chair lift afterwards so he hung out and had some coffee while we ate our chicken bacon ranch pizza and drank our iced teas.

We called for an Uber and what do you know, we were paired up with Guy again! He brought us to the mountain and we were up, up and away on the chair lifts to the top of the mountain for more scenic adventures! Once at the top of the mountain we wandered around taking photos and descended after maybe 20 minutes. The way back down via chair lift isn’t my favorite. I’m used to ascending via chair lifts, having skied for 7 years of my life, but descending by lift wasn’t a part of my practices. I was a bit uncomfortable on the way down but kept reminding myself that it was worth it for the views and photos we got along the way!

I was suddenly distracted by the height and steep mountain side when I thought I noticed Guy’s truck in the parking lot, still. Did he stay and wait for us knowing we’d need a ride back to town?! Yep, he did. When I was almost to the bottom of the mountain I called for an Uber and what do you know, like we said, Guy being the only Uber in town was paired with us to bring us back to town. Ha. We hopped in his truck and he dropped us off in town where I met up with a photog friend of mine, got smoothies and sweets and headed to a few shops. While on the last leg of our adventure, we ran into a wild deer just hanging outside of someone’s house. It was so friendly and curious that it tried to eat Jenn’s frozen chai drink and her pumpkin cookie!! We were able to get some up close and personal photos of the deer which was such a unique and amazing experience! The deer did not eat human food during said photo shoot, it just attempted to.

Time slipped by us, apparently, as I looked down at my watch and realized it was 4:22.. Our train was planning to leave at 4:30 and we were still in Old Forge and needed to get back to Thendara! We ran out of the store we were in and looked for any shuttle bus that may have been lingering for any slackers like us, but there were none in sight! We started to panic and think of all of the ways we would have to get back to our car in Utica! (Would Guy have to Uber us all of the way to Utica!?!)

After my head cleared from panic and the thought of Ubering to Utica from Old Forge I called for an Uber to bring us to Thendara train station and what do you think happened? We could see the diner that we had lunch at and we happened to see Guy’s truck in the lot and Uber paired us up with him (Surprised? Told you he was the only one, haha). We started running over to his truck as we saw him leaving the diner and we hopped in. He sped off with us in tow telling us he had a feeling we would be calling for him one last time! Haha. He hauled us over in record time and we made the train!! We were so thankful for his excellent service not only in our time of panic but for waiting at the diner and chair lift for us while we enjoyed our time in Old Forge! Uber success!

Without fail, Jenn passed out on the train trip home (typical) and I headed to the open air train car with Mary to enjoy the ride home. We were in that car the entire trip home which was perfect because at the start of the ride I was starting to feel nauseated which wasn’t exciting seeing we had a couple of hours to be in the train! The open air car was amazing and the fresh air pouring in the car with the landscape passing us by was lovely. I forgot about my motion sickness and posed for some photos for Mary and before we knew it we were back in Utica where we stopped for a lovely Italian meal and adult beverage at Georgios and ended the evening at the park and ride where we met up in the early morning! It was an amazing day and even though the tradition of riding the train up has been in the books for 5ish years, I think next year I’m going to plan a car ride up and possible overnight! But we’ll see! In the meantime check out some of the photos I took on our day trip!

Ramada Geneva Lakefront, Geneva, NY | Rachel + Sawyer are Married!

Posted by / October 12, 2017 / Categories: Weddings / 0 Comments

Rachel and Sawyer created a mini getaway to the Finger Lakes wine country for their big day, choosing the Ramada Geneva Lakefront as the central location. When SHP arrived, Rachel and her ladies were ahead of schedule, donning adorable matching tank tops, and they had all the dresses set up for a photo opp! Sarah definitely took advantage of that and then set out to create a portrait of Rachel’s dress solo, including the “something blue” (a piece of one of her father’s blue dress shirts) and a piece of her mother’s wedding dress sewed into the underside of her gown. When Jenn knocked on Sawyer’s door and he answered, it was clear he was ahead of schedule too! He was dressed but for his jacket, so Jenn found some nice light and encouraged him to make a few last adjustments to his outfit as they waited for the rest of his guys to arrive.

During getting ready, the guys seriously questioned the necessity for pocket squares as each of them tried to find the perfect fold. Once they settled on one, they toasted Sawyer with some Jack Daniels – Sawyer’s departed father’s spirit of choice. He mentioned a few memories of his father before they kicked back the whiskey, and then it was time for Sawyer to see Rachel for the first time that day. Meanwhile, Rachel’s ladies gathered round to help her into her dress and with her finishing touches, including a lipstick touch up, buttoning of her dress, and final veil placement. Rachel was handed her bouquet for the final touch – suddenly she was a bride about to see her favorite person for the first time that day.

The Ramada sits on the Geneva Lakefront Park, which provided a lovely back drop for the couple’s first look. Sawyer patiently waited as Rachel approached. When he turned around to see her, he literally jumped in the air with excitement! They had lots of time to canoodle for couple portraits and then wedding party arrived right on time for their turn in front of the camera. During, the planning process Rachel had picked out a few images for inspiration, which was useful during the wedding party formals. The inspiration allowed for SHP and the wedding party to get a little goofy and have some fun. Rachel and Sawyer brought framed images of both sets of parents on their wedding days to have a portrait taken with them as well. We thought this was a very cute idea and a wonderful nod to what eventually brought them to this very day. After the wedding party was photographed, family portraits were a breeze! The couple included a framed photo of Sawyer’s father in the majority of the family portraits, which was a touching detail we loved and respected. And like that, the majority of the formal images Rachel and Sawyer wanted to capture for the day were done before the ceremony even started.

That ceremony though! They wrote their own vows, and were both fully prepared for this; however, Sawyer was not prepared for the surprise Rachel had! During her vows, she explained that she had written him a letter years ago (two weeks into knowing him to be specific), the day she realized she wanted to spend her life with him, and sealed it. It remained sealed up until this very minute, where she proceeded to open it with trembling hands and through happy tears, read it to him and all their witnesses. She had everyone in tears! It was a beautiful display of true love.

Their adorable ceremony led straight into an indoor/outdoor cocktail hour along Seneca Lake. Cindy Ormond of Ormond Entertainment helped Sarah accomplish a bunch of requested group shots during this time, which was awesome. The sun was beginning to set, so Sarah and Wesley nabbed the couple right before the beginning of their reception to get an awesome shot of them against a beautiful cotton candy sky! (While working on this photo, a couple strangers approached Rachel and Sawyer and they playfully posed altogether – totally random and funny because the same thing happened during their engagement session!)

As master of ceremonies, Cindy got the reception rolling smoothly (per usu – we love working with her and Barry!) and introduced Rachel and Sawyer as husband and wife for the first time. They shared an adorable first dance to “Moondance” by Van Morrison, complete with emphatic hip action at just the perfect times. After the maid of honor and best man gave heartfelt toasts, a delicious plated dinner was served. We were very impressed by the food at the Ramada and trust that their guests were too!

Once the cake was cut, the dance floor opened and flooded! After snapping a few grand shots of the dance party, Sarah and Wesley headed out to the pier to set up an epic night shot for the couple. After our time on the pier, SHP said goodnight to Rachel and Sawyer, wishing them the most fun for the rest of their night.

We hope you enjoy some highlights from this adorable, sweet couple’s best day ever!

Congratulations & best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Kerr!!

Featured Wedding Professionals || Dress Designer – Kenneth Winston | Dress Retailer – Rebecca’s Bridal Boutique | Groom & Groomsmen Attire – Men’s Wearhouse | Hair & Makeup Artist – Studio Salon | Cake – Wegmans | Florist – Wegmans | DJ – Ormond Entertainment |

Camp Brockway at Pratts Falls, Manlius, NY | Caitlin + George are Married!

Posted by / October 11, 2017 / Categories: Weddings / 0 Comments

Caitlin and George’s special day began at Caitlin’s sweet grandmother’s home (what lovely gardens she keeps!). Caitlin and her ladies gathered in the kitchen and dining room to have their hair and makeup done by the team from Hair & There. They shared hair and makeup stories (like the one time Caitlin wanted those classic twists from the 90’s in her hair for prom and ended up with something WAY different), made each other laugh, and nibbled on snacks. Team SHP made great use of the getting ready time. Sarah took portraits of Caitlin’s dress with all the bridesmaid’s dresses as well as some solo dress shots. Each dress each had adorable hand decorated hangers made by Caitlin. Jenn took photographs of Caitlin’s details while waiting for the men to arrive. When Caitlin was able to get a glimpse of her hair once it was done, she couldn’t help but get a little choked up – with some flowers tucked in back and a sparkly tiara atop her head – it was beautiful and everything she had imagined. Her ladies and family oogled over how beautiful Caitlin looked!

George arrived with his guys and they made their way downstairs without seeing Caitlin. Once the guys were all buttoned up and tucked in, it was time for Caitlin and George to see each other for the first time that day. Caitlin’s grandmother’s yard provided a lovely early fall back drop for the first look moment and some couple’s portraits. Caitlin was all smiles as she approached George and placed her hand on his shoulder, waiting for him to turn around. Once they shared their sweet moment, they posed for a few shots against that dreamy background.

Camp Brockway at Pratt’s Falls Park was just a short 4 minute drive from grandma’s house. SHP beat the wedding party their by a few minutes and started taking photographs of the interior and details. When Caitlin came in and saw what her friends and family had accomplished with the space, she again, became a little choked up. Lovely red, orange and green autumn inspired lanterns with LED tea lights hung from the every beam of the cabin. Blooming Gals floral arrangements adorned all the tables and filled the mantelpiece. Caitlin’s handmade, gold animal table number holders sparkled in their places. Each place setting was marked with a caramel apple too! She even made the cake topper – two golden fox adorned in their wedding best! She is a zookeeper, so it was very important to her to incorporate animals into their big day. Caitlin and George introduced their guests to several conservation organizations and invited them to donate to these causes in lieu of gifts. They had a table of information on each one with handcrafted boxes for the donations. What an awesome idea!  Kirk of Select Receptions surprised the couple with some uplighting in the space which made everything glow with warmth! Once Caitlin composed her overflowing joy, everyone took their places for the ceremony.

With a brief but lovely ceremony behind them, Caitlin and George posed for photographs with their loved ones while guests enjoyed deviled eggs and pulled pork sliders from Dinosaur BBQ. Once the couple was introduced to the reception they shared their first dance in front of everyone. Both Caitlin’s grandmas got to witness it! Guests were then treated to an awesome buffet of Dinosaur BBQ complete with bangin’ cheesecake!

After they cut their wedding cake, the dance floor opened and Kirk got everyone out there – even Caitlin’s grandmas – they sure did boogie! Before the sun was set, Sarah took Caitlin and George back out for a few evening couple’s photos. Here are some highlights from their sweet Big Day:

Congratulations and Best Wishes Mr. Glass & Mrs. Gordnier!

Featured Wedding Professionals || Groomsmen Attire – Men’s Wearhouse | Hair & Makeup Artists – Hair & There Salon | Caterer – Dinosaur BBQ | Cake – Murphy’s Specialized Pastry | Florist – Blooming Gals | DJ – Select Receptions |

Beak and Skiff, Lafayette NY | Apple Picking with the Proias!

Posted by / October 9, 2017 / Categories: family / 0 Comments

This past Monday my pals Caitlin and Kyle with lil Oliver in tow, picked me up and we headed off to Beak and Skiff to pick apples! If you’re not from our neck of the woods I just need to let you know that this apple orchard has been voted best orchard in the country two years in a row! How awesome that it’s just ~20 minutes away and the best!? Lucky is!
I was in Kyle’s tattoo chair the Wednesday before and their apple picking plans came up so I offered to come along with my camera. I snapped candids of them while apple picking myself. It was a lovely adventure! We took a quick tractor ride to pick apples, went to their tasting room to try their hard cider, apple wines and apple spirits like honeycrisp vodka and vanilla chai vodka. Mmmmm! We also hit up the general store where Oliver found the train table and spent a good chunk of time playing with the trains and the Proia’s stocked up on regular cider to mix with the honeycrisp vodka they bought. It was a fun adventure and a beautiful bright and sunny day. The campus wasn’t crowded because it was a weekday, so we basically had the place to ourselves!

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Embassy Suites, Syracuse, NY | Malissa + Jamey are Married!

Posted by / October 9, 2017 / Categories: Weddings / 0 Comments

Malissa and Jamey’s big day was organized and planned to happen all in one place – the Embassy Suites in East Syracuse. Team SHP got there a little early to scope the place out. The ceremony space – in the hotel’s foyer – was all set up along the meandering indoor creek, which we thought was pretty unique. While Malissa and her ladies got ready in one hotel room, Jamey and his dudes gathered in another. The ladies made the final adjustments to their outfits and helped Malissa with her dress while the guys teased Jamey about the socks they received as gifts to wear for the day – totally mismatched and in wild colors. Jamey laughed as they teased, while he quickly put on his three piece suit.

Once the ladies were finished getting ready, they stepped out in the foyer for a few photos. Jamey was directed to stay inside his room since one can see the foyer from every single floor. He relaxed with his guys as they reminisced about his recent bachelor party and they toasted him with some Jack Fire! Soon after, he was looking at his watch and telling everyone it was time to take their places.

Malissa made her way up to one of the top floors of the hotel without being seen. There she met her father and together they waited for their cue to aboard the glass elevator. Everyone watched with captivation as Malissa and her father boarded the elevator high above and descended on their way to meet Jamey at the altar. A close friend from North Carolina had the honor of marrying them. After their “I Do”s were sealed with a kiss, they received their guests and said a quick hello as guests made their way to the cocktail hour at the far end of the foyer. Once the receiving line was done, Malissa and Jamey’s families braved the brisk autumn air like total champs for some family portraiture outside.

Ormond Entertainment made sure the ceremony flowed into the cocktail hour and that the cocktail hour flowed seamlessly into the reception. They also rocked the reception space with some killer purple uplighting! Cindy Ormond (who referred us to this sweet couple – thanks again!) introduced the bridal party in her delightful signature style and cracked a few awesome jokes that got the entire room laughing. After Malissa and Jamey shared their first dance, both of their fathers took turns on the microphone to make everyone cry with their kind, proud words (team SHPs eyes may have welled up too!).

Salads were served before the final two toasts. Then Malissa’s daughter Madeline toasted her mom and new dad with humor and genuine gratitude. Jamey’s best friend Brian made the final toast and tied everything together. There was so much love and admiration in the room! After a plated dinner, Malissa and Jamey took the microphone to thank their guests for coming from near and far. They reminded them of how important they are to them as well! Malissa then shared a dance with her father, and Jamey asked his mom out onto the floor right after. Both dances were so sweet.

Once the cake was cut (a cupcake tower topped with a cutting cake that made the ceremony quite the precarious, brief adventure), the dance floor opened up and quickly flooded with happy feet!

Here are some highlights from Malissa and Jamey’s best day ever!

 

Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Sharlow!

Featured Wedding Professionals || DJ – Ormond Entertainment |

The Lodge, Skaneateles, NY | Elle + Nicholas are Married!

Posted by / September 29, 2017 / Categories: Weddings / 0 Comments

Best friends Elle and Nicholas chose to get married near September’s end at The Lodge at Welch Allyn in lovely Skaneateles, NY. The day began there with the ladies getting ready in a large conference room while the men gathered in a conference room on the other side of the building. Elle was poised as she had her hair done. Her bridesmaids played a game where Elle had to pick who would be most likely to do what appeared on the card each girl would take turns drawing from the pile. It was a great way to get some giggles and keep the nerves in check!

Nicholas and his guys quickly adorned their three piece suits across the way. While they polished their bling, Nicholas assured the guys that most of the days’ events would be taking place inside. This seemed like a great relief to everyone since it was an 88+ degree day in late September! (Phew…..! Hot.)

Elle had her ladies by her side to put the finishing touches together; they secured her veil neatly, gave her a little help into her awesome Harry Potter high heels, and paused to pose for the best silly photo all together. Then it was time for Elle to see her love for the first time that day!

Elle and Nicholas chose to do a first look, a decision that can be a wise timesaver, a chance to calm some nerves, and have the potential to be the best snuggle a girl needs at just the right moment! It also allowed the couple to complete wedding party portraits before the ceremony, which was super beneficial this night in particular because The Lodge’s cocktail hour spread was pretty bangin’, (Ummmm, there was a poutine station….!) and the bride and groom got to enjoy every moment!

The formal reception kicked off with introductions and Elle and Nicholas’ first dance. The best man and maid of honor respectively toasted the couple to start the dinner hour. The centerpiece to each table displayed beautiful florals by Whistlestop Florist in gold vases atop a stack of some of the couple’s’ favorite books. Accompanying each table number was a gold framed quote about love. Every guest received a bar of handmade soap, personalized for Elle and Nicholas’ wedding day. It’s orange smell was very pleasing!

Once the cake was cut the party started and Sarah set out to create and set up an epic night shot. When everything was set, Sarah sent Tim in to ask Elle and Nicholas to step outside on the deck just for a moment to pose! The moon even made an appearance which made Sarah do a happy dance!

We hope you enjoy some highlights from Elle and Nicholas’ best day ever!

Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Duffany!

 

Featured Wedding Vendors || Dress Vendor – Mirror Mirror Inc. | Hair & Makeup Artist – Jennifer Pearson, Inspire Studios | Cake – Patisserie | Florist – Whistlestop | DJ – Visa Versa |

Sky Armory, Syracuse, NY | Danielle + Sriraj are Married!

Posted by / September 22, 2017 / Categories: Weddings / -

Sarah and Sriraj go way back, back to their days in high school. So when he contacted her about photographing his wedding day it was natural for her to be excited. When he told her that the big day would include both Hindu AND Christian celebrations and ceremonies her excitement quadrupled!

Leading up to Danielle and Sriraj’s big day, we did a lot of planning! Sarah quickly realized that there would be a ton going on and some extra studio work would help to elevate some of the weekend and day-of urgency. Danielle brought all her Indian outfits into the studio to practice putting them on and get some great images of each one; hanging up and her in them. This was just the start! In Indian culture, there are a few pre-wedding day celebrations/traditions, and the couple asked Sarah to document it all!

On the Thursday before the wedding, Danielle wore one of the outfits previously photographed during a mehndi ceremony, which entailed her having her arms and legs decorated with henna. One of the traditions is to write the groom’s name in the henna design for him to find later on! Her friends and family joined as well as Sriraj’s family! On Friday morning, the Ganesh Puja prayer ceremony was held, it was quite an experience to watch and document. That night, team SHP attended and documented the Garba, which is a big dance party with performances to celebrate the couple. The couple and some family and friends did a few choreographed dances and then the dance floor flooded to perform the Garba. We knew that if the Garba was just a glimpse into what the next day would be like, we were in for a ton of fun!! The walls and the floors shook from the music and jumping, it was absolutely epic!

The morning of Danielle and Sriraj’s wedding day started with getting ready at the Jefferson Clinton. Danielle, her mom, best friend and Sriraj’s sisters got their hair and makeup done together with some upbeat music playing in the background. Danielle sipped on her bridal Starbucks drink as she waited for her turn. Once makeup was set, it was time to get Danielle into her traditional Indian wedding gown. This involved an expert in pinning lehenga’s and adding the finishing touches, Pinal. She helped Danielle drape the lehenga around her waist and pin it to her head. Danielle’s mom looked on as she tearfully reflected on how her daughter had grown into a beautiful woman. They shared an emotional moment together as Danielle was patiently pinned into her dress. Everyone was in awe as Danielle adorned her henna covered hands and arms in bangles and traditional, colorful, sparkly jewelry. Sarah was fascinated and excited to be documenting it!

Meanwhile, Sriraj quickly got into his Sherwani with his brother, brother-in-law and nephew by his side. They discussed a few last minute details (and toasted to the groom with shots of fireball) before heading out to get in place for the first look.

Given that Danielle needed some guidance when purchasing her outfits, almost everyone had seen her traditional dress except for her dad, so it was important to her to share a first look moment with him. We made our way to the alley by The Blue Tusk to orchestrate a first look. After a sweet and tearful moment with her dad, Danielle went around the corner to hide so Sriraj could get in place! With his back to her, she slowly walked up to him and put her hand on his shoulder. He turned around and immediately embraced her before taking a step back to glimpse the full sight of her in a traditional Indian wedding gown. Afterwards, Sarah realized she had placed the couple right under the elephant at Bistro Elephant, and we reveled in the perfection of the placement for a moment.

With a jam packed day ahead of them, the couple, Sarah and Wesley made quick work of capturing some lovely images around the Armory Square area before parting to prepare for The Baraat.

We think every groom should have such a celebration. The street right in front of Sky Armory (where all the rest of the day’s actions would be taking place) was shut down to traffic. Sriraj got on a horse 2 blocks away and the DJs led the large group down the street with their van pumping out celebratory music along with a bhangra dhol drummer. Everything came together perfectly and you could feel the energy flowing as Sriraj’s friends and family danced down the street to celebrate his arrival to the ceremony. Once Sriraj reached the venue doors, Danielle’s parents were there to greet him and officially start the Hindu ceremony portion of the day. The Pundit guided Danielle’s mother through the blessing and welcoming and then they entered the venue.

The Sky Armory did an awesome job fitting nearly 300 guests into the ceremony area. The altar was framed by a Mandap, which the both ceremonies took place under. Sriraj was blessed by the Pundit and then Danielle was asked to enter the ceremony space. The Hindu ceremony commenced, and it was another awe-inspiring experience to document! Once the ceremony was finished, Sriraj’s nieces and nephews bribed him for his shoes! Come to find out, this is a common tradition, since the groom cannot leave the ceremony without his shoes, and it is a fun way for the kids to participate by adding some playfulness.

Guests then went to the 2nd floor of Sky for tea and cookies while Danielle and Sriraj gathered with family for some portraits. Before too long it was time for Danielle and Sriraj to change into their Western attire for the Christian ceremony. Guests smoothly transitioned back down to the ceremony space with help from the Sky staff.

The Pundit who performed the Hindu ceremony started things off by highlighting some similarities between the Hindu and Christian religions. Danielle’s best childhood friend, Seamus, took the helm as officiant for this ceremony. He guided them through lovely vows and had them seal those vows with a kiss. And like that, Sriraj and Danielle were married twice over in as many hours!

Cocktail hour commenced on the 2nd floor, flipped by the Sky staff in the time it took the Christian ceremony to play out. Guests were offered several signature drinks playing on the themes of love and fall, as well as an impressive spread of cheese, olives, and bread. Sarah took the couple up to the roof top at this time to take advantage of the gorgeous evening light. While Jenn documented the amazing reception space on the 3rd floor. With a mix of different table sizes and shapes, gold accents, twinkle lights, awesome purple uplighting and beautiful white floral arrangements on the tables AND hanging from the ceilings, the space was truly magical! The couple made a lovely display in memory of those they have lost and laid out a traditional guestbook for everyone to sign.

The rest of the night kept in line with the magic the whole day had held thus far. Danielle and Sriraj were introduced to the reception with a roaring applause. As the first song began to play, fog covered the dance floor, and engulfed their gliding feet as they danced for the first time as husband and wife. Toasts, cake cutting and parent dances quickly followed. Everyone must have been very eager to get back to the dance party that had been put on pause at the Garba the night before, because most of them forgot about dinner and flooded the dance floor in honor of the newly weds. Everyone danced and danced and danced! So much so we had to ask Danielle and Sriraj if they even ate dinner because we were convinced they hadn’t moved away from the dance floor! That’s how epic it was!

Guests were treated to a buffet that included traditional Indian dishes like Mahkni and butter chicken. (Boy were we excited!!!) Members of Sriraj’s family had previously met with the cook at Sky to teach him how to make these dishes, which we think is a pretty awesome, unique opportunity. A once in a lifetime chance kinda thing! After filling up, the focus went back to and remained on the dance floor. Even an impromptu limbo ensued! At least half of the guests remained on the dance floor until the very last song! As the night came to an end, Sriraj and Danielle grabbed the last opportunities for photos with friends as they said their goodbyes (or “see-you-soon”s to those gearing up for the afterparty at Benjamins!).

We hope you enjoy some highlights from Danielle and Sriraj’s best day ever (and an epic first for SHP!):

Featured Wedding Vendors || Indian Wedding Dress – Indian Couture | Western Wedding Dress Vendor – NY Bride | Western Wedding Dress Designer – Allure | Venue – Sky Armory | Makeup Artist – Brianna Horton | Hair Artist – Danielle Osborne | Florist – St. Agnes | DJ – Amplifire Entertainment | Videographer – Kammer Films |

Marriott Syracuse Downtown, Syracuse, NY | Erica + Ryan are Married!

Posted by / September 18, 2017 / Categories: Uncategorized, Weddings / -

For the second week in a row, we found ourselves working at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown (is it just us or can’t anyone help but still call it Hotel Syracuse?!), which was a great treat! Erica and Ryan chose to have both their ceremony and reception at the historic hotel – very fitting for two history teachers in love (same school district too! one at the middle school, the other at the high school!).

We can’t say enough about the hotel’s bridal rotunda!! We love it in there so much (and gush about it every time!), and we were super stoked that Erica chose to take advantage of it. The ladies lounged around sipping champagne while they took turns getting their hair and makeup done. Monica Brandt of Elite Beauty Studio and Lynne Winters of Glam Vanity were on point with hair and makeup, respectively. Each of Erica’s bridesmaids had written her a letter before the big day; ever so often, Erica would read one out loud for everyone to hear for the first time, sharing how they met, their favorite memories, and other random things that made for some great photo opportunities!  The ladies also shared that Erica had asked them to get the same color, but not necessarily the same exact dresses; however, they all ended up getting the same dress after falling in love with it at New York Bride. Wait to you see them. They are super cute!

While the ladies behaved and kept on task, Ryan played some phone tag to corral his guys into the same room (this is almost as typical as how fast groomsmen tend to get ready!). Once most of the guys were together, a dilemma presented itself – real bow ties…! (hehehe). Quick-thinking Ryan called down to the hotel’s front desk to ask if anyone on staff could help, and within minutes, Declan, in his real bow tie, showed up at the door to save the day, tying everyone up perfectly in a snap! The guys showed off their groomsmen gifts to Jenn, making sure she got photographs of the personalized bullet casing bottle openers. They also had her take a few photos of them that perplexed her and must have been part of an inside joke she did not dare to ask about. What a bunch of jokesters! All ready and still with some time to spare, the guys toasted Ryan with a nice bourbon. One of the groomsmen even got a tad mushy!!

Meanwhile, Erica’s mom and sister, Elizabeth helped her into her gown and with the finishing touches. When her dad came up to see her before walking her down the aisle, he became a little choked up, but there were no time for tears; it was time to head down to the ceremony!

The ceremony was short and sweet. They were married by a past college professor. They exchanged traditional vows and sealed them with a kiss. While the official documents got signed, cocktail hour immediately followed in the hallway outside the ballroom. Sarah and Wesley took the wedding party and family members to the Parisian Terrace for some formal photographs. The ladies even braved the rainy outdoors for a few shots!

Erica and Ryan infused a little history, a lot of class, and a little Harry Potter into their wedding day decor. Their signs and table numbers were 1920s inspired, black and gold – super classy. Amongst this classy decor, a few nods to Harry Potter could be found – the sorting hat on the card table sign, golden snitches as guest favors (mmm Ferrero Rochers!), and Snape’s infamous “…always…” line appeared not only on the ring bearers sign, but on the back of Erica and Ryan’s chairs at the sweetheart table. The guests were greeted by beautiful candelabras at each centerpiece, along with their (chocolate) golden snitches. The candelabras were the perfect compliment to the ballroom, standing tall and gleaming with caught light – a truly magical touch.

The newlyweds were introduced and immediately went into their sweet first dance. Parent dances followed, and during Ryan’s dance with his mother, they invited couples to join them out on the dance floor – another awesome photo opportunity! Heartfelt speeches by the maid of honor (Erica’s sister) and best man (Ryan’s brother) came next, and Erica’s father capped things off with a few lovely words about his daughter and her chosen love. Guests were then treated to a sit down dinner.

The sweet couple chose to have a cupcake tower topped with a small cutting cake, which made the cake-cutting ceremony pretty epic and crazy! They were successful in not bring the whole thing down though and sweetly fed each other the first slice. Then it was time to party!! And the dance floor sure was a party. To top off the night, Sarah took Erica and Ryan outside for a night time shot under the Hotel Syracuse entrance. They even posed with a couple of strangers (and excited participants!) waiting for their Uber before having their romantic end of the evening snaps!!

Here are some highlights from Erica and Ryan’s best day ever:

Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Aldrich!!

Featured Wedding Professionals || Wedding Gown Designer – Maggie Sottero | Wedding Gown Vendor – Spybaby | Bridesmaids Dresses – New York Bride | Groom & Groomsmen Attire – Tuxedo Junction | Hair Artist – Monica Brandt, Elite Beauty Studios | Makeup Artist – Lynne Winters, Glam Vanity | Cake – Butterdreamery Bake Shop | Florist – St. Agnes Florist | DJ – Black Tie Entertainment |

Backyard Wedding Soiree, Camillus, NY | Kelly + Brendon are Married!

Posted by / September 7, 2017 / Categories: Uncategorized / -

Kelly and Brendon’s wedding day was a true pleasure to be a part of and document. They chose to hold their ceremony and reception right in the backyard of their new home that they purchased just 3 months ago. This way their pups Sophie, Tater & Luna could be a part of the festivities and plus – they’re backyard is pretty perfect for what they had in mind.

Brendon’s mom popped champagne and made mimosas as the day began. Outstanding friends and family came together to help bring their wedding day vision to life! People even came over early to hang paper lanterns in the trees, arrange flowers from the farmers market into gorgeous bouquets, and help put the finishing touches on the bride and groom’s attire. Kelly’s attire included a coin affixed in her shoe, which has been in Brendon’s family for generations – passed down from bride to bride for over 80 years, seeing over a dozen weddings!! How cool is that? The coin has been in the family since the 1930’s. It’s kept in a pouch with a list of the brides who’ve put it in their shoe for their wedding day. Brendon’s dad shared the saying with Sarah as she photographed the coin; “something old, something new, and a gold coin in your shoe.”

Kelly and Brendon both got ready at the house; once it was time to start putting on formal wear, things became top secret and everyone stayed in communication to make sure the couple did not see each other until just the right time! Brendon finished getting ready first (even with like 5 people helping to figure out how to tie his bowtie!) and headed out to the ceremony area to fine tune his vows. He was soon brought a gift from Kelly to open while she stood behind the trees in her garden and opened one from him – lovely sapphire earrings that she immediately put on. When Brendon got a glimpse of what was inside his gift, he instantly covered it so none of us could see. Kelly had done her very own boudoir session and had a beautiful book made for him! He was surprised and protective while looking through the book, it was very sweet!

Brendon then stood up with his back to the garden so Kelly could approach and put her back to his and, without seeing each other, exchange love letters. For their first look moment they decided to read love letters from each other while standing back to back. While they read, they reached for the each other’s hands and grasped them tight (it was adorable). It was only after every word was read that they turned to see each other in wedding day attire for the first time. Both gushed with love, joy, tears and laughter as they embraced one last time as guests began to arrive.

Guests filled up the seats facing a beautiful arbor (another awesome friend contribution) and the ceremony began. Frenchies Sophie, Tater & Luna were present in their wedding day attire too! Kelly and Brendon exchanged heartfelt vows and asked guests to fill a wooden box with letters of marital advice, encouragement, and tips for reading on future milestones! They were then pronounced husband and wife and walked back down the aisle together to “Signed, Sealed Delivered, I’m Yours” (so fitting!).

The dance floor and dinner area were both under tents. DJ Kirk perfected the ambiance with his awesome uplighting in the tents, on the surrounding trees, and under the bar and cocktail area. Balloon Gal Jenny created the most unique table center pieces we think we’ve seen to date! Clear, lit, balloons affixed to string covered in ferns. It looked like the ferns were holding the balloons up in the air! The perfect, magical touch to the day.

Family formals commenced right after the ceremony. The soiree was so intimate that we were able to do group shots off all the men and women in attendance! Guests were offered a variety of beer on tap from local brewery Stout Beard Brewing along with wine and fruit infused water. They mingled under the trees, munched on shrimp, checked out the guest book table, and played in the photo booth as Kelly and Brendon posed for their first portraits as husband and wife. When the happy couple was introduced to the dance floor for their first dance, they wowed everyone with their practiced, elegant dance moves. They both sure can dance!

After the heartfelt speeches from Kelly’s best friend Liz and Brendon’s sister Sonya, everyone was invited to dinner, catered by Alto Cinco (a SHP personal fav!). Everything that is awesome about Alto Cinco’s food was on the buffet! It was very hard to contain ourselves. Once dinner was done, the rest of the evening’s events went smoothly – parent dances, cake cutting, and corn hole in the side yard – it was the most relaxed and happy atmosphere with so many doggies to snuggle!!

As the sun went down and those up-lights became more prominent, the guests started to bringing their full bellies out onto the dance floor. Brendon showed off some more of his smooth moves, Kelly joining in at times, complementing his steps perfectly. With help from so many great friends and professionals, the soirée definitely was a night to remember for always!

Here are some highlights from Kelly and Brendon’s best day ever!