janelle + alex

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Janelle and Alex’s wedding was a “larger than life” celebration of love, family, and friends! I use the term “larger than life” to describe it, because I have literally had to trim down this blog post three different times to allow for a reasonable amount of images. There was SO MUCH that went on during the course of this day, and I wish I could include bits and pieces of everything, but for those of you who weren’t there, you’ll have to settle for the abbreviated version of “Janelle and Alex’s gorgeous Italian wedding.” :)

Janelle and Alex live in Boston, but Janelle grew up in Canandaigua, NY, which is an absolutely beautiful little town in the Finger Lakes region. It is the perfect place to have your “dream” wedding, and in early October, with the colors just starting to peak, it was truly amazing.

I started out the day with Janelle and the girls at her parents’ home in Canandaigua – a stunning old Victorian beauty. It was the perfect backdrop for some “getting ready” shots!

When everyone was ready, we headed over to St. Mary’s!  It was our first time shooting in this church, and we loved it.  It’s very old, dark, and rustic, and it has so much character.  The pews were all decorated with a few wild flowers in a small glass vase.  It was such a simple touch, but it added a wonderful rustic vibe!  (The first shot in this set is of Janelle and Alex’s Italy themed wedding invitation.  It was so cute and unique!!)

Here are the first of Janelle and Alex’s Top Five Favorite Wedding Day Memories!

Janelle:  “Breathtaking is an adjective often used as a descriptor, but I literally experience its meaning as soon as the doors to my childhood church opened.  About to begin the bridal procession, escorted by my mom and dad,  I was overwhelmed by the vision.  My family and friends surrounded me as my gaze followed along the aisle to Alex, awaiting my arrival at the altar.  The beautiful strains of ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ filled the church, a song with such special meaning to the two of us.  The scene overwhelmed me.  As many times as I had been in St. Mary’s, it had never been more beautiful.”

Alex:  “When the doors opened and I saw Janelle (and how beautiful she looked).”

After the ceremony, Janelle and Alex made their grand exit, and walked around to the side of the church where Janelle’s parents had a very special surprise waiting for them – a gelato bar!!  What an awesome surprise!  It added something special to the “Italian” theme of the wedding, and it provided all of the guests with a delicious cool treat on a hot, 80 degree day!
Janelle:  “Alex and I had traveled to Italy this summer to visit family and returned obsessed with everything Italian.  One of our favorites was gelato.  Our mouths dropped as we exited the church and saw a gelato cart waiting for us and our guests, a surprise from my parents. It was even more delightful since we had been blessed with an 80 degree day in October!”
Our next stop was the “boat house” area in Canandaigua for some portraits of our gorgeous bride and groom.  We have shot in this spot once before, and it’s just adorable.  :)
Next, we headed over to a privately owned vineyard that J and A had reserved for photos.  We were slightly confused, as we followed the huge limo bus up this very steep dirt road, but as soon as we got to the top, it all made sense.  It was BEAUTIFUL up there!
Our final location of the day was the reception at Bristol Harbor.  We had a feeling that the “Italy” theme would be very cool, but we were absolutely blown away when we walked in and saw all of the hard work and time that must have gone in to all of the wonderful details.  It was absolutely fabulous!  There was even an accordion player walking around during the cocktail hour!

Here’s two more of Alex’s Top Five:

“The view from Bristol Harbor when we arrived at cocktail hour.”

“How genuinely happy Janelle’s parents and my mother looked all day.”

The energy that filled the room was incredible.  There was so much love and support directed toward this couple…you could feel it in the air!  Janelle’s sister sang the song that they danced to for their first dance, and she did a fantastic job.  I love the shots that Ben took from the perspective of her singing – they tell the story of that moment so well.  :)
Janelle:  “Our first dance song, ‘Home,’ was sung by my amazing sister. Listening to the sweet sound of her voice and feeling the joy of our guests in my hometown as they watched, made my first dance with Alex absolutely perfect.”
Janelle:  “During the reception, we had an opportunity to toast our family and friends and thank them for the love and support they provided to us.  We chose to serve the champagne in jelly jars, as a tribute to my late father-in-law, since he always enjoyed using these.  Instead of tossing my bouquet, I decided to give it to my grandparents as a way to thank them for being our ultimate role models. Being able to say thank you to those who have shown us so much love was something for which I’ll be forever grateful.”
There were so many toasts during this reception, and they were all absolutely wonderful!  I wish I could have included a shot of every single one, but this post would have been soooooooo long!!  Needless to say, the speeches were just a further testament to how loved Janelle and Alex are.  They really are such a warm, wonderful couple…it’s no wonder that their families and friends are the same.  :)
Janelle:  “Being Italian, I was worried that my dad and I would both disintegrate into tears during the Father/Daughter Dance, but my dad was having so much fun he told me to dry my eyes and just enjoy.  He had even arranged for the band to change the music mid-dance to play the Beatles song he always sang to me when I was a baby!”
This was one hoppin’ dance floor!!  From our perspective, everyone had a great time.  ;)  Especially Alex, whose last three “Top Five Favorite Wedding Day Memories” are centered around the dance floor action!

Alex:  “When the music started and all the groomsmen started dancing (alone).  There were no women on the dance floor.”  “When everyone lifted Janelle and I up on chairs on the dance floor.”  “Robert singing.”

We had the opportunity to do one quick night shot with Janelle and Alex, and I absolutely love it.  Ben set up all the lighting, and I clicked the shutter, but it was definitely a team effort.  This is such a beautiful shot, and will forever be one of my favorites.  :)

Janelle and Alex – thank you so much for choosing us to capture these wonderful memories for you!! Your wedding day was absolutely beautiful, and we enjoyed every minute of our time with you and your families! Much love to you both, J + B :)