laurie + pete

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A couple of weeks ago, Ben and I made the journey to Utica, NY for Laurie and Pete’s fabulous wedding!! I’m sure most everyone knows by now that I was born and raised in Utica, and that it will always be a very special place for me. It’s a small, quirky little city, but man does it have heart! It makes my whole day, week, month, and year when we get to shoot weddings in Utica, because it means that I get to see my family – and that doesn’t happen nearly as much as it should.  It was an incredible weekend, and we had an amazing time celebrating with Laurie and Pete, and their awesome family and friends!  :)

I started out the day with Laurie and her lovely bridesmaids at her parents’ home.  Their house is so fabulous!!  They completely renovated an old commercial building in downtown Utica.  I wrote a bit more detail about it in Laurie and Pete’s engagement post, so feel free to check it out!  L and P were kind enough to share their Top Five Favorite Wedding Day Memories with us, so I’ll be including those throughout the post!

Laurie was an incredibly beautiful bride!!  Simply STUNNING.
Ben started out the day with Pete and the guys at Hotel Utica!  If you’re ever in need of a hotel in Utica, NY, this is the place!!  It’s lovely, and has so much history.  :)
While we were waiting for the ceremony to start, I grabbed a few shots of Laurie and her Gram (who is also MY Gram!!).  I absolutely LOVE these next three shots.
Then, the ceremony began!  It was probably the shortest ceremony we’ve ever seen in 6 years of weddings, but it was exactly the way they wanted it – short, sweet, and beautiful.  Here are the first two Top Five Faves from Laurie and Pete:

Laurie:  “Walking down the aisle with my dad, waiting to see Pete standing in the front.”  “The mayor pronouncing us man and wife……and then the kiss!”

Pete:  “Waiting for my beautiful wife to come down the aisle in her dress, seeing her for the first time.”  “People arriving in Utica from a far to be a part of our wedding.”

I caught this moment between the bride and groom when they made it to the end of the aisle after being pronounced husband and wife.  They look so happy!!  
The entire day was filled with so much joy!
It was a little chilly that day, but we made it outside for a few quick bride and groom portraits.  Utica PD even stopped traffic for me while I was shooting in the middle of the street!  I have to say, as much as I love Buffalo, that’s never happened here.  ;)
Then, we did a few lit portraits inside Hotel Utica before heading into the reception.  I love this one at the piano so much.  It was totally Ben’s idea – so creative!!
Their little half-moon sweetheart table was so cute!
They came in and immediately started their first dance to a beautiful song that I had never heard before, but am now completely in love with.  It’s called This Kind of Love by Sister Hazel – so awesome.

Another one of Laurie’s Top Five:  “Our first dance together to our favorite song.”  I love that Pete was singing it to Laurie during their dance.  It might just be me, but I found that if you listen to the song while looking at the next three photos, you can actually feel how much they love each other.  It’s wonderful.  Try it.  ;)

After their dance, Laurie surprised Pete with a video of all of his family back in Germany who weren’t able to be at the wedding.  It was such a beautiful moment, and definitely made it onto both of their Top Five lists!!

Laurie:  “Surprising Pete with the video of his family from Germany!”

Pete:  “The video of my family that could not travel from Germany to be here that my wife made for me.”

One of Pete’s relatives from Germany who was able to make it sang a love song for them in German!  It was a huge hit, and one of Laurie’s Top Five Faves!

Laurie:  “Jurgen singing to us in German.”

So many good times were had at this wedding – SO much laughter, so much love, such a beautiful celebration!  Here is the last of Pete’s Top Five Memories!!

Pete:  “Seeing all of our friends and family enjoying each other and having a memorable time at our wedding.”

We were able to steal this gorgeous couple away for a few night shots (of course), and these next two were our favorites of the bunch!  Laurie and Pete have this awesome piece of wedding planning advice to share with our lovely readers, and it’s a good one, so take note:  “When going through all of the wedding chaos, remember that it’s about love and nothing else.  Even if things go wrong, your love will still be there. Do what’s important to the two of you.”  Well said, guys…well said.

Laurie and Pete – thank you SO MUCH for choosing us to capture your amazing wedding day! You two were a pleasure to work with! We love you both dearly, and wish you all the joy and happiness in the world!! Can’t wait to come see your new digs in Saratoga!! Much love, J + B :)

  • katelyn SAYS...

    the pictures really do look beautiful what a special day that was!!:)<3333

  • Cairn SAYS...

    Your work is indescribably beautiful. The whole blog is. It is phenomenally beautiful to see how invested you are, how present in the experience you are. You are completely inspired and your work leaves me in awe.

  • Laurie Abele SAYS...

    Thank you so much Jen and Ben for your amazing work. All couples want to look at their wedding photos and feel like they are reliving that day. We definitely feel that way. (And I keep crying lol) Thank you Thank you Thank you! Or as Jurgen would say…Danke!

  • Kathleen SAYS...

    So pretty! :) I love her dress-so sparkly and beautiful.

  • Angela S. SAYS...

    What a gorgeous wedding! You two always manage to capture just how in love every couple you photograph is :) Can’t wait for ours!