Hyde Hall and Otesaga Hotel Wedding in Cooperstown, NY

Hassan and Jen!

Photographing a wedding for an old friend is a treat in of itself – add to it some of the most idyllic settings upstate NY has to offer in Hyde Hall and the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, and you have the makings of a really special day.

Jen and I met WAY back in the day when we were both students at Syracuse University. Originally connected by way of mutual friends and my silly hat parties, our paths sadly hadn’t crossed in many years as life took us to different cities after graduation. One thing I always mention while talking about my life as a photographer is how grateful I am to this career for connecting me (or in this case reconnecting me) with people and situations I would never otherwise have access to. Having the opportunity to photograph Jen on her wedding day and meet all the amazing new people in her life was absolutely one of these occasions I treasure.

Enough about me, this post is a celebration of Hassan and Jen’s absolute gem of a wedding day at Hyde Hall and the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, NY!

I began the day with Jen at her family’s cottage on Otsego Lake in upstate NY. When I say everything about this wedding was personal, I can’t emphasize it enough. This family cottage is a super important part of Jen’s history. The days Jen’s family will have in this cottage are numbered though, as it’s currently on the market. So naturally, it was very important to her that the space itself be prominently featured in the pictures. I’m SO glad they were able to celebrate here on such a special day before this wonderful space becomes a home for new memories with a new family.

I first found Jen sitting on the back deck, working on her vows with a bridesmaid. Tears were flowing as Jen practiced.

Meanwhile, my friend and fellow photographer, Jackie Connor, spent some time with Hassan. Hassan got ready for the wedding at a charming nearby lakeside motel, the Lake n’ Pines! How GORGEOUS is his suit?!

These hair and makeup artists were absolute champs tag teaming Jen’s look.

Hassan met Jen at the cottage where they had the most picturesque first look. You should see the drone footage the videographer got of Jen coming down these steps!

Off to Hyde Hall for the wedding ceremony!

Hyde Hall is an incredibly unique and beautiful mansion overlooking Glimmerglass State Park. Built in 1817, it also serves as a national historic landmark due to its remarkable neo-classic architecture and historic significance. Hyde Hall is impeccably preserved and an absolutely perfect location for a wedding.

We had a little slice of time before the ceremony began to capture a few portraits in the courtyard of Hyde Hall. What a treat this location was!

Props to this video crew. Mountain Mint Films were so easy to work with. They’re seen here in action mic’ing up the bride and groom for the ceremony.

Let’s talk about the flowers.

Truly, everything about this wedding was deeply personal. Jen used to work as a florist, so needless to say, being surrounding by beautiful florals was important to her. Pre-pandemic, the couple hired their friend Claire Satriano of Mohegan Flowers to create their arrangements. Back in the day, Jen’s mom actually worked at Mohegan Flowers! Unfortunately the pandemic was good impetus for Claire to retire, but she was committed to Jen’s flowers, and a community effort was underway. These flowers were all sourced from local gardens right in Cooperstown!

Hassan and Jen wrote their own vows and wouldn’t you know, they both referenced the same volcanic crater and headbanging at a metal show events? As you can see on the faces pictured, everyone died laughing when we all realized they were essentially reciting the same wedding vows. In the first set of photos you can see Hassan trying to contain his laughter knowing he’s about to repeat the same story back, then later Jen’s face when he does!

A perfect patio for signing the marriage license:

Hassan’s family was unable to travel from Pakistan for the wedding due to the pandemic travel restrictions. Fortunetly, they were able to watch along on Zoom though and called to congratulate the couple immediately following the ceremony.

Off to the stunning Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown for the wedding reception!

The Otesaga Hotel is a site to behold. This 1909 historic hotel is so grand and beautifully situated at the end of Ostego Lake. Hassan and Jen held their wedding reception in the ballroom and enjoyed the balcony overlooking the lake for cocktails.

In the spirit of personal touches at Hassan and Jen’s wedding, the cake of course has a story as well. Jen’s grandfather and father owned a bakery back in the day, now run by Jen’s cousin, who naturally was going to make their wedding cake. Unfortunately, some sudden extenuating life circumstances made this impossible though. But wouldn’t you know? The pastry chef at the Otesaga Hotel USED TO WORK AT THE SAME BAKERY?! In an indirect sort of way, they still got a cake from the family bakery, and all fell back in to place. (:

The INCREDIBLE band, The Eleven, came all the way from New York City to entertain the guests. In true NYC style, this wedding went straight to dance party. Dance segments were interspersed throughout the formalities of the evening to really keep the party vibe going from start to finish.

I have to say, this was this first wedding post-‘rona I have attended with a live band, and you could tell it had been a LONG time since folks in attendance had heard a full band perform. I don’t think I’ll soon forget those moments as the guests entered the room while The Eleven rocked the anthemic Wake Up by Arcade Fire. It was an absolute beaut of a scene to watch as the guests eyes lit up while entering and feeling the power of the music.

You’ll soon see they kept the energy up ALL night long. This crew of musicians were complete professionals and made such an impact on this celebration. I can’t emphasize enough what a difference a band makes at a wedding.

Can you feel all that love and energy?

That’s all for this one.

Ok, one last photo. Jen and I at a silly hat party back in college. We’ve come a long way since then. (:

Many thanks to Hassan and Jen for having us document your wedding day at Hyde Hall and the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown! And thank you to all these venues and vendors who helped make the day so great!

Bride Preparation: Private Residence

Groom Preparation: Lake n’ Pines Motel

Ceremony Venue: Hyde Hall

Portraits: Hyde Hall

Reception Venue: Otesaga Hotel

Hair/Makeup: Harmony Houston

Hair: Hairdo (Angela)

Videographer: Megan Haggerty – Mountain Mint Films

DJ/Band: The Eleven

Florist: Claire Satriano formerly of Mohegan Flowers

Bakery: Otseaga – Pete 

Officiant: Butch!

Second Photographer: Jackie Connor

Backyard Wedding Photography in Buffalo, NY

Maryann + Jason

Maryann and Jason made photography lemonade out of lemons with their gorgeous backyard wedding in Buffalo, NY. After COVID made the couples Canadian winery wedding plans come to a halt, they turned to my dear friend and oh so talented event planner, Syrie Roman of Social Maven, to plan a gorgeous backyard wedding reception for them.

Dorian (2nd photographer), and I began the day with “preparation” photography at private residences in Buffalo, before heading to Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church for the wedding ceremony.

The Greek Orthodox church in Buffalo has a quaint and beautiful courtyard that Maryann and Jason spotted. They thought it would be perfect for their first look and wedding portraits, and I agree! This tiny space packed a gorgeous photography punch.

Part of the Greek Orthodox wedding tradition is for conjoined crowns (Stefana) to be placed on the couples heads. The crowns symbolize the glory and honor that is bestowed to them through the sacrament of marriage and crowns them King and Queen of their home which they are to “rule” with wisdom, justice and integrity. The ribbon that joins the crowns represents unity and a lifelong bond.

On to this beautiful Buffalo, NY backyard for the wedding reception photography!

backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom are introduced in to their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding cake, desserts and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding cake, desserts and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor, desserts and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor, desserts and rentals in Buffalo, NY
backyard tented wedding decor, desserts and rentals in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and father dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and father dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and father dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and father dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
groom and mother dance during their backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY

The Greek wedding traditions continued with circle dances and throwing of money!

guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY
guests dance at backyard tented wedding in Buffalo, NY

Many thanks to Maryann and Jason for having us photograph your day! And thank you to all these wedding venues and vendors here in Buffalo who helped make the day so great!

Event Design & PlanningSyrie Roman – Social Maven

Ceremony and Portrait Venue: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

Second Photographer: Dorian Patrick

Hair: Jodi Spencer – Hair by Jo

Makeup: Nicole Morris – Makeup Buffalo

Videographer: Nightfox Creative – Bryant

Transportation: Rolls Royce from Advantage Limo – driver Dave

DJ/Band: Gravity Entertainment – Brad

Florist: Wild Blossom Hollow – Christy Muck

Bakery: Fairy Cakes – Kelly

Officiant: Father Kristos

Rentals: McCarthy Tents and Events, Quaint Rentals – Rebecca Duda

Caterer: Rich’s Catering

For more tented backyard wedding photography inspo, check out this gorgeous wedding at Knox Farm!

Newborn Family Photography in Buffalo, NY

Mindy, Justin, Grace and baby JACK’s in-home newborn family photography session!

If you follow this blog, you may remember this sweet little family from a Delaware Park maternity photography session I posted here a few weeks back. Well their newborn baby, Jack has arrived! I joined them this time for a newborn family photography session at their home in the Buffalo, NY area.

Jack’s big sister Grace was very excited to show me around and show off her new brother as well. I couldn’t have asked for sweeter kids to photograph. Without further ado, three have become four! Meet Jack!

baby lies on star backdrop during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
baby lies on star backdrop during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
baby lies on star backdrop during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY

Mindy had suggested a photo of Grace looking in to the babies crib. I admit I laughed at the possibility of an almost three year old willingly participating. But sure enough, all on her own, Grace pulled up her step stool to see what baby brother was up to.

big sister looks at baby in crib during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY

It was so nice to see photos from some of our past family photography sessions throughout the Buffalo area hanging throughout Mindy and Justin’s home. I love being part of their ongoing history!

family sits on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
family laughs together while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
family smiles for photographer while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
family looks at each other while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
mom and dad look at new baby while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
mom and dad look at baby while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
big sister looks at baby mom is holding in nursery while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
big sister kisses baby mom is holding in nursery while sitting on bed during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
dad kisses babies head while sitting on chair during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
mom holds baby while sitting on rocking chair during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
babies feet and hand during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY
babies eye lashes and hands during newborn baby family photography session in Buffalo, NY

That’s all for this one! If you or someone you know is looking for newborn family photography in the Buffalo area, please reach out here!

Senior Graduation Photography in Buffalo

Canisius College senior, Charlotte’s, graduation photography in Buffalo, NY!

“Graduation Season” is upon us, and Canisius College senior, Charlotte, took the opportunity to commemorate the occasion with a portrait photography session on the Canisius College campus here in Buffalo, NY

Charlotte was about as decorated as I’ve ever seen a graduate. She has seemingly unparalleled ambition, and the brains to match. Graduating two years ahead of schedule, her hard work will take her from Buffalo to Law School at Emory, in Atlanta GA, this fall. Before the big move, Charlotte decided to honor her time at Canisius College with some senior/graduation portraits.

The Canisius College campus offers a wealth of great backgrounds for photography. We wandered the campus and simply stopped when we felt inspired for some photos. It was great to hear Charlotte reflect on her time at Canisus as we moved from location to location. Each spot holds different memories, and I’m so glad she will have this keepsake from her time here!

Without further ado, Charlotte’s senior/graduation photography!

Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY
Canisius College senior poses for photographer during graduation portrait photography session on the Canisius campus in Buffalo, NY

That’s all for this one! If you or someone you know is interested in a senior or graduation photography session, please reach out here!

And for more graduation photography fun, check out D’Youville senior, Alisha’s session here!