Syracuse Wedding : Ellen + Mike

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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The scene was out of an old black and white movie. Dramatic lighting poured through the window as Ellen put her wedding gown on. She had a classic style, like Audrey Hepburn, and even more so in her Priscilla of Boston three part dress. There was the mini dress, the lace top, and the long skirt. As her mother and sister attended to her, bridesmaids watched in awe as she became one of the most elegant brides they had ever seen. Down the hall, Mike stood a head above his groomsmen. They tied their ties and straightened their cuffs so that every detail was in place before they went to the church. It was there Ellen and Mike would see each other for the first time.

Mike wasn’t just smitted by Ellen, her classic good looks and radiant smile. Her accomplishments were too long to list, and equal to his accolades as an athlete and student. He had met his match, back when they were students at Notre Dame. Their relationship became serious not when living in the same town, but of course once the moved on – halfway around the world – to take jobs and conduct research. However, the distance couldn’t keep them apart, for in each other they truly found their soul mate.

The stained glass windows glistened and the doors were opened to reveal Ellen and her father standing at the back of the church. The long aisle allowed the gravity of the moment to sink in. This was their wedding day. What began to unfold was not just a ceremony that joined them together, but a day of celebration, of families joined together, and of friends reuniting. While the wedding was decidedly classic, it was also intimately informal as you will see. I honestly enjoyed being a part of this day so much, not just because it was beautiful to photograph, but because Ellen and Mike (and their families and friends) are such a wonderful and welcoming group. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of the day and I hope you enjoy looking back through they stills that I captured.

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Ellen found her amazing dress at Priscilla of Boston… ridiculously on sale… in her size. Amazing. I photographed their wedding bands, made from rings that had previously been passed down in the family, on top of another family heirloom – the lace handkerchief.

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Girls chose their own black cocktail dress to wear as bridesmaids, and accented their outfits with pops of coral.

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after the ceremony, family gathered at a nearby park for a quick lunch followed by group photos. It allowed everyone to enjoy the process of picture taking, which is always good!

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With a late morning ceremony and an evening reception, Ellen and Mike decided to invited guests to join them at a park in the afternoon for lawn games, cookies, and most of all time spent together. One of the best parts was that all of the kids got a chance to let loose and have some fun.

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After a few rounds of cornhole, it was time for some photos of the bride and groom. We found this gorgeous ivy wall that I couldn’t pass up, and made our way back to the church, which was all in walking distance.

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The day turned in to night and back at the Crowne Plaza the reception began: toasting, dancing, and getting down to Celine Dion’s “It’s all coming back to me” like I’ve never seen before (Ellen and her friends have been singing it for years). We couldn’t be happier for you Ellen + Mike and wish you many happy years together!

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