Sarah first met Jenn while photographing her downtown, Syracuse apartment that had just been redecorated by mutual friend and interior designer, Amber. Sarah was super thrilled Jenn thought of her for wedding photography when she became engaged to Stephen. During our first meeting with them, we learned they were both Canadian but had met here in the states thanks to match.com’s magical algorithms! We also learned they would be getting married at The Aurora Inn, a place we’d never worked at before, so you know what that meant – a day trip was in order!
During our pre-wedding visit, we stopped at the E.B. Morgan House, an inn down the street that is part of The Inns of Aurora collection, and where Stephen and his fellas would be getting ready. The Innkeeper there graciously let us take a look around and told us the story behind the restoration of the collection of Inns that delighted us! Pleasant Rowland, the creator of The American Girl Doll, went to Wells College in Aurora, and the town has always had a special place in her heart. So when she sold The American Girl Doll to Matel, she found herself in a position to give back to the beloved town and began to restore establishments across it. If you find this story as fascinating as us (we both own original Samantha Parkington dolls), you can read more about here, in a recent edition of Vogue. In the article, Rowland says “my heart was touched by the timeless remove of this place, far from the hustle and bustle,” a statement that can be echoed about Jenn and Stephen’s intimate best day ever! Jenn is a pediatric surgeon in Syracuse and Stephen is an accomplished musician, so the Inns of Aurora gave them a chance to slow down, celebrate their love, and enjoy the company of their friends and family from all over the globe!
When the day finally arrived, it was a hot one! But the beautiful vistas provided by the restored Inns and sparkly Cayuga Lake kept our minds off the heat. After getting some shots of Jenn having her makeup done, Sarah and Wesley went right to creating an epic dress portrait! They were very drawn to the entrance of the Inn, so with a little extra help from photographer Jenn guarding the door (it is open to the public after all), they made it happen! Photographer Jenn then met Stephen at the EB Morgan house to capture moments of him getting ready. While his guys were close by, he got the most help from his loving sister, Angela! She couldn’t help but ask for a hug when she saw her brother all dressed up. It was the sweetest.
Jenn and Stephen chose to a do a first look, which was fun for us to orchestrate! Once Stephen was in place in front of the Inn, Jenn approached him, his back to her, until Sarah gave him the cue to turn around. Just wait until you see the images! We can’t get enough of these moments! It’s the best opportunity for the couple to really take in each other and relish in what they are about to do. Not only that, it allows us to get way more formal photography done before the ceremony, which is exactly what we did for Jenn and Stephen.
After the wedding party and family portraits, the couple retreated to regroup. Their ceremony took place under the beaming sun right by the shore of Cayuga Lake on the grounds of the Aurora Inn. They chose to pay tribute to their fathers, both of whom have passed, by including his dad’s bible and a sheaf of wheat for her dad in the wedding processional. Both items were placed at the altar. Jenn was also given a beautiful pendant by her mom in remembrance of her father that she tied around her bouquet. It was clear that both men were there with them. Stephen’s siblings first shared readings. Jenn and Stephen then exchanged vows and sealed their promises with a kiss.
Cocktail hour took place on the patio outside of the reception space on the ground floor of the Inn. Guests were invited to play games like Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots and Operation (hehe), snack on tasty cheeses and truffled deviled eggs, and to even sit for caricatures! That’s right – they had a caricature artist!! They had Polaroid cameras as part of their guestbook, and the bridesmaids had lots of fun snapping shots and encouraging people to add to it. Jenn and Stephen were able to mingle with their guests at this time because all their portraits had been done after their first look. Jenn got to facetime with someone who couldn’t make it, and we got to snap photos of everyone in attendance.
The reception space at the Inn has a timeless character. Each table was adorned with books, florals of dusty pink roses with purple accents and eucalyptus, and mixed metal accents. At every place setting sat a little box that said: “Love is Sweet”. Stephen later shared that inside the boxes were their very favorite salted dark chocolate caramels from Wegmans. They love them so much they had to share them with everyone (and he made sure to let the out-of-towners know what a big deal Wegmans is around here!). We have to say, the speeches at Jenn and Stephen’s wedding were some of the funniest, touching and original ones we’ve witnessed! Stephen’s mom started off with a few words for the couple and a bunch of laughs when she unrolled the paper her speech was on, and it hit the floor! Jenn’s mom followed with kind words of her own. She showered Stephen with gifts, welcoming him into the family. Some were just plain funny (John Deere work gloves and license plate), some were from the heart (a handmade stocking made by Jenn’s nanny like all the other family members have!), but all of them were special. Stephen’s best man took the mic next and after followed Jenn’s maid of honor and bridesmaid. Jenn’s brother also took some time on the mic. He took that opportunity to give Jenn a horseshoe he had found on a very special portion of the family farm in Canada, which was very dear to Jenn. It brought tears to everyone eyes!
The Aurora Inn put on an amazing two-course meal that was efficiently served by the staff and thoroughly enjoyed by the guests. We especially loved the first course of asparagus, goat cheese, and pistachios drizzled with a raspberry reduction! Once the plates were cleared, Jenn and Stephen shared their first dance outside on the patio. Stephen then danced with his mom and Jenn danced with her brother. All the while the sun kept on its descent towards the horizon line of the lake, creating a beautiful backdrop for the dance floor! Sarah and Wesley made quick work of setting up a sunset shot by some ruins right on the property and whisked Jenn and Stephen away for a few more portraits.
After cutting the cake, Stephen took the microphone to thank everyone and share a few sweet words about the day and even gave a shout out to all the vendors! He also took some time to talk about their fathers. The love felt in that room would have knocked the walls down if it could! We were incredibly honored to be a part of Jenn and Stephen’s timeless, classy, and intimate best day ever, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy the highlights!
Congratulations and best wishes, Mr. & Mrs. Pridmore!
Featured Wedding Professionals || Dress Designer – Eddy K | Dress Vendor – Blu Ivory Bridal | Groom & Groomsmen Attire – JoS. A. Banks | Hair & Makeup Artist – Faces by LTK | Cake – Sugar & Slice | Florist – In Bloom |