Happy July to all my faithful blog followers! I have a really fun and amazing event to share with you all, so please take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy this blog post! It’s a long one and I’ve put many hours into it. We’d love feedback in our comment box below, it means a lot to me! 🙂

A while ago I got a call from my friend and colleague, Christine Wheat, asking if we were open for June 30, 2012. Thankfully we were because this amazing wedding coordinator was in the process of putting together one incredibly talented team for Emily and Michael’s big day. So I am beginning this post with a huge thank you to Christine because if it weren’t for her we might not have had the opportunity to capture this one. Anyone who knows me and follows this blog knows how much I love and appreciate the wedding coordinators out there. I have to say again the execution of Christine and her team of 7 coordinators was flawless, which is why Kris Ann and I trusted Christine with our wedding two years ago.

Next came the design. To say we were all blown away with the design by David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design wouldn’t be saying enough. I remember having a meeting with Emily and her mother, Libby a while back. At that meeting Emily told me she envisioned an outdoor atmosphere for her big day. Little did we know David would transform the already beautiful Hall of Springs into a forest! Really, it was a forest in there with all kinds of trees and plants. It was simply amazing. This man outdid himself, again.

Now I could go on and on and write a paragraph about every vendor who had a part in making this event special, unique and perfect for Emily and Michael but I know you’re all here for the photos. Now I’ll get to my normal day of write up! (A full list of vendors and their links will be at the bottom of this post.)

I was heading up to Saratoga Springs listening to my tunes like I do on my way to every wedding. (This is how I get amped up for weddings!) On my way up I thought how lucky all these June brides (and grooms) have been with the weather and June 30, 2012 was amazing as well. It was your typical late June kind of day, very warm, sunny and “picture perfect”. We set the day off at the Batcheller Mansion Inn in Saratoga Springs. I’m a huge fan of this place, you’ll see why when you scroll down to the photos. Upstairs in the bridal suite was our very calm and collected bride, Emily. Classical music was playing while Alayne Curtis of Make Me Fabulous was doing what she does best. Emily looked very beautiful and classic. Once Emily was dressed and ready she headed downstairs. This was one of my favorite moments of the day. Emily’s father, former New York State Governor, George Pataki waited to have his first look! To say I haven’t thought about capturing this image for the last 18 months would be a lie. It was a great moment as are all bride and father moments. I know I speak for my father as well when I say how especially happy we were to capture that.

Next up was Emily and Michael’s first look! This was another magical moment. That’s what first looks are about! They’re exciting and special and their first look was nothing short of that! Michael’s face said it all. After the first look it was back inside for all the formal family group photos. I’ll say on paper this was no easy feat given the large families and bridal party. Plus we had many different combinations. This is where the wedding coordinator comes in and calls out the different groups for us. This was so we can quickly set the photos up and keep moving. I worked with Christine and we had the list down to a science. It went super smooth! Even the 33 person group shot! 😉

We all know the Hall of Springs and how amazing of a room it is, right? Well, this room was transformed into a forest on June 30, 2012. A forest! I walked in and was like “wait, where am I?” From the lighting, to the trees, all the way down to the curved hand painted aisle runner, it was just wild. My mind was blown and that was just the ceremony setup! David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design is one hell of a visionary, and who knows how he comes up with what he does but it’s sure fun to photograph! Then it was ceremony time and all the guests began to fill up the forest (room). At this point, I stood around watching all these amazing vendors and their behind the scenes antics to make sure everything was just perfect. It was all executed perfectly and before you knew it Emily and Michael were married!

The cocktail hour was nothing short of amazing as well. After the ceremony guests went through a receiving line into the covered porticos for cocktail hour. Some of the highlights included an Emily and Mike signature cocktail, an escort card tree and a delicious corn on the cob station. How could there not be corn on the cob? Kevin Sykes and his staff at the Hall of Springs are the best in the business, hands down. Not only is the food consistently delectable but their staff is always on the money with what they do.

Time for the big reveal! While cocktail hour was happening the ballroom was “flipped” as they call it. Everyone had their role whether it was moving trees or lighting candles. It was one of the most impressive things to sit back and watch. I’m told that, Kevin Sykes, David Michael Schmidt and Mike Frodey had over 100 hours into planning this transition. Impressive. The room was “photo ready” in about an hour and I began to capture all the details. Jaws dropped as the room filled back up. How could everyone not be in complete awe? It was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve seen at the Hall of Springs. After dinner was over the room was then transformed again (by lighting) into a starry night along with the moon too! The dance floor was packed and overall it was just a great party!

Emily and Mike, thank you both so much for choosing us to capture your big day. To say we enjoyed getting to know you both and your families would be an understatement! We’re both grateful to have been part of your wedding day team. We wish you many, many years of love, heath and of course happiness. Thank you and congratulations! Enjoy your honeymoon in Europe!


Lets set it off with their rings..

and some beautiful stationary by Paper Dolls of Saratoga I love how it mimics the Avenue of Pines.

The gown: Rivini The shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Emily getting ready with her Mother and sister, (newlywed) Allison. Allison give’s Emily the “ok” 🙂

Another fun, sweet and extremely talented local professional, Alayne Curtis of Make Me Fabulous puts the finishing touches on, Emily.

Admiring Emily’s bouquet by David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design

Something old and a nice personal touch to the bouquet. Emily’s Mothers cameo. I’ll admit, I had to ask what a cameo is. Its a hand carved shell and a green cameo is extremely rare. (I hope I got that right)

The bouquet by David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design

I love this image of wedding and event coordinator Christine Wheat and Governor Pataki. No pressure, Christine 🙂

Dad waiting to have his first look. As I said in my writeup above, this was an image I thought about from the day I knew we were going to shoot this wedding. I love moments with brides and their Fathers.

His smile is priceless.

What a great moment.

Now its time for another “first look”. This time with our groom, Michael.

His reaction too was wonderful.

How gorgeous is the Batcheller Mansion Inn?


An amazing group shot of their family and friends.. 33 people!


The bridal party.

Time for some beautiful bride portraits.

The back of the gown was so pretty.

The men, in the dining room at the Batcheller Mansion Inn

A classic bride and groom photo.

Now one with a little more “Elario” flavor..

a sweet moment before we headed to the Hall of Springs!

David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design anxiously awaited like a kid on Christmas Eve for the bride and groom to see their ceremony space.

And this is what they walked in and saw… a stunning transformation.

Along with some beautiful details

This was one of my favorite details of the whole day. So cool!

Anyone who follows my blog knows this is my favorite moment of the whole wedding to capture. I love that moment between a bride and her father before they walk down the aisle.

The ceremony was really beautiful and Rev. Francis H. Geer was wonderful.

Look at this space!! The clouds were a nice touch!

Mr & Mrs..

Cocktail hour..

The escort card tree was a huge hit. Stationary by Paper Dolls of Saratoga

At the tail end of cocktail hour I pulled Emily and Michael away for some more portraits.. I particularly like the lighting in this!


Classic Hall of Springs type photo right here:

And the Elario Configuration is a pose that never disappoints..

Reveal #2 time!! David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design wows another family.

This is what they saw..

The head table and the details that went with it.

The trees were so cool!

Later in the evening the room would transition to night.. This is what that looked like..

The ceiling had stars and a moon! (I totally laid on my back for this image)

First dance..

A great welcoming toast by, Governor Pataki. He makes speaking publicly look easy, almost like he’s done it before 😉

Such a nice cake cutting.

A view from above..

A special parent dance..

Then the guests danced under the stars..

It was one incredible wedding. I can’t thank Emily and Michael enough for choosing us! Congrats you two!

Emily and Michael’s wedding day team:

Coordination: Christine A. Wheat Special Events Firm

Venue: Hall of Springs, Saratoga Springs, NY

Caterer: Angelo Mazzone, Kevin Sykes, Mark Delos of Hall of Springs

Cake: Hall of Springs

Florist/Linens/Event Designer: David Michael Schmidt of Renaissance Floral Design

Lighting/ Rentals: Mike Frodey – Clifton Park Rental

Stationary: Paper Dolls of Saratoga

Hair and Makeup: Make Me Fabulous

Cinematography: Michele Spiezia of Films by Francesco

Gown: Rivini from Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier

Transportation: Premiere Limo and Albany Aqua Ducks (trollys)

Officiant: Rev. Francis H. Geer

Ceremony Music: Trio Capriccio

Cocktail Music: John Charles Cook

Audio Equiptment: Duldec Audio

Accommodations: Batcheller Mansion Inn

DJ: Christopher Sealey

Cross, podium and program holder by: Danny Killion (under the direction of David Michael Schmidt)

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  1. WOW. Let’s just say this makes my end of year blog, hands down, without question. Wow. I am beyond impressed with the HOS (Go Kevin!) and the coordination this took to pull off so seamlessly. I mean, I love the HOS, but this brought it to a whole level.

    Ok well let me get back to the HOS, I’d like to concentrate on the other parts of the blog. As soon as I saw their invites with what looked like a watercolor of the avenue of the pines, oh… oh you had me right there. I mean seriously? I just loved that. LOVED it.

    The Inn is incredible! Adds a lot of character and class to each shot. Love the beautiful one of Emily and Alayne (FABULOUS). I love me some MMF. It isn’t often you see a bride with her hair down just beyond shoulder length and Emily pulls this off beautifully. I just love when brides wear their hair down. Love it.

    FIrst look with dad (Aka Gov Pataki). This is just too sweet. I just adore the seriousness, and then the joy in his eyes looking at her.
    The next first look with Michael, just so sweet as well. Her veil and dress are just perfect. So classic for a classic beauty.

    Your “I LOVE THIS IMAGE” image. Me too! It looks all vogue and like it should be in a magazine. Amazing. All those pics were great (way to go C-dubbs with the coordination) 🙂 ANd again, what an amazing place to shoot them all.

    Love the dad/daughter shots pre ceremony… and now… to the HOS.

    TREES. EVERYWHERE. This is by far the most innovative, elaborate deco of the HOS I’ve seen in my years of blog stalking. This is incredible. The cross at the altar?? The trees everywhere? The lighting? Ohhhhh. I mean, this just took my breath away. I had to catch up on my blog stalking and had to save this for last (I like to go in order) and it was worth it. Wow.

    The HOS is such a regal venue, and somehow DMS manages to give it an intimate feel too. And again, all the lighting. I love the shot of the venue from above (and the one you had to lay on your back to get, JP)

    The parent dance is so precious.

    Seriously, the decor, the families, everything makes this such a special posting. Wow, again.

    Congrats to Emily and Michael and your families!

    Big Joe and JP – incredible incredible incredible. I would say I’m speechless, but the preceding post clearly would make me a liar. I can’t say enough about this one. 🙂

  2. Greetings from our honeymoon! JP & Joe: your pictures are unbelievable! Our hearts are so full that we just laugh and cry remembering the best day of our lives. Christine and everyone we worked with, David, Alayne, Angelo, Kevin, Cora, Meredith (etc.)…THANK YOU. xoxo Bride and Groom

  3. You have all out done yourselves yet again. One of my favorite pics from this wedding is the one of the ceiling. You’re not afraid to think outside the box and that is why your work is so awesome!

  4. We started the process of loading the design in to the room at 4:00 am. At 7:10pm JP was laying on the floor shooting the star pattern of the ceiling. I stood back I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly be captured on film. This room was magic in every sense of the word. I am humbled by the fact my work is now archived as a moment of greatness for one of the most beautiful rooms in the state of New York. Thank you Elario Joes for your talent and dedication to your craft .

  5. OMG, DMS, Beyond Fabulous! I have to say my two favorites are of Christine and George and the bow tie and George with his head to Emily’s in their dance. I am obsessed with the emotion in that photo. What a wonderful family, wonderful decor, wonderful planner and wonderful photos!! Emily you wanted everything to look effortlessly classic and beautiful and OMG did it!!

  6. wow! emily, you personify “classic” bride, you’re so beautiful and your jewelry is stunning! the room is just ridiculously gorgeous and unrecognizable…the clouds, stars, and moon just blew me away. I also love those lacy tablecloth overlays! elarios – such amazing pictures as always. I have yet to see photogs capture large group shots as well as you two do – seriously awesome. congratulations to the bride and groom!

  7. Unbelievable!!!!!! The images you both captured are unbelievable! Everyone did such an amazing job transforming the hall into a romantic forest. I have been tryin to see these all day, totally worth the wait! I can’t even imagine the work that went behind their planning and their big day to pull all these details together. To turn all these images around this fast turnaround joe! Wow enjoy your week !!! Congrats Emily and micheal ! – hay

  8. AMAZING! I’m so happy I was a part of the team that made this happen. JP-Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Congrats to everyone for a job well done.

  9. Wow amazing job Elario’s!! I did not know forests can come inside, LOVE the first look with her father!!

  10. Amazing work by the entire crew!

    Love your pictures, JP… Want to roadtrip down to RI in a couple years?? 😉

  11. I am brought to tears. The love, the happiness and excitement is priceless. Amazing and stunning photos. Congratulations to Emily and Michael. May your life together be as special and happy as this day was. Elarios, you are true professionals. Congratulations all around!

  12. stunning, amazing, breath taking… you must’ve been in your glory just being there, let alone getting to photograph it… and what a job you did!

  13. This is an AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC blog! The pictures are out of this world! What a beautiful wedding! Awesome work 🙂

  14. I am so proud to have worked with Emily & her family for 18 months. We were very strategic on what professionals were going to bring in to produce this event and I am so impressed with every little detail! None of which would have been captured properly if you guys weren’t shooting it. Thank you for capturing the elegance and magical moments of the day. You are both amazing true artists.