Tamar and Troy at the Hall of Springs

Tamar and Troy’s wedding was the kind of visual feast that every photographer loves to be a part of. The ceremony took place at St. Peter Armenian Church in Watervliet. After some family photos at the church, we had a few moments for a whirlwind photo stop at Yaddo Gardens, and then everyone went to the Hall of Springs for the Reception. Renaissance Floral did their usual amazing job, and the talented band was led by Armenian music legend Paul Baghdadlian.

It’s impossible to describe the warm love, joy and happiness we felt all around us throughout the day; hopefully, these photographs show what we can’t describe in words!

If you would like to see more of Tamar and Troy’s beautiful wedding day, click here.

Tamar and Troy’s Engagement Session

Due to the rainy weather this spring, we had to reschedule Tamar and Troy’s engagement session a couple of times — but we finely got together on a gorgeous May afternoon — just one week before their wedding! We really enjoyed getting to know Tamar and Troy — and we’re heading out to shoot their wedding in less than an hour from now!

Katie and Drew’s Engagement

It wasn’t until the day of the engagement photo session that we realized that Drew is the brother of one of Brenda’s friend’s fiancee. It is a small world! Katie and Drew wanted a country feel to their engagement photos, and Pruyn house was the perfect place for them!

Heather and Chris!


Heather and Chris met us in Troy on a beautiful May afternoon, and we made some gorgeous engagement photos in some of our favorite Troy spots — and theirs! (Thanks for introducing us to the waterfall!)

It was wonderful spending time with them, and we’re looking forward to their wedding this coming November!

Want to see more of their engagement photos? Click here!

Getting It Right – Receiving Lines

Welcome to Getting It Right — Tips for a Perfect Wedding Day. This week, we’re looking at “Just Say No to the Impromptu Receiving Line.”

Here’s how this often goes: The bride has planned her day perfectly. She’s confirmed her timeline with the venue manager and the limo service. Brenda has looked it over (she’s a timeline troubleshooting expert) and pronounced it perfect — there is plenty of time to get everything done without rushing. The bride has decided not to have a receiving line at the church — instead, she and her groom will go table to table and greet guests in the reception hall.

Now, fast forward ahead to to the ceremony. It’s beautiful. You’re beautiful. And then it’s over. You walk back down the aisle and are having a moment hugging and kissing at the back of the church. Then your family and friends arrive and it happens. Someone asks you innocently, “are you doing a receiving line?” You and the groom look at each other, and shake your heads. “No, we’re not.”

“Oh, you HAVE to do one — it would just be impolite and disrespectful to run out of here without greeting all these people who have come to your wedding.”

And ZAP — it happens. The impromptu receiving line. You shrug and figure, why not? If it’ll make people happy. . . . . what can it hurt?

Without knowing it, you have just thrown a major monkey wrench into your wedding day. That receiving line could easily suck up half an hour of time. Half an hour when you are SUPPOSED to be getting your beautiful pictures taken, and then riding to the reception hall.

Suddenly the time that was set aside for photography is looking short — the 45 minutes has shrunk to less than 15 minutes. Finally, the receiving line is over, and you tell the photographer you’re ready to begin the formal pictures. But wait! What happened to grandma and grandpa? They left for the reception hall. And your brother has left too. The photographer rushes through the photos ¬†as best he can– everybody is a little tense because the 15 minutes that are left for photography is stretching to 30 minutes, and a lot of the people who were supposed to be in pictures are gone. And the priest is geting impatient because Mass starts in 15 minutes, and he wants you out of his church.

By the time you get to the reception hall, you’re 45 minutes late. The venue manager grabs the photographer as he walks in and angrily tells him that he has messed up the entire schedule. The food is going to be overcooked, and the bride and groom will only get to spend a couple of minutes at their cocktail hour. The manager is angry at the bride too, but tries to conceal it.

I could go on, but you get the point — all that careful planning, and one casual decision made under pressure from somebody you love can turn a relaxed event into a pressured one. Worse, the pictures you planned to treasure for decades will LOOK rushed, because the camera doesn’t lie — it shows the stress and tension everybody was under trying to get the photos taken in an impossibly short time, and all the artistic ideas you talked about before the wedding go out the window as the photographer struggles to just get it done in time.

We see this scenario play out several times a year — sometimes we get the chance to remind the couple that the receiving line will impact their schedule — other times it happens before we can say anything.

Don’t get me wrong — there’s nothing wrong with a receiving line — as long as you plan it from the beginning and allocate time for it. But don’t fall victim to the innocent-looking “impromptu receiving line” that can have a major impact on your photography and reception.

Next week’s Getting it Right topic: Why every bride should have professional makeup for her wedding.

Andrea and Nathanael

Andrea and Nathanael had a picture-book wedding, starting from the gorgeous April spring day with perfect weather, to the ceremony at the stately and historical First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady, to the happy reception at Mallozis, and of course to all their friends and family who surrounded them throughout their special day.

As photographers, we really appreciated the extra time they built into their schedule for photography — we enjoyed walking around the Stockade District with the wedding party, and got some great photographs!

Want to see more of Andrea and Nathanael’s wedding? Click here!