Canandaigua Country Club – Lake Wedding

      “Jake is thoughtful, handsome, kind-hearted, passionate and a pain in my butt! Lol”

      These are words Carolyn used to describe her, at the time, fiance Jake.

      Now, this thoughtful pain in the butt is her husband.

      Carolyn and Jake meet online through an app. And, we had the pleasure of capturing their beautiful wedding day at the Canandaigua Country Club.

      The day started off at Jake & Carolyn’s house with the boys. When we arrived in the morning, there was tons of laughter and maybe a few open beers. From the get go, Jake greeted us with a big smile and goofy jokes. As soon as Mark took his camera out of the bag, he was there with much passion and interest in our process and how the cinema rig worked! (Especially how the camera worked.  He really, really wanted to play with this new toy.)

      After filming and taking pictures of all the guys getting ready, and many “I’m watching yous” to the groomsmen deemed “trouble makers,” we jumped in the car and headed over to Carolyn’s parent’s house to meet the girls.

      Pizza, mimosas, makeup palettes, and fun music – all the pieces to a fun bridal party! We had a blast shooting Carolyn’s beautiful dress, and pieces of jewelry, all completed by her grandmother’s handkerchief.  

      Carolyn took the time to read a letter from her beloved, Jake. It was very emotional, and had us all crying.

      Soon, the bridal party was dressed, and ready for some pictures. Many tears of joy were shed from seeing Carolyn in her dress for the first time.

      Jake arrived on the scene, his bride hidden away in the house. Family friends had brought a BEAUTIFUL classic, orange car for them to take pictures with. (Thanks Uncle Tom!)  After a warm embrace and words of encouragement from Carolyn’s father, Jake stood against the hood of the car, eyes closed, and hands over his eyes to make sure he wasn’t peeking!

      Carolyn swiftly snuck out of the house, to walk over to her soon to be husband. She lightly touched him on the shoulder. Jake quickly removed his hands, and greeted his now soon to be wife with the biggest smile and a joke. They laughed, kissed, embraced, and laughed some more, with even more kisses.

      After some pictures with the bridal party, Jake, his bride, and her parents and brother & wife all got in the car to drive to Thompson Continuing Care, where Carolyn’s Grandmother lives. She was not able to attend the wedding, but it so important to them for her grandmother to be able to see this beautiful bride in her wedding dress.

      It was such a special moment to see the excitement of Grandma as she saw Carolyn for the first time in her dress.  Her memory isn’t so great, but she was full of smiles as we took portraits with her before we headed out for some pictures with the bridal party.

      Soon, all the guests started arriving at Canandaigua Country Club, ready to celebrate the union of these two beautiful individuals. The reception was set up beautifully – full of musical things and pieces of the couple.

      As Jake waited patiently at the end of the isle. Heads turned as an impressive sounding car was heard… low and behold, it was Carolyn! Arriving at the wedding in that orange car.

      As she walked down to isle, Jake started crying, tears accented by a gigantic smile. He was so overwhelmed with emotion from seeing his wife.

      And, Carolyn still had a surprise in play for Jake. As she stepped foot out the car, music started playing. It wasn’t a song anyone had heard before… it was something unique. It was a song she had written for Jake, about their love story. Acoustic guitar player and musical composer, Brian Ayers, stood off to the side of the ceremony, playing their love ballad, telling of their love through beautiful chords, carefully chosen words, and a soaring melody. It was breathtaking.

      Rings were placed on fingers, “I Do’s” were shared, a kiss was shared, and….

      “Mr. & Mrs. Ward!”

      Family and friends stood up out of chairs and cheered as their bride and groom walked down the aisle, hand in hand, with infectious smiles.

      Guests shared drinks as the couple was photographed with their family. A live band played for an upbeat cocktail hour.

      Soon, all the bridal party was herded, and guests were seated. Pumping music was blasted over the speakers, and each member of the bridal party rushed into a spacious tent to be introduced, accompanied by spunky dance moves.

      Carolyn and Jake then entered the tent, accompanied by screaming, shouting, cheering, and lots of love. They shared their first dance intimately as husband as wife , then each shared dance with their parents to celebrate the day.

      An entourage of toasts followed. First by the best man, recalling many memories with wise words. Next, our maid of honor gave a beautiful toast to Carolyn, who was like her sister. Many tears of joy were shared, along with laughs. Then two jokesters gave a hilarious toast to the couple, outing embarrassing memories. Carolyn’s mother sang a beautiful song she had written for the couple. FInally, Carolyn’s grandfather closed the toasts with some kind and wise words for the newly weds.

      After Carolyn and Jake had 5 minutes to finally get off their feet, we had the chance to pull them away from the excitement of the party to share intimate, sunset portraits on a pier overlooking Canandaigua Lake. The sun was a gorgeous blood, orange, reflecting off the lake.

      Again, Jake expressed a lot of interest in Mark’s camera set up. After many questions, and demonstrations, the camera was handed over to Jake, as he played with it and moved it around, his a huge smile on his face and a many “Babe, I want one!”

      After eating a delicious dinner catered by Nolan’s, the couple then spent some time with their guests before they cut the wedding cake. When it was finally time to cut the cake… well, it was an event!

      Carolyn turned to us, and whispered to watch closely after the cake was cut.

      “I’m going for it.”

      Sure enough… hands started flying. Cake was smashed in Jake’s face, getting everywhere! So much so that frosting went into his ear! Jake retaliated, pushing cake back into Carolyn’s face. Soon, a whole entourage of people were assisting with the aftermath. Various people were helping wipe down both Jake and Carolyn of frosting and crumbs.

      Soon, an adventurous bouquet and garter toss went down, with many laughs, and jumps for the garter. The two that caught the garter & bouquet were none other than a bridesmaid and groomsmen who started dating around the same time as Carolyn & Jake. This bridesmaid mentioned during her toast she was waiting for a ring…. Maybe this was a sign from the universe?

      Then… the moment everyone had been waiting for… the dance floor opened! Couples and individuals flocked to the dance floor, DJ’d by the same DJ that was at Carolyn’s 13th birthday party. Glow wands were passed out, drinks were shared, and dancing commenced until the ending of a wonderful party.

      Watch Carolyn and Jake’s full highlight film below!

      Carolyn and Jake then left for their honeymoon a few days later in the Dominican Republic, where they did fun things like horseback riding, zip lining, and Jeep Excursions.

      We cannot wait to see what the future holds for you two. Thank you for trusting us to be the storytellers of such a monumental piece of your love story.

      💜 SJ & MB

      Pastor: Corey Keyes
      Solo acoustic guitarist and singer: Brian Ayers
      Band: Brian Ayers, Chad Ayers, Mike Nelson, Steve Nelson
      Florist: Josette Vest
      DJ: AJ and Johanna Arnitz
      Cake: Sweet Times Bakery
      Event Coordinator: Kristen Harter
      Hair: Amy Stetler and Ashley DeLong
      Make-up: Devon Benilus
      Dress: David’s Bridal
      Suits: Men’s Warehouse
      Bridal Rings: Zales
      Photo & Video: Wonder in Adagio

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