indian wedding woodcliff rochester mary dougherty01 Woodcliff Hotel Wedding

There was vibrant color, sparkling jewels and the most lovely bride and groom. Surrounded by their family and friends in Rochester, New York, Sumaiya and Bobby hosted the last part of their traditional Bengali wedding at the Woodcliff Hotel. It was unlike any the space had ever seen. They celebrated with family and friends – many of whom had flown in from Long Island, Miami and other places across the world. They prepared separately and the arrival of Bobby at the Woodcliff marked the start of the day together. Sumaiya was upstairs finishing her detailed preparations and checking out the window to see if the light rain would stop or continue. Originally planned to be held outdoors, the decision was made to move the ceremony inside, but thankfully the weather cleared enough for us to take some beautiful portraits outdoors. With all of the guests seated and the music playing everything came together and Sumaiya walked down the aisle where she and Bobby pledged their vows and lives together.

This was not just a beautiful day to document, but it was the first Bengali wedding that I have photographed. Everyone was so incredibly welcoming and kind and even more so – eager to be photographed. Sometimes we have the problem of unfriendly guests who like to avoid our camera and decline the chance to be included in the images from the day, but this was certainly not the case. I’m so thankful for Jake – who second shot with me – as we spent a large part of the day documenting separate events and there was a lot to document in the two days we spent photographing. Enjoy some of my favorites and open the post to see a more complete look at the day!

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When Sumaiya was getting ready and laying out her necklaces I asked which she would be wearing and the answer was “all of them.” Haha I felt so silly, and while I am used to seeing brides with minimal jewelry in this case more is more and Sumaiya was incrediably stunning in both the red wedding dress and gold reception dresses she wore (also the skirt on the red dress weighed 15 lbs and I’m not joking).

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heirloom print box hh boogie 1 heirloom print box | hh boogie

I started to dream. I thought of the things that I would absolutely love to have as a keepsake from my wedding day and then decided to give them to everyone. It’s taken quite a long time, but I’ve come to a point where I want everyone I work with to walk away with something unbelievably beautiful. I want to make the decision because I know the process of wedding planning takes all of the decision making capabilities out of a person. After the day if you are faced with one more thing to buy or invest in you just wait and five years later you still don’t have anything to tell the story of the day you were married.

So starting in 2015 all of my wedding couples will receive a handmade wooden box which I like to call the heirloom print box. It’s crafted in Ohio by the artisans behind HH Boogie and absolutely beautiful, in my opinion. With a space for both 4×6 prints, small keepsakes / a flash drive and three tiny vials it does a good job of telling more of your story than you thought possible. Include handwritten notes, additional images and fill the vials with sand from your honeymoon or a small piece of lace from your grandmothers dress. I’ll share more about the inside soon, but I wanted to fill all of you in on the direction I’m taking things.

Print boxes can be included with portrait sessions so that prints from each family session can be added as your lives are documented. I love that these boxes give you the ability to add to the story of your life and easily share it. Rotate prints through frames, write personal notes on the back of each image and remember to get all of them out and look through them when you need a reminder of the joy of life.

For those of you who feel left out and want to add a heirloom print box to your wedding collection this year, you can do so for 50% off the offered price so contact me for details!

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travel dates marydougherty upcoming travel

Travel is one of my favorite parts of this job. It’s funny because sometimes people contact me about photographing their wedding and are worried that a place like Auburn will be too far for me to come. It’s definitely not. Sure, it costs me more time and money to travel but I would rather work with the right people than stay in the same place so I try to make travel charges reasonable. Besides, while I identify most often in the Rochester, New York area… it’s not actually where I live. I’m way out in the country near Letchworth State Park and travel has been a necessary part of my business from the beginning. So, I embraced it. See a few of my farthest adventures :

Florida  |  South Carolina  |  Montana  |  Sydney  |  Ottawa  |  Vermont  |  Pennsylvania Lake Placid  Virginia

This fall I have several trips planned and I would love to hear from you if you want to try and schedule a shoot, meet for coffee at your favorite spot or collaborate on something fun. So, send me a message at hello@marydougherty.com and let’s talk. Since I’ll be traveling for weddings my schedule is only somewhat open. However, my trips to Michigan + Utah (details still being worked out) are not wedding related and I’m really interested in finding some models for a Utah shoot. Anyone want to elope out there? Take engagement photos? Let’s do it.

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genesee country village museum diy wedding01 DIY wedding at the Genesee Country Village Museum

She didn’t want a wedding. Well, Bettina just wasn’t the kind of girl who dreamed about a day and planned every detail… which is funny because she ended up crafting one of the most beautiful and elegant barn weddings the Genesee Country Village and Museum has ever seen. She was content with going to the courthouse and making things official, but things started to change once Blaine proposed and she said yes. First it was the courthouse, then a bbq, then a barn was added in… and no one could have guessed the custom popcorn cart built by her dad or the diy florals that delicately graced each table.

For all the preparation that went in to making this day happen it came together beautifully. Perfect bows and sparkling jewels adorned the bride as she got ready at home with her bridesmaids. Bettina had designed her shoes (robin’s egg blue with bows on the back and gold glitter heels), sewed two hearts into her dress (one from a shirt of Blaine’s, the other from a shirt from her grandfather), chose a small bird cage veil, and wore a gorgeous Kate Spade statement necklace. Everything was simple, elegant and so every her. Guys wore crisp gray suits and Blaine had custom cufflinks which were one of the gifts from Bettina on their wedding day.

This country boy and city girl are now living happily in Rochester and I am so glad to have met them, documented their day and celebrated alongside them. Bettina, I don’t know if you are serious about wedding planning but since we all know careers in medicine are going no where you should just probably get out of that right now. Enjoy looking through this beautiful day which is the perfect representation of the love and joy these two share.

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  • August 21, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    Sarah Knight - Oh wow. These are gorgeous. I want that necklace!!!!

ny sunset river engagement marydougherty01 Sunset River Engagement Session | Mary Dougherty

You can tell in the way that they look at each other, hold hands and walk side by side. They have a love that is founded on trust, respect and honesty and are building a relationship that will impact many. Dana and Jim are two genuine people whose faith has become the foundation for their marriage and it’s a beautiful thing to see.

Since a trip from their respective cities of Ottawa and Chicago wasn’t in the cards long before the wedding day, their engagement shoot was a few days before the wedding. However, I don’t think it was any less beautiful or meaningful. They still had the chance to get in front of the camera before the wedding and get comfortable being photographed. Also, I don’t think you can beat the amazing light and gorgeous locations we went to that contributed to the perfect sunset river engagement session. Both of these places are close to where I live – which is actually not in Rochester but closer to Letchworth State Park. I know all the secret (and not so secret) spots that look amazing so I love when I get to shoot in the area. Take a look and share your thoughts with me in the comment section below!

ny sunset river engagement marydougherty02 Sunset River Engagement Session | Mary Dougherty
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ny sunset river engagement marydougherty27 Sunset River Engagement Session | Mary Dougherty

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  • August 21, 2014 - 1:58 pm

    Sarah Knight - This looks like a fun one! Gorgeous light!