Molly & Mike’s adorable, winter Rochester NY Wedding may have been cold (below zero!!) but these two hearts had nothing but warmth for each other!
Their venues were stunning (the Lyric Theater and Harro East Ballroom). The moments between them were so heart-felt and expressive— so many beaming smiles and happy tears. I’m so thrilled for these two!
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Molly shares, “Having known Lisa since before the start of her photography career and seeing her photos throughout the years, I always knew I wanted her to be my wedding photographer. That was the one thing I didn’t want to budge on for my wedding. I’ve seen the incredible work she does and wanted to have her capture our day.”
She continues,”From our first conversation and throughout the planning process, Lisa was attentive to what made us unique as a couple and was intentional to photograph our story and play off of our personalities. There was no stress when talking with her and mapping out the schedule for the wedding day. I was confident that she would get both the posed photos and be creative with the surroundings to take advantage of the architecture and lighting to get stunning photos of us and our friends and family.
She adds, “I was able to just be myself and enjoy the moments. I knew that Lisa would take incredible pictures without me putting in any effort.”
Laughs and Tears during their First Look
I love photographing authentic moments like these!
The couple shares, “We knew planning a wedding during COVID would be tricky and that a lot of things could change between when we set the date and when we got married. We decided from the beginning that no matter what the situation was, we would get married on January 15th.”
They continue, “Even though our wedding happened to be at the height of the Omicron spike and many family and friends weren’t able to be there to celebrate with us in person, it was such a relief to know that at the end of the day, we would be married and that was what mattered. We had been through a lot in the months leading up to the wedding day.”
They laugh, “I think the emotions you see in the first look are the joy and relief that we finally made it and would be married just a couple of hours later.”
Below Zero Rochester NY Wedding
Getting geared up for their Rochester NY Wedding– Molly put on her boots and I was all bundled up too! Probably the coldest wedding I’ve photographed to date at below zero degrees, but Molly and Mike are all smiles!
Mike laughs, “I’m not sure what the temperature was, but I know it was below zero. We loved the idea of walking from the ceremony venue to the reception, but that definitely wasn’t happening in that weather! (Although as a Canadian, and someone who was wearing pants, I think I could have toughed it out.)”
Molly adds, “Definitely wasn’t ideal that it was below zero on the wedding day. Given the amount of snow Rochester gets (and did get the day after the wedding) I was just glad that there wasn’t a pile of snow that guests would have to drive through to come or that I would have to hike through in my dress.”
Rochester NY Wedding Party
Molly shares, “For my side of the wedding party, I had both a maid of honor and matron of honor. My younger sister Audrey was my maid of honor, and my best friend Alicia who I’ve been friends with since 6th grade when she moved in around the corner was my matron of honor. I also had two bridesmaids, but because of COVID only one was able to be at the wedding. The first was Kiley, who pulled most of the strings to set us up and was the biggest cheerleader for our relationship. My other bridesmaid who wasn’t able to be at the wedding was my friend Laura, who was the first friend I made when I moved to Rochester after we met in our church small group.”
Mike continues, “My best man was originally going to be my college friend Jesse. (I was in his wedding party 11 years ago.) Unfortunately, with the state of the pandemic, he wasn’t able to join us. Fortunately, my groomsman (and neighbor) Zach was able to step in. The next groomsman is my friend Austin who I also met through our church. I’ve been leading a small group with him and his wife over the past couple of years, and we’ve gotten to know each other quite well. His daughter was also our flower girl and his son was the ring bearer. The final groomsman was Molly’s brother, Alan, who graciously agreed to do it before we had even met in person. He also gave an amazing trumpet performance during the ceremony!”
Grace Road Church Ceremony in the Lyric Theater
Mike says, “Molly and I both started attending Grace Road Church soon after we each moved to Rochester. The church recently managed to purchase and renovate the Lyric Theater in the year before our wedding. Aside from the building being absolutely stunning, knowing our faith would be the cornerstone of our marriage, having one of our pastors officiate our wedding in our church was an obvious choice.”
Molly adds, “We always planned to have our ceremony at Grace Road since we met through mutual friends there and the foundation of our community is through that church. The fact that the church purchased and renovated the building in the year leading up to our wedding and we could be one of the first couples to get married there and take advantage of the beautiful space is really special.”
A Friend “Set Them Up”
Mike says, “Molly and I met about three years ago, not long after I moved to Rochester, through a coworker who is also a mutual friend. His wife had been trying to set us up for nearly two years, but it took a while for both of us to be ready for that.”
He continues, “Our first date happened less than two weeks before Molly was set to leave on a mission trip for half the summer. Fortunately, we stayed in touch the whole time. I ended up meeting her parents a few days after she got back and I bought the ring a couple of weeks later.”
Molly adds, “We went on four dates before I left for 5 weeks to lead a mission trip to Puerto Rico, and we stayed in touch pretty much constantly while I was gone. We started talking about the possibility of marriage just a few weeks after we started dating. A month after I got home from Puerto Rico, Mike proposed at the Lamberton Conservatory, one of my favorite places in Rochester. It took a little while for us to get together, but once we did things moved very quickly!”
Their friend who set them up, Kiley, actually photobombed them in the middle of their romantic portraits!
Molly shares, “When we got engaged and were doing our engagement photoshoot, she was over the moon excited about it and that was captured in one of our engagement photos with her photobombing in the background. We knew we had to recreate that photo on our wedding day.”
From Parking Lot to Paradise
A lot of people worry about backgrounds in photos, and they matter, but they are not my main concern. For example, here is a behind-the-scenes pic, from the parking lot of the Harro East Ballroom in Rochester, NY.
My professional opinion is that expressions and lighting trump location every time! So enjoy the moments as a couple, I’ll help you plan the best lighting & don’t worry too much about the background.
Harro East Ballroom Wedding Reception
Mike says, “Our reception venue was the same place where some good friends of ours got married a decade earlier. They had a lot of good things to say about it. We also knew we wanted something in a convenient location since the winter weather in Rochester can be unpredictable.”
The End of the Night
The vibe of this wedding was incredibly inclusive (of families and children) thoughtful (from the seed and plant giveaways, I still have one in my kitchen) and so joy-filled (just look at these smiles!)! I am so happy and proud to have photographed this Rochester NY Wedding!
Molly thanks for believing in me and for following my work for all of this time! It means so very much to me!
- Ceremony Venue: Grace Road Church
- Reception Venue: Harro East Ballroom
- Cake: Cheesy Eddie’s Bakery
- Hair: Artistic Designs Hair Salon
- Makeup: Amy Pink Make Up Artist
- Rings: JF Jones Jewelers
Hungry for more?
Are you or someone you know looking for a photographer for their weddings, portraits, branding, etc? I’m your girl! Contact me here, I’d love to hear all about it!