The One with Wagner Winery | Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel | Seneca Lake, NY
Marissa & Brandon’s Wedding Day Highlights
Seneca Lake has many claims to fame – deepest lake in New York State.., lake trout capital of the world…, home to one of the most famous wine trails… and now it’s known for Marissa and Brandon’s wedding location!
The Harbor Hotel at Watkins Glen was the location of the wedding of Marissa and Brandon and they could not have chosen a more spectacular place to hold their event. This boutique hotel sits on prime real estate with breathtaking views of Seneca Lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country.. It was such the perfect getaway location for the newlyweds to celebrate their wedding and take a mini vacation with their friends and family prior to their Aruba honeymoon!
Marissa and her bridesmaids lounged in their suite over looking Seneca Lake and giggled as JuJu Beauty worked their magic with each of them. Marissa didn’t trust anyone accept for her bridesmaid Ashley, owner of Philly Hair & Makeup Co, to complete her bridal look. The ladies enjoyed a few sips of Marissa’s ‘something blue’ (blue champagne! how fun!) before they got dressed in their Hayley Paige gowns. Marissa’s bridal gown, from Irini’s Originals, was perfect. Perfect for the day. Perfect for the venue. Perfect for her. I couldn’t imagine her looking more beautiful than she did on this day.. Her Etsy jewelry and Badgley Mischka shoes enhanced the beautiful vintage drama of her bridal look. After a few portraits overlooking Seneca Lake, Marissa was ready to see her groom for the first time on their wedding day.
While Marissa was getting ready, Brandon was only several blocks away surrounded by his guys. When I arrived to the house, Brandon and his buddies were arriving back from an incredible game of golf. After a quick shower and a shave, Brandon was ready to get into his Jos A Bank suit. As Brandon looked out the window of his rental, across the street, and down the hill to the water, you could see he was replaying every day that led to this day. It was a rapid journey through time, and as you watched is was as if in order for day to align itself it had to sit perfectly synchronous with all the days he had been with Marissa. It was heart warming to watch and truly a special moment. With a little help from his best man, Brandon was ready to go. After wrangling his men, they all loaded into their trucks and headed down to the hotel to watch Brandon see Marissa for the first time.
As we stepped out on the dock at Seneca Harbor – we knew we wanted to give the almost-weds a location for their first look that would live in their memories forever – this spot definitely delivered and the happiness spread from ear to ear when Marissa called Brandon’s name and he turned to see her. They embraced and shook off the excited nervousness they both shared prior to the first look, After a few moments the two took a stroll along the pier towards the red building at the end of the Seneca Lake Pier. They stopped for a kiss in the warm September sun. It was perfect.
I adore this photo location. It WAS quite warm (I think Marissa and Brandon would both agree warm is a bit of an understatement), but the sky boasted the perfect September blue that every couple dreams of for their wedding day. I wonder if they knew when they met at Lebanon Valley College (she was a cheerleader – he played on the football team) if they knew that one September they would end up married. It was so much fun walking around the harbor and finding backdrops that captured the essence of being in the Finger Lakes.
We packed our bags and the bridal party and climbed into the Luxury Limo party bus and headed to the couple’s namesake winery (how perfect, right?). Wagner Vineyards Estate Winery is one of the oldest and most recognized wineries in upstate New York. Their property has seriously the most stunning views of Seneca Lake – we just wanted to buy a bottle of wine and sit and do a tasting… no worries, we didn’t do that. We photographed the bridal party and the almost-weds against the vines with the view of the lake as the backdrop. Before we knew it, we elected it was best to head back to the Harbor Hotel and let the newlyweds chill for a bit before the ceremony.
At half past five o’clock in the afternoon, Brandon stood at the head of the aisle on the patio at The Harbor Hotel and waited for his future wife to make her appearance. Golden hour graced the newlyweds as they exchanged vows under the pale blue sky on this warm September day. The Seneca Lake Harbor makes such a picturesque view for the ceremony and for the newlyweds and the flowers by In Bloom softened and highlighted the color tones chosen by the bride and groom.
FLE Group danced the bridal party into the reception with some awesome tunes and a promise that the party was going to be awesome! As the couple shared their first dance to “I Choose You” under the warm glow the the reception hall – they looked like they fit so perfectly in each others arms. After a couple toasts… and what the bride and groom lovely refer to as one roast (p.s. – we call ‘dibs’ for Marissa’s brother’s wedding… I gotta see how the return toast plays out at his reception). This perhaps was one of the funniest moments all evening.
After they cut their Glen Mountain Market Bakery & Deli cake, the newlyweds took to the dance floor for the rest of the night. Besides saying “I-Do” I am pretty sure this was the part of the day they were most excited for. Both Marissa and Brandon are extremely social and love hanging out with friends and having a great time. One thing they certainly don’t want to forget from the wedding day was their lip sync battle to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” I bet Lanasa Studio got some great footage of this!
We are so glad you guys brought us along on your journey to husband and wife! We look forward to hearing about all your adventures (especially to Aruba) and all the happiness that life brings you two! #WagnerSnagsHer
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