Upstate NY Castle Wedding | Lisa & John

Groom kisses bride on the temple while she looks down standing in front of autumn tree

Did you ever imagine that you could have an Upstate NY castle wedding? If you thought castle weddings were only found in Germany, the UK and other places like that, think again!  Nestled in the heart of the Fingerlakes is Belhurst Castle and Winery and this is the romantic setting where Lisa and John chose to become Mr. and Mrs.!

Lisa and her bridesmaids got ready in the Tower Suite of the Castle and if you take the very narrow and steep stairs to the top of the castle turret, you’ll find a quaint little sitting room at the top!  This is where I found the perfect spot to hang Lisa’s wedding dress and her bridesmaids dresses!

The Wedding Details

One thing that I just loved about Lisa and John’s wedding is how many personal touches were included in their day!  Lisa customized pajamas for her bridesmaids, each bridesmaid’s hangers and even MADE her own bouquet!

Bride Getting Ready

You know, if I could get married again, I think I would pick a dress a lot like Lisa’s.  The lacey back is just so elegant and delicate!  I love it!

Lisa wasn’t the only one to add personal touches to their wardrobe.  John wrote a love letter to Lisa on the socks that he wore!  Such a cool and unique idea!

Here is John getting a few photos done right before their First Look!

The First Look and Vows

I could tell John was a little nervous before he saw Lisa but when he turned around and saw her in her wedding dress, he was all smiles!

One of the very sweetest things that I have actually never photographed before was that John and Lisa shared their vows with each other right after seeing each other.  They each had a little booklet labeled “Lisa’s Vows” and “John’s Vows” and in them, they had written to very sweet, specific vows. I could try to describe how their vows went and short of saying they almost had me in tears, I’ll let you see for yourself.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.


Bride and Groom Portraits

There was one tree on the property whose leaves were changing color and I knew it would make a spectacular backdrop for some photos!

These two are so in love and show affection to one another so naturally that taking photos of them was effortless!

This is one of my very favorites of Andrew’s pictures from the day!

For all the times I’ve shot at Belhurst Castle, I haven’t ever been up to the front lawn with all these gorgeous, mature trees.  Check out the framing of that tree branch!

Bridal Party Portraits

If you’re going to have your wedding at a castle in Upstate NY, you HAVE to have lots of photos in front of it!   We met up with the Bridal Party behind the castle after we had done a few photos of John and Lisa.  One benefit to doing a First Look as that we can get all your photos done before the ceremony and that’s exactly what we did for John and Lisa!

They were all so much fun to work with!  So much spunk!

Andrew was having just as much fun as the bridal party! (I couldn’t help but snap this one!)

Bridesmaids Portraits

The bridesmaids and their lanterns… again, handmade by Lisa herself!

Groomsmen Portraits

I really loved that of all the attendants standing up with John on his wedding day, his sister was his “Best Woman”!  How special is that!

They got their “model faces” on for Andrew!

In between pictures with the bridal party, we made sure to get portraits of just John and Lisa around the castle!



I love this random photo that Andrew captured as John watched Lisa in action!

One of the sweetest things about Lisa is her infectious smile and laugh!  How can you not love this?

Bride and Groom Portraits by the Lake

Then we all hiked down to the lake and the docks. For an Upstate NY castle, there are tons of places for great wedding pictures around the grounds!

Making sure they’re in just the right spot for the picture!

Wedding Ceremony

And then, the moment everyone had been waiting for… the wedding ceremony on the castle lawn!

The emotion of the moment was so incredibly sweet.

Married under the arch made specially by Lisa’s aunt and uncle!

The Wedding Reception

Their wine and cork theme was so evident throughout all the decor!  I loved how awesome it all looked!


Introductions and First Dance

Introducing!… the new Mr. & Mrs.!!!

The First Dance!

Cake Cutting

This fantastic wedding cake and cupcakes were made by Club 86 Bagels, Cakes and a Hole Lot More!  But the epic cake topper was made by the mother of the bride and the veil on the bride is from Lisa’s mom’s own wedding dress!

I love how much fun they had with their cake cutting.  No cake went flying but there was a lot of teasing going on!

Party Dancing

Our entertainment and DJing was brought to us by DJ 1900 Hendryx !

Each member of the bridal party had sneakers that lit up.  Just one more really fun aspect of the night!

Night Time Portraits

While Lisa and John were dancing, I went outside the door to the smoking area and saw this canopy of tree branches that I knew would make amazing framing!  I fired a few test shots off and while I was out there, a guest came out for a smoke, looked at me like I was crazy and asked, “What are you taking pictures of?!” I chuckled and explained… knowing that it would turn out perfect.  And here you have it!

If you’d like to get to know Andrew and I a bit better, check out our Team Hawkins page!

Lisa and John, Andrew and I were so honored to be a part of your sweet day.  Thank you for allowing us to be witness to your love!

Feel free to share this blog post around but please do not screen shot pictures or crop watermark out.





  1. Tammy Gardiner says:

    Cant wait to see the rest! Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much.
    Lisa’s mom

  2. Mary snyder says:

    What beautiful pictures to tell a beautiful love story. Thank you Hannah ❤️. Mary…. (John’s Mom)

    • Hannah Hawkins says:

      Our pleasure Mary!… really. We so enjoyed spending the day with all your friends and family. It was such a great celebration!

  3. What a great job capturing their love and joy!!

  4. Lisa Snyder says:

    It’s been over two weeks and I still cannot get over how much I love these photos! Hannah we could not have asked for anyone better to capture our day! You made it run so smoothly and every detail was perfection! We can’t wait to get the rest back!!

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