Yoga Retreat Wedding in Ithaca



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Weddings, Engagements, Elopements,

I once saw a bumper sticker that said ” Ithaca, 10 square miles surrounded by reality.” I think back then it was supposed to be a dig, however if you meet anyone from Ithaca they would probably agree. Mostly because sometimes Ithaca doesn’t feel real. Ithaca feels like this idyllic town filled with bike rides to the farmers market, the sound of live bands and people just being. Ithaca has a quirky charm to it with a side of progressive and eccentric flair that you don’t see in many other upstate New York towns. The Ithaca Zen Center is a rural zen community that has both yoga classes and offers different wellness and holistic retreat getaways.

In walks this Ithaca Yoga retreat wedding inquiry that had me so happy it was an automatic yes. Annie and Travis are indie folk artists who also run a farm in Ithaca. They wanted their wedding celebration to be different and I will say I have never experienced anything quite like their yoga wedding weekend. For the first time in my very long career I didn’t direct or pose anything. Literally I said nothing I just opened up the space to be present and shot in a reactive reportage style way. It was a completely different experience and I am forever changed.

The night before we met at the ithaca zen center and I followed the rest of the women into the yoga class room where we sat around in a women’s circle. We each took turns telling stories how we met the bride. It was such a beautiful thing witnessing these relationships and getting to know everyones stories before the wedding day even happened. We strung flowers onto the lei that they were to use to wrap around themselves when they got married the next day. We blessed the “moon water” and shared about our connection to water. I remember howling at the moon like wolves and hearing the guys howl back at their mens fire on the other side of the pond.

For me this was a complete immersive weekend and I never felt more aligned.

From the couple-

What about me or my work speaks to you?: I appreciate your ability to capture the subtlety and character of each person in your photographs. I also love the quirky, and unconventional eye that you bring to your portfolio collection! I’m not sure what your editing process is like, but all of your photos have this timeless quality to them — the colours feel vibrant, but subdued. More than anything, I appreciate the honesty that I feel through your photography practice. 

Give me all the deets, how did you meet? How did they propose? What do you like to do together? What are you envisioning for your big day or session?: Travis & I are musicians and farmers, and we met a music conference called the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance! I am from Canada & Travis is from upstate New York, and I decided to make the big move down to the humble homestead where Travis lives when the pandemic shut down the borders between our countries. We love being in the woods & rivers, playing music, singing harmonies, farming, tending to the chickens & the vegetable gardens. Also, community is really important to us; cultivating deep and meaningful connection with our community, family & friends is really at the centre of our dreams about the future! One day, I came back to the farm from doing some landscaping work in Ithaca, and Travis had made a love-note scavenger hunt! I walked from note to note reading about special memories, reasons why he cares about me, dreams about the future, and funny inside jokes… At each note, there was a single flower. Crying and laughing and gathering a giant bouquet, I followed the notes down into the woods. Eventually, the notes stopped at a spot near the creek – the spot where he and I had our first hike together on that land! There were little offerings put out in gratitude to the water, the trees, and all of those Beings that have watched over our love. And, he appeared (magic!) and sat with me, and asked if I wanted to spend our lives walking together. Back during covid, we ended up having a small gathering on our farm on June 28th, 2022. We only had our immediate family there to hold a special circle for us as we legally tied-the-knot! We always intended to have another celebration, and now we are creating that for our family & friends at the Ithaca Zen Center – A special place where Travis & I have worked, practiced Zen, and met some of our best-friends and teachers. 

What do your dream photographs look like? Whats the most important shot to you?: Lots of candid, connection photos – friends meeting each other, laughter, some of the tears, and heart-sharing! Photos by the lotus pond! Maybe some special photos with our beloved family & friends. Pictures of all the little kids that will be there, the elders, the merry-makers! Honestly, I just feel so excited to be able to look back on these photographs, and feel the potency of gathering these unbelievably special humans in one place.

Venue : http://Ithaca Zen Center. Floral : Grown by them

Interested in seeing another Ithaca Wedding with a documentary approach? Click Here


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