Otesaga – Cooperstown, NY – Claire + John

Welcome to the most beautiful Cooperstown wedding with Claire and John. I loved this couple so much that instead of having the Lily Moon team shoot it, I came back a day early from my honeymoon to be with these two. Some couples you just instantly take to and Claire and John were definitely one of these couples. If I had to describe them together I would say they were incredibly kind, laid back but organized enough to send me all the lists (which I LOVE), intellectual and easy to talk to and so obviously in complete adoration for each other. I loved getting to know the both of them.

Their wedding venue, the Otesaga, is a grand hotel that sits on the edge of Glimmer Glass lake in historic Cooperstown, NY. This place is all things classy charm and every photographers dream wedding venue. They have space on the lower level for both the bride and groom to get ready as well as their wedding party and family. There’s no bumping elbows here trying to squeeze around each other. The layout is perfect for pictures and offers couples plenty of space to have food and all of their wedding accessories. Take it from someone who has spent many a day in a crowded hotel room squeezed into a corner trying to capture candid moments, this makes all the difference for getting ready photos.

John wrote his father a letter before reading his note from Claire and I teared up while editing them. (These were taken by my amazing second shooter, Lauren.) The candid moments are always my favorite.

In a room not far away, I was with Claire and her bridal party busy taking getting ready photos.

The wedding crown Claire is wearing was actually a gift from John that he had custom made for her overseas. Way to set the bar John. Are you paying attention gentleman? He ordered a crown CUSTOM MADE for Claire. Take notes.

John and Claire chose to do a first look before their wedding ceremony. The Otesaga has multiple stunning locations for a first look but I loved the idea of Claire coming down a grand staircase for her first look.

As is typical for the first look schedule, we went right into wedding portraits around the Otesaga property before the ceremony took place.

Even the inside of the Otesaga has gorgeous spots for wedding portraits. You don’t need to worry about rain on your wedding day if you get married here.

The ceremony was set against a Glimmer Glass lake backdrop and full of sunshine and a warm breeze. It was the perfect day for a wedding.

I had to include this picture because it made me crack up. During the wedding ceremony this guy in his boat just hung out in the background shirtless. Imagine being at a classy wedding and Joe Schmo shows up with no shirt to photobomb your wedding. Obviously I could cut him out of all the photos or photoshop if necessary but it made me laugh. There’s always some blooper at a wedding. I’m glad this one was probably noticed mostly by me and not by the wedding guests.

The reception space was absolutely stunning. I expected nothing less from the staff at the Otesaga. They operate like a well oiled machine. The food was spectacular and the ambiance perfectly reflected Claire and John’s wedding day vibe.

The reception was so much fun and ended with surprise fireworks. It was so fun being sneaky because we were technically done time wise and saying “goodbye’s” but also trying to keep them out on the balcony so we could get pictures of them watching the fireworks. I came up with all sorts of topics to keep the conversation going just so I had an excuse to wait around. Thankfully they’re so easy to talk to it wasn’t a hard feat to accomplish.

This Otesaga wedding was so much fun to photograph and I’m so grateful I could be there. I highly recommend this wedding venue if you’re searching for an upscale place to host yours. Also, check out these amazing vendors!

Venue: The Otesaga Hotel

Flowers: A Rose is a Rose Florist –

Music: MTC DJ Services –

Hair + Makeup: Timeless Salon and Studio –

Cake + Desserts/Catering: The Otesaga –

Ceremony Dress: David’s Bridal –

Reception Dress: Belsoie by Valerie’s Bridal –

Photography: Lily Moon Photography –

Videography: Kammer Films –

Groomsmen Tuxedos: The Black Tux –

Syracuse Wedding Photographer

An extension of Jen Pecka Photography