Nope, this isn’t a post about real estate…
A while back the email in-box chimed with an inquiry about a wedding in Verona, NY. I know the town, somewhat; principally its most notable tenant – the Turning Stone Resort and Casino. In fact, that’s where the event was to be held.
I didn’t get the booking, shooting one elsewhere that day, but I did get inspired.
I’d been to the casino at Turning Stone (though not for a wedding) and I’d walked the grounds with my wife. They have a sort of fitness course. I think it’s a mile or two, if you walk the entire thing. There are challenge stations dotting the path – balance beams, chin up bars, that sort of thing.
Honestly, it’s quite scenic – along the way there’s a pond, a gazebo, tidy landscaping and usually a bit of wildlife, tucked in between the resort’s buildings and parking lots.
I hadn’t thought about the weddings they surely host there, until the email. Though I didn’t book that big day, I did find myself back in Verona – this time with a camera and a plan. Admittedly, it was a little late in the day so the lighting isn’t what I’d expect to find during an event.
I’ve always believed in scouting a location for wedding photography or any kind of production, if at all practical. It’s a chance to get comfortable with the layout, experiment with the ambient light and line up a few shots or try site-specific ideas.
By coincidence Jen and I considered a ‘casino wedding,’ with ample hotel rooms, accessibility for the disabled and proximity to water checking all of our boxes in Atlantic City, which was sort of half way between her family and mine – but one step inside the gaming area and she knew it wasn’t for her.
Casino resorts are of course just right for some folks, and do host lots of weddings. With their golf courses for pre or postnuptial unwinding, gambling to keep some guests entertained during their visit, a range of lodging, and diverse dining options – they’re potentially perfect for this sort of large or small celebration.
With all of the beautiful backdrops Turning Stone affords (including some unexpected interiors not included here), I look forward to working as wedding photographer there someday soon. As I’ve already scouted the likely setting – consider me ready!
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