Erie County Fair Engagement Photos

Elle + Gray

As I began sifting through Elle and Gray’s engagement photos from the Erie County Fair the other night, I felt an instant pang of nostalgia for a summer that had passed just a few days prior with the fall equinox. That’s the superpower of photography, you see. The power of transportation.

Pictures have this uncanny ability to take us on a little trip to another place and time. So while these engagement pictures let me SEE Elle and Gray, I can also hear the murmur of the fair goers and distant screams from the rides, I can smell the fryers and feel the warm late summer air on my skin. And most of all, I can feel all the LOVE between these two.

I’ve always loved the Erie County fair. There are a million reasons I SHOULDN’T love the fair… but man. I really do. When Elle hesitantly suggested the fair for their engagement photos, I KNEW this would be an all time favorite session for me. I gave this idea a VERY enthusiastic hell yes. I originally imagined dragging along a bunch of lighting equipment and really going crazy with all that technical stuff. Turned out the Erie County Fair doesn’t allow such shenanigans. It was a blessing in disguise though. I love how natural and candid these pictures are, and how much this environment challenged me to find the light, the angles and the moments at super fast speeds. I don’t know, these engagement photos just might be as good as it gets. As my dear friend Carla would say, “flip me over, I’m done.”

bride and groom smile for photographer during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair
bride and groom laugh in front of ferris wheel during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair
bride and groom laugh in front of balloon game during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair
bride and groom laugh in front of carousel during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair
bride and groom buy tickets during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair
couple laugh on ferris wheel during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair
couple laugh on ferris wheel during their wedding engagement photography session at the Erie County Fair

Biggest thanks to Elle and Gray for being so fun and adventurous with your engagement photos at the Erie County Fair, and for trusting me to capture all the fun and love they share together.

And because I know everyone wants to know, the dress, it’s a Selkie: https://selkiecollection.com/

If you or someone you know is looking for a photographer to capture this level of good times, please reach out here!

The Terrace at Marcy Casino & Rose Garden Wedding Photography

Elle and Gray’s Sunday Brunch Wedding in Buffalo, NY

Easy like Sunday morning – that’s just what this wedding at The Terrace at Marcy Casino and Rose Garden was. Elle and Gray planned the most easy-breezy Sunday morning brunch wedding for their friends and family. Packed with emotion, a lot of laughs and only a touch of structure, it was a perfect celebration to honor this bride and groom.

Elle and Gray are a bit famous in my circle of followers as “the Erie County Fair couple.” I’ve had the blog post from their engagement session at the Erie County Fair pinned to the top of my blog since last summer. An all time favorite for its colorful, playful spirit, it really set the tone for their brunch wedding at the Terrace at Marcy Casino which was all that colorful, playful fun and so much more.

I started the wedding day preparations with Elle at the beautiful Curtis Hotel in downtown Buffalo, where a wedding beauty mission was underway. As a hairstylist herself, Elle had nothing but the best from her close stylist friend Ted Mcknight. This marked the first time I witnessed a bride and hairstylist cry over how perfect the hair was… and like… I get it. It was so, so good. One of Elle’s oldest friends and her maid of honor, Amy Rettig, did her gorgeous makeup.

Meanwhile, second shooter and world class savior Colin Gordon (who subbed in last minute for my scheduled assistant who had COVID!) met up with Gray and the groomsmen at the Terrace at Marcy Casino for some decorating and finishing touches.

Gray waited for Elle at the nearby Ivy Bridge where we would have a “reveal” for the ages.

The Ivy Bridge is such a perfect location for a mid-day reveal in June when lighting can be atrocious to work with. It provides a beautiful and cool shaded spot that’s fairly secluded from the rest of the park.

Time for a gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony in Delaware Park’s Rose Garden, just outside The Terrace at Marcy Casino.

Gorgeous florals from Botan and a really unique vintage runner from Knotted Fox greeted the guests. My eyes were happy.

decor at the terrace at marcy casino and rose garden wedding ceremony
decor at the terrace at marcy casino and rose garden wedding ceremony
bride walks down aisle at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
wedding at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride and groom smile at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride smiles at groom at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride smiles at guests at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride wipes tear at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
wedding ceremony at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden
couple says vows while laughing at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
best man gives groom ring at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
couple laughs at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
couple exchanges rings at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride and groom laugh at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride and groom kiss and walk up aisle at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride and groom walk up aisle at the terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony
bride and groom walk up aisle
bride and groom pose for portrait after terrace at marcy casino rose garden wedding ceremony

Time for Brunch! Right next to the Rose Garden, cocktails and brunch awaited the Guests at The Terrace at Marcy Casino. The formalities were kept loose (the first dance came last!) and a relaxed and super fun party was enjoyed by all.

wedding reception flowers and decor at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
wedding reception flowers and decor at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
wedding reception flowers and decor at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
wedding reception flowers and decor at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
wedding reception cupcakes and decor at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
wedding reception flowers and decor at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
wedding reception food at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
cocktail hour at wedding reception at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride cries during speech at wedding reception at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
best man delivers speech at wedding reception at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom laugh at wedding reception at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
groom cries during speech at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom toast at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance at the terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NYthe terrace at marcy casino in Buffalo, NY

That’s it for this wedding at The Terrace at Marcy Casino & Rose Garden!

Many thanks to Elle and Gray for having us document your day! And thank you to all these venues and vendors who helped make the day so great!

Preparation: Curtis Hotel

Reveal and Couples Portraits: Ivy Bridge in Delaware Park

Ceremony: Delaware Park Rose Garden

Reception: The Terrace at Marcy Casino in Delaware Park

Makeup: bride – Amy Rettig, bridesmaids – Grace Reedy  

Hair: Ted Mcknight

Florist: Botan

Bakery: Blue Eyed Baker

Officiant: Margaret Murphey

Menswear: Bureau

DJ/Band: DJ Scott Baxter

Aisle Runner: Knotted Fox (vintage!)

“la vie en rose” pennant: Oxford Pennant

Second Photographer: Colin Gordon

How to Pick the Best Location for Engagement Photos in Buffalo

– featuring “a friends garden” with Bobby and Chelsea

engaged couple laughs in flower field during engagement photography session near Buffalo, NY

When an engaged couple tells me they already have a location in Buffalo picked out for their engagement photos, and it’s “a friends house,” the slightest pang of worry sets in. I love an adventure and a new challenge, but in those moments I can’t help but wonder if the location is really ideal. But do you know what happens every single time? The shoot is amazing.

In fact, several of my absolute favorite engagement photo session locations have been on private property!

So how are couples picking such amazing locations for engagement photos around the Buffalo area?

Well, they aren’t REALLY. Most couples don’t typically know what photographers look for in terms of the best light, composition, etc. But what they are doing is picking a place that is personal to them, a place they feel comfortable and feels like “them.” And THAT is the most important ingredient to a successful engagement photo shoot.

The entire purpose of an engagement photo session is to capture a special time in your lives, and so it should reflect your personalities! When a couple is in a location around Buffalo that they love, with the one they love, that energy SHOWS in the photos. A great photographer can make a parking lot look pretty. The location truly doesn’t make the shoot.

engaged couple embraces in flower field during engagement photography session near Buffalo, NY

But… sometimes, a couple does NOT just pick a parking lot… they pick a place that’s straight magic. When Bobby and Chelsea wanted to go to their friends house with a, “nice garden” I got nervous. But, adventure! So, off we went! Well, this garden just south of Buffalo was an absolute stunner and HUGE! A massive field of flowers was waiting for us and this photographers eyes were VERY pleased. And the best part? It was a place where this engaged couple felt good, and it shows!

Check out the rest of the highlights from Bobby and Chelsea’s engagement photography session, at the best location for them, below!

engaged couple poses in flower field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in flower field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple laughs in flower field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple on swing during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple in hammock during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in woods during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in woods during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in woods during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during sunset at engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during sunset at engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during sunset at engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY
engaged couple poses in field during sunset at engagement photography session at best location near Buffalo, NY

Curious about a location I think actually IS one of the best spots for engagement photos in Buffalo? Check out this session at Tifft Nature Preserve!

For another couple who made it their own, check out these engagement photos from the Erie County Fair!

Maid of the Mist “The Office” Wedding Vow Renewal in Niagara Falls!

Last Halloween, Jen packed up Molly’s things for her, including her wedding dress…

She didn’t tell her a thing about where they were headed, just drove her from Burlington, VT all the way to Niagara Falls, NY for a surprise wedding vow renewal inspired by “The Office” TV show!

Jen and Molly had been married the year prior, and sadly, they didn’t have the best wedding day experience. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t the photographer… 😉 As huge fans of the television series “The Office,” these two had always wanted to come to Niagara Falls to ride the Maid of the Mist boat, just as Jim and Pam had in the wedding episode of the show. Needless to say, this surprise wedding vow renewal on the Maid of the Mist was a welcome surprise indeed.

Naturally, a photo shoot to document the event (and to makeup for their lackluster wedding pictures) was a must. <Enter me!> Jen’s plan was to show up in Niagara Falls, take out her neck tie and cut it in half just like Jim did on The Office. From there, Molly could guess what was next! They set out for the Maid of the Mist where I met them in line, along with their families who would join for the celebration!

But first, an obligatory “before” snap from the Maid of the Mist dock

Since it was Halloween, the ponchos issued by the Maid of the Mist were pumpkins! The couple was a little bummed since Jim and Pam had the signature blue ponchos on The Office. That was nothing Photoshop couldn’t fix for a couple photos afterwards though. And besides, pumpkins are adorable!

tourists in pumpkin ponchos view the American Falls from the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls, NY

The Maid of the Mist ride starts gently enough, with gorgeous views of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls looms in the distance.

view of the Horseshoe Falls from the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls, NY
view of the American Falls from the Maid of the Mist boat in Niagara Falls, NY

We took a couple photos to mimic scenes from The Office to start the trip. As we began to approach the Horseshoe portion of Niagara Falls, surprise! Jen’s mom stepped between them and began officiating a vow renewal ceremony! She even had LAMINATED copies of their vows at the ready!

The thing about the Maid of the Mist ride to Niagara Falls is that the closer you get to the Horseshoe, the more intense it gets. Wind picks up tremendously, it’s LOUD, and eventually you just get absolutely, comically drenched. The more intense it got, the more we were all just losing it with laughter.

And of course no trip to Niagara Falls is complete without seeing a rainbow rise from the fall’s mist. <3

That’s all for this Halloween “The Office” inspired wedding vow renewal in Niagara Falls! If you’d like to see more fun from Niagara Falls, check out this wedding engagement proposal from Whirlpool State Park!