Jessica + Shaun – City Hall and Avanti Mansion Wedding Photography – Buffalo, NY

In all my years photographing weddings, Jessica and Shaun may have laughed more on this day than any other couple I’ve met. This day was filled with so much wedding joy and merriment that it’s hard to find photos in this collection where people aren’t laughing. During our engagement session, Shaun joked that I should feel free to say crazy things on the wedding day to get everyone laughing in the photos. There was absolutely no need for that. Scroll on through for some super fun memories from our portraits at Buffalo’s City Hall to a lovely Avanti Mansion wedding if you’re looking for a smile today.

But first, I began the day with Jessica and her party at the Westin Hotel in downtown Buffalo.

Salon 716 and The Makeup Parlour did such a gorgeous job with Jessica’s classic look.

I’m feeling some strong contenders for next years Mother’s Day post from this wedding…

Meanwhile Shaun and his crew hung out with second shooter Steve (can I start calling him SSS?) at this art deco gem, Buffalo’s City Hall! These guys were ready to ham it up.

I arrived with Jessica for the big reveal, which was *almost* serious until she spotted something in Shaun’s teeth and we all just went back to perpetual laughter.

bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom have reveal or first look at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom pose for portraits at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom pose for portraits at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom pose for portraits at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom pose for portraits at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom pose for portraits at City Hall before their Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY

After our portrait session we ventured to the Avanti Mansion where a garden ceremony and ballroom reception would take place.

bride and groom laugh during ceremony at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom say vows during ceremony at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom laugh during ceremony at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom laugh during ceremony at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY

Their pup had her own agenda for the ceremony…

bride laughs during ceremony at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom celebrate after ceremony at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY

In the Avanti Mansion wedding ballroom a beautiful reception was set in golds and blues for the guests to enjoy.

One thing to note about this crew, it was filled with dancers and gymnasts! It should have been no surprise when the wedding party introductions turned in to pirouettes and tumbling routines complete with judges.

These two had a nerf gun war for their introductions. They’re true romantics, what can I say.

bride and groom cut cake during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY

This dance floor was nuts. People loved the props that the couple provided and just went to town with their singing and dancing.

guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY

This limbo series below is probably my favorite sequence from the day. I must have laughed for five minutes straight when I sat down to edit these. Guess I got a little too close?

bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
guest dance in ballroom at Avanti Mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom dance during reception at avanti mansion wedding in Buffalo, NY

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

Bride Preparation: Westin Hotel

Groom Preparation: Private Residence

Ceremony: Avanti Mansion

Portraits: Buffalo City Hall

Reception: Avanti Mansion Ballroom

Hair + Makeup: Salon 716 (hair) / Makeup Parlour (makeup)

Florist: Piccirillo’s

Bakery: Muscoreil’s

DJ: Dave Paonessa

Second Photographer: Steve Karosik

Morgan + Richie – St. John’s, Albright Knox and Fox Valley Country Club Wedding – Buffalo, NY

When I first met Morgan and her mom for coffee in Buffalo, and Morgan told me about a wedding they had planned in her home town of Alden, I thought, “Alden?  I *think* I’ve heard of that?”  Needless to say, I didn’t really know what to expect from this little town.  Add to that, the groom Richie travels a lot for work and I hadn’t met him until the day of the wedding – so I knew I was in for a little bit of mystery!  Well… the day started like this:So, I guess that’s how they do things in Alden!  And I liked it.  Meanwhile my second shooter extraordinaire for the day, Dorian, joined Richie and the groomsmen for a little while as they got ready for the ceremony.  We had the sweetest little “first look” with Morgan and her dad, and then he helped out with the finishing touches.We had a second reveal for the bridesmaids out in the main room of the house and this reaction was priceless!A hop, skip and jump down the road was the sweetest little church, St. John’s, where the ceremony was held.  After the ceremony we made a mad dash for Buffalo to get photos at the iconic Albright Knox Art Gallery.  Morgan and I must have done the math 5 different times to make sure we could make this happen on the wedding day, and I’m so glad it worked out!  This spot is always a dream to photograph.After Albright Knox we headed to Fox Valley Country Club for a few more portraits and the reception.  We rode around on golf carts to find a spot for pictures and when I saw this little hill sitting in the good light I knew we struck gold.  Sometimes bridal parties suggest poses and internally I’m like, “ohhhhhhhkay… do we have to?” and externally I’m all, “ok awesome, let’s do it!”  But this was a case where I absolutely loved what they threw together!That lady in the front seat referred this wedding to me!  I was already booked for her wedding, but she passed my info anyway, and I’m so glad she did!  Thanks Tori!Back up to Fox Valley for the reception!Toy Bros DJs always do an aweasome job getting the crowd amped for photos, no exception here!Morgan’s cute shoes kill me in this one!

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

Bride Preparation: Private Residence

Groom Preparation: Private Residence

Ceremony: St. John’s – Alden, NY

Portraits: Albright Knox Art Gallery, Fox Valley Country Club

Reception: Fox Valley Country Club

Hair + Makeup:  Salon Elizabeth

Florist: Buffalo Floral Art

Bakery: Ohlson’s / Famous Donuts

DJ: Toy Bros (Mike)

Transportation: Buffalo Trolley

Second Photographer: Dorian Patrick

 

Julie + Chris – Karpeles Manuscript Library, Theater District and Admiral Room – Buffalo, NY Wedding Photography

Another Stuart wedding is in the books.  This is the third wedding I’ve photographed for this lovely family, and each one has been as beautiful and special as the last.  As a photographer, there’s a distinct benefit that comes when working with the same family multiple times.  In this case, I know which Aunt always cries during Mr. Stu’s speeches, I know the last dance will always be, “Piano Man.”  I know Grandma Stu will inexplicably dance her tail off to,  “Who Let the Dogs Out” and that the dessert spread will be next level.  I also grew up in the house next door to the bride (before they lived there) and so I even knew my way around the house.  It has been such a privilege to watch this family grow and change since cousin Kelly’s wedding some 8 years ago (now mom to 3 with another on the way!) and I can’t thank them enough for hiring me to document all these big moments in their lives.

This day was about Julie and Chris (aka Nigel) though, and Chris brought a whole cast of new characters in front of my lens, all the way from England!   You’ll notice the gorgeous hats and colorful wedding attire soon enough.  Please adopt this tradition Americans!  So much fun!  More on that later – let’s get started!

I began the day with Julie at her parents gorgeous home on the Niagara River in Lewiston, NY.  Julie wasn’t originally planning to get ready here, as it’s a little bit of a drive from the rest of the festivities, but I’m SO glad she changed her mind.  This house is just perfect for wedding pictures and the fact that it has a personal connection to the bride just makes it that much sweeter.    I have almost the EXACT same photo of Julie’s mom from her sister Lindsay’s wedding last year.  That’s one proud momma <3This next picture made me SO happy.  Julie’s parents saved this folder of drawings Julie made of her future wedding gowns, and there they were, spread out on the coffee table on Julie’s wedding day.  They had various design notes and an all important “STAY OUT!” memo on the cover.  Gotta protect your copyright, respect Julie, respect.  I know I mentioned earlier that I grew up in the house next door, and these instantly brought me back to the countless hours I spent with my neighbor Kristen drawing dresses in this exact house.  I eventually went to college for illustration and now document weddings, and neighbor Kristen went on to become a painter.  Must be something in the air on this street.  <3Julie’s dad joined us for an emotional “reveal” and gave Julie an embroidered handkerchief, another family tradition.  Julie rejoined her bridesmaids downstairs and a portrait session in the backyard was underway.  Yes, this is the backyard…   Gah!!!Julie wore her sister Lindsay’s veil and it flew in much the same way it did on Lindsay’s big day.  Proud mom looking on from inside –Meanwhile my second shooter for the day, Teri, spent a little time with these gentleman at the Westin Hotel in downtown Buffalo.The guys all had socks denoting their country of origin.  This is the groom, Chris!  Everyone calls him Nigel though.  Apparently when Julie and Chris started dating, Julie and her friends decided “Chris” wasn’t a British enough name and started calling him Nigel instead.  Turns out Nigel isn’t a very popular name in England and the whole thing just got funnier. Julie met up with all her adorable flower girls and ring bearer before the ceremony for a quick little photo shoot.  They were all SO excited to see her and be part of the big day!Adorable little black sheep on the right is my spirit animal.On to Karpeles Manuscript Library for the ceremony!This gift to the groom was a collection of letters the bride had been writing to Chris every day throughout their engagement.  I heard many people describe Julie as, “beautiful inside and out” on this day – and this was just one more testament.  Not only did she write these letters to Chris, but this couple hand wrote a letter to EVERY single guest with a little message about what their presence means to them as their place card (pictured a little further down.)  There was even one for me!  These fabulous British ladies walked to the ceremony and then changed in to their heels.  I love them.Here comes the bride!Second shooters find the darndest things at weddings.  No clue why this was posted, but it made me laugh.  Thanks Teri!Let the tearful vows begin!And then… as I had a giant group of Chris’ family lined up on the steps of the library for a photo, the annual “Naked Bike Ride” passed by and laughter ROARED.  We all insisted it was an American wedding tradition.  Amazing. From Karpeles we headed a little further downtown for photos in Buffalo’s theater district and in front of the, “Greetings from Buffalo” mural  On to the stunning Admiral Room at The Marin for a reception to end all receptions.  This crew had fun, a lot of fun.  These are the letters I mentioned that the couple wrote to each guest.  Each clip held an envelope with a handwritten letter and a table placement inside.  So sweet!!!Dessert first, I’m with you Jules!Introducing the new Mr. and Mrs. – from the balcony!  Remember in the intro when I mentioned the Aunt who always cries?  There she is!And the best family tradition of them all, Grandma Stu and, “Who Let the Dogs Out!”  This time, with a robotic Christmas dog!  (?!) And one last tradition – the couple dancing to Piano Man in a circle(ish) of guests for the last song.  Julie told me that a photo of this dance ends up being every ones Christmas card after each wedding.  I love this SO much. 

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

Bride Preparation: Private Residence

Groom Preparation: Westin

Ceremony: Karpeles Manscript Library

Portraits: Karpeles, Greetings from Buffalo mural, Shea’s Performing Art Center

Reception: Admiral Room at The Marin

Hair + Makeup: Lauren Szafarian (hair) Makeup by Alinna (MUA)

Bride’s Gown: Jenny PackhamUltimate Bride Chicago

Florist: Evergreen Florist

Bakery: Village Bake Shop

Program + Menu Design: Justin Willard

DJ: Gary Hall

Transportation: DJ the Dee Jay

Second Photographer: Teri Fiske

 

Kelly + Sean – Salon Elizabeth, Delaware Park’s Ivy Bridge and Admiral Room at The Marin – Buffalo, NY Wedding Photography

Kelly and Sean are beautiful inside and out, as individuals but particularly together.  And their gorgeous wedding followed suite.  It was such a pleasure documenting this celebration from start to finish.  The lovely bride and groom, their lovely family and friends, their lovely vendors and venues – this wedding made my job a breeze.  I started the day at my friend Lizzy’s gorgeous Salon, Salon Elizabeth, where the Kelly and her bridesmaids made use of Lizzy’s bridal room to get dressed for the wedding.  Lizzy has created such a beautiful space for bridal parties to get ready and she does pristine hair and makeup – I just love working here!Meanwhile Sean and his crew got ready at his house where this adorable pup and ninja cat kept a watchful eye over the proceedings.  Off to Delaware Park’s Ivy Bridge area where these guys eagerly awaited Kelly’s arrival.Love these moments of anticipation before the big reveal!On to the gorgeous Admiral Room ballroom in The Marin building in downtown Buffalo for the ceremony and reception.  I LOVE working here.  My friend Syrie Roman of Social Maven did the planning for this wedding and made sure the details looked beautiful and everything went off without a noticeable hitch.  Thanks Syrie!Look how happy this bridal party is!  I love to see couples surrounded by people so genuinely happy for them.Can this room be any more gorgeous?  I love the use of greenery to make a big statement in a big room where a small floral arrangement could easily get lost. Thanks to Honey Guild for supplying these!A balcony introduction for the bride and groom!We took a few minutes after dinner to get some photos of Kelly and Sean outside the Admiral Room with some great historic city of Buffalo backdrops.  So glad we took the time for this!!!Back inside for dancing!

 

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

Bride Preparation: Salon Elizabeth

Groom Preparation: Private Residence

Reveal and Portraits: Ivy Bridge at Delaware Park

Ceremony: Admiral Room at The Marin

Reception: Admiral Room at The Marin

Event Planer: Social Maven – Syrie Roman

Hair + Makeup: Salon Elizabeth – Lizzy Dugan

Florist: Honey Guild

Bakery: Paula’s Donuts

DJ: Full Swing Sound

Second Photographer: Michelle Day

Mindy + Justin + Grace – 1 Year Family Photography Session – Tifft Nature Preserve, Buffalo, NY

My friend Carla recently used the term “legacy client” to describe someone she had worked with many times over the span of many years, and it made me think of who those people are to me.  There are a few people who I’ve worked with time and time again from their weddings to kids, to corporate head shots and more.  It means a lot when people trust me to document the times in their lives that they cherish so much, and so whenever Mindy and Justin ask me to photograph them, I’m thrilled.  I first ran in to these two at their friends wedding in 2013 and it was there that Mindy decided I would photograph her wedding, even though they weren’t engaged.  I respect that level of planning.  From there I took their engagement photos in 2014, made a surprise cameo at Mindy’s bachelorette and then their wedding in 2015, maternity photos and newborn photos in 2018, and now 1 year photos!   I’ve just loved watching Mindy and Justin’s love grow and expand over the years and spending time with clients who I have come to consider friends has been such a joy.

We ventured to Tifft Nature Preserve for this session and Grace was all smiles.  She’s just the sweetest little lady and it seemed she was just seconds away from walking.  We were determined to get her first steps on camera!  Alas…This was Mindy’s chair as a baby!  I love the history of it and the fact that they will have side by side photos of both of them in it <3Grace is such a little baby doll model isn’t she?  She was so, SOOOOOO close with these steps!!!Grace makes the cutest little scrunchy face that Justin definitely loves a whole lot – notice they’re making the face at each other here?Thanks as always to Mindy and Justin for allowing me to document your growing family and all the love between you – it’s always a pleasure!!!

 

Location:  Tifft Nature Preserve – Buffalo, NY