Small Backyard Micro Wedding in Buffalo

Lou + Dan

Lou and Dan’s small backyard “micro” wedding in Buffalo was a beautiful bright spot amid all the trouble Covid-19 has caused for so many people. Needless to say, this pandemic has been a real jerk, mainly to those who have suffered from the disease and our health care workers of course. But so many others have been effected in more subtle ways, not the least of whom are couples who were planning to get married during this time and the small businesses that rely on special events to make a living. Lou and Dan were one of those couples, and I’m one of those small businesses. Bummer-city right? But fortunately for everyone reading, this post is about some of the good to come out of it all.

Lou and Dan had planned a wedding for late March in the Washington, D.C. area where they currently live and where Lou is from. As the realities of Covid-19 set in though, they realized their wedding wasn’t going to be happening any time soon and decided to reschedule. As time went on and family circumstances shifted a bit, these two realized there’s no better time than the present. A big party can happen any time. But if there’s one thing 2020 has showed us, it’s that curve balls can come at any time. Who knows where the world will be a year from now, so Lou and Dan decided to dive in.

In a weeks time this crew managed to plan a small backyard micro wedding at Dan’s parent’s house in Orchard Park, NY a small town near Buffalo where Dan is originally from. They hired a caterer (Fat Bob’s!), a florist, me. They gathered tables, chairs, a pergola and plenty of hand sanitizer. And just like that, they were ready for a wedding.

It’s amazing to me, how much work goes in to planning weddings, some couples take YEARS to plan them. At the end of the day though, Lou and Dan prove that all you REALLY need are your tried and true family and friends, a marriage license and each other.

I began the day with Dan at the brand new Aloft hotel at 500 Pearl in Buffalo. This building was controversial when it was being built for a number of reasons I support. I’ll admit, I really didn’t want to like it. But these rooms are AWESOME. Like… really awesome. Dan’s suite had two levels, featured a handsome industrial vibe with dark wood, a metal spiral staircase and exposed duct work. It had a chandelier made out of trumpets, a pool table, and balcony views for miles. Really awesome space.

The groomsmen all signed two dollar bills and each kept one for good luck. This was the first time I had seen this tradition!

While Dan and his groomsmen headed out to Dan’s parent’s for the backyard wedding celebration, I headed up to Lou’s room, also at the Aloft in the 500 Pearl building. Lou’s room was completely different from Dan’s and every bit as awesome. It was bright and open with two full walls of floor to ceiling windows and more balcony views of downtown Buffalo. It was really a perfect spot for bridal preparations. I was so impressed! Here are a few shots of Lou with her mom and bestie/maid of honor Karina helping her with the finishing touches.

The views from Lou’s balcony stretched for miles. You could see the Niagara River, Lake Erie and virtually all of downtown Buffalo! Lou was a radiant view herself, how gorgeous does she look in these bridal portraits?!

Must have been some extra bubbles in this champagne…

Off to the Buffalo style small backyard micro wedding!

Irises and hand sanitizer greeted all the guests at the entrance to the yard. I suppose this will be a “new normal” for a while! I was very interested to see how things would be handled for small gatherings during a pandemic and was really impressed with how Lou and Dan organized everything. The tables and chairs were spread in to clusters and labeled for groups who normally live together/spend time together. We call them “germ squads” in my circle. Everyone wore their masks when they were around other people as well so it felt very sanitary and safe.

Our officiant (another Dan) and Karina worked together to create a Zoom video call so that Lou and Dan’s extended friends and family could all join and be part of the celebration. It was so nice that they were still able to witness what was to come! Karina kept a watchful eye over the angle of the laptop throughout the ceremony so no one missed a thing.

It’s time! Here comes the bride! Lou walked herself half way down the “aisle” and then joined her mom for the remainder of the processional. Let the waterworks begin. <3

How idyllic is this setting?! Lou and Dan were so fortunate that his parents have such an incredible property. The tall trees and flowers made the most beautiful backdrop. Pandemic or not, this Buffalo backyard is a perfect place for a small micro wedding.

There’s Karina with a Zoom call full of friends and family watching along!

Dan’s parent’s hands <3

When Lou and Dan originally had to postpone their wedding back in March, they realized there was only one solution to their sadness – a puppy of course! Their sweet little puppy was the perfect ring bearer. I love him!

A celebratory wave for the guests present and one for those joining virtually.

bride and groom cheer after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride cries after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY

After the wedding ceremony, Dan and Lou picked up the laptop for a quick hello to their virtual Zoom guests.

bride and groom cheer for guests on zoom video call after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom talk to guests on zoom video call after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY

The gentleman on the far left of this portrait is Lou’s uncle (tio). He flew in from Peru for the original wedding in March and has been stuck here ever since! I’m so glad Tio actually got to see this wedding happen though! Hopefully borders will reopen soon so he can return home now that the wedding mission is complete.

family portrait after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY

For those outside the germ squad, we still took portraits without masks but spread everyone out a bit. Slightly awkward but still a lovely keepsake of the day.

family portraits with covid-19 social distance spacing after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
wedding party smiles at photographer for portrait after small backyard micro wedding ceremony in Buffalo, NY
groomsmen smile for photographer after small backyard micro wedding ceremony in Buffalo, NY
bridesmaid portrait after small backyard micro wedding ceremony in Buffalo, NY

And sometimes you just don’t know when you’ll have the crew together again, so you get together quick and hold your breath for the photo, haha.

family smiles for photographer in portrait after small backyard micro wedding ceremony in Buffalo, NY

I can’t stress enough how beautiful this backyard in Buffalo was for holding a small micro wedding. I absolutely love these portraits of the bride and groom in the woods!

bride and groom embrace in woods after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom look at each other while embracing in woods after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom hug in woods after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom smile for photographer in woods after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom hold hands in woods after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom smile at each other in woods after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
groom kisses bride
bride and groom touch noses in forest after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom smile at each other in forest after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY
bride grabs groom
groom smiles at bride in forest after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY

Time to make it official! Signing the marriage certificate!

witnesses sign wedding license after small backyard micro wedding ceremony in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom kiss on bench in forest after small backyard micro wedding in Buffalo, NY

Before everyone sat down for dinner, guests gathered around for a couple toasts to the bride and groom.

maid of honor delivers speech during small backyard intimate wedding reception in Buffalo, NY
bride laughs at speech during small backyard intimate wedding reception in Buffalo, NY
best man delivers speech during small backyard intimate wedding reception in Buffalo, NY
bride and groom cheers during small backyard intimate wedding reception in Buffalo, NY
best man toasts bride and groom during small backyard intimate wedding reception in Buffalo, NY

Cheers! Many thanks to Dan and Lou (and Karina for finding me on such short notice)! It was an absolute joy to be part of documenting this day for you. Little secret – this was actually my Birthday and honestly, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by finally getting back to work and photographing a couple so happily united.

bride and groom cheers while wearing covid-19 masks during small backyard intimate wedding reception in Buffalo, NY

If you or someone you know is considering a small backyard micro wedding in the Buffalo area, please share this post with them and have them contact me for more information! I would love to be part of documenting more celebrations like this!

And if you just can’t get enough of these backyard type weddings, check out this post from a tented outdoor wedding at Knox Farm!

On Being a Maternity Photographer in Buffalo, NY

Megan’s Maternity Photography Session at Tifft Nature Preserve and Buffalo Outer Harbor State Park in Buffalo, NY

When the realities of Covid-19 began to set in back in March, photographer’s cameras began collecting dust. And as Megan’s due date grew closer, so too grew my concern that this maternity photography session we had planned in Buffalo, NY wasn’t going to happen before Megan delivered her baby! Fortunately, last week the Buffalo region entered phase two of the Covid-19 reopening schedule, and this photographer was allowed to work again. Two days later, our maternity portrait session was underway at Tifft Nature Preserve and Buffalo Outer Harbor State Park.

As a photographer, I love maternity sessions for a myriad of reasons. The obvious reason of course being that a glowing pregnant woman all dressed up in an idyllic location is just inherently beautiful. But what’s more, the finished portrait is such a special keepsake for a mom. Once the baby is born, we all know everything revolves around the baby. The maternity session is a special time just for mom-to-be to spoil herself a bit, even if she’s not feeling her most gorgeous self (it’s my job to see that for her!). At the end of the day, these photos serve as a tribute to this exciting, beautiful time in a woman’s life, and a last portrait of a woman before I becomes we.

Without further ado, check out the photos from Megan’s maternity session here in Buffalo.

mom poses for photographer in  maternity portrait in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom poses for photographer in  maternity portrait in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom looks off to side while holding flowing dress during maternity portrait photography session in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom poses for photographer during  maternity portrait photography session in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom looks off to side while wearing floral flowing dress during maternity portrait photography session in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom looks down while holding pregnant stomach during maternity portrait photography session in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY
mom looks at photographer while holding pregnant stomach during maternity portrait photography session in field at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo, NY

While Tifft Nature Preserve is a photographer’s dream and I could shoot there all day long without running out of ideas, we wanted to mix up the look of the maternity session with a fresh location and a fresh dress! We headed across the street to Buffalo Outer Harbor State Park for a few more photos. This is another location I could never get sick of. There is a such an impressive variety of backdrops here. From the beaches to the grain silos, a photographer can’t possibly get enough of this place!

Let these last two photos serve as a reminder of why you hire a professional photographer. I shot these through a patch of weeds in a parking lot. (:

If you or someone you know is looking for a maternity photographer in the Buffalo, NY area please contact me here!

And if you’d like to peek at another maternity photography session in Buffalo, NY check out this link!