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!
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 with 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! This made the wedding reception photography at the Admiral Room even more colorful and fun, that’s for sure. 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 <3
Julie’s dad joined us for an emotional “reveal” and gave Julie an embroidered handkerchief, another family tradition.
This 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. <3
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.
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.
The guys all had socks denoting their country of origin.
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 to create some wedding photography from a reception to end all receptions. This crew had fun, a lot of fun.
I absolutely love working at this venue. Wedding photography at the Admiral Room in Buffalo is such a breeze with it’s gorgeous arched windows and fabulous molding. It’s such a treat! If you would like to see more from the venue, check out this wedding when you’re done here!
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 Admiral Room 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!
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. Most of this wedding photography comes from the Admiral Room in Buffalo, but 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 wedding parties to get ready (and for photography) 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. Wedding photography at the Admiral Room in Buffalo gives me all sorts of heart eyes with it’s incredible architecture. Add to the mix my friend Syrie Roman of Social Maven to handle all the planning for this wedding and you can be sure the details looked perfect and everything went off without a hitch. Thanks Syrie!
Look how happy this wedding 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! If you would like to see this room dressed up in a totally different color palette, check out this wedding!
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!
Mindy, Justin and Grace – 1 Year Family Photography Session
My friend Carla recently used the term “legacy client” to describe someone she had worked with many times over the span of many years. 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 photograph the times in their lives that they cherish so much. Mindy and Justin are legacy clients. Before we get to their family photography session at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo – a back story.
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 she wasn’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 family 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 in Buffalo, NY for this family photography 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 when she was a baby! I love the history represented here!
Grace was SO close to taking those first steps! But today just wasn’t the day.
Grace and Daddy have awfully similar scrunchy faces don’t they?
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!!!
Topping Tricia and Ryan’s epic engagement photos in Pittsburgh was going to be difficult, but we had to try. Tricia and Ryan love Pittsburgh and travel there often, so that was the easy theme for the engagement pictures. Their La Galleria wedding theme though was all about their love of my favorite color and theirs, green! Tricia is a graphic designer and created all of the invites, signage, etc. herself! This is some next level DIY work. More on that later. Let’s get started. Tricia and Ryan both got ready at the Staybridge Suites near their venue and a beautiful celebration was under way. Check out the gorgeous wedding stationary Tricia created!The lace on Tricia’s Lillian West dress was so beautiful and sweet – and this open back design gave it that extra POW. I just love it!Those are some proud parents looking on if I’ve ever seen them. Tricia carried the memory of loved ones who had passed on her bouquet. <3Flower crown by William’s Florist for the WIN!From the hotel we traveled to Yates Park on Green Lake in Orchard Park, NY for the first look and portraits. The couple visited the site ahead of time and decided this bridge was the perfect place to see each other for the first time on their wedding day, and I couldn’t have agreed more. So serene and certainly picturesque. And GREEN!From the bridge I somehow convinced these ladies to walk in heels down a hill and in to a field of daisy’s for more photos. Sweltering heat, a dash of sunburn, mosquitoes and a snake that I *oops* failed to mention I saw on the way down were no match for this wedding party though. To anyone with doubts on bridesmaids serving a purpose: From Green Lake it was time for a La Galleria wedding ceremony and reception! Let’s take a minute to appreciate these mirror signs. Tricia designed, printed and placed all of these letters on these mirrors. Amazing! Also, photographers, these are so pretty right, but who’s secretly excited for this trend to end so we’re not constantly dealing with awkward reflections? It takes a lot of work to get these to photograph perfectly, but they look so beautiful in real life!The opening line of this speech was, “I still can’t believe you asked me do this” and this best man did NOT disappoint with the humor. I absolutely LOVE when time allows me to steal the bride and groom away from the reception for some golden hour portraits. The property at La Galleria has a wooded area out back that photographs beautifully, this was such a treat!
Many thanks to Tricia and Ryan for having us document your day! And thank you to all these venues and vendors who helped make the day so great!
Bride Preparation: Staybridge Suites
Groom Preparation: Staybridge Suites
Portraits: Yates Park at Green Lake – Orchard Park, NY