Buffalo Wedding Photography | Erica & Jay | Celebrating 5 Years!

Five years ago today, we celebrated our own wedding! It was one of the most exciting days of our lives, and we’ll treasure our photos forever (thank you Dylan & Robyn!) Jay & I met at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2009, and it has been a special holiday for us ever since. When Jay proposed, and we realized the next St Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday, we decided to go for it! This wedding was planned in less than three months, on a minimal budget, but we definitely didn’t scale back on the fun factor! Check out these wonderful story-telling images by Onion Studio below!

Jay surprised me with these rings on the morning of our wedding; I still wear them everyday! For Jay’s present, I gave him a book I had been writing in for the past year. Every day, I wrote down something that I loved about him, from taking out the trash, to moving my car on a snowy day, to proposing. I love that he wrote back to me & gave it to me to read right before our ceremony.

My bridesmaids made these fabulous shoe-clips for all of us! I had pink shoes, and they all had nude shoes in whatever style was comfortable for them. The shoe clips tied the look together & added so much fun. We handmade each of their bouquets, with silk pieces that we cut and sewed together to look like big, blooming flowers. Each bridesmaid gave me a gorgeous pin to insert into my bouquet; each one is special. I still have my bouquet on display on our mantle!

Using the same handmade flowers from the bouquets, I made all of the boutonnieres and added vintage keys and twine to tie it all together. We love fresh flowers, but have also really enjoy having all of these sweet momentos still.
To save a little money and add a lot of fun, we opted for a school bus to cart us all around for photos. We were able to do a split day, so we had the bus for photos then hours later, they came back to shuttle everyone off to their hotels. My bridesmaids decorated the inside & out, and it was great!
We headed off to City Hall, mine & Jay’s favorite building in Buffalo, for our First Look. Our ceremony & reception were at the same location, so we knew we wanted to do photos beforehand. A sweet and simple First Look was exactly what we were looking for! We opted to have our entire bridal party in the background and love the photos.
We had our bridal party to keep it simple with their outfits; they were excited to find out they didn’t have to buy specific dresses or tuxes. The ladies wore a short dress of their choosing in pinks and corals, and the guys wore white shirts, khakis, with suspenders & bowties we gave them. We love how the look came together!

After we bounced around downtown for photos, we headed over to the International Institute for our ceremony & reception! We loved the vibe of the space, the location on Delaware, and really loved that our rental fees went towards their refugee programs. We decorated the space with vintage jars we picked up at a yard sale, simple flowers Jay grabbed that morning at Wegman’s, and small candles. We found paper letters at a craft store and used them for our mantle decor, and created a large bare tree print for our sign-in book. We opted for a Honeyfund instead of a traditional registry, and invited our guests to participate in our trip to Thailand, so I made our cardbox with a map and paper flowers. We also made a wooden box, which we painted with our date & lined with some photos, for a wine ceremony. It was a little thrown together but it came together great!

We wanted our ceremony to be personal, intimate and special. We had a friend play music, my grandfather read a poem, we wrote our own vows, and our mothers presented bottles of wine for us to save & open on our first anniversary. We will be opening it up again tomorrow when we celebrate #5!

After our ceremony, we mixed & mingled then brought the bridal party back in with introductions, read by Jay’s sisters. We surprised the bridal party & our guests by preparing personalized, hilarious intros calling out some of the things they’re famous for, like owning 1000 pairs of shoes, being obsessed with pickles or having a walrus tattooed on their tush haha. It was all in good fun & the entire room was cracking up throughout!

Jay said the only thing that was bumming him out about our wedding was that he couldn’t bring our dog Rexie. I surprised him with a big print haha. She “sat” on the mantle all night & partied with us 🙂

We had tables set-up with a loosely structured buffet of salads, roast beef and my favorite, a baked potato martini bar! We all enjoyed our signature cocktails like these peach mojitos. It was completely bizarre weather for a March wedding (temps in the 70’s!) so our guests were able to use the patio for dinner and drinks as well. We called everyone back in for an epic cake smash, and a fun first dance which started with sweet, slow songs by our friends and ended with a James Brown boogie-down!

One of my favorite moments had to be when all of my bridesmaids surprised me with an acoustic serenade of one of our favorite songs, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. It was so sweet & my bridesmaid Kerry said she spend 3 days straight learning it for us!

We wanted to make sure the fun went all night, so we had a strawberry & peach shortcake bar, St Patricks’ day costumes with hats/boas/necklaces for everyone to wear, cigars for the guys, and sparklers for all! I still do not know where the beach balls on the dance floor came from!

The day was fun, beautiful and most importantly, totally us! We celebrated into night and kept the party going at the parade the whole next day. It was the best weekend ever & we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our love! We’re forever thankful for the friends, family and vendors who made it so great for us!!!
Photography : Onion Studio
Ceremony & Reception Site : International Institute 
Officiant : Yellowbird Wedding
Transportation : Fisher Bus Services
Fresh Flowers & Cake : Wegmans
Music : Ed Wyner, Dan Borodzik, Kerry Fey, DJ Nelson
Boutonnieres, Bouquets, Paper Items & Decor : Us & Friends!

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