Month: September 2012

amanda + michael

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Amanda and Michael are super awesome.  They planned a Buffalo wedding from Georgia in half the time that most couples take to plan a wedding, and they pulled it off spectacularly.  It was definitely a memorable day, and we feel so lucky to have been a part of it!  All you have to do is spend about five minutes with Amanda and Michael, and you will just know that they are perfect for each other.  There will be no question in your mind…trust me.  :)

I got to start out the day with Amanda and the girls at her parents’ home – we had a great time – LOTS of laughter!  (And, there was a kitty there, so I was in heaven.  Look at her little kitty face!!!!)  Amanda and Michael were kind enough to share some of their favorite wedding day memories, so I have (of course) included them throughout their post.  Definitely make sure you read them, because some of their comments are guaranteed to make you laugh…one of the qualities we love most about this amazing couple.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!  I love her!

Amanda:  “During the previous 6 months we had spent so much time preparing, travelling back and forth to Buffalo from Georgia, and going to many appointments, which made it a very hectic and stressful time… but being able to spend quality time with my parents and my girls the morning of the wedding was amazing!  All of the showers and parties and planning was done and it was time to relax and enjoy the day.”

Michael:  “The morning of.  The dreaded morning.  The mornings you hear about, told in hushed whispers, in dark alleys. *Dum DUM DUUUMMMMMM*  Actually I had a fantastic time, so maybe I’m just in the minority, or, well, since bad news is more dramatic, perhaps people only talk about the crazy times.  Well, my time was great, and while not “crazy” I’m still going to talk about it!  My morning was filled with making sure all my guys had what they needed (sometimes I can get a little ‘OCD’ and everything has to be ‘perfect’).  So in actuality I made sure my guys had everything needed probably about 20 times. After I was assured (had a beer/shot…or two….or three….um my wife isn’t going to see this is she?  *gulp*), it was just chilling with good friends/family while waiting for our ride to the ceremony to marry the love of my life.  Grooms:  RELAX.  CHILL.  It’ll be okay, I promise.”
Amanda:  “Do-it-yourself projects were used during each and every part of our day, from the programs and bows at the ceremony to the decor and candy buffet at the reception.  Seeing all of those individual efforts come together with the extra special touches we were able to afford with the money that was saved was literally priceless!”
Amanda:  “As I walked down the aisle with my father, I peered through tear-filled eyes, looking out at everyone that came to the ceremony to support us.  Then I saw Michael and he came into focus as butterflies danced in my stomach.  He looked so amazing in his grey tux (just one of the compromises that he made to make me happy) and lit me up inside!”

Michael:  “Seeing Amanda walking down the aisle towards me (even though she was like 500 hours late…well, more like 20 minutes, but as the groom, it was a tad stressful…not to mention the priest getting on my case and grumbling).  It’s a memory I remember vividly and always will. I don’t think I need to explain any further, tbh.”

Amanda:  “The wedding ceremony was sprinkled with many special things.  The involvement of our family and friends, especially my sister singing for us, made it a very memorable experience for me.  My cousin took a candid video of her and I still tear up each time I watch it.”
Michael:  “The Trolley of DOOM – I bet after reading that I have you hooked and you really want to read the rest, right?  Well, it was a trolley all right.  Not so much DOOM though.  Well, it was pink, so does that count?  I digress.  The trolley was fun as hell.  I was regretting allowing Amanda to rent it, primarily due to it’s color (I felt we would be riding around in a Pepto Bismol bottle tbh), I mean, could I really say no? I’m sure at some point I would have had to say yes, under duress, I’m sure (Love ya babe!).  When it showed up, it wasn’t that bad.  Who hasn’t seen limousines cruising around?  You see them and wonder, “Who’s in there?”  “What’s their deal?”  Well, with a trolley and a bunch of guys dressed up in schnazzy tuxes, it was self evident (I hope anyway).  Even after the ceremony when Amanda and I were in the back, it was great, everyone could see us, waving at us, and giving us thumbs up signs.  I would recommend a trolley to anyone looking for something different and fun (although make sure it’s not sweltering out, our wedding was on a really hot day and the AC in the trolley wasn’t the best. I could assume the reciprocal in winter).”
After the ceremony, we headed on over to Kloc’s Grove for a fun-filled, party-tastic reception!  A few quick portraits, first, though!  ;)  I am really loving the grey/pink/yellow color combo – awesome choice, Amanda!
Michael:  “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!!  I always wanted to say that, and contextually it fits here.  What I mean is, yep, the head table.  Nothing says, “LOOK AT ME WEEEEEEE!!!”  like the head table.  Granted I had to share the spot light with my wife, but I guess, in this setting it was worth it ;).  Seriously, it was sitting there looking out, remembering all the hard work we had to endure, and seeing it all come together.  Seeing all the homemade favors and centerpieces, the cupcake stand, all the guests who showed up; family, friends, everyone.  It was wonderful.  I’d like to tell anyone who reads this for inspiration/ideas/whatever, when sitting at your table, just sit back, take a deep breath, and take a long hard look around.  Take a high resolution mental picture of everything you see.  Bask in the love that is present before you.  Then bang your tankard on the table and demand your food!  Why?  Cause you can.”  ;)
Amanda:  “Though it was sometimes hard to find each other and break away from what we were doing, I really enjoyed when Jenn and Ben pulled us away for pictures during the evening.  Many times we were doing our own thing with our families and friends and these were times when I was able to reset and spend some “alone” time with my husband on our day.”
Michael:  “Photoshop this!!  No assembly required!!!  ‘What the hell is he talking about?’ you might be asking yourself.  Well, I must say that’s a very good question. What I’m talking about is awesome.  I want one.  I want to be able to use it all the time.  Oh, I didn’t tell you what it was?  I’m sorry.  It’s the photobooth of course!  Amanda and I found a groupon for a photobooth.  The groupon was perfect; it could be used during the time of our wedding, so we just had to get it.  It was money well spent.  Some people might think it’s too low brow. Well, I got something to tell you:  You. Have. No. Idea.  Weddings tend to have alcohol anyway, which can bring out the hidden comedian in anyone. Add a photobooth and put it near the bar? AWESOME!!!  You’ll see pictures that will blow your mind.  Uncle so-and-so there?  Have your groomsmen/bridesmaids get him in the booth, I guarantee you’ll get some great photos of him. And I really recommend the props.  It was extra money, but again, totally worth it. Ever see your Uncle so-and-so wearing a pink hat and a coconut bra?  Well, I have an Uncle who wore them, and now I have proof. Did I mention it was AWESOME?  Well it was. GET IT.”
“There were many people offering us advice as we were going through the planning stages. After living through it, I can honestly say I don’t think I heard many bad pieces! Here are a few that I really lived by, plus a couple I wish had been told to me. When planning, pick a few things that are most important to you and focus on those. Let others help you with the rest! The day of the wedding savor everything – especially the food! Chances are you paid quite a bit for it and depending on how nervous you were before, or how much dancing you’ll do later, you’ll regret not enjoying your meal. Make sure you have someone keeping track of when everything is supposed to occur. Knowing what is involved and how long things will take, such as transportation, hair/makeup, pictures, etc. will hopefully prevent you from being late!”

Amanda and Michael – thank you both SO much for choosing us to document these wonderful wedding day memories for you! Thank you for making us feel like part of your families, like we absolutely belonged at your wedding – we are so grateful that we get to work with amazing people like you. Wishing you all the very best, always!! Much love, J + B :)

  • Jessica Krol SAYS...

    These pictures are absolutely STUNNING!! Major props to the photographers!!!(I’ve also seen others on your facebook and they are fantastic!)
    But of course, wouldn’t be great wedding pictures without the beautiful people in them, like me! Seriously though, being the Maid of Honor, I was running around crazy making sure my sister was okay and had everything she needed. Seeing these pictures really brings it all together, especially the things I didn’t see in person. Thank you Jenn and Ben for taking such time and care of my family in making this day extra special. :)

  • Amanda Rust SAYS...

    Yay!!! Thank you for making my day! This is perfect :)

  • Seth SAYS...

    Two fantastic signature Ayres moves – great lighting on the night shot and Jenn shooting through the leaves. Beautiful pics!

andrea + pat

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Andrea and Pat’s wedding day was heaps of fun for us!  For starters, it was at our all time favorite venue, Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards.  We were lucky enough to be able to shoot there four times this summer, and it just never gets old.  From the scenery to the awesome people who run it to the overall laid-back vibe, we love everything about that place!  Spending the day with a super fun couple like Andrea and Pat in one of our favorite locations made us smile from start to finish.

I started out the day with Andrea and the girls in Williamsville, while Ben and Hector were with Pat and the guys out in Lockport.  Then, we all met up at Becker Farms for one of the sweetest, most emotional and love-filled first looks that I’ve ever had the pleasure to capture!  Andrea and Pat were (of course) kind enough to share some of their favorite wedding day memories, so make sure you read them!  They’re super adorable.  ;)

Andrea:  “I was calm all morning getting ready with my girls, but when we arrived at Becker Farms and Jenn led me to where Pat was waiting, so much emotion rose up and hit me. We were finally together on the biggest day of our lives, and it was a really dramatic moment that I will never forget.”

Pat:  “Seeing Andrea for the first time. She looked beautiful and stunning, and from the moment I saw her, all of my nerves and butterflies immediately went away.”

After the first look, we gathered up the wedding party and headed over to the Lockport Locks area for some photo time!  On our way back over to Becker Farms, we stopped off at our favorite “ruins” for a few shots.  ;)
Andrea:  “Before the ceremony I got to take a peek at the cocktail area and reception, and I felt so good about all the work I had done. I poured my heart into the décor and all the “little touches.” It was a relief to see my vision for the last 2 years finally become reality.”
I love this shot Ben grabbed from behind the ceremony!  So gorgeous!
Andrea:  “Having my brother officiate was one of the best decisions we had made. He was out of the country until 2 days before the wedding with no internet access for 2 weeks before the wedding, and we didn’t actually see him until the rehearsal. I was nervous. He surprised us with a beautiful reading, and he made it feel so personal and special. There’s a photo of us during the ceremony where I am placing Pat’s ring on the wrong finger, I couldn’t help but laugh, and Eric is giving Pat the same look he’s given me many, many times!”

Pat:  “Andrea’s brother was our officiant. It was his first time conducting a ceremony, and he did a remarkable job. My co-workers still come up to me and say how great he was and how natural he looked and spoke while performing the ceremony. The words he read and the way he took us through the ceremony was PERFECT.”

Pat:  “We had one of our friends play his guitar for our ceremony music, and he did a fantastic job. After the ceremony he came up to us and presented us with the guitar he used, on which he had written a special message to us. We lost it! It was the best wedding present!”
After the ceremony and all of the family photos, we got to take A and P out into the vineyard for a few more portraits, and I love them (the photos AND the people in them)!
Pat:  “Our best man and maid of honor toasts. We actually expected them to be really heavy and emotional, and we even joked that we’ll just wear earplugs and watch the video later! Both did a great job, and many people have commented to us on how beautiful their toasts were. They are big reasons why we are the couple we are today, and it showed through in their speeches. Thanks again Don and Kait!”
Andrea:  “My dad is the quietest, most reserved person I’ve ever known. The last few years he let me grow up and be independent, and I always thought of myself as his exact opposite. During our dance he admitted how nervous he was, and we just talked and observed everyone enjoying the wedding. I think for many brides the father-daughter dance is about reflecting on the past and letting go, but for me that moment really made me appreciate him more and I realized how alike we really are!”
After the formal dances were finished, we grabbed our gorgeous couple and dashed out into a field to capture the beautiful sunset.  Andrea kept on dancing while we set up our lighting.  ;)

Pat:   “The getaway car! Andrea surprised me with a bad ass 1960 white Rolls Royce that picked us up from the reception and took us back to our hotel. Awesome way to drive off in style on our big day!”

Andrea:  “That car was heaven. We sunk into those seats, closed our eyes and talked about the whole day. I’m so glad we had that time to ourselves, and the fact that I was able to keep the car a surprise to Pat was a bonus.”

 We asked Andrea and Pat to share some wedding related advice and/or any comments they might have about the planning process in general, and this is what they gave us! Thanks so much for sharing, guys!! Your advice is so perfect, and we couldn’t agree with you more about the first look! :)

Do first look pictures…especially if you are nervous! It makes the ceremony go smoother and you get a chance to take most of your photos before the ceremony and reception! Stay in the moment. If you’re a planner, it’s easy to think two steps ahead and worry about what’s going to happen with the flowers, the groomsmen, the cake, and the dance. If you do that, the day will be over before you know it. Enjoy your moments with the people you’ve chosen to surround yourself with, and you won’t feel like you missed out on anything. We were so lucky to have the freedom to make our wedding day our own. It was wonderful to honor our close friends and family members in non-traditional ways. Our favorite non-wedding day moment was reading the guest books the day after the wedding. There were so many thoughtful words of wisdom, serious and funny. It was fun to guess who wrote what. I love having a little series of guest books as a nod to where we met.”

Andrea and Pat – thank you so much for choosing us to document your stunning wedding day! We had a wonderful time! Couples like you, who make us smile, laugh, and completely forget that we’re on our feet for 12 hours straight are the kind of couples we hope to always have the pleasure of working with!! We wish you guys many, many, many wonderful married years together! Much love, J + B :)

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Thanks, Jennifer! The ruins are in Gasport, NY, just down the road from Becker Farms. :)

  • Jennifer SAYS...

    Gorgeous work!! Where are those “ruins???”

  • Mike SAYS...

    Love the night shot in the field! Great wedding!!!

  • Andrea Bradley SAYS...

    These pictures are gorgeous! I love them all and can’t wait to put the album together. Thanks again Ayres & Hector!

  • Valerie Bosket SAYS...

    What an awesome job, my son and his wife look so wonderful and happy in these pictures, made me tear up again looking at them!
    Great Job!

  • Irina SAYS...

    Beautiful as always! I always love seeing photos of weddings at the vineyard. It’s one of my favorite “Buffalo/NY” venues. You two do such a fantastic job!

  • Patrick Bradley SAYS...

    wow! Love these, you guys did a great job, cant wait to see the rest! Thanks again!

  • erin SAYS...

    These are gorgeous and there are so many that capture pat and andrea’s personalities perfectly!!! amazing job!!