Month: February 2016

chris + matt // Avanti Mansion

Filed in weddings shot by on at

We had so fun much with Chris and Matt on their wedding day at the Avanti Mansion in Buffalo, New York! These two made it easy as pie from their sweet smiles to their adorable first look- we knew we were going to come home with some great shots!! Their color scheme of greens, blues and white gave the day a colorful, fresh feel and the mismatched bridesmaid dresses were absolute perfection. They also may have had some of our favorite place card holders of all time!!

Chris and Matt passed along some wedding day memories and were more than happy to allow us to share them with all of you!

Chris: “Matt and I got engaged during his 4th year of medical school. Matt was traveling around the east coast for residency interviews and clinical rotations while I was working in Boston.  Matt’s family graciously offered to scope out wedding venues for us while we were out of state and when we heard of their experience at the Avanti Mansion we were hooked.  The first and only time we saw the venue with our own eyes before the wedding was a few days before Christmas.  It had recently snowed and was pouring rain at the time of our visit making it nearly impossible to imagine what it might look like when the pond wasn’t overflowing and the grass wasn’t covered in muddy snow.  But after an unseasonably cool summer we were blessed with the most beautiful day of the year and a truly stunning venue on September 26th.

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Chris: “Planning a wedding can feel really daunting, especially when doing so at a distance.  But by making checklists and doing a little bit every day the process felt completely manageable.  People tease me for my compulsive list-making – but it always pays off!  On the Tuesday before the wedding I tore up my lists.  Anything that hadn’t happened by that time wasn’t going to happen and it was a relief to be able to give myself a break, have a glass of wine, and accept that things were going to play out well because I had planned for them to do so.  Like everyone always says, the only person who notices the little things that don’t go right are the bride!  Everyone else is just happy to be there.

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Chris: “Anyone who knows me well knows that I cry at absolutely anything and everything.  When we arrived at the Avanti for our rehearsal, I turned to Angie, our bridal consultant, to ask if it was normal for people to cry during the rehearsal.  When she said, ‘Absolutely, though everyone who cries during the rehearsal rarely cries during the actual ceremony.’ It felt like permission to let it out!  After that I was overcome by utter calmness for much of the wedding day, until about 10 minutes before Matt and I saw each other for the first time.  The walk to our first look felt like the longest walk of my life, but all of my nerves dissolved once Matt turned around and our eyes met for the first time that day.  He always knows how to make me laugh and he kept me more tear-free than I could have imagined!

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Matt: “One of my favorite memories was seeing all of the hard work and countless hours that my wife put into planning the wedding pay off in spectacular fashion.

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Matt: “Seeing my soon-to-be wife walking down the aisle was a special moment by itself.  But when she surprised me by walking down to one of my favorite songs, it left me speechless.

Chris: “Music was such an important of the day for us.  We spent hours upon hours putting together our playlists and wanted to get the ceremony started off properly with songs that had personal meanings for the both of us.  I’d always wanted the wedding party to walk down the aisle to ‘This Must Be the Place’ (Naïve Melody) because it was such a light and sweet love song, and one of my favorites from the past.  But I knew that I’d wanted to surprise Matt by walking down the aisle to ‘Halo’ by Beyonce.  His facial expression when the first notes played was priceless!  In pictures, it looks like abject horror, but it’s sweet knowing that he was genuinely surprised (and concerned that I might be furious about a mistake in the program!)

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Chris: “There were what felt like 300 stairs leading down to the area where the ceremony was to take place.  Completely calm and unfazed, as per usual, my dad took my arm and gracefully led me down the aisle.  Yes, I may have stumbled once, but it was comforting to have my dad’s support, as in so many times in the past.

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Chris: “I can’t describe the pure elation I felt when we first turned around after the ceremony to see the most important people of our lives standing before us in support of our union.  Their cheers and smiling faces are things I will never forget.

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Chris: “I loved seeing how all of the details came together at the ceremony and reception.  All of the afternoons spent crafting totally paid off in the end.  The little gold animal escort card holders were the first detail I knew I’d wanted.  They were an absolute labor of love, but so worth it.  I love hearing about how people are using them now!

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Chris: “Matt is in his absolute element on the dance floor.  I love watching him tear it up and get people to dance with him!

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Matt: “In my opinion, a wedding isn’t complete without the party.  Celebrating with everyone on the dance floor was definitely a high point of our day!

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Chris: “With all of the craziness and uncertainty ahead of us for the coming year we were desperate to keep the wedding as relaxed and low-key as possible.  Jenn and Ben made us feel at ease from the first time we met at their home.  Their ability to listen and orchestrate our vision was incredible and we wish they could be around to document our everyday life.  Somehow they perfectly captured every moment of the day without ever making their presence felt.  We can’t say enough positive things about them and hope to be able to work with them again someday in the future!

Wedding Vendors Include

Venue: Avanti Mansion
Makeup: Tony Walker
Hair: Chez Ann Salon
Wedding Dress: J. Crew
Groom’s Look: Jos. A. Bank
Florist: Blossoms N Treasures
Cake: Avanti Mansion
Invitations: Minted


meagan + donnie // Panama Rocks Chautauqua Lake

Filed in engagements shot by on at

We shot Meagan and Donnie’s e-shoot in the absolutely breathtaking Panama Rocks Scenic Park in Chautauqua County, New York which made for some seriously beautiful photos. If any of you out there are looking for a photo shoot location for any reason, check this place out!

Meagan shared some great memories and reflection about her e-shoot with Donnie that we thought you might appreciate and maybe even find helpful for your own shoot!

“The engagement photo shoot was our first ever photo shoot as a couple, so we were really nervous! We spent a lot of time picking out our outfits, and I hired Lizzy Dugan for hair and makeup because I wanted to look as amazing as possible! We chose Panama Rocks near Lake Chautauqua because it is like entering another world. There are so many caves and cliffs and there’s moss and greenery everywhere, it’s like being in a prehistoric time. So when we first started I felt a little bit awkward in my dress and boots and I felt like every picture was going to be the same. I didn’t know how to pose with Donnie, and I forgot what normal people do with their bodies and hands when they’re posing. Ben and Jenn gave us very little direction at first, but then after a while they started choosing excellent spots to perch and kept having us kiss or hug each other- which was fine with us!! I cannot believe the way our photos from Panama Rocks turned out, it was better than I ever dreamed!”


“We stopped at a scenic roadside ditch filled with wildflowers (at Ben and Jenn’s suggestion) and took more great photos! I feel like these provided a bit of color pop to our overall mix of photos.”


“We headed back to our cottage for an end of day boat ride. We did do an outfit change, and I still can’t decide which outfit was my favorite but I loved the way our clothes play against the whites and blues of the lake. After seeing the photos, I feel like we look like perfect nautical models!! At the time we were being extremely silly, and I didn’t give much thought to posing or making nice smiles.”


“We had such a perfect afternoon with Ben and Jenn, I loved working with them!! They are so funny and cute together, and they don’t make any of it stressful. You hardly know that they are there, and when you get your photos back it’s like ‘is that me?? I didn’t even realize this was happening!’ We had so many great photos it was too hard to choose just one for our Save The Dates! So we chose 5! Our family joked that they were like collectors items! Also, knowing that they would be there doing the same thing for us on our wedding day immediately removed any stress I had about wedding photos. Ben and Jenn would handle it.”