Month: August 2017

leah + dave // The Foundry

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Leah’s parents had been begging her to sign up on a Jewish dating site and Dave had decided, after years of dating non-Jewish girls, he’d finally give it a try. Well, thank God he did! Leah was Dave’s first match. He emailed her right away, however, Leah was hesitant to respond. Finally Leah gave in and messaged Dave back. Their profiles were similar — Dave was looking for a quick, sassy woman who would keep him on his toes. Leah was looking for someone who gave great hugs, enjoyed her favorite hobby of going out to eat, and could take all the sass she dealt out! After emailing a few times on the site they decided to meet in person. With an incredibly successful first date under their belts they then became inseparable, and as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Leah: “My dad was tired of waiting for Dave to propose so he took him out to dinner and offered him a beautiful diamond ring that my grandmother gave to my grandfather, and said he would be honored if Dave would use it in his engagement ring for me. We later went to our family jeweler to look at rings and traded Grandpa’s ring in for a new one (I went back the following day to make sure Dave ordered the one I REALLY wanted). We had plans to celebrate Dave’s 30th birthday party with both our families and then were going to Florida shortly afterwards. I told Dave I think it’d be really great if we could be engaged for dinner and that I REALLY wanted to be engaged when we were in Florida. Dave got the message! He proposed on January 30th right when I woke up. He had snuck out to buy breakfast and roses and was on one knee when I came downstairs. It was perfect! Silly, slightly awkward, completely us!

Dave: “I remember helping my best man Goldie get his life together that morning – button his suit, do his hair – when really Goldie should’ve been helping me. There was a lot of laughter in that moment and it was typical of our relationship.”

Leah: “My dress was the first dress I tried on. My mom and I were driving to Silk Bridal in Rochester and I told her I wanted a long, straight fitting gown with detail but not too flowy or delicate and nothing in satin. The first dress I tried on was THE ONE! It fit almost perfectly and they even gave me a discount for buying the floor model. I loved the way it fit, that I could still move around, that I didn’t need a bra, and that the train came off instead of having to do a bustle.

Leah: “The kippot were crochet by Dave’s mom. She worked on them for the 14 months that we were engaged and even sewed in tags with our names and date on them. My mom made the challah cover for us. It is needlepoint and she won first prize for it a few years ago at the Erie County Fair!

Leah: “I was honored to have such beloved family members sign our Ketubbah. Dave’s witness was his mom’s cousin Paul who is a Holocaust survivor and mine was our cousin Socki who took me under her wing when I moved to Florida in my 20s. She is the matriarch of our family.

Leah: “We value our relationship above all else. It has taken a lot of years, time, tears, sweat, and smiles to get where we are today and neither one of us ever wants to lose that.

Leah: “I loved standing under the chuppah with Dave that my dad built, and under the tallit that was worn by our grandfathers. Our parents and best friends flanked our side, watching as we took our vows and exchanged rings. They cheered us on the whole time and you could feel how happy and excited they were for us.

Dave: “I loved standing under the chuppah with Leah and looking back at all of our friends and family who had come together to support us.

Dave: “Leah’s mom always said she should marry the man who is her best friend. We are best friends. Being around each other never gets old, and we’re always excited to see each other at the end of the day. We share common beliefs in religion, family, culture, value, and politics but allow one another to have their own thoughts and opinions. We are each other’s lobster.

Leah: “I loved the painting we had everyone fill in of the Foundry. Instead of doing a traditional guest book (which just collects dust) we had a local artist sketch the courtyard of the Foundry in black and display it on an easel with paints and brushes for everyone to fill in. we ended up having a beautiful custom painting of our wedding night that now hangs in our dining room.

Leah: “We danced to Van Morisson’s ‘Into the Mystic’. We wanted to pick something timeless, but not cliche. We are both a little off beat and quirky and didn’t want to go with the traditional songs.

Leah: “Dave is the baby of the family and his mom has a special place in her heart for him. She threatened that there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house when she dances with her ‘Tati’ (term of endearment for Dave that his family calls him by).

Leah: “My dad and I did a dance medley. We have such a close and special relationship but are both so awkward, so a traditional slow dance would’ve been uncomfortable for us. This dance gave us an opportunity to bond before the wedding during our dance lessons and really gave everyone a good laugh!

Dave: “It was awesome watching everyone be amazed and devour the dessert display. The line went from one ballroom into the other ballroom. People ate everything including the crumbs and said they’d never seen anything like it before.

Leah: “Our hora was amazing! I think it lasted for 13 minutes. Most of our friends had never been to a Jewish wedding before and it was awesome to see them embrace this part of our culture and join in with us. It just kept going and going and….going!

Leah: “No one ever told me how sweaty I’d be as a bride! Make sure to have a handkerchief, face wipes, hair band, and fan close by at all times!

Some words of advice from the adorable newlyweds:

Remember that the day is for YOU and your fiance. Don’t stress about what others may think of your day, what they like to eat, or what they like to drink. It’s a day for you to celebrate your love and future together. People who love and support you will come to your wedding no matter what you serve or how you choose to celebrate your day.

Working with Jenn and Ben was a dream. It was like hanging out with friends all day. They are lovely and understanding of what a stressful and important day it can be and easily calmed us down, made us feel relaxed and had smiles on their faces the whole time.


Wedding Vendors Include:

Venue: The Foundry Suites
Make-up: Emily Perez
Hair: i Du Pretty
Dress Shop: Silk Bridal Boutique
Dress Designer: Pronovias
Shoes: Betsy Johnson
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell
Groom’s Look: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Costamagna Design
Sweets Table: B Sweet Designs
Linens: McCarthy Tents and Events
Band: JoyRyde

2017 Ayres Photography Client Gift Boxes

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Last year, after much thought, consideration and months of careful planning, we were finally ready to send out our very first round of client gift boxes. This project is something that we had been thinking about for quite a long time and it felt amazing to see it all come together! Showing our brides and grooms just how much they mean to us is of the utmost importance. After all, where would we be without them?! We were SO excited to send each 2016 couple a beautiful box jam packed with gifts from a handful of our favorite Buffalo makers. Click here to see last year’s surprises! Thankfully this labor of love turned out to be quite a success! We couldn’t wait to start planning out what we were going to send this season!

This year, as we started selecting some new surprises to fill the boxes with, we began to realize that we were gravitating towards items that make us feel all sorts of warm and fuzzy inside. From tasty treats to relaxing scents, this year’s boxes were filled with things that we could totally picture our couples enjoying together on a slow, cozy Sunday morning. And, so evolved our theme for this year, “A Cozy Sunday Morning.” Taking the time to relax and soak it all in with the one you love, especially during the often hectic time of wedding planning, is definitely something that we find to be super important! In most cases you only get married once, and there are so many things that need to be done during that time. All of a sudden you blink and it’s your wedding day and you wonder what the heck happened to the year?! We wanted this year’s gift to be something that would encourage our couples to make sure they take some time out of their busy schedule and really reflect on the many reasons why they’ve decided to share their lives together. And so…. *drumroll* ….here are the contents of The Ayres Photography 2017 Client Gift Boxes:

When they open the box, the first thing our clients see is a declaration of truth, “You’re the best!”, because they are! These amazing couples sought us out to document one of the most important days of their lives! They trust us to capture their wedding day in a way that truly reflects them as individuals and as a couple. They value our advice and our expertise and they are confident in our skills as professionals. They saw past our photographs straight into our hearts and they feel the passion we have for our craft. Now, if that isn’t the best then I don’t know what is!

On top of the crinkle paper there’s a simple card that says, “Thank you so much for choosing us! We’re so excited to work with you!” The back of the card (not pictured) says “These are a few of our favorite things,” and gives a list of each item enclosed along with the names of the makers and their IG handles so that our couples know right where they can go to get more of these amazing goods!

These are the gifts (and amazing makers) that we chose to include in our 2017 gift boxes:

  1. Linwood Candle Co. – We used Linwood Candle Co in our boxes last year and it was such a huge hit with our clients that we couldn’t help but include them again! Their Sweet Grapefruit Soy Candle is one of the greatest things I’ve ever smelled; I don’t know how she does it!! They’re made with soy wax, essential oils and cotton wicks, so they’re safe for the environment and they fill your home with the most incredible scent imaginable. We definitely get tons of great feedback every time we send these candles out. They are seriously the best.

  2. Butter Block – Last year we sent out Colleen’s amazing homemade Oreos and after those bites of heaven we knew we definitely wanted to include a Butter Block offering again this year. We decided to switch it up and went with her homemade Pop Tarts and let me just tell you, it was really hard not to eat them all ourselves! If you’re a sucker for light and flaky, super buttery, melt in your mouth pastries filled with decadent fillings and topped with delicious glazes then you will not be disappointed with these. In fact, they’re so popular that they often completely sell out!! Follow Butter Block on Instagram to see where their next pop up shop will be so you can grab your own! Don’t sleep on these, folks. These are the real deal. You’ll never buy Kellogg’s again.

  3. TeaLeafs – This shop was new for us this year and we’re really happy that we decided to include them! Sydney, the shop owner, is such a wonderful woman and her passion and sense of community mirror all of our own values in business. Her delicious tea bags filled our boxes with a wonderful warm and cozy scent of roasted almonds and cinnamon- perfect for cozying up on the couch!

  4. Sweet Fields – We couldn’t send out lovely teas without including it’s partner in crime – honey!! We knew we wanted someone local who could provide us with the best raw honey possible. This beekeeping family of Sweet Fields has been working with honeybees for over 30 years and their farm is right here in Erie County. They sell it at the Hamburg and Lancaster Farmer’s Markets, so go check ’em out and tell them we sent you!

  5. Zandra – We included Zandra’s incredible all natural Big Balms in our boxes last year and we knew we needed to include them again. Not only are her skin care products natural and amazing for your skin, but this girl is just that – a girl! A teenage girl with an insane talent for making wonderful skin care at an affordable price. Oh, and she’s a Buffalo native of course. We can’t figure out what is sweeter, her products or her personality. Let’s just call it a tie. :)

  6. Rust Belt Love – We’ve worked with Alyson on a number of different projects in the past, including our 2016 gift boxes. I may be slightly biased because I love her so much as a person, but I really think she’s the best of the best in our city. If you want your invitations designed by someone who has Buffalove coming out of her eyeballs, then Aly is 100% your girl. She’s a genius. This year we chose to include her beautiful note cards showcasing drawings of different Buffalo landmarks such as the Grain Silos, Hotel at the Lafayette, the Peace Bridge and a whole bunch of other incredible and historical Buffalo buildings that are near and dear to our hearts.

  7. Love By Bean – Have you ever heard of a seed bomb?? Well, you have now! Eileen’s Organic Pollinator Wildflower Seed Bombs are the perfect thing to bring beautiful flowers to any yard! Each seed bomb is made with post-consumer paper and hand-selected, high-quality, organic, non-GMO seeds. You can pretty much toss them out your car window and they’ll grow colorful and amazing flowers just about anywhere! You don’t even need to bury them! Perfect for anyone, whether you have a green thumb or not.

And that completes our 2017 Ayres Photography Client Gift Boxes! Tune in to see what we come up with for next season! We believe so strongly in things that are handmade with love in small batches, and there is no shortage of products that fit this description in our beautiful city. We already have so many great ideas!! If you have a locally made product in mind that you think we should check out, let us know in the comments!