This was undoubtedly one of my most favorite Fall weddings of all time. Tayla and Brendan made their love for each other and for their families the main focus of the day, and the result of that was a relaxed wedding day filled with joy, laughter, hugs, and happy tears. We were so thrilled to be a part of it; it’s not a day we’ll soon forget. (Considering that it took place in 2015, and it’s now 2017 and I’m blogging it anyway, I think I’ve proven how unforgettable it truly was!!)
We started out the day in a Hotel at the Lafayette suite. Tayla’s grandfather is an incredibly talented artist, and he made her wedding jewelry. All of the photos of her getting ready with the participation of her grandparents are my favorites. I love the emotion in these photos. The jewelry itself is stunning, but the love between granddaughter and grandparents is so special. Our next stop was Karpeles Manuscript Library for the ceremony, and then on to Silo City for some wedding portraits. I’m not typically a huge fan of red bridesmaid dresses, but these colors and this location are amazing together, aren’t they?! So pretty.
After portraits at Silo City, we headed back to the Lafayette for the reception. The dance floor was packed all night, and we even got to step outside at the very end for a night shot (Ben’s favorite). It’s easy for me to say this since I was there, but I feel like the love and human connection in these images is so beautifully obvious. I can’t look at these photos without feeling grateful for what I do. To be invited into these moments is such a gift; to capture them and create heirlooms for generations of families is the highest honor. Thank you, T + B, for letting us be a part of your day!!
I first met Allison back in 2012 when we photographed her sister Stacy’s beautiful winter wedding. (I almost fell off my chair when I looked back at the date and saw that it was 2012. Where has the time gone?!) Every wedding that we get to be a part of is special, and to be honest, most of the friends I’ve made in the last 10 years have been people that we’ve photographed and I love them all dearly; but, there’s something extra special about being asked to return for another wedding within the same family. It’s such an honor to be trusted and valued enough to be invited back.
Allison and Mike’s first official date was at Pearl Street, so that made choosing a wedding venue quick and easy. One of their requests was to take some photos at the table where they sat on their first date, and I love the way those turned out (you can see them toward the bottom of this post)!! These two are pretty special people. They value relationships with family and friends above all else, and it was so obvious throughout the day what their priorities were. It was a perfect celebration from start to finish. :)
Allison: “My best friend worked with Mike briefly and during that time decided that we should meet. She had made many attempts to ‘set me up’ in the past and promised me that this was the last time she would try – and she was right! :) We met for happy hour and totally hit it off. After being able to discuss a wide range of topics that first night we met (politics, religion, family, you name it!) and still wanting to see each other again, I knew it was something special.“
Mike: “I woke up very early to go pick up flowers and drop them off at the salon for Allison when she arrived. I thought that would help ease any stress she might be feeling that morning.“
Allison: “While spending the morning getting ready with my bridal party and my Mom I was so relaxed because nothing in my life has felt more right than marrying Mike. I was able to laugh and have fun with some of the most important people in my life. Watching our niece, Bella, dance around the salon, so excited to get her hair and makeup done, seeing our niece Paisley in her flower girls dresses (yes, plural), having our nephew, JJ, on the limo with us girls and having so much fun – it was the perfect start to the perfect day!“
Mike: “I proposed at Allison’s family cabin in Ellicottville. She had no idea it was coming. I was so excited and nervous I couldn’t sleep all night. At around 6am we were both awake and I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk. As soon as she said yes I quietly tried to get out of the cabin as fast as I could so no one else in her family would wake up and ask to come along for the walk. I had to grab the ring out of my bag next to our bed without her seeing and slipped it into my coat pocket. As we were walking around the land, I was trying to pick the perfect spot to stop and ask the question. We stopped at a ravine, I turned to her and told her I loved her and couldn’t imagine life without her. I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me. She said yes even before she looked at the ring. We rushed back to the cabin to tell her family. Little did Allison know that I invited my family and our friends to come down to celebrate the engagement together. Allison’s mom was still asleep so we decided not to tell when she woke up but wanted to see if she would notice. Allison kept shoving her hand in her mom’s face until 5 minutes later she noticed. My dad and our friends arrived and we celebrated all day. It was the perfect day.“
Mike: “I wasn’t able to sleep the night before the wedding because I didn’t want to ruin the made bed that was going to be in the background of photos.“
Mike: “I love spending time with my friends at our house before the ceremony. It was a beautiful day out so we spent it in the sun-room watching college football until the ceremony. I felt anxious to marry Allie but was never nervous. Nothing ever felt as right. The only panic of the morning was when Steve lost his shorts. After spending 5 minutes searching the house for them, he realized that he had put his suit pants on over them and the crisis was averted.“
Allison: “I am the youngest of three girls, and the last to get married, so I was convinced that both my Dad and I would be crying as we walked down the aisle. But the comfort of having him by my side as I walked down the aisle was all I needed. We were in perfect stride the whole way!“
Mike: “Seeing Allie walk down the aisle… she never looked more beautiful than in that moment. I spent all my energy trying not to cry the whole time she was walking down and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. I knew in my heart that I was making the right decision marrying her.“
Allison: “Seeing Mike at the altar I was not able to do anything but smile! Knowing that I was walking towards my best friend that I very shortly would be able to call my husband was the best feeling in the entire world. Seeing the emotion in his face I thought for sure I would start crying, but all I could do was smile at him, trying to tell him how much I loved him! When I reached the altar, our Pastor told everyone how he has never seen both a bride and groom as calm as the two of us leading up to the ceremony – and I was not surprised at all. We both shared in the feeling that this was exactly where we were meant to be.“
Mike: “Allison is the most beautiful, caring, smart, and strong woman I have met in my entire life. There was never a doubt I wanted to spend my life with her and have her be the mother to my children.“
Allison + Mike: “What we value most in life is family and friends – these relationships last a lifetime and are so important to both of us.“
Allison: “It was great taking time to walk around Pearl Street together before the reception started to take in everything we had been working so hard on for the past year and a half. So many of our decorations were made by us, our family and our friends, as well as a lot of personal touches we incorporated, that it was amazing to see how everything came together. It was everything I had hoped for and so much more! – – – I highly recommend that all couples take the time to do this – stand back and take it all in – a few times throughout the night. Seeing everything come together, seeing all of the people you love there supporting you – it is a truly amazing feeling!“
Mike: “Walking out on the balcony of Pearl Street during cocktail hour it felt like time stood still as we just hugged each other and gazed out into the city. It was the perfect moment.“
Allison: “Our first dance as husband and wife included a special guest appearance from our niece and flower girl, Paisley. We started dancing and within seconds Paisley ran up to us – hugging the back of my legs. She ran back to my sister, then a few seconds later, she was back! She wanted to dance with her Uncle Mike and Aunt Allie – it didn’t matter to her that it was our first dance, and it didn’t matter to us either. It made it extra special and a memory we will have forever!“
Mike: “I remember sharing our first dance with our niece Paisley. She was so excited to share our dance with us and we couldn’t say no.”
Allison: “I remember dancing the night away with our family and friends! We wanted the dance floor to be full the entire night – and it certainly was! We had so much fun dancing and celebrating with the most important people in our lives. We had a blast twirling around with our nieces and nephew, singing at the top of our lungs with our friends, and dancing to Mustang Sally with my family!“
Mike: “I loved dancing all night with our family and closest friends. Looking back at our pictures is the perfect reminder of all the people that love us and wanted to spend our special day with us.“
Allison: “For our first official date, we had dinner and drinks at Pearl Street (where we would later celebrate our wedding – see wedding picture from restaurant – that is where we sat!). We finished the night by watching Christmas Vacation – Mike’s favorite Christmas movie that I had never seen until that night!“