Category: engagements

lauren + james // times beach nature preserve

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It’s the best feeling in the world when I meet with people in person (or via Skype!) and it all just clicks perfectly into place. I know immediately when “my people” have found me, and Lauren and James are definitely “my people.” They value family and friends above all else and make an effort to spend quality time with the people they love. They’re getting married in the backyard of the home where Lauren grew up, and where her parents were married. And, we all know how I feel about backyard weddings, sentimentality, and the sacredness of home. They are my favorite kind of people, and I can’t wait to celebrate with them.

I asked Lauren and James what makes them want to spend the rest of their lives together, and their answer was absolutely perfect. ;)

“Things like pushing each other to be better people everyday, and feeling loved and supported regardless of the situation make us want to spend the rest of our lives together. We truly feel like we are each other’s partner in crime. Also, we have perfect seats on the 50 yard line at New Era Field right next to each other. And neither of us is planning on giving them up.” 

Lauren: “Our story begins like any other; we met through mutual friends. Except instead of love at first sight and a ride into the sunset in each other’s arms, we began our friendship with regular Monday evenings at the Salamanca Bowling Alley with our friends. As is typical in the beginning of any relationship, we acted like we were not interested in each other, and were also convinced that the other was not interested either. Now fast-forward to St. Patrick’s Day. Enter Jim and Robin Holtz (my parents).

I happened to have spent the weekend in Erie, PA with my friends from college to celebrate the holiday. In typical Gannon Alumni fashion, I awoke at 5am that day for Kegs and Eggs at The Cellblock. Sometime that evening, my parents stumbled into The Gin Mill and were tended to by James. After several St. Patrick’s Day cocktails, and having no knowledge of mine and James’ friendship, my mom assured James that he should ‘date her daughter’ (seriously, when does that ever work?).

Soon after, James and I exchanged phone numbers, and shared our first kiss on the roof (yes, the roof) of Balloons in Ellicottville after a prom-themed party.

Lauren: “James proposed on December 24th, 2016 at the final Bills game of the season. James happens to have a lot of friends within the Bills organization who were a huge help in planning the surprise. After tailgating with our friends, we arrived at the field early, as we had on-field passes. James was able to get us on the field during warm-ups, where he proposed. After the proposal when I realized what was happening, I looked up and all of our friends and some of our families were there cheering us on.

Lauren: “James and I enjoy riding our bikes when the weather is nice (fun fact- we were in a bicycle gang called “Bells Angels” when we lived in Ellicottville). We also enjoy exploring Buffalo’s range of eating and drinking establishments (both new and old favorites). Also when the weather is nice we like to grill outside. We love having fun with each other and spending time with friends and family.

Lauren: “Our perfect night in would start with a home cooked meal, some craft beer or a nice red wine, a pile of cozy blankets and whatever TV series we are binging on at that time.

Lauren: “We have two versions of the perfect night out. One would be going to our favorite South Buffalo spot, Conlon’s. We are mug club members here and they make our favorite chicken wings.

Another version of a perfect night out would be to stop for drinks at one of our favorite spots downtown, then do dinner at another of our favorite restaurants.

Interested in working with us? Get in touch here to find out if your date is available!!

caitlin + jason // Eternal Flame Falls

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Caitlin and Jason are the kind of people that reinforce my belief in the law of attraction. They are exactly who I want to work with forever and always. They love dogs as much as I do (they own a doggie day care), they’re both writers so they appreciate excellent grammar and punctuation as much as I do (as a former English teacher), and they told me that they feel slightly awkward in photos (music to my ears!!). Whenever a couple warns me about their photo-awkwardness, I’m secretly like, “Yessssssss!!!  My people have found me!” I don’t know exactly how this came to be, but making people look and feel amazing (and super relaxed) during photo sessions is definitely my strong suit. ;)

We had a great time hiking on the icy trails at the Eternal Flame Falls where I got to meet their sweet pup, Dory. I took them to all my favorites spots there, and then to a couple of my favorite engagement session spots in downtown Buffalo. I used my tried and true mind reading games to make them forget the camera was even there, and we ended the shoot on a high note at the new fancy “Greetings from Buffalo” mural that all of our out of town couples are loving so much this year.  I absolutely cannot wait to be a part of their wedding day!

Caitlin was kind enough to share the story of how she and Jason met, as well as their proposal story (which I love), so be sure to read her words as you scroll!!

Caitlin: “Jason and I probably shouldn’t have ended up together — we were star-crossed from the start. While we initially ‘met’ online, our match rating was really low. And though we scheduled a couple dates, something always came up and one of us cancelled. Finally, in late April 2012, we both made it to the appointed bar. (It’s a craft beer bar on 14th Street in D.C., called Churchkey, and it’s overpriced pours will always have a place in my heart.) We hit it off immediately.

Caitlin: “Given how hard it’d been to schedule that first date, I didn’t hold my breath when Jason said he’d call me for dinner that weekend. He surprised me by calling the very next day and asking if I wanted to go for lunch instead because he couldn’t wait for dinner. That was probably Jason’s smoothest line in five years. We’ve been together ever since!

Caitlin: “We love to hike, especially with Dory. We like to be outside, camping or trying a new beach or sitting around our friends’ fire pit. We go to see plays, which feels very mature! And we love to try new bars and restaurants, especially if they have a patio and/or a good wine list.

Caitlin: “We’re also kind of homebodies, and we like to hang out at home together — reading in bed, drinking coffee on the weekends, renting bad movies, taking walks around our neighborhood, singing along to Hamilton. Sometimes we’ll do work in different rooms for a few hours without really talking. But I know when I walk in the kitchen to make tea, Jason will get up and give me a hug.

Caitlin: “Our proposal story… We were hiking with our dog Dory on our go-to trail about 35 minutes outside D.C. It was sort of an odd time for us. While we’d been talking about getting married, I had just got a job offer I was considering, and Jason had just been laid off. It didn’t even cross my mind that Jason would propose at a time of such upheaval!!

As always, however, J surprised me — right as I was shoveling trail mix in my mouth. As he started his little speech, I blurted out something like ‘oh, you’re gonna propose?’ through a handful of almonds. Jason told me afterwards that he almost thought of delaying, because I’d basically ruined his vision. But then he realized the best vengeance would be saddling me with this unflattering story for our entire marriage.