Category: engagements

jenny + mickey // Riverworks, Old First Ward and Hamburg Village

Filed in engagements shot by on at

Confession: I don’t usually check the weather forecast until the day of a session, because a) it can change every single day during the week leading up to the session, and b) I actually really love rainy day shooting. As long as its not pouring, shooting in the rain can be SO BEAUTIFUL!! I’m always hesitant to cancel or reschedule due to rain. Jenny and Mickey’s engagement session at Buffalo River Works and all around the Old First Ward is a perfect example. :)

The first hour of their shoot was just drizzle and some sprinkles, and I loved every minute of it. Toward the end, though, it did start pouring, so we had to call it quits. I offered to meet up with them again to take a few more non-rainy photos on another day, which is why you’ll see a combination of rainy and sunny photos throughout the post. I thought I would just mix them all together and share my favorites from both sessions!!

My favorite part of this whole post, though, is that they were kind enough to share all the details of their love story with all of us. We get to read about how they met, how they fell in love, their engagement story, and what they love most about each other!  They are the absolute sweetest, and I know you’re going to love them as much as we do! <3

Jenny: “Mickey and I met at a wedding in Ellicotville on September 13th, 2017. I was invited to be the date of the best man, his name was Ryan and I have known him since 2nd or 3rd grade. The wedding was beautiful. The ceremony took place at the bottom of the ski hill and we quickly moved into cocktail hour and were asked to find our seats for dinner. It was then I found myself sitting at Table 1. Shortly after sitting there Mickey took his seat next to me. I learned quickly that he was the date of a bridesmaid who needed a date also. Mickey and I kept the conversation very light through out dinner. We danced a little through out the evening and were both invited to spend the night with the rest of the bridal party and their dates at a ski cabin just down the road from the wedding venue. It was a huge beautiful house. All of us stayed up really late into the night playing games, eating snacks, etc. It was during these late night hours Mickey and I got a chance to talk and get to know each other a little better. We joked and laughed throughout the night. I left very early the next morning and we parted ways with out exchanging contact information. It was about 12 hours later when I received a new friend request on Facebook, and it was Mickey.

Mickey: “I knew by the time the reception had ended that I wanted to go out with her.

Jenny: “Mickey and I went on our first date just a few days after we met. We met in the municipal parking lot in the Village of Hamburg and drove together to Hoak’s Restaurant. I was actually pretty nervous. By this point, I knew I liked Mickey and I really wanted the date to go well. I never told him this, but I even looked up different interesting things to talk about when I was getting ready to make sure the date went well. Of course, I didn’t need this at all. The conversation went great and I was liking him more and more by the minute. After dinner, we drove back to the village and headed to Braymillers. We got some beverages and played darts. We bowled a game and then ran into Mickey’s long-time friend Mark and shortly after we were joined by another friend, Trevor. Normally, I think this would be weird and awkward, but Mark and Trevor were really entertaining and did not realize we were on a first date. We all sat and talked and kept getting to know each other for a while until it seemed like it was time to go home. Mickey walked me back to my car, where we shared a very modest and shy first kiss. I drove home to Silver Creek with a grin, ear to ear, excited to see what this relationship would bring.

Jenny: “Mickey and I love to share good meals together. When we first started dating, we visited tons of restaurants around the Buffalo area together. Now, we have started to spend more time at home having home cooked meals. We enjoy watching different movies and TV series together. We also love seeing our friends and family.

Jenny: “In late May, I went on a family trip to Florida for a week. Mickey couldn’t come due to a lack of vacation time and I missed him horribly. When he picked me up from the Buffalo airport and he had a haircut, he was wearing a new shirt, he had my favorite Starbucks drink and a long stemmed rose. I just thought he was being sweet because he missed me. The flight got in very early so I was interested in getting breakfast, but Mickey promised he had something at home that I would like a lot. We got to our recently purchased home in Hamburg and Mickey asked me to temporarily leave my bags in the car so he could share the surprise. He had me close my eyes and walked me into the living room. There he had me sit on the couch and promise to keep my eyes closed. Next thing I knew, Mickey had placed our cat, Pearl, in my lap. He told me he got her a new collar and asked if I liked it. The tag on Pearl’s collar had the date, 5/26/2017. I didn’t get it, but then Mickey told me to turn the tag over. It was then I realized what was going on. The other side of the tag read ‘Will you marry me?’ By this time Mickey was down on one knee, holding the ring out for me. He asked me out loud if I would marry him and I yelled ‘Absolutely!!’ I then got the chance to take in the moment and saw that our whole living room was filled was vases full of pink, red, and purple flowers of all kinds. I also learned that Mickey set up a Nest camera to record the entire thing. We spent the rest of the holiday weekend meeting with fiends and family to share the good news.

Jenny: “Mickey makes me happier than anyone else in the world. We have been able to help each other through difficult times and celebrate with each other when the times are good. He has become the first person I turn to for support. We share similar outlooks on what we would like in life and we make a great team.

Mickey: “Jenny and I have the same faith and values, the same goals and ideas of a peaceful life, and feel happy in each other company. We support each other and contribute to each other.

  • Ayres Photography SAYS...

    Thanks, Carrie!! Yes, it’s definitely one of our favorite spots for photos, too! :)

  • Carrie Sarnowski SAYS...

    I love taking pics down there! Great Pics!

natalie + erik // Downtown Buffalo and Hoyt Lake

Filed in engagements shot by on at

Natalie and Erik met because of a shared friend, two ironic relocations from Buffalo to Chicago and a dive bar. Oh, and a yellow shirt. How much can you really credit a shirt for a relationship? Well, that’s debatable. If you ask Natalie she’ll say that, sure, she noticed the yellow shirt, and the fact that the guy wearing it happened to be pretty cute. End of story. If you ask Erik, it’s because of the yellow shirt that their first meeting ended up being so memorable. Either way, we’re pretty happy that Erik chose to wear the now famous yellow shirt that day back in 2013. And we’re even more happy that these two ended up together and chose us to document their happiness :) Natalie and Erik are outrageously adorable and also happen to both have great storytelling skills. We are so excited to photograph their wedding this August!

Natalie and Erik were kind enough to share all the details about the yellow shirt as well as some other sweet tidbits about their relationship and growing love for each other. Read along as you check out their super cute engagement shoot from Hoyt Lake and Downtown Buffalo! We know you’ll love these two just as much as we do by the time you reach the bottom!

Natalie: “It was Lollapalooza weekend 2013 and I was living in Chicago. My cousin, Andrew, was visiting from Buffalo and staying with friends who also happened to be from Buffalo. We made plans to meet up, and like any group of 23 year olds, landed at a dive bar not far from their apartment. After meeting all of his friends, I made a comment to my friend that I thought that ‘yellow shirt kid’ was pretty cute. Lucky for me, ‘yellow shirt kid’ turned out to be Erik and not too long after making that comment he offered to buy me a drink. We started chatting and didn’t stop for the rest of the night. He actually claims that I made a few digs of said yellow shirt, but I think his memory is a little fuzzy. ;)

Erik: “One of my best friends is actually Natalie’s cousin. Despite this, we had never met when we were younger in Buffalo and our first meeting didn’t come until we were both living in Chicago. My friend came to visit for a weekend and mentioned that his cousin also lived in Chicago and we should all hang out. My friends and I were having a few drinks in our apartment when Natalie and her friends arrived. That was the first time I saw her, but we really didn’t start talking until a little later on in the night when we were all at the bar. Now Natalie might kill me for writing this, but she actually called me out for wearing a ‘stupid yellow shirt’ and was spotted dancing on the bar – so it’s safe to say it was a memorable first meeting. We spent the rest of the night talking, laughing and dancing (I’m sure we had some great moves at that point in the night). Now the bar we met at and the yellow shirt I was wearing no longer exist, but we still do!

Natalie: “After a week of texting following our first meeting, Erik asked me out to dinner at Orso’s, an Italian restaurant here in Chicago. This was my first sign that he was a keeper, since unbeknownst to him, Orso’s was already my favorite Italian spot in the city. It was a warm summer night so we were able to sit underneath the grape leaves on their gorgeous back patio. I remember feeling at ease around Erik almost immediately and our conversation flowed easily throughout the entire date. So easily, in fact, that our dinner ended up lasting three hours. I left that night already feeling that there was something different about me and Erik’s connection. I knew really early on that I had found something special with Erik and couldn’t wait to spend more time with him.

Erik: “Now there are some disagreements on whether or not Natalie was on time or late for our first date, but there’s no disputing I was quite early, so I took a seat at the bar and learned some interesting historical facts about the restaurant from the bartender (have to keep some conversation starters in your back pocket for a first date!). Luckily, I didn’t need to use them. It was a great night and left no doubt in my mind that there would be many more to come.

Natalie: “I remember we were down in St Maarten on vacation, a trip that we had been talking about taking for years and finally pulled the trigger on. We had spent the day relaxing at a nearby beach and were back at the house before dinner in town. The house we were staying at was right on the water and had a gorgeous view of the sunset from the back patio.

Erik: “There was no better setting for a proposal. I had told Natalie I wanted to get a picture of us with the sunset in the background, and I think she can attest that I was ‘toe tapping’ as I was urging her to get ready in time to get the perfect shot and get the ring out of my pocket and onto her hand.

Natalie: “I was taking my sweet time reading in my beach clothes next to the pool instead of making myself presentable. Luckily, I did get my behind in gear because instead of just setting up for a photo, Erik was setting up for a proposal.

Erik: “As a true millennial, I setup my iPad and set the timer as the sun began to set, dropped to one knee and asked the love of my life to marry me. And the rest is history!

Natalie: “I said ‘YES!’ and haven’t stopped smiling and giggling since.”

Natalie: “We love making dinner and then sitting on the couch, drinking wine, while watching a Dateline Murder Mystery on TV. Maybe throw in a couple rounds of the game Head Bands. We pretty much exclusively play the ‘Act it Out’ or ‘Accents’ decks. The latter always ends in laughter because we’re both terrible at accents.

Erik: “Depending on how much wine we’ve had there’s usually some music and/or dancing to close the night out. ‘Hey Alexa, play Elton John!’

Erik: “In the summer, date night definitely starts with dinner on a patio. If we’re lucky there’s some live music as well. After that we might head to The Lodge for a drink (my favorite bar in the city) and end the night either meeting up with friends or heading to the lakefront for some fireworks.

Natalie: “It’s a must that the bar we meet friends at has excellent music, with added points for a Jukebox or live performers.

Erik: “We love exploring our city as much as we can. Whether that means taking a day to visit a neighborhood we haven’t been to, trying a new bar/restaurant, or simply taking a walk around our neighborhood.

Erik: “I truly value the relationships I have with people and the experiences I share with those close to me. Natalie and I have great families and friends and the experiences we’ve shared with them over time are irreplaceable. I’m truly lucky to have these people in my life and cannot wait to share the future with them.

Natalie: “Erik is my person in every way. He truly makes every day of my life a little better just by being a part of it. I know that I can always count on him to support me and encourage me to be my best self. He is one of those genuinely good people who brings out the best in everyone around him. One of the things that really impresses me about Erik is his ability to truly listen to others and make sure that they feel comfortable and included. Even when challenges come our way, and I know they will, I have the extra vote of confidence knowing that we’re going to get through it together.

Erik: “There are many things that make me want to spend my life with Natalie, but one has to be just who she is as a person. She has a contagious happiness that makes me smile when she smiles and laugh when she laughs. She’s always up for a new adventure and I love being by her side each time. She’s also always been a strong support system for me. I know there’s always going to be ups and downs in life but knowing that I will always have someone like Natalie by my side, supporting and encouraging me, means the world.