amanda + chad

Amanda and Chad’s wedding took place in my wonderful little hometown of Utica, NY, and we were so very happy to be a part of it!  This was our first time shooting at Danielle’s at Valley View, and we thought it was a pretty awesome venue!  I can’t even describe how happy it makes me when I get to shoot a Utica wedding – doing what I love to do in a place that is so dear to my heart is an incredible feeling.  Add to that an absolutely amazing couple like Amanda and Chad, and well…you can imagine how much I smiled that day.  :)  We would love to shoot in Utica again next summer, so…..Utica brides, HOLLLLLLAAAAA!!!

This lovely couple was kind enough to share some of their favorite wedding day memories with us, so that we could share them with all of our lovely blog readers.  Look for those throughout the post!!

Chad’s wedding day gift to Amanda?  Fried calamari…her favorite!!!  ;)What a STUNNING bride you were, Amanda…just wow.Chad:  ”Getting ready with all of the guys before the wedding. After high school/college we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like to. It was nice to have all of my friends from different stages of my life come together and have a good time. We played golf that morning, got ready together, and got to take some pictures with just us guys. It was nice to be able to share the experience with them. “Ben grabbed a few shots of the guys in downtown Utica before they headed on over to the Valley View!Super cute sand ceremony picture frame…I loved it!  What a cool idea!!Chad:  “Seeing Amanda walk down the aisle. She looked so beautiful. In that moment, I was also able to look around and see all of our friends and family there, some of which we do not get to see often, and I couldn’t have been happier.”Amanda:  “During our ceremony, our officiant had Chad and I turn around and face our family and friends for a moment. I remember when I turned around I focused in on my grandfather, who had been really sick so I was not sure if he would be able to come to the wedding. I was so happy to see him there, I remember trying to hold back my tears. In that moment I was so thankful.”Amanda:  “Our ceremony as a whole was such an incredible experience. Walking down the aisle with both of my parents,  seeing Chad standing there, and feeling all of the love and support from everyone around us was amazing. I was SO nervous before the ceremony began but I remember standing up in front of everyone and holding Chad’s hands and squeezing them tight, and feeling like we were the only ones there.”Amanda:  “After the ceremony, Chad and I, and our wedding party got back on the limo bus to go take pictures. I remember feeling such a sense of relief because I had been so nervous about the ceremony (being in front of all of those people). We cracked open a couple bottles of champagne and got to relax for what seemed like the first time in weeks! It was a great feeling to finally be married and celebrate it with our closest friends. The pressure and stress lightened up immensely in that moment!”I love this spot.  I came in a couple of days early so I would be able to spend some time with my Utica peeps, and scout out shooting locations near the venue.  My dad took me to this spot.  You can see the whole wonderful little city from up here!  We only had a few minutes for photos before a crazy huge rain storm rolled in, but this group rocked it out and we made the most of those few minutes!!  ;)One of my all time favorite shots of 2012…for SURE.Amanda and Chad’s decor and pink/green color scheme was a huge success!  I loved all of the little mason jars, and the flowers were sooooooooo pretty.
Chad:  “The entrance of the wedding party. Everyone in the wedding party came up with a unique and funny way to enter the reception. It was hilarious and it was so fun to watch our friends have such a great time! We were both so excited and felt a sense of relief as the reception began and we were able to celebrate with our friends and family.”Amanda:  “Our first dance. I felt like I could stay in that moment forever and be completely happy. Our wedding party stood in a line along the dance floor with their arms around one another and swayed bnack and forth as we danced. It was totally spontaneous and unrehearsed and it was so touching and beautiful. I felt the love from them and from Chad. It was such a special moment and I will never forget it!”Amanda:  “My brother, Cody, and Chad’s sister, Erika, had arranged with the DJ for him to play “My Wish,” by Rascal Flatts and we did a brother/sister dance. I was totally surprised and no one else knew about it either! Chad and I both grew up sharing a very very special relationship with our siblings. I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it myself. We are very thankful for both of them!”

Chad:  ”The mother-son dance was really special to me. My mother moved to Florida a few years ago, so I don’t get to see her often. I was so happy to have her there to be able to share this special day with me and Amanda.”

After dinner, the dance floor opened up and let me tell you, this was quite the party!  ”Ain’t no party like a Utica party, cause’ a Utica party…” – okay, I’ll stop now.  ;)
Chad:  ”In the middle of the reception, I was able to take a step back and just watch everyone on the dance floor. Everyone was having such a great time. I was able to look around the room and see all of our loved ones and know that they were all there for us. I was thankful that I took the time to just soak it all in.”We grabbed Amanda and Chad for a few quick night shots on the golf course.  The sky was amazing that night.  How cute is Amanda’s feathered reception dress?!!!  LOVE it!!THIS. DANCE. FLOOR. WAS. ON. FIRE.Amanda and Chad: “Take a moment to step away from the party and soak it all in! The whole day/night goes by sooo fast and before you know it, it’s over. Take time to notice each person there and appreciate every second. It’s a great feeling. There’s nothing else like it. Enjoy even the smaller moments like getting ready with your wedding party – it all flies by!”


Thank you both SO VERY MUCH for choosing us to be your wedding photographers!! We are so happy to have been a part of your day! You guys have been absolutely amazing to work with from the start, and we are so grateful that you found us! Wishing you both all the happiness in the world, J + B :)

by Ayres Photography

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